La Plage, Brought To Paris, France

Paris plage. Warm sand and open air music in Paris… Photo source: ©© Gwenael Piaser

La Plage de Glazart is a unique open air summer festival situated Place de La Villette.

140 artists and bands are performing 5 days a week, the concerts being generally free or very low priced.

50 tons of sand have been brought to re-create a summer-by-the beach atmosphere, in the heart of the city.

Last year, the event attracted 25,000 beach and music afficionados.

Sable Chaud Et Concerts Sur La Plage De Glazart, Le Figaro

La Plage De Glazart 2011

What was natural in the coastal oceans?

Wild horses at the beach, Cumberland island. Photo source: ©© Linda N.

Abstract, By Jeremy B. C. Jackson © 2001, The National Academy of Sciences

Humans transformed Western Atlantic coastal marine ecosystems before modern ecological investigations began.

Paleoecological, archeological, and historical reconstructions demonstrate incredible losses of large vertebrates and oysters from the entire Atlantic coast. Untold millions of large fishes, sharks, sea turtles, and manatees were removed from the Caribbean in the 17th to 19th centuries.

Historical reconstructions provide a new scientific framework for manipulative experiments at the ecosystem scale to explore the feasibility and benefits of protection of our living coastal resources…

Read Full Article, National Academy of Sciences

Wild Boar Deaths linked to Green Algae: Confirmed

Photo source: ©© Olivier Bonnenfant

Since 36 dead wild boars have been found on the coast of north-western France this month, amid suspicion of algae poisoning, necropsies have been being carried out.

The first tests on six wild boars washed up on brittany’s beaches, showed that all but one, had hydrogen sulphide gas (emitted by rotting algae) in their lungs, confirming the suspicion toward the prior hypothesis that the wild boars suffocated from the poisonous gases emitted by rotting green algae.

However, Hydrogen sulphide gas (H2S) has not been found in the sixth animal, preventing the testers from concluding they’d been killed from breathing fumes from rotting seaweed.

Test results on the remaining boars haven’t been released yet.

Some beaches in Brittany are regularly hit by the algae, but the problem has worsened in recent years.

Environmentalists and officials say it is a result of the nitrates in fertilisers used by the region’s farmers.

According to a Guardian report, “local environmentalists have long campaigned against the dangers of what has become known as Brittany’s “killer” green algae. It has been affecting the rugged north Breton coastline for decades but has increased in recent years, causing the death of a worker who was clearing it in 2009, as well as killing dogs and a horse walking on the beach. Guardian

The French Government has launched a massive long-term plan to clear the beaches of algae, hauling away the noxious growth with bulldozers. But campaigners say nothing will change unless Brittany’s powerful agriculture and food industry cuts its nitrates use.

The algae is harmless until it dries and then decomposes, giving off a foul smell. Pockets of the toxic gas can become trapped under its crust. Thousands of tonnes of green algae have been cleared from the Brittany coast this year. In Finistère the amount of algae has grown since last year.

In a front-page editorial entitled, Green Algae: The Unbearable Denial, Le Monde said the French state, in thrall to lobby groups, was downplaying the role of agricultural pollution in the proliferation of noxious and toxic algae along the coasts.

Read Original Article: Sangliers: l’ALgue Verte se Confirme, Le Figaro

Brittany Beaches Hit By Toxic Algae, Guardian UK
Dead boars washed up on shores point to lethal hazard of poisonous gas and water pollution from algal slime

Brittany Beaches: regularly hit by green algae, problem appears to have worsened in recent years, BBC

Scientifiques reclament la publication des rapports d’autopsie, Le Monde
“pour pouvoir statuer de façon catégorique sur la cause de cette hécatombe d’animaux”.

Algues vertes : l’insupportable déni, Le Monde
Lorsque les faits sont importuns, il suffit de mettre en doute leur existence. Ce détestable principe semble avoir un avenir radieux, dès lors que remédier à des dégâts environnementaux ou sanitaires indispose des intérêts économiques.

