Scientists Pinpoint How Ocean Acidification Weakens Coral Skeletons

Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care


The rising acidity of the oceans threatens coral reefs by making it harder for corals to build their skeletons. A new study identifies the details of how ocean acidification affects coral skeletons, allowing scientists to predict more precisely where corals will be more vulnerable.

Corals grow their skeletons upward toward sunlight and also thicken them to reinforce them.
The new research, led by scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), shows that ocean acidification particularly impedes the thickening process—decreasing the skeletons’ density and leaving them more vulnerable to breaking…

Read Full Article; WHOI (01-29-2018)

Create “Sponge Cities” to Tackle Worsening Floods

Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care


With floods now causing more damage more frequently around the world, it is time to counter their effects by turning our towns into “Sponge Cities”, a recent trend popularised by China to absorb rainwater through permeable roads and pavements, parks, rooftop gardens and other green spaces…

Read Full Article; IPS News (01-31-2018)

Climate change threatens half of US bases worldwide, Pentagon report finds

Norfolk Naval Base Piers, Norfolk Virginia. Photo source: ©© Missy Schhmidt


Nearly half of US military sites are threatened by wild weather linked to climate change, according to a new Pentagon study whose findings run contrary to White House views on global warming…

Read Full Article; Guardian UK (01-31-2018)

In the Trump era, rising seas still a concern for Defense Department; The Virginian Pilot (10-27-2017)
Climate scientists in the federal government have been on the defensive since President Donald Trump took office in January. But military leaders will continue to address the risks that climate change poses to bases and national security, a senior Pentagon official said at conference Friday on sea level rise…

Sea level rise a big issue for military in Hampton Roads, science says; Pilot Online (07-27-2016)
A new Union of Concerned Scientists study evaluated the risks of climate-induced inundation at a sample of 18 military bases on the East and Gulf of Mexico coasts. Flooding and storm surge at Langley and other coastal military installations will only get worse — maybe a lot worse…

NASA’s Front Porch View of Rising Seas, NASA (09-12-2015)
For the past two centuries, two trends have been steady and clear around the United States. Sea level has been rising, and more people have been moving closer to the coast…

Rising Seas Threaten Everything from Wallops to Resorts, DelmarvaNow (03-21-2015)

Erosion Threatens Iconic NASA Launch Pads, USA Today, (06-20-2015)

Encroaching Tides, A Report By The Union of Concerned Scientists (10-08-2014)

Life’s a beach: Cannes ships in sand for film festival

Cannes, Côte d’Azur, France: ©© Franck Michel


Every year the French Riviera town of Cannes rolls out the red carpet to A-list celebrities at the world’s most glamorous film festival. Now it wants to roll out a bigger beach too.

The Mediterranean resort is shipping in 80,000 cubic meters of white sand – enough to fill 32 Olympic swimming pools – to widen the beach along a 1.4 kilometer (0.9 mile) stretch of seafront beside the famed “Croisette” promenade…

Read Full Article; Reuters (01-30-2018)

A Cannes, les plages de la Croisette sont élargies avec 80.000 m3 de sable (01-24-2018)

The sands of time; The New York Times (12-15-2017)
Human intervention to control beach depth is often futile. Repeated studies have found that sand pumped onto beaches in order to protect coastal property may be washed out by a storm or two. These beaches commonly lose all the new sand in five years or so…

Sand washes away as quickly as it can be dumped, Bathtub Beach, FL; TCPalm News (11-17-2017)

Coastal geologist criticizes beach renourishment efforts; By Robert S. Young, PhD; The State (08-17-2016)
Rob Young, who heads the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines at Western Carolina University, said the government is subsidizing coastal development with renourishment money – and that’s costing taxpayers. Communities across the country have spent millions of dollars renourishing beaches. Those efforts encourage people to rebuild after every major hurricane…

Beach replenishment may have far reaching impacts on ecosystems;” Phys.Org (03-29-2016)
UC San Diego biologists who examined the biological impact of replenishing eroded beaches with offshore sand found that such beach replenishment efforts could have long-term negative impacts on coastal ecosystems…

Sand, Rarer Than One Thinks: A UNEP report (GEA-March 2014)
Despite the colossal quantities of sand and gravel being used, our increasing dependence on them and the significant impact that their extraction has on the environment, this issue has been mostly ignored by policy makers and remains largely unknown by the general public.
In March 2014 The United Nations released its first Report about sand mining. “Sand Wars” film documentary by Denis Delestrac – first broadcasted on the european Arte Channel, May 28th, 2013, where it became the highest rated documentary for 2013 – expressly inspired the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to publish this 2014-Global Environmental Alert.

Sand Wars, An Investigation Documentary, By Multi Award-Winning Filmmaker Denis Delestrac (©-2013)
As of 2011-2012, when investigative filmmaker Denis Delestrac and team, were collecting and unveiling sand mining datas and information from the professionals involved, “…the sand business was estimated to be a $70 billion industry, worldwide…!”—Denis Delestrac (©-2013)

Chile creates five national parks over 10m acres in historic act of conservation

Cape Horn lighthouse, Chile. Captions and photo source: ©© GRID ARENDAL


Chile has created five sprawling national parks to preserve vast tracts of Patagonia.

