Category Archives: News

Catalan coast and Balearic Islands have been ravaged by Storm Gloria


Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

The Catalan coast and Balearic Islands have been ravaged by Storm Gloria.

A storm surge on the east coast of Spain has swept 3km (two miles) inland, devastating rice paddies in the Ebro river delta south of Barcelona.

The mayor of the delta region, Lluís Soler, said “we’ve never had anything like this before”…

Read Full Article: Storm Gloria floods major river delta in eastern Spain; BBC News (01-22-2020)

Sea foam floods Spanish town, CNN (01-22-2020)

Interactive: See how Storm Gloria ravaged this Spanish river delta; EuroNews (01-22-2020)

Millions of future climate refugees may need protection, U.N. committee warns

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Rising ocean and shoreline erosion at South Nags Head, North Carolina. Photo source: © Orrin Pilkey & Norma Longo

Excerpts;

Refugees fleeing their native countries due to the effects of the climate crisis in future years may not be forced to return if their lives are in danger, the United Nations Human Rights Committee said in a ruling Monday…

Read Full Article; CBS News (01-21-2020)

The global climate refugee crisis has already begun; By Orrin H. Pilkey & Keith C. Pilkey; The Hill (09-29-2018)

The ‘Blob,’ a massive marine heat wave, led to an unprecedented seabird die-off

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Photograph: © SAF – Coastal Care.

Excerpts;

From 2015–2016, 62,000 dead common murres washed onto U.S. and Canadian Pacific coast beaches. All together, an estimated 10 to 20 percent of the region’s total population was wiped out…

Read Full Article; Science News (01-15-2020)

A giant ‘blob’ of hot water larger than New South Wales threatens the survival of fish and coral near New Zealand (12-28-2019)
About 800 kilometres east of New Zealand’s South Island, near the Chatham Islands, ocean temperatures have spiked to almost 6 degrees Celsius warmer than average. When sea-surface temperatures spike precipitously, it’s considered a marine heat wave…

Malaysia sends back trash, says won’t be world’s waste bin

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Plastic pollution, Kuta beach, Bali. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care
Between 4.8 million tonnes and 12.7 million tonnes of plastic waste enter the ocean every year, 80 percent of it from land sources due to inadequate waste management. According to the Worldwatch Institute, plastic production is increasing 4-5 percent annually.

Excerpts;

Malaysia has sent back 150 containers of plastic waste to 13 mainly rich countries since the third quarter last year.

Shipments of unwanted rubbish have been rerouted to Southeast Asia since China banned the import of plastic waste in 2018, but Malaysia and other developing countries are fighting back…

Read Full Article; ABC News (01-19-2020)

China just handed the World a 111-million-ton trash problem; Bloomberg (06-20-2018)
The world’s biggest waste importer is no longer buying. So where’s all that trash going to go?..

Ocean Oddities: Pacific’s Plastic Island; Surfline (06-06-2017)
Ever since people invented trash, the sea has served as our favorite dump…

Only 14% of plastics are recycled – can tech innovation tackle the rest? Guardian UK (02-22-2017)
Billions of pounds of plastic waste are littering the world’s oceans. Now, an organic chemist and a sailboat captain report that they are developing a process to reuse certain plastics, transforming them from worthless trash into a valuable diesel fuel with a small mobile reactor that could operate on land or at sea…

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.

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…

Asia’s hunger for sand is harmful to farming and the environment


Singapore’s added construction plan (in brown), 01-2020. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care
Singapore’s expansion has been a colossal undertaking. It is not merely a matter of coastal reclamation: Singapore is growing vertically as well as horizontally. This means that the nation’s market needs fine river sand—used for beaches and concrete—as well as coarse sea sand to create new ground. Captions: Harvard Design Magazine (09-07-2015)

Excerpts;

There has probably never been a better time to be in the sand business. The world uses nearly 50bn tonnes of sand and gravel a year—almost twice as much as a decade ago. No other natural resource is extracted and traded on such an epic scale, bar water…

Read Full Article; The Economist (01-14-2020)

Such Quantities of Sand, The Economist (07-27-2015)
Asia’s mania for reclaiming land from the sea spawns mounting problems…

Asia’s hunger for sand takes a toll on endangered species; Science (03-01-2018)

Demand for sand: the largest mining industry no one talks about; Inhabitat (05-23-2019)
The world’s largest and perhaps most destructive mining industry is rarely discussed. Approximately 85 percent of all material mined from the earth is a simple and widely available resource: sand. Because it is so cheap and readily available, it is mined by everyone from guy with a shovel, to multi-million dollar machine operations.