Dozens Of Wild Boars Found Dead On French Beaches

Wave Of Toxic Green Beaches, France, By Sharlene Pilkey, Coastal Care
With beaches and coastlines all over the world already under attack from sea level rise, pollution, mining, driving, seawall construction and human development encroachment, another menace is mounting an assault. Humans are behind this one too…

US opens ways for Shell drilling in Arctic Ocean

Photo source: © Greenpeace / Daniel Beltra

Excerpts; AFP

The US Interior Department has opened the doors to Shell’s proposal for four shallow water exploration wells in Alaska’s Beaufort Sea to start in July 2012, said the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE).

Final approval requires Shell to obtain permits from other US agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Marine Fisheries Service…

Read Full Article, AFP

Drill Off Alaska Coast: Shortcoming In Oil Spill Prepardness Renew Debate

Green Algae Chokes Eastern China’s Beaches

Photo source: ©© Harald Groven


In Qingdoo, Shandong Province of China, the coastal waters are covered with algae called enteromorpha prolifera (ulva prolifera). Though the green algae is not poisonous per se, it can consume large amounts of oxygen that can threaten marine life.

The North China Sea Marine Forecasting Center of State Oceanic Administration cited a July 23 monitoring statistics as saying that about 19,050 square km of seawater in the Yellow Sea were found with algae, while some 500 square km were covered with the plant…

Read Original Article, Xinhua News

Acute toxicity of live and decomposing green alga Ulva ( Enteromorpha) prolifera to abalone Haliotis, Harvard / The Smithsonian/NASA data
From 2007 to 2009, large-scale blooms of green algae (the so-called “green tides”) occurred every summer in the Yellow Sea, China. In June 2008, huge amounts of floating green algae accumulated along the coast of Qingdao and led to mass mortality of cultured abalone and sea cucumber. This study examined the toxic effects of Ulva (Enteromorpha) prolifera, the causative species of green tides in the Yellow Sea. The acute toxicity of decomposing algal effluent could be attributed to the ammonia and sulfide presented in the effluent, as well as the hypoxia caused by the decomposition process.

Photographs: Thick Green Algae Chokes Beach, National Geographic

500 square kilometers of the Yellow Sea off China covered by a massive bloom of green algae, CNN News

Are Blue-Green Algae Toxic? EPA
Species of blue-green algae can include both toxin-producing (Harmfull Algae Bloom, HAB) and non-toxin-producing strains. Little is known about the environmental conditions that trigger toxin production, and there is no way to tell just by looking at a bloom whether or not it will produce toxins.

On the recurrent Ulva prolifera blooms in the Yellow Sea and East China Sea, A Scholar Study, 2010, University Of South Florida

The Second Life Of Green Algae

Sediment In Motion

Sediment in Motion at Ocean City.

By Heather Hyre, NASA Earth Observatory

If you’ve ever stood in the water on an ocean beach, you’ve likely noticed a pattern in the way water and sand move across your feet. The direction oscillates between moving towards you (sometimes at an angle) carrying sand across the tops of your feet, and then away from you, removing sand from behind your heels and carrying it back out to sea. Your feet slowly begin to sink into the sand. Your feet are taking part in a micro version of a grand coastal process known as longshore transport.

Waves are generally steered ashore by the prevailing winds, often blowing at oblique (slanted) angles to the shoreline. Once a wave breaks, a shallow layer of water glides along the shore, carrying sediment with it. As the momentum from the wave deteriorates, gravity pulls the water downhill and back into the ocean—at least until the next wave moves in and carries the next load of sediment.

This process of longshore transport is responsible for moving sediment up and down coastlines. It can sometimes lead to the development of barrier islands and spits—thin strips of beach that generally form parallel to the mainland.

Before 1933, a single barrier stretched along the eastern seaboard of the Delmarva Peninsula in the United States. A major hurricane breached that barrier in August 1933 causing it to split into two islands: Fenwick Island to the north and Assateague Island to the south. The two islands are depicted in the image above, which was taken by an aerial survey plane on June 26, 2009. Various plumes of sediment are visible in the water both in the ocean and the bays.