The five parks, spanning 10.3m acres, were signed into law on Monday by Chile’s president Michelle Bachelet, launching a new 17-park route that stretches down the southern spine of Chile to Cape Horn.

The creation of the parks marks the latest in a flurry of environmental protection laws which have brought Chile to the forefront of worldwide conservation efforts.

Last month, Bachelet – who leaves office in March – completed a five-year negotiation with residents of Easter Island to form one of the world’s largest Marine Protected areas, which will protect some 720,000 sq km of the Pacific Ocean…

Read Full Article; Guardian UK (01-29-2018)

Chile Plans World’s Biggest Marine Park to Protect Easter Island Fish Stocks; Guardian UK (09-14-2015)

Chile Creates Largest Marine Reserve in the Americas; National Geographic (10-05-2015)

Shoreline lessons – how beach trips boost learning

Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care


For the past five years, Beach Schools South West has been travelling all over Devon, UK, to enable children of all backgrounds to experience outdoor learning…

Read Full Article; BBC News (01-29-2018)

According To Scientists, Visiting The Beach Can Change Your Brain In An Incredible Way; Shareably (04-21-2017)

What the beach does to your brain; NBC News (07-29-2017)

Lessons From The Sand ; By Charles O. Pilkey and Orrin H. Pilkey (©-2016)
Featuring more than forty fun hands-on activities for families with children, “Lessons from the Sand” reveals the science behind the amazing natural wonders found on beaches and the activities explain how beaches work — providing the key to protecting them for future generations. A book by Charles O. Pilkey and Orrin H. Pilkey…

Plastic in the Oceans Increasing Risk of Disease in Coral Reefs

Plastic pollution. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care


More than 11 billion pieces of plastic are lodged within coral reefs in the Asia-Pacific region. According to a new study published in the journal Science, as this plastic gets tangled, it often cuts the coral, increasing the risk of infection and disease outbreaks by as much 89 percent…

Read Full Article; Yale E360 (01-26-2018)

Original Study: “Plastic waste associated with disease on coral reefs,” Science (01-26-2018)
Plastic waste can promote microbial colonization by pathogens implicated in outbreaks of disease in the ocean. We assessed the influence of plastic waste on disease risk in 124,000 reef-building corals from 159 reefs in the Asia-Pacific region. The likelihood of disease increases from 4% to 89% when corals are in contact with plastic…

Taste, not appearance, drives corals to eat plastics; Duke University (10-24-2017)

Great Barrier Reef Corals Eat Plastic; Science Daily (02-27-2015)
Researchers in Australia have found that corals commonly found on the Great Barrier Reef will eat micro-plastic pollution. Microplastics are tiny fragments of plastic in the environment and are a widespread contaminant in marine ecosystems, particularly in inshore coral reefs…

Video captures moment plastic enters food chain, BBC News (03-11-2017)
A scientist has filmed the moment plastic microfibre is ingested by plankton, illustrating how the material is affecting life beneath the waves. The footage shows one way that plastic waste could be entering the marine and global food chain…

Brain damage in fish from plastic nanoparticles in water, Science Daily (09-25-2017)
A new study shows that plastic particles in water may end up inside fish brains. The plastic can cause brain damage, which is the likely cause of behavioral disorders observed in the fish…

More than 8. 3 billion tons of plastics made: Most has now been discarded; Science Daily (07-19-2017)
Humans have created 8.3 billion metric tons of plastics since large-scale production of the synthetic materials began in the early 1950s, and most of it now resides in landfills or the natural environment, according to a study.

Plastic Pollution: When The Mermaids Cry, The Great Plastic Tide, Coastal Care
Washed out on our coasts in obvious and clearly visible form, the plastic pollution spectacle blatantly unveiling on our beaches is only the prelude of the greater story that unfolded further away in the world’s oceans, yet mostly originating from where we stand: the land…

UN Declares War on Ocean Plastic, UNEP (02-23-2017)

The EPA made a surprise move that could protect the world’s largest salmon fishery

Bristol Bay, Alaska. Photo source: ©© Emma Forsberg


In a surprise reversal, the Environmental Protection Agency announced it is withdrawing its plan to suspend environmental protections for an area of Alaska that is home to the world’s most valuable wild salmon fishery.

The EPA proposed last year to “reverse clean water safeguards” for the Bristol Bay watershed, paving the way for a massive gold and copper mine to be built in the region…

Read Full Article; CNN (01-27-2018)

There’s a new front in President Trump’s war on our environment: Alaska’s spectacular Bristol Bay. And if we don’t stop them, the resulting pollution and environmental destruction would be a catastrophe for the wildlife and communities that call Bristol Bay home…

U.S. EPA reverses policy on ‘major sources’ of pollution

Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care


The EPA said on Thursday it was withdrawing a provision of the Clean Air Act that requires a major source of pollution like a power plant to always be treated as a major source, even if it makes changes to reduce emissions.

he decision to withdraw the “once-in always-in” policy is part of President Donald Trump’s effort to roll back federal regulations and was sought by utilities, the petroleum industry and others…

Read Full Article; Reuters (01-25-2018)