Sand Mining: Growing Pains of Cross-Border Trade, Yale Global (08-29-2017)

The world is running out of sand, The New Yorker (05-29-2017)

The Economist explains: Why there is a shortage of sand; The Economist (04-24-2017)
It may be plentiful, but so is the demand for it…

Sand, Rarer Than One Thinks: A UNEP report (GEA-March 2014)
Despite the colossal quantities of sand and gravel being used, our increasing dependence on them and the significant impact that their extraction has on the environment, this issue has been mostly ignored by policy makers and remains largely unknown by the general public.
In March 2014 The United Nations released its first Report about Sand Mining: “Sand, Rarer Than One Thinks.”
“Sand Wars” film documentary by Denis Delestrac – first broadcasted on the european Arte Channel, May 28th, 2013 in its french version: “Le Sable: enquête sur une disparition”, where it became the highest rated documentary for 2013 – expressly inspired the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to publish this 2014-Global Environmental Alert.

Sand Is in Such High Demand, People Are Stealing Tons of It, By Dave Roos; HowStuffWorks (03-06-2017)
As strange as it may sound, sand is one of the world’s hottest commodities. The global construction boom has created an insatiable appetite for sand, the chief ingredient for making concrete. The problem is that sand isn’t as abundant as it used to be. And when high demand and high value meets scarcity, you open the doors to smuggling…

The Conservation Crisis No One Is Talking About, By John R. Platt, TakePart (09-21-2016)
Beaches around the world are disappearing. No, the cause isn’t sea-level rise, at least not this time. It’s a little-known but enormous industry called sand mining, which every year sucks up billions of tons of sand from beaches, ocean floors, and rivers to make everything from concrete to microchips to toothpaste…

Sand Wars, An Investigation Documentary, By Award-Winning Filmmaker Denis Delestrac (©-2013)
“Sand is the second most consumed natural resource, after water. The construction-building industry is by far the largest consumer of this finite resource, followed by the land reclamation industry. The Sand business has been estimated to be a $70 billion industry, worldwide…” — Denis Delestrac (©-2013).

Global Sand Mining: Learn More, Coastal Care

‘We can’t wait’: Maldives desperate for funds as islands risk going under


Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

The tropical Maldives may lose entire islands unless it can quickly access cheap financing to fight the impact of climate change, its foreign minister said…

Read Full Article; Strait Times (01-17-2020)

The sinking state, The Washington Post (07-26-2018)

What happens when a country drowns? These 5 island nations will disappear first; Inverse (06-05-2019)

Escaping the Waves: a Fijian Village Relocates, a Video (10-03-2015)
“When many understand climate change in concept but not through personal experience, this exhibit carries great weight…”

Microplastics affect sand crabs’ mortality and reproduction


Plastic pollution. 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;

Sand crabs, a key species in beach ecosystems, were found to have increased adult mortality and decreased reproductive success when exposed to plastic microfibers, according to a new study…

Read Full Article; Science Daily (01-17-2019)

Microplastics Worse For Crabs And Other Marine Life Than Previously Thought; Science Daily (07-18-2014)

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…

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…

Global warming cited as Antarctica’s chinstrap penguin population drops by half

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Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

The numbers have dropped across the region as average temperatures have soared by more than five degrees over 50 years. That increase is about five-times the global average.

“It’s very dramatic to have a wildlife population decline by 50% – an unexploited wildlife population. They’re not hunted,” says activist and researcher Steve Forrest. “I think climate change is driving almost all of the processes down here now in a way they’ve never experienced before…”

Read Full Article; CBS News (01-16-2020)

Nestlé is spending billions to create a market for recycled plastics


Plastic pollution. 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;

Food companies trying to reduce their consumption of plastic have a big problem — it’s hard to find suitable recycled material. Nestlé, one of the world’s worst corporate plastic polluters, says it’s willing to spend more than $2 billion to try and fix that.

Nestlé, Coca-Cola (COKE) and PepsiCo (PEP) are the top polluting companies for the second year running…

Read Full Article; CNN (01-16-2020)

Coca-Cola is world’s biggest plastics polluter – again; Guardian UK (11-09-2019)

Coca-Cola admits it produces 3m tonnes of plastic packaging a year; Guardian UK (03-14-2019)
Coca-Cola has revealed for the first time it produces 3m tonnes of plastic packaging a year – equivalent to 200,000 bottles a minute – as a report calls on other global companies to end the secrecy over their plastic footprint…

What are businesses doing to turn off the plastic tap? UNEP (06-28-2018)

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…

Over 180 countries -not including the US– agree to restrict global plastic waste trade; CNN (05-11-2019)
The governments of 187 countries have agreed to control the movement of plastic waste between national borders, in an effort to curb the world’s plastic crisis — but the United States was not among them…

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…