Sewage spill closes eight Monterey beaches, CA

Monterey Bay, California. Photo courtesy of: © Gary Griggs


A massive sewage spill at the Monterey One Water wastewater treatment facility early Saturday morning has closed eight beaches, the Monterey County Environmental Health Department reported.

Approximately 4.9 million gallons of sewage spilled from the wastewater treatment facility…

Read Full Article, Mercury News (01-22-2018)

More oyster reefs could help fight erosion on Texas coast

A submerged breakwater reef was created along two stretches of shoreline, protecting more than 18 acres of habitat for submerged aquatic vegetation and creating almost two acres of oyster reef. When all is said and done, the submerged reefs will protect more than a mile of coastal habitat by reflecting erosive wave energy away from the shoreline, unlike traditional erosion protection structures that contribute to habitat loss. Oyster Restoration, in Alabama. Captions and Photo source: NOAA Fisheries


The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department in the past 10 years has built more than 400 acres of oyster reef off the coast — multimillion dollar projects intended to jump start the harvest of oysters, particularly after hurricanes and drought devastated the resource…

Read Full Article, Star Telegram (01-22-2018)

The Texas Coastline Is Slowly Disappearing. Here’s How One Community Is Coping; Houston Public Media (01-02-2018)
The Lone Star State’s shoreline is experiencing one of the highest rates of land loss of any coastal area in the country due to a combination of subsidence, sea level rise and storm surges…

An Oyster in the Storm, Op Ed by Paul Greenberg, The New York Times (11-02-2012)

The Great American Oyster Collapse; AlJazeera (07-21-2014)
Scientists have linked climate change and pollution of the world’s oceans to problems with oysters and corals, and there are still questions about how other species of ocean life will be affected…

Looking to Holland to find more sand for Galveston Island, Texas; HPM University of Houston (08-30-2016)

Meet ‘King Marcio’, the man who lived in a ‘sand castle’ for 22 years

Photograph: © SAF – Coastal Care


A Brazilian man managed to avoid high rents for 22 years in the upscale district of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil by living in a sand castle.

The beach monarch, Marcio Mizael Matolias, lives in his unusual home and pursues his three passions: reading, golf and fishing…

Read Full Article, International Business Times (01-21-2018)

Man’s home is his sand castle; Daily Mail UK (01-20-2018)

Great Barrier Reef coral bleaching has started early, biologist says

Photograph: © SAF – Coastal Care


Warm water has already begun bleaching coral on the Great Barrier Reef, weeks ahead of the period with highest forecast risk. Satellite data suggest widespread bleaching is possible by March…

Read Full Article, Guardian UK (01-19-2018)

A Close-Up Look at the Catastrophic Bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef; Yale E360 (04-10-2017)
Scientists are reporting the second mass bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef in the last year. In a Yale Environment 360 interview, researcher Terry Hughes says these events have damaged two-thirds of the world’s largest coral reef and are directly caused by global warming…

Greenpeace images show Great Barrier Reef suffering coral bleaching for second year in a row; Greenpeace (03-09-2017)
Greenpeace Australia Pacific today releases shocking photos and footage documenting the Great Barrier Reef’s first severe coral bleaching to happen two years in a row. The bleaching is the result of 12 months of above-average sea temperatures, which is “cooking the reef alive”…

Video Captures the Violent Act of Coral Bleaching, LiveScience (08-17-2016)

Coral bleaching hits 93% of Great Barrier Reef, Video, Science Daily (04-21-2016)
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is suffering its worst coral bleaching in recorded history with 93 percent of the World Heritage site affected, scientists say as they reveal the phenomenon is also hitting the other side of the country…

Great Barrier Reef: the scale of bleaching has the most sober scientists worried, Guardian UK (04-16-2016)
I have dived hundreds of times, with different teams of scientists, along the reef. Yet the scale of this bleaching event has even the most sober and senior coral reef scientists worried. If the rhetoric from marine biologists is to be believed, then the Great Barrier Reef is now in the grip of a “bommie apocalypse”…

War on global warming only way to save world’s coral, study says; CBS News (03-15-2017)
Reducing pollution and curbing overfishing won’t prevent the severe bleaching that is killing coral at catastrophic rates, according to a study of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. In the end, researchers say, the only way to save the world’s coral from heat-induced bleaching is with a war on global warming…

Human impact has pushed Earth into the Anthropocene, scientists say; Guardian UK (01-08-2016)
There is now compelling evidence to show that humanity’s impact on the Earth’s atmosphere, oceans and wildlife has pushed the world into a new geological epoch, an “Anthropocene” – ending the current Holocene which began around 12,000 years ago…

With China’s Ban on Waste Imports, Europe Announces New Recycling Initiatives

Bali, Kuta beach. Photo courtesy of: © Claude Graves. “The unprecedented plastic waste tide plaguing our oceans and shores, can become as limited as our chosen relationship with plastics, which involves a dramatic behavioral change on our part…” — © SAF — Coastal Care


In the wake of China’s ban on the import of foreign garbage, which took effect earlier this month, countries across the globe are scrambling to figure out what to do with the thousands of tons of trash piling up at their ports. Now, Europe has announced it is launching an aggressive new recycling initiative to reduce plastic waste and garbage exports.

