Category Archives: Features

County Kills Singer Island Breakwater Project, Siding With Environmentalists

Singer Island
Singer Island’s erosion problems have prompted state Senate President Jeff Atwater and U.S. Rep. Ron Klein, D-Boca Raton, to push for a $30 million taxpayer funded breakwater offshore proposal. Caption and Photo Source: St Petersburg Times

By Adam Playford, The Palm Beach Post

Palm Beach County commissioners killed a controversial proposal Tuesday to build a series of breakwaters off of Singer Island intended to buffer its beach from eroding.

A motion by Commissioner Steven Abrams to move forward on the project failed 5-2. The proposal was sharply opposed by environmentalists, led by the Surfrider Foundation, who worried that it would disrupt sea turtles’ nesting grounds.

But it was portrayed as crucial by residents of Singer Island’s beachfront condos, who have watched their once-wide beach wash away. Many will now have to build seawalls to prevent the erosion from reaching their buildings, county staffers say.

Original Article

Singer island Erosion Control Original Project

Prehistoric Trash Heaps Created Florida Everglades’ Tree Islands

Tree Islands of the Florida Everglades. Photo source: USGS


Heaps of trash left behind by prehistoric humans might have given rise to many of the tree islands found in the Florida Everglades, researchers find.

Tree islands are patches of relatively high and dry ground typically a yard or two high sprinkled throughout the marshes of the Everglades. They serve as havens of life, highly valued hotspots of diversity that provide nesting sites for alligators and refuges for birds, panthers and other wildlife avoiding high waters…

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Why We Build Nuclear Power Stations in Earthquake Zones

The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) is a nuclear power plant located on the Pacific coast of California. The 84-acre (34 ha) site is in the northwestern corner of San Diego County, south of San Clemente, and surrounded by the San Onofre State Park and next to the I-5 Highway. Caption: Wikipedia. Photo source: ©© Luke Jones


The nuclear tragedy currently unfolding in Japan started decades ago on a piece of paper. Before any infrastructure project that size is approved, a risk assessment needs to be done. Hazards are identified and a cost/benefit analysis is made about how to approach those risks.

If constructing in a seismic zone that hasn’t seen an earthquake above a magnitude of M6.5 in 100 years, do you build to withstand a magnitude of 7? Or put in extra the millions upfront to protect against a magnitude of 8 that may never come? Or do you simply choose not to build a nuclear power station in an earthquake zone at all?

Every critical energy installation (and much of all infrastructure) is built on the basis of such risk assessments. In the case of the energy sector, getting it right is crucial not only for the ability to generate power, but also for site integrity. However, there are increasingly problems, both physical and economic, with the way the risk assessments are done…

Read Full Article, By Cleo Paskal, published in the Huffington Post

Calls Heat Up For Reviews of California Coastal Nuclear Plants, The Los Angeles Times

PG&E’s Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, in background. California. Photo source: ©© Mike Baird

Japan Quake Changed Coastal Landscape And Not Just Above Sea-Level.

An oncoming tsunami strikes the coast in Natori City, Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan March 11, 2011. The biggest earthquake to hit Japan in 140 years struck the northeast coast, triggering a 10-metre tsunami that swept away everything in its path, including houses, cars and farm buildings on fire. Photo source: ©© Natsuko Kadoyama


The recent monster quake that hit northeastern Japan altered the earth’s surface, geologists say, loading stress onto a different segment of the fault line much closer to Tokyo…

Read Full Article, AP

Shipwreck causes oil slick and threatens penguin colony on South Atlantic island

Photo source: ©© Chris pearson72

By The Press Association

A wrecked ship is threatening to cause an environmental disaster on an island which is home to endangered penguins, conservationists have warned.

The vessel has grounded on Nightingale Island, part of the Tristan da Cunha UK overseas territory in the South Atlantic, causing an oil slick around the island which is home to nearly half the world’s population of northern rockhopper penguins.

Some 1,500 tonnes of heavy crude oil from the MS Olivia, which was shipping soya beans between Rio de Janeiro and Singapore, is leaking into the sea.

Read Full Article, AP

Race to Save Oil Slicked Penguins Colony, is Underway

Gulf of Mexico: a New 100 Mile Oil Sheen Reported

Oil in the surf, Orange beach, Alabama, June 2010. Captions and Photo source: ©© David Rencher


The US Coast Guard is currently investigating reports of a potentially massive oil sheen 20 miles north of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion from last April.

Multiple reports have come in of a sheen nearly 100 miles long and 12 miles wide originating near the site…


Original Article

Tsunami Washes Away Feathered Victims West of Hawaii

Debris and Injured Birds in Lagoon at Midway Atoll. Floating island of debris and injured birds in lagoon at Midway Atoll. Photo source: Pete Leary/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


The massive waves that churned across the Pacific after the Japan earthquake last week swept away nests protecting seabird chicks unable to fly, leaving scores dead west of Hawaii.

The death of seabