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Melting ice sheets becoming largest contributor to sea level rise

tahiti-sea-level-rise

The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are losing mass at an accelerating pace, becoming the dominant contributor to global sea level rise, and much sooner than model forecasts have predicted.

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Louisiana’s Grand Isle: Mardi Gras Amid Oil-Spill Remnants

In the days and months following the Gulf oil spill, life changed for residents of this seaside paradise. Grand Isle beaches closed.The seafood industry was decimated. Today, Mayor David Camardelle estimates that Grand Isle is 80% back to normal, yet admits tar balls keep washing ashore, likening the oil-spill remnants to a ghost in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s there… then it’s gone.

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The Lost Emperors

A small colony of emperor penguins on an island off the West Antarctic Peninsula is gone, and the most likely culprit is loss of sea ice caused by warming. Most emperor penguins breed on sea ice, called fast ice, which attaches to the ice shelves and coastlines. This is the first time the disappearance of a colony has been documented.

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Goats Put Their Graze Anatomy to Good Work

News
Mar
6

A couple hundred of the inveterate munchers are eating their way through invasive weeds in a burned portion of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Nature Preserve, California, clearing the way for native plants and insects to move back in this coastal habitat. Grazing, low-cost and environmentally friendly, is becoming a more common practice in restoration and conservation efforts.

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New System Can Warn of Tsunamis Within Minutes?

News
Mar
4

Seismologists have developed a new system that could be used to warn future populations of an impending tsunami only minutes after the initial earthquake.

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Trade group sues over polar bear critical habitat, Anchorage, Alaska

News, Pollution
Mar
4

Designation of critical habitat does not automatically block development but requires federal officials to consider whether a proposed action would adversely affect the polar bear’s habitat and interfere with its recovery.The lawsuit is the first filed in opposition to the critical habitat designation.

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California Islands Give Up Evidence of Early Seafaring

The sea-going people may have followed a “kelp highway” stretching from Japan to Kamchatka, along the south coast of Beringia and Alaska, then southward down the Northwest Coast to California. Rising seas have since flooded the shorelines and coastal lowlands where early populations would have spent most of their time.

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EU Pledges 90m Euros in Climate Funds for Sinking Pacific Island States

Building on the Cancun Climate Change Conference, the High Level conference on Climate Change in the Pacific will be hosted by Vanuatu on 4 March and is organised by the European Commission. Sinking Pacific island states on the frontline of climate change, are to receive funding for climate-related projects.

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First New Deepwater Permit Issued

“There are no politics associated with the approval of this application,” Bromwich said. “It has nothing to do with anything other than the fact that it was ready to be approved.”…

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Resources

Federal

  • Deep Water Horizon Response is the official site of the incident in conjunction with BP, DOI, NPS, USGS, CDC, USFWS, NOAA and other branches of the US government (collectively called Unified Command). Information, including the latest news, photos, area plans, and volunteer information.
  • NOAA is a government program that uses science and research to protect life, property and natural resources. This NOAA site provides maps of the spill and related statistics, including a trajectory forecast map for the oil spill.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency provides data on Air, Land, and Water pollutants including sampling maps and contaminant levels.

Louisiana

  • Volunteer Louisiana is the official site for the State of Louisiana to get involved in the spill response.
  • The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries provides maps of closures to fishing areas in LA.
  • The Louisiana Emergency Office has made Google Earth files of the spill available to the public here http://gohsep.la.gov/oilspill.aspx and also has current information on general closures of waterways, photos, and reports.
  • The Audubon Nature Institute site provides a number for citizens to call if turtles, manatees, dolphins, or other animals are in distress
  • The Oiled Wildlife Care Network is a CA based non-profit is advising folks in the Gulf of Mexico on best practices and provide resources on how people can help.
  • The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana is a non-profit organization who strive to protect and restore coastal Louisiana. Volunteers are needed for numerous actions including: monitoring, oiled wildlife recovery, boat driving, or simple monetary donations.
  • The Greater New Orleans Foundation is a philanthropic organization in Louisiana and the surrounding region that joins with other non-profit, foundations and community and government officials to address the needs of the community. The Foundation has opened the Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund.
  • The Louisiana Bucket Brigade is an environmental health and justice organization working with communities near oil refineries and chemical plants. They aid residents in these regions to reduce pollution and protect public health. The Brigade has formed an incident map where you can report observed signs of oil.

Alabama

  • The Alabama Coastal Foundation is an education based organization whose mission is to project the quality of Alabama’s coastal resources. They are currently training volunteers to help directly with the spill response.
  • The site by the Alabama Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives gives basic phone numbers.
  • The Mobile Bay National Estuary Program is an organization funded by the EPA fighting the environmental challenged facing Mobile Bay. This site gives e-mail addresses and phone numbers to help and provides basic information.
  • The Mobile Bay Keeper is a group of citizens who are interested in preserving the Mobile Bay watershed as well as protecting the health of the individuals and environment in the Bay. Check out the latest information about the spill and learn how to become a member and donate to the cause.

Mississippi

Florida

  • The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the lead agency in FL and this website provides the most thorough information in the state.
  • Volunteer Florida, the website of the Governor’s Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service and the State Emergency Response Team, lists volunteer opportunities by county.
  • The Escambia County site provides summary points of actions taken by BP and FL with a focus on the County.
  • The Pinellas County site is a concise list of related local websites and numbers for information.
  • The Gulf County site has current news on the spill as it relates to the county
  • Volunteer directly with the largest wild bird hospital in the United States, the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary.

Organizations and other networks

  • American Birding Association
  • Audubon is a global leader in protecting birds and other wildlife and their habitats. They are partnering with other organizations.
  • The Sierra Club is a grassroots environmental organization that works to protect communities, wild places, and the planet. Updates on the oil spill, as well as volunteer and donation information.
  • The Nature Conservancy is a conservation organization with a mission to preserve and protect ecologically significant lands and waters for nature and people. Learn more about the oil spill and how to help out at http://www.nature.org/wherewework/northamerica/states/alabama/features/oilspill.html and check out their blog.
  • Sea Grant is nationwide network (administered through NOAA) of 32 university-based programs that work with coastal communities on environmental stewardship and the responsible use of our coasts. The Gulf of Mexico Sea Grant Programs provides resources to educators with research that may be impacted by the spill.
  • The National Wildlife Federation is America’s largest conservation organization whose mission is to protect and restore wildlife habitat, confront global warming and connect with nature. Get the latest information on the oil spill crisis and how to help.
  • The mission of Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research is to provide rehabilitation of injured, orphaned, and oiled native wild birds to return to their natural environment. Donate to their research.
  • Green Peace is an international organization that strives to save the planet from environmental threats such as global warming, destruction of forests and deterioration of the oceans. Follow their blog and learn how to take action.
  • Global Green USA is an international environmental non-profit organization with an office in New Orleans that strives to fight global climate change, eliminate weapons of mass destruction and create clean, safe drinking water for all. Follow their blog and get involved.
  • Matter of Trust is a non-profit organization focused on materializing sustainable systems by mimicking Mother Nature as well as concentrating on manmade surplus, natural surplus and eco-educational programs. Learn very simple ways to help the oil spill crisis.
  • The official Facebook page of Unified Command.
  • BP Gulf of Mexico response.