All posts by Coastal Care

It’s time to prepare for a changing Earth; By Orrin Pilkey


Photograph courtesy of: © William Neal, Orrin Pilkey & Norma Longo.

Excerpts;

Global climate change is an obvious fact and we are already in the midst of it. The time for action is now. In two decades, in the opinion of many climatologists, it will be too late to prevent catastrophic global damage…

Read Full Article; By Orrin Pilkey, The Charlotte Observer (12-05-2019)

Offshore drilling creates these new dangers onshore, environmental report says


Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Devastating oil spills of the Deepwater Horizon variety aren’t the only risk posed by expanded offshore drilling in waters off the United States, a new environmental report says.

New oil and gas drilling along the country’s Atlantic and Pacific coasts — which the Trump administration proposed but put on hold — would spur a flurry of energy development on dry land, raising the risk of broken pipelines and refinery pollution in coastal areas, according to a new report released by Environment America, a coalition of 29 state environmental groups…

Read Full Article; Miami Herald (12-04-2019)

Trump Moves to Open Nearly All Offshore Waters to Drilling; The New York Times (01-04-2018)

Trump Spares NO Coast, Every State at Risk: A Call To Take Action, By NRDC (01-05-2018)

US official reveals Atlantic drilling plan while hailing Trump’s ability to distract public; Guardian UK (03-14-2019)

Business View: ‘No Good Reason For Drilling’; Coastal review (05-31-2017)
Every aspect of offshore drilling, from exploration to transporting the product from the drilling site, has implications for marine life and coastal communities…

The ‘Job-Killing’ Fiction Behind Trump’s Retreat on Fuel Economy Standards; Yale E360 (04-20-2017)

Estimates of offshore drilling’s benefits exaggerated, report says, The Virginian Pilot (12-15-2015)

Trump, reversing Obama, will push to expand drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic, The Washington Post (04-28-2017)

Trump Administration announces plan to expand oil development in Alaska (11-23-2019)

Why U.S. East Coast Should Stay Off-Limits to Oil Drilling, Yale E360 (02-28-2015)
It’s not just the potential for a catastrophic spill that makes the new proposal to open Atlantic Ocean waters to oil exploration such a bad idea. What’s worse is the cumulative impact on coastal ecosystems that an active oil industry would bring…

When You Drill, You Spill; Huffington Green (05-27-2015)
The Santa Barbara County spill, one of the largest in California history, reiterates what we already know: We can’t extract oil and transport it without putting our beaches, wildlife, and coastal communities at risk. The sad fact is, when you drill, you spill.

The Ocean Is Boiling’: The Complete Oral History of the 1969 Santa Barbara Oil Spill; By Kate Wheeling & Max Ufberg; Pacific Standard Magazine – 33 min read (04-18-2017)

Freak storms of 2019 Atlantic hurricane season left trail of destruction and revealed climate change fingerprints


Dorian hurricane. Search and rescue efforts in the Bahamas (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Seaman Erik Villa Rodriguez). Captions and image source: ©© Coast Guard

Excerpts;

Both Dorian and Lorenzo, which became the strongest hurricane to develop so far northeast in the Atlantic, attained Category 5 strength. The storms brought the count of Category 5s in the Atlantic since 2016 up to six, and marked the fourth year in a row with at least one Category 5, the longest stretch on record.

The historic intensity of both Dorian and Lorenzo, exhibited influences consistent with warming ocean waters and climate change…

Read Full Article; The Washington Post (12-04-2019)

Biologists investigate mass die-of freshwater mussels


Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Freshwater mussels, like pollinators and trees, are critical to their larger ecosystems and the world around them. They create habitat for other species, like freshwater coral reefs, and help maintain the structure and rigidity of the waterways they call home. They scoop up algae and nutrients, processing and concentrating them for others to eat.

But perhaps most importantly, these soft-bodied invertebrates improve the water quality around them. They filter out sediment and agricultural runoff, limiting the size and impacts of dead zones…

Read Full Article; NPR (12-06-2019)

A pipeline runs through it

refugio-oil-spill-cc
Refugio Beach, oil along the coastline, May 2015. External corrosion on an oil pipeline was the root cause of a leak that spilled more than 140,000 gallons of crude on the Santa Barbara coast in May, federal regulators reported Wednesday. This oil spill was the state’s largest coastal oil spill in 25 years affecting Santa Barbara County. Photograph: © SAF – Coastal Care.

Excerpts;

The 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline could soon slice across Appalachia. If completed, the hundreds of miles of 42- and 36-inch diameter steel would carry 1.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas every day…

Read Full Article; Grist (12-03-2019)

Trump Lawyers Defend Pipeline’s Route Across Appalachian Trail; Bloomberg News (12-02-2019)
Environmental groups opposed to the pipeline have until Jan. 15 to respond to the briefs. Oral argument is set for Feb. 24…

In the deep end: ‘Life in Troubled Waters’ Exhibit


Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

The photographs taken by Selvaprakash Lakshmanan look at the changing Indian coastal landscape that has been affected by erosion, chemical plants, rising sea levels and over-fishing.