The project will take aim at “single-use plastics that take five seconds to produce, you use it for five minutes, and it takes 500 years to break down again,” said Frans Timmermans, vice-president of the European Commission…

Read Full Article, Yale E360 (01-16-2018)

Plastic, Poverty And Pollution In China’s Recycling Dead Zone; Guardian UK (07-31-2014)

Meet Rajeesh, The Man Who Has To Live With Our Plastic Pollution; Huffington Green (04-09-2015)
Imagine if you were confronted with overwhelming plastic pollution every single day…

Paradise Lost: Filmmakers Document the Maldives’ Trash Island, Weather News- Travel (10-06-2014)
It may be known as a tropical paradise, an archipelago of 1,200 coral islands in the Indian Ocean. But the traditional image of the Maldives hides a dirty secret: the world’s biggest rubbish island: Thilafushi.

Paradise lost on Maldives’ rubbish island, Guardian UK (01-02-2009)
It may be known as a tropical paradise, an archipelago of 1,200 coral islands in the Indian Ocean. But the traditional image of the Maldives hides a dirty secret: the world’s biggest rubbish island…

All Human-Made Objects on Earth Amount to 30 Trillion Tons; LiveScience (12-05-2016)

World’s urban waste mountain a silent problem that is growing daily; Guardian UK (06-06-2012)

POcean Oddities: Pacific’s Plastic Island; Surfline (06-06-2017)
Ever since people invented trash, the sea has served as our favorite dump…

Plastic Waste Causes $13 Billion In Annual Damage To Marine Ecosystems, UN (06-24-2014)

Navy investigating disks of compressed trash littering Outer Banks beaches; Virginian Pilot (05-16-2017

Only 14% of plastics are recycled – can tech innovation tackle the rest? Guardian UK (02-22-2017)
Billions of pounds of plastic waste are littering the world’s oceans. Now, an organic chemist and a sailboat captain report that they are developing a process to reuse certain plastics, transforming them from worthless trash into a valuable diesel fuel with a small mobile reactor that could operate on land or at sea…

Plastic Pollution: “When The Mermaids Cry: The Great Plastic Tide,” Coastal Care

Ridding the oceans of plastics by turning the waste into valuable fuel; Science Daily (04-03-2017)

Public Health Closes Some Santa Barbara County Beaches, Ocean Waters After Testing

As of January 12th, approximately 800 cubic yards of mud from the Montecito mudslide incident, has been transported to Goleta Beach. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care.


Ocean water samples taken on Tuesday were tested for bacteria levels and test results reveal that levels of bacteria do exceed standard levels in ocean water at some beaches.

The Thomas Fire followed by the significant rainfall and resulting flood is an unprecedented event.

There are unknown amounts of untreated sewage and possible chemical contaminants in the water and sand…

Read Full Article, Noozhawk (01-18-2018)

8 beaches closed in Santa Barbara County following mudslides; KSBY (01-18-2018)

As Montecito cleanup continues, a search for where to dump thousands of tons of mud; LA Times (01-11-2018)

Montecito Cleanup Efforts Require Transport of Mud to Santa Barbara County Beaches, Noozhawk (01-12-2018)
The Santa Barbara County Flood Control District obtained emergency permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the California Coastal Commission to place sediment on local beaches…

Devastated by mudslides, Montecito has nowhere for debris and more rain is on the way; CBS News (01-18-2018)

A really big deal’: New York City’s fossil fuel divestment could spur global shift

NYC flooding, Post Sandy. Photograph: © SAF – Coastal Care.
Disastrous floods like those seen during Hurricane Sandy in 2012 may hit New York City 17 times more often in the next century, a study finds.


New York City’s decision to sever ties with its fossil fuel investments is set to prove a catalyst to other cities in the face of the Trump administration’s staunch support for coal, oil and gas interests, according to several leading economists.

Economists said the status of New York as a financial and cultural giant would probably spur other cities in the US and worldwide to divest and, more significantly, build momentum in the global shift required to reduce emissions and stave off the worst consequences of climate change…

Read Full Article, Guardian UK (01-11-2018)

Climate Progress, With or Without Trump; The New York Times (03-31-2017)

Global Climate Meeting Will Forge Ahead, Despite Trump’s Contempt; Scientific American (11-03-2017)

Al Gore: Trump has failed to knock Paris climate deal off course; Guardian UK (08-11-2017)

Top US firms including Walmart and Ford oppose Trump on climate change; The Guardian UK (12-01-2017)
The big businesses Donald Trump claims to champion are increasingly choosing to ignore the US president’s sceptical stance on climate change and press ahead towards their own environmental goals without him…

Companies to keep promise to Obama on reducing carbon use; Bloomberg (03-28-2017)
Many of America’s biggest corporations including Apple Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. are sticking by their pledges to fight climate change even as President Donald Trump guts his predecessor’s environmental policies. Companies say their promises, coordinated by the Obama administration, reflect their push to cut energy costs, head off activist pressure and address a risk to their bottom line in the decades to come.

As Trump Retreats, States Are Joining Forces on Climate Action; Yale E360 (10-09-2017)

The fight against climate change: four cities leading the way in the Trump era; Guardian UK (06-12-2017)

Long-Term Warming Trend Continued in 2017: NASA, NOAA

This map shows Earth’s average global temperature from 2013 to 2017, as compared to a baseline average from 1951 to 1980, according to an analysis by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Yellows, oranges, and reds show regions warmer than the baseline. Credits: NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio.


Earth’s global surface temperatures in 2017 ranked as the second warmest since 1880, according to an analysis by NASA.

Continuing the planet’s long-term warming trend, globally averaged temperatures in 2017 were 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit (0.90 degrees Celsius) warmer than the 1951 to 1980 mean, according to scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York. That is second only to global temperatures in 2016.

In a separate, independent analysis, scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) concluded that 2017 was the third-warmest year in their record. The minor difference in rankings is due to the different methods used by the two agencies to analyze global temperatures, although over the long-term the agencies’ records remain in strong agreement. Both analyses show that the five warmest years on record all have taken place since 2010.

Because weather station locations and measurement practices change over time, there are uncertainties in the interpretation of specific year-to-year global mean temperature differences. Taking this into account, NASA estimates that 2017’s global mean change is accurate to within 0.1 degree Fahrenheit, with a 95 percent certainty level.

“Despite colder than average temperatures in any one part of the world, temperatures over the planet as a whole continue the rapid warming trend we’ve seen over the last 40 years,” said GISS Director Gavin Schmidt.

The planet’s average surface temperature has risen about 2 degrees Fahrenheit (a little more than 1 degree Celsius) during the last century or so, a change driven largely by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere. Last year was the third consecutive year in which global temperatures were more than 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degree Celsius) above late nineteenth-century levels.

Phenomena such as El Niño or La Niña, which warm or cool the upper tropical Pacific Ocean and cause corresponding variations in global wind and weather patterns, contribute to short-term variations in global average temperature. A warming El Niño event was in effect for most of 2015 and the first third of 2016. Even without an El Niño event – and with a La Niña starting in the later months of 2017 – last year’s temperatures ranked between 2015 and 2016 in NASA’s records.

In an analysis where the effects of the recent El Niño and La Niña patterns were statistically removed from the record, 2017 would have been the warmest year on record.

Weather dynamics often affect regional temperatures, so not every region on Earth experienced similar amounts of warming. NOAA found the 2017 annual mean temperature for the contiguous 48 United States was the third warmest on record.

Warming trends are strongest in the Arctic regions, where 2017 saw the continued loss of sea ice.

NASA’s temperature analyses incorporate surface temperature measurements from 6,300 weather stations, ship- and buoy-based observations of sea surface temperatures, and temperature measurements from Antarctic research stations.

These raw measurements are analyzed using an algorithm that considers the varied spacing of temperature stations around the globe and urban heating effects that could skew the conclusions. These calculations produce the global average temperature deviations from the baseline period of 1951 to 1980.

NOAA scientists used much of the same raw temperature data, but with a different baseline period, and different methods to analyze Earth’s polar regions and global temperatures.

The full 2017 surface temperature data set and the complete methodology used to make the temperature calculation are available at: here

GISS is a laboratory within the Earth Sciences Division of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The laboratory is affiliated with Columbia University’s Earth Institute and School of Engineering and Applied Science in New York.

Read Full Article, NASA (01-18-2018)

California sea lion population rebounded to new highs

Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care


California sea lions have fully rebounded under the protection of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, with their population on the West Coast reaching carrying capacity in 2008 before unusually warm ocean conditions reduced their numbers, according to the first comprehensive population assessment of the species…

Read Full Article, Science Daily (01-17-2018)

Climate Change Hits Sea Lions in the Santa Barbara Channel, Santa Barbara Independent (04-18-2015)

Unprecedented sea lion strandings in California linked to warmer Pacific, Reuters (02-19-2015)
The strandings of a record number of sea lion pups along the California coast this year are linked to a puzzling weather pattern that has warmed their Pacific Ocean habitat and likely impacted fish populations they rely on for food, federal scientists said…

Why Hundreds of Starving Sea Lion Pups Are Washing Up in California, The Time (02-18-2015)