Nags Head beach nourishment approved

Nags head, beach nourishment. Photo source: ©© Mark Brennan


With the blessing of a state oversight commission secured last week, the project to nourish Nags Head’s eroded beaches will officially get under way as early as mid-June, the town has announced…

Read Full Article, Dredging Today

South Nags Head, by Orrin Pilkey, Norma Longo and Joseph T. Kelly

“Coastal sustainability depends on how economic and coastline responses to climate change affect each other”. A study by Dylan Mc Namara, Brad Murray and Martin Smith

Rich Communities Are Different: They Can Buy More Sand, The New York Times

Nags Head Beach Erosion
Widespread dune erosion in Nags Head, NC. Photo source: USGS

New Strong Earthquake hits Japan as evacuation zone widens

japan earthquake

By Hiroshi Hiyama, AFP

Japan on Monday widened the evacuation zone around a stricken nuclear plant exactly a month on from a huge natural disaster as another 7.1 magnitude quake and tsunami alert strained nerves anew.

The United States Geological Survey measured the aftershock’s magnitude at 6.6.

The latest aftershock caused buildings to sway in the capital Tokyo, shortly after the nation had observed a minute’s silence.

The US Geological Survey said the onshore quake hit at 5:16 pm (0816 GMT) at a depth of just 13 kilometres (eight miles). Its epicentre was 81 kilometres south of Fukushima city, near the troubled nuclear plant.

Japan’s meteorological agency warned that a one-metre (three foot) wave could hit Ibaraki prefecture, one of the areas pummelled by last month’s massive tsunami, before cancelling the alert less than an hour later.

Workers battling to contain the crisis at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant were evacuated after the latest quake Monday, which briefly knocked out power to crippled reactors before electricity was restored.

People across the country had paused at 2:46 pm, the moment Japan’s biggest ever recorded earthquake struck, setting off a chain of events that has left workers scrambling to tame runaway atomic reactors at the Fukushima plant.

It was the worst tragedy to envelop the country since World War II.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan promised Sunday he would “never abandon” tsunami survivors as he tried to focus attention on the future, despite the continuing high-stakes battle at the nuclear plant.

Kan, on only his second trip to the disaster zone in the month since the tragedy, said the government would “work as fast as possible” to house the more than 150,000 people still living in emergency shelters.

Underlining the threat of long-term health damage from radiation, the government on Monday said it was to widen the evacuation area around the atomic plant to include some towns outside the current 20-kilometre exclusion zone.

Those areas were liable to receive potentially hazardous radiation levels of 20 millisieverts per year, top government spokesman Yukio Edano said, while stressing there was no deterioration at the Fukushima plant.

Engineers at Fukushima who last week sealed a leak spewing highly contaminated water into the sea have begun installing a “silt curtain” to try to prevent radioactive mud from spreading around the ocean.

But at the same time, plant operator TEPCO is deliberately dumping more than 10,000 tonnes of mildly radioactive water into the ocean to free up urgently needed storage space for highly toxic liquid.

Masataka Shimizu, the president of Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), on Monday visited Fukushima and apologised for the atomic emergency engulfing the area.

“I offer my personal apology from the bottom of my heart once again to the people in Fukushima prefecture and residents near the nuclear plant for having imposed such awful physical and mental burdens,” he said.

Shimizu had wanted to go to the offices of the Fukushima prefecture government in the hope of meeting governor Yuhei Sato, but a local official said no meeting had taken place.

The official gave no reason, but Sato has previously refused to meet the boss of the embattled utility.

Proposals to lift the long shadow cast by Japan’s disasters emerged over the weekend.

Original Article

Ozone Layer Faces Record 40 Percent Loss Over Arctic

Left: Ozone in Earth’s stratosphere at an altitude of approximately 12 miles (20 kilometers) in mid-March 2011, near the peak of the 2011 Arctic ozone loss. Red colors represent high levels of ozone, while purple and grey colors (over the north polar region) represent very small ozone amounts. Right: chlorine monoxide – the primary agent of chemical ozone destruction in the cold polar lower stratosphere – for the same day and altitude. Light blue and green colors represent small amounts of chlorine monoxide, while dark blue and black colors represent very large chlorine monoxide amounts. The white line marks the area within which the chemical ozone destruction took place. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech


The protective ozone layer in the Arctic that keeps out the sun’s most damaging rays, ultraviolet radiation, has thinned about 40 percent this winter, a record drop, the U.N. weather agency said Tuesday.

The Arctic’s damaged stratospheric ozone layer isn’t the best known “ozone hole,” that would be Antarctica’s, which forms when sunlight returns in spring there each year…

Read Full Article, AP

Arctic Ozone Loss, Image, NASA

It’s Official: There’s Plastic in All of the Subtropical Ocean Gyres

Five oceanic gyres. Illustration: NOAA


Mixed with the ocean microorganisms, an increasing number of plastic particles continues to appear and to confirm that this material is present in the five subtropical gyres explored by the 5 Gyres project.

At the risk of been taken out of context by plastic industry opportunists, let’s just say it: there is no plastic island, or big pile of trash floating in the middle of the ocean. It’s more accurate to talk about a plastic soup: small particles that are floating in the water not visible to the eye unless you take the trawl samples this expedition has been taking.

Despite the lack of a theatrical spectacle, it’s still a surreal thing to see some of the results of the sampling…

Read Full Article, TreeHuggers

South Gyre, The Latest 5 Gyres Institute Mission

River Water and Salty Ocean Water Used to Generate Electricity?

Elwha river, estuary. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care


Stanford researchers have developed a battery that takes advantage of the difference in salinity between freshwater and seawater to produce electricity.

Anywhere freshwater enters the sea, such as river mouths or estuaries, could be potential sites for a power plant using such a battery, said Yi Cui, associate professor of materials science and engineering, who led the research team…

Read Full Article, Science Daily

Fukushima-Related Radioactive Materials Measured Across Entire Northern Hemisphere

Iitate, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, 27 March 2011. Greenpeace radiation safety experts Jan Van de Putte and Jacob Namminga monitor contamination levels at Iitate village, 40km northwest of the crisis-stricken Fukushima/Daiichi nuclear plant, and 20km beyond the official evacuation zone. Radiation levels found by the Greenpeace monitoring team are far above internationally recommended limits – people living here would receive the yearly maximum dose of radioactivity within a few days, yet have not yet been evacuated. Captions and Photo source: ©© Christian Åslund / Greenpeace


Since the double disaster of the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami that affected hundreds of thousands of people and seriously damaged the Fukushima Daichi power plant in Japan on 11 March 2011, minute traces of radioactive emissions from Fukushima have spread across the entire Northern Hemisphere. A monitoring network designed to detect signs of nuclear explosions picked up these traces from the stricken power plant.

To date, more than 30 radionuclide stations that are part of the International Monitoring System (IMS) have provided information on the spread of radioactive particles and noble gases from the Fukushima accident…

Read Full Article, Science Daily

Paucity of Data Heightens Japan’s Nuclear Crisis, New York Times
The paucity of data and the conflicting estimates of what the available information really means have prompted a series of confusing analyses and a rift between officials in Japan and those overseas.

Radiological Assessment of Effects from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant, Maps and Slides Show, by National Nuclear Safety Administration
The U.S. Department of Energy released data recorded from its Aerial Monitoring System as well as ground detectors deployed. The information has also been shared with the government of Japan as part of the United States’ ongoing efforts to support Japan with the recovery and response effort.

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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