Ocean City, Maryland—just north of the inlet—was already developing into a vacationer’s paradise before the barrier breach. After the split in 1933, the local fishing industry flourished, too, particularly after a decision to stabilize the inlet by building jetties on either side. Completed in 1935, the jetties were designed to allow easy navigation between the ocean and the bay.

The jetties, however, interrupted natural coastal processes such as longshore transport. The inlet choked off the continuous flow of sediment along the coast to the north end of Assateague Island, accelerating beach erosion. The effects of the Ocean City inlet were initially overlooked. But they are hard to ignore now that the north end of Assateague Island has migrated nearly 700 meters (2,300 feet) landward.

Growing concern about the rapid deterioration of Assateague Island led to the North End Restoration Project. The first phase, completed in 2002, replenished the beach with a one-time supply of 1.4 million cubic meters of sand. The second phase, started in 2004, is addressing the long-term effects of the jetties and attempting to re-establish a natural sediment supply to mirror pre-inlet rates.

With or without human intervention, coastal processes continually morph coasts into different shapes, sizes, and colors. Changes can be observed in a day, a season, or a decade, such that there will always be something different about the sand beneath our toes from one visit to the next.

Original Article, NASA

Surf’s Up, An Art Exhibition

R. Nelson Parrish (left) sporting “Save The Beach” t-shirt by Coastal Care, with Jacqueline Dreager curator (center) at Surf’s Up Exhibition Opening, July 22nd 2010.

Surf’s Up, An Art Exhibition.
Curator: Jacqueline Dreager
Palos Verdes Art Center, July 22-September 25, 2011

Surf’s Up, an exhibition focusing on the art inspired by surfing opened July 22nd 2011 at the Palos Verdes Art Center‘s new, temporary location, The Promenade on the Peninsula, 550 Deep Valley Drive, Suite 261, Rolling Hills Estates (located in the former Borders Books location).

The exhibit will run through September 25, 2011. Galleries are open Mondays through Saturdays 10am-4pm and Sunday 1-4pm.

The common thread that runs through this exhibit is that most of the artists are inspired by their respect for the sheer power and energy of a wave.

These artists are practicing two physically demanding disciplines, one being expressed in the studio and the other being expressed out in the elements. Surf’s Up will not include archetypal commercial surfer scenes depicted in slick sports posters, in fact, many of the artists in this exhibit are lifelong surfers who surf every day and experience the solitude, skill and risk of surfing, as well as the silence, skill and risk they face in their studio’s. Whether waiting patiently in the studio or on the water, putting fear aside, each individual must make heart thumping decisions. The results can be awe inspiring.

The artists in this exhibit are lifelong surfers who surf every day and experience the solitude, skill and risk of surfing, as well as the silence, skill and risk they face in their studio’s.
—Surf’s Up, An Art Exhibition

The exhibition will include a mixture of fine art, painting, sculpture and photography, plus special, unique works of art. PVAC’s Exhibition Director, Scott Canty states, “When Jacqueline Dreager, our guest curator, and I began to think about this exhibition we wanted to explore a different angle and approach this as not just another surf show in L.A.” Canty and Dreager have set out to invite some artists to paint a surfboard in their style of art. The Surf’s Up exhibition will include works by Los Angeles artists: Sandow Birk, Russell Crotty, Doug Edge, Ned Evans, Anthony Friedkin, Stephen Robert Johns, Robin Lucca, Andy Moses, Ana Osgood, R. Nelson Parrish, Joni Sternbach, Stephanie Ramer, Stephen Shriver, John Severson, Rick Stich, Mark Dean Veca, Alex Weinstein and Timothy Williams. This exhibition is represented by several galleries: Koplin del Rio Gallery, Peter Blake Gallery, William Turner Gallery, Western Project, Shoshana Wayne Gallery and Edward Cella Art+Artchitecture Gallery.

The Surf’s Up Exhibition is dedicated to a dear friend and colleague, Bruce Milbury. Bruce, a long time surfer and employee of the Palos Verdes Art Center, passed away in late 2010.

