A Spanish Island’s Quest to Be the Greenest Place on Earth

El Hierro coast. El Hierro is located over 750 miles (1,200 km) from the Spanish mainland, and its stark, volcanic landscape harbors no coal or fossil fuels. Photo source: ©© Victor R Ruiz


At the moment, the project that will transform the future of El Hierro doesn’t look like much more than a hole in the ground. Or two, to be exact: one on top of a mountain, another smaller one down below, and in between, a long stretch of pipeline tinted the same color as the scrub that grows so abundantly on this volcanic island.

Read Full Article, Time

Sea Level Rise Could Turn New York Into Venice

New York City. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care


Malcolm Bowman, an oceanography professor from Stony Brook University in Long Island said that as climate change brings higher temperatures and more violent storms, flooding in parts of the city could become as routine as the heavy snows of this past winter. We could even have “flood days,” the way we now have snow days, he said. Bowman and other experts say the only way to avoid that fate and keep the city dry is to follow the lead of cities like Amsterdam and Saint Petersburg and build moveable modern dykes…

Either that or retreat from the shoreline…

Read Original Article, WNYC News

NYC and Sea Level Rise, Map

NRDC on PlaNYC, April 22nd 2011

Turkey to build huge waterway to bypass Bosphorus

The Bosphorus or Bosporus, also known as the Istanbul Strait, is a strait that forms part of the boundary between Europe and Asia. It is the world’s narrowest strait used for international navigation, and it connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara (which is connected by the Dardanelles to the Aegean Sea, and thereby to the Mediterranean Sea). Caption: Wikipedia and Photo source: ©© John Walker


Turkey plans to build a canal connecting the Black and Marmara seas as an alternative to the congested Bosphorus Strait, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said…

Read Full Article, AFP

Nauru use UN spotlight to confront developed world over climate change

Nauru, Micronesia, South Pacific.
Nauru, world’s smallest independent nation, is among the islands most threatened by rising sea levels. It is is a small Pacific island about the size of Manhattan with a population of approximately seven thousand people. The economy of Nauru has been almost wholly dependent on phosphate, which has led to environmental catastrophe on the island, with 80% of the nation’s surface having been strip-mined. Photo source: ©© Hadi Zaher


Last month I returned to Nauru, the smallest member of the United Nations and my home.

The sea around us is getting warmer, droughts have become commonplace, and the coastal erosion is as bad as anyone can remember.

Similar trends are occurring across the Pacific and they have grave implications for the fish stocks we depend on for food, our freshwater supplies, and the very land we live on. Scientists have warned us that the situation will get much worse unless the greenhouse gas pollution responsible for global warming is dramatically reduced…

Read Full Article, Guardian UK

Phosphate Mining in Nauru Led to Environmental Catastrophe, The Sydney Morning Herald

Nauru, an Island Adrift, A Documentary,Toronto 2007

Nauru, une île à la dérive, Un Documentaire Video (30 minutes), Thalassa
” Ce reportage est pour moi symbolique des dérives des sociétés de consommation, de leur impact tragique sur les peuples fragiles et isolés. Autrefois deuxième pays le plus riche au monde, après l’Arabie Saoudite, Nauru est aujourd’hui un des pays les plus pauvres du Pacifique. Ce sont les mines de phosphate, qui recouvrent la totalité de l’île, qui ont fait autrefois la grande richesse des Nauruans. En une trentaine d’années à peine, l’exploitation du phosphate a transformé la petite démocratie en un pays corrompu et clientéliste ; elle a causé la faillite de l’Etat et la ruine de ses habitants, elle a enfin détruit toute une culture traditionnelle.”

Japan’s irradiated waters: How worried should we be?

Seaside, Japan. Photo source: ©© Mrhayata


Twenty-five years ago, I was a Ph.D. student here in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, studying the fate of fallout in the North Atlantic from nuclear weapons testing, when an explosion and fire at the Chernobyl nuclear plant released large quantities of radioactive materials into the surrounding environment. My colleagues and I immediately joined other scientists tracking these radioactive contaminants, which in my case focused on the Black Sea, the closest ocean to the accident site.

A quarter-century later, I can still measure fallout from Chernobyl in the Black Sea, though fortunately at levels that are safe for swimming, consuming seafood and, if you could remove the salt, even drinking.

I never thought I’d see another release anywhere near the magnitude of Chernobyl…

Read Full Article, CNN

Coastal Dunes in Spain Threatened by Poorly Designed Infrastructure

Maspalomas, Spain. Photo source: ©© Stephen Downes


Although the dune ecosystem is unusual, fragile and is protected by the “habitats” directive of the network Natura 2000, its conservation is very vulnerable to the proliferation of car parks, nearby buildings and inadequate boardwalks installed for protection or beach access.

Researchers at the University of Seville (UoS) have published a study in the Journal of Coastal Research of human impact on the natural dunes at two sites in the Gulf of Cádiz, specifically in the protected areas of La Flecha Litoral in El Rompido and Enebrales in Punta Umbria, both in Huelva province…

Read Full Article, Journal of Coastal Research

The Man That Has Been Picking Plastic From Beaches For 7 Years

Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care


Francis Picco arrived in Easter Island, Chile, from France for a vacation 15 years ago and never left. The reason was a local woman who became his wife and a new found peace he couldn’t trade for anything else.

But with the passing of years, he started to see his paradise getting wasted by the growing number of plastic debris that reached the shores of the beaches. Photo degraded remains of crates, fishing lines, buoys and all types of consumer products got to the island not only from locals’ eventual lack of responsibility, but from everywhere in the world thanks to ocean gyres and currents.

And when every other person would have just looked away and move on with their life, he started to clean up everybody’s business…

Read Original Article, By Paula Alvarado, Treehugger Team the 5 Gyres South Pacific Project

Plastic Pollution Present on Easter Island, in Coastal Care

Plastic Pollution and Chile Coastline, the Latest 5 Gyres Mission, in Coastal Care

Islands off the Croatian Coast

bol beach
Croatia’s most famous beach, Zlatni Rat , the Golden Horn, is known as a windsurfer’s paradise. More than 1,000 islands line the Croatian and Dalmatian coast.

By Michon Scott, NASA Earth Observatory

Along the coast of Croatia lies a multitude of islands of varying shapes and sizes.

Archaeological finds indicate that some of the islands have been inhabited since the Stone Age and have supported trade routes since the sixth century BC.

Increasingly popular as tourist destinations now, the islands rest atop a collision zone of tectonic plates. The tectonic activity contributes to the continuing growth of the islands.

One of the larger Dalmatian Islands is Pag. Running mostly northwest to southeast, the island has an uneven coastline and sharply contrasting land surfaces. Rocky ground covers most of Pag, but macchia, Mediterranean shrubland, dominates in some areas. The island receives enough moisture to grow fruits and vegetables, and local residents produce wine and olive oil.

West of Pag are the small, low-lying islands of Silba and Olib. Both have less complicated coastlines and fairly even carpets of vegetation.

In the northwest, the island of Losinj (part of the Cres-Losinj archipelago) enjoys a mild climate and evergreen vegetation. Although the island’s coast is steep and rocky in the west, the coastline is flatter in the east.

dalmatian islands
The Enhanced Thematic Mapper (ETM) on NASA’s Landsat 7 satellite captured this natural-color image. This picture shows some of the Croatian Islands in the Adriatic Sea.

Geologists long thought the islands off Croatia’s coast had stopped growing between 20 and 30 million years ago, but a 2008 study identified an active fault under the Adriatic Sea.

Running along the Croatian coastline, the fault occurs where the South Adria Microplate (a former piece of the Africa Plate) is subducting below the Eurasia Plate. As a result of the plate collision, the Italian Peninsula is creeping toward the Croatian coast at roughly 4 millimeters (0.16 inches) per year, and the Dalmatian Islands and Dinaride Mountains are slowly rising.

dalmatian coast
The sinewy coastline stretches for miles and miles.

Original Article

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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