“It also shows communities – 250 million people live within 50 metres of the Indian coastline – and trying to cope with every changing reality,” says Lakshmanan about his ‘Life in Troubled Waters’ project…

Read Full Article; The New Indian Express (12-05-2019)

Inside the deadly world of India’s sand mining mafia; National Geographic (06-26-2019)

Tragedy of The Commons: Corrosive Growth of the Illegal Sand Mining Mafia, The Citizen (01-04-2016)
Not many people may know that illegal sand mining is a nationwide phenomena in India, and with spurt in housing and infrastructure projects, the illegal sand mining is thriving beyond the ambit of formal economy and law and order. Sand is everywhere and so is the sand mafia…

Trump administration makes it easier to dredge protected areas to restore beaches


Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

The Trump administration changed a 25-year-old policy to make it easier for coastal communities to take sand from protected ecosystems to improve their beaches.

The shift makes it cheaper for some of the wealthiest communities in the country to replenish their beachfronts…

Read Full Article; The NYT (11-07-2019)

Gulf of Mexico coral reefs to protect from storm surge in the future — But will they?


Photo source: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Coral reefs support 25 percent of all marine life around the globe. Those in the Gulf of Mexico, along the coasts of Louisiana, Florida, Texas and Mexico serve as important barriers to storm surge, lessening the impact of dangerous hurricanes.

A team of researchers used coupled climate model simulations as well as studies of fossil corals to describe how climate change will impact reefs in the Gulf of Mexico in the not-so-distant future, including a realistic snapshot of years 2080-2100…

Read Full Article; Science Daily (12-04-2019)

Beached sperm whale found with 220 pounds of trash in his stomach


Photo courtesy of Multi Award-Winning Filmmaker: © Denis Delestrac
“When plastic ingestion occurs, it blocks the digestive tract, gets lodged in animals windpipes cutting airflow causing suffocation, or fills the stomach, resulting in malnutrition, starvation and potentially death.” — Claire Le Guern, author of “When The Mermaids Cry: The Great Plastic Tide” ©.

Excerpts;

A sperm whale that washed up on a beach was found with 220 pounds of plastic trash in his stomach. The whale beached itself and died on a northern Scottish island last Thursday, according to local researchers, who found the carcass several days later…

Read Full Article; CBS News (12-03-2019)

Pregnant whale washed up in Italian tourist spot had 22 kilograms of plastic in its stomach; CNN (04-01-2019)

Dead whale found with 40 kilograms of plastic bags in its stomach; CNN (03-18-2019)
A young whale whose carcass washed up in the Philippines died of “dehydration and starvation” after consuming 40 kilograms (88 pounds) of plastic bags, scientists have found….

Whale found In Thailand dies from eating over 80 plastic bags; Huffington Green (06-03-2018)

Whale found dying off coast of Norway with 30 plastic bags in its stomach; Telegraph UK (02-03-2017)

Kenya: Marine debris threaten to suffocate sea animals; The Star Kenya (01-24-2017)
Marine researchers spotted a dolphin suffocating in a plastic bag last week in Watamu, Kenya. The incident, the first to be witnessed there, has raised concern on the safety of the millions of sea animals in the Indian Ocean waters due to the increased cases of plastic waste.

Plastics found in stomachs of deepest sea creatures; Guardian UK (11-15-2017)
The study, led by academics at Newcastle University, found animals from trenches across the Pacific Ocean were contaminated with fibres that probably originated from plastic bottles, packaging and synthetic clothes…

60% of Loggerhead Turtles Stranded on Beaches in South Africa Had Ingested Plastic, EcoWatch (05-031-2016)

The Plastic Found In a Single Turtle’s Stomach, Independent UK (03-24-2011)

90 Percent of Seabirds Have Plastic in Their Stomachs, Newsweek (09-01-2015)
By 2050, nearly all seabirds will have plastic in their stomachs. Already, 9 out of 10 of the birds have some of the substance in their digestive tracts. Such are the sobering conclusions of a study published August 31 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences…

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…

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

New UN report finds marine debris harming more than 800 species, costing countries millions; United Nations (12-05-2016)
Marine debris is negatively affecting more than 800 animal species and causing serious losses to many countries’ economies, according to a United Nations report launched December 5th, 2016…

Whale and shark species at increasing risk from microplastic pollution – study; Guardian UK (02-05-2018)
Whales, some sharks and other marine species such as rays are increasingly at risk from microplastics in the oceans, a new study published in the journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution, suggests…

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…

How microplastics, marine aggregates and marine animals are connected; Science Daily (10-23-2018)

New UN report finds marine debris harming more than 800 species, costing countries millions; United Nations (12-05-2016)
Marine debris is negatively affecting more than 800 animal species and causing serious losses to many countries’ economies, according to a United Nations report launched December 5th, 2016…

Piling up: Drowning in a sea of plastic; CBS News (08-05-2018)
Piece by piece, an environmental threat is piling up, and we’re ALL to blame. Worse yet, even those of us trying to bring an end to the problem may not be doing as much good as we think…

These 10 companies are flooding the planet with throwaway plastic; Greenpeace (10-09-2018)
Nine months, six continents, 239 cleanup events, and more than 187,000 pieces of trash later, we now have the most comprehensive snapshot to date of how corporations are contributing to the global plastic pollution problem…

More Recycling Won’t Solve Plastic Pollution; Scientific American (07-06-2018)

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.

Biodegradable plastic ‘false solution’ for ocean waste problem; Guardian UK (05-23-2016)

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…