Now in its 80th year, the Palos Verdes Art Center, 5504 W. Crestridge Rd., Rancho Palos Verdes, has served southwestern Los Angeles County since 1931 with a full range of visual arts programming and community art classes.

Palos Verdes Art Center

R. Nelson Parrish, Fine Art

Oil pollution in Niger Delta: Environmental Assessment of Ogoniland Report; Unep

Activists from Enviromental Rights Action in Nigeria explore oil damages in the Niger Delta, April 2010. Caption and Photo source: ©© S.U

Environmental Assessment of Ogoniland: A UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Report

50 years of oil pollution in Nigeria’s Ogoniland region may require the world’s biggest ever clean-up, that could take 20-30 years ,the UN environmental agency said today, as it released a long awaited for report on the issue.

At the request of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, UNEP has conducted an independent assessment of the environment and public health impacts of oil contamination in Ogoniland, in the Niger Delta, and options for remediation. (unep)

The UN Environment Programme also called for the oil industry and the Nigerian government to contribute $1 billion to a clean-up fund for the region that has been devastated by oil pollution.

The UN Environment Programme (Unep) has announced that Shell and other oil firms systematically contaminated a 1,000 sq km (386 sq mile) area of Ogoniland, in the Niger delta, with disastrous consequences for human health and wildlife.

“50 years of oil pollution in the Niger Delta region had “penetrated further and deeper than many had supposed” showing that communities have “faced a severe health risk, with some families drinking water with high levels of carcinogens”…

Niger Delta Oil Devastation
Niger Delta oil disaster. Caption and Photo source: ©© Sosialistisk Ungdom – SU

UNEP Official Press release

The Niger Delta is an area of dense mangrove rainforest in the southern tip of Nigeria.


“The environmental restoration of Ogoniland could prove to be the world’s most wide-ranging and long term oil clean-up exercise ever undertaken if contaminated drinking water, land, creeks and important ecosystems such as mangroves are to be brought back to full, productive health.

A major new independent scientific assessment, carried out by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), shows that pollution from over 50 years of oil operations in the region has penetrated further and deeper than many may have supposed.

The assessment has been unprecedented.

Over a 14-month period, the UNEP team examined more than 200 locations, surveyed 122 kilometres of pipeline rights of way, reviewed more than 5,000 medical records and engaged over 23,000 people at local community meetings.

Detailed soil and groundwater contamination investigations were conducted at 69 sites, which ranged in size from 1,300 square metres (Barabeedom-K.dere, Gokana local government area (LGA) to 79 hectares (Ajeokpori-Akpajo, Eleme LGA).

Altogether more than 4,000 samples were analyzed, including water taken from 142 groundwater monitoring wells drilled specifically for the study and soil extracted from 780 boreholes.

Key Findings
Some areas, which appear unaffected at the surface, are in reality severely contaminated underground and action to protect human health and reduce the risks to affected communities should occur without delay says UNEP’s Environmental Assessment of Ogoniland.

In at least 10 Ogoni communities where drinking water is contaminated with high levels of hydrocarbons, public health is seriously threatened, according to the assessment that was released today.

In one community, at Nisisioken Ogale, in western Ogoniland, families are drinking water from wells that is contaminated with benzene, a known carcinogen, at levels over 900 times above World Health Organization guidelines.

The site is close to a Nigerian National Petroleum Company pipeline.

“The oil industry has been a key sector of the Nigerian economy for over 50 years, but many Nigerians have paid a high price, as this assessment underlines”.

It is UNEP’s hope that the findings can break the decades of deadlock in the region and provide the foundation upon which trust can be built and action undertaken to remedy the multiple health and sustainable development issues facing people in Ogoniland.”

The clean-up of Ogoniland will not only address a tragic legacy but also represents a major ecological restoration enterprise with potentially multiple positive effects ranging from bringing the various stakeholders together in a single concerted cause to achieving lasting improvements for the Ogoni people, said the UNEP Executive Director.

UNEP today, August 4th 2011, presented its report to the President of Nigeria, The Hon Goodluck Jonathan, in the Nigerian capital Abuja.
Among its other findings are:….

… Reforms of environmental government regulation, monitoring and enforcement, and improved practices by the oil industry are also recommended in the report…

Read more: Original UNEP Official Press Release

Read the Full UNEP Report: Environmental Assessment of Ogoniland, Nigeria

This report details how the UNEP team carried out their work, where samples were taken and the findings that they have made.

The UNEP assessment, alongside options for remediation, was conducted at the request of the Government of Nigeria. If requested, UNEP is willing to remain a committed partner of the Nigerian authorities and of the Ogoni people as they address the environmental challenges ahead.

Oil in Nigeria: a history of spills, fines and fights for rights, Guardian UK
Ever since oil was discovered in the Niger Delta, in 1956, it has been a source of strife.

The world’s biggest ever clean-up, that could take 20-30 years, BBC
The UN assessment of Ogoniland, which lies in the Niger Delta, said 50 years of oil operations in the region had “penetrated further and deeper than many had supposed.

Shoreline Changes And Associated Coastal Land Loss Along The U.S. Gulf Of Mexico

Coastal erosion. Inlets can open during severe storms and fragment narrow barrier islands. Inlet opening is especially pertinent for the Outer Banks of North Carolina due to narrow island widths and low elevations. Image source: USGS

National Assessment Of Shoreline Change: Part 1 Historical Shoreline Changes And Associated Coastal Land Loss Along The U.S. Gulf Of Mexico, A report by Robert A. Morton, Tara L. Miller, and Laura J. Moore / U.S. Geological Survey

Executive Summary

Beach erosion is a chronic problem along most open- ocean shores of the United States. As coastal populations continue to grow and community infrastructures are threatened by erosion, there is increased demand for accurate information regarding past and present trends and rates of shoreline movement.

There is also a need for a comprehensive analysis of shoreline movement that is consistent from one coastal region to another. To meet these national needs, the U.S. Geological Survey is conducting an analysis of historical shoreline changes along open-ocean sandy shores of the conterminous United States and parts of Hawaii and Alaska.

One purpose of this work is to develop standard repeatable methods for mapping and analyzing shoreline movement so that periodic updates regarding coastal erosion and land loss can be made nationally that are systematic and internally consistent.

This report on states bordering the Gulf of Mexico (Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas) represents the first in a series that will eventually include the Atlantic Coast, Pacific Coast, and parts of Hawaii and Alaska. The report summarizes the methods of analysis, interprets the results, provides explanations regarding the historical and present trends and rates of change, and describes how different coastal communities are responding to coastal erosion.

Shoreline change evaluations are based on comparing three historical shorelines with a recent shoreline derived from lidar (Light Detection and Ranging) topographic surveys. The historical shorelines generally represent the following periods: 1800s, 1920s-1930s, and 1970s, whereas the lidar shoreline is 1998-2002. Long-term rates of change are calculated using all four shorelines (1800s to lidar shoreline), whereas short- term rates of change are calculated for the most recent period (1970s to lidar shoreline). The historical rates of change presented in this report represent past conditions and therefore are not intended for predicting future shoreline positions or rates of change.

Rates of erosion for the Gulf of Mexico region are generally highest in Louisiana along barrier island and headland shores associated with the Mississippi delta. Erosion is also rapid along some barrier islands and headlands in Texas, and barrier islands in Mississippi are migrating laterally. Highest rates of erosion in Florida are generally localized around tidal inlets. The most stable Gulf beaches are along the west coast of Florida where low wave energy and frequent beach nourishment minimize erosion. Some beach segments in Texas have accreted as a result of net longshore drift convergence, and around tidal inlets that have been stabilized by long jet- ties.

Seawalls and riprap revetments were constructed in all the Gulf Coast states as initial community responses to long-term beach erosion. Although some states, such as Florida, still permit shoreline stabilization structures, beach nourishment has become the preferred method of mitigating long- term erosion…

Read Original Report, USGS

The mission of the Santa Aguila Foundation is to raise awareness of and mobilize people against the ongoing decimation of coastlines around the world.

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