Category Archives: Features

Meet the man who swam through the Great Pacific Garbage Patch


Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care
“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…”
— Claire Le Guern, author of “When The Mermaids Cry: The Great Plastic Tide” ©.

Excerpts;

Ben Lecomte, a long-distance swimmer, swam the Great Pacific Garbage Patch from Hawaii to California to draw attention to plastic pollution. This is his Call to Earth…

Read Full Article; CNN (12-11-2019)

Plastic Pollution: “When The Mermaids Cry: The Great Plastic Tide,” Coastal Care
Plastic is versatile, lightweight, flexible, moisture resistant, strong, and relatively inexpensive. Those are the attractive qualities that lead us, around the world, to such a voracious appetite and over-consumption of plastic goods. However, durable and very slow to degrade, plastic materials that are used in the production of so many products all, ultimately, become waste with staying power. Our tremendous attraction to plastic, coupled with an undeniable behavioral propensity of increasingly over-consuming, discarding, littering and thus polluting, has become a combination of lethal nature…

A storm brought some of the largest waves ever recorded off the California coast last week. One was 75-feet tall

wave
Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

The bomb cyclone that pounded the West Coast last week brought with it some of the tallest waves ever recorded off the California coast.

A monstrous 75-foot wave was recorded about 20 miles off the coast of Cape Mendocino in northern California, according to the University of California, San Diego’s Coastal Data Information Program…

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

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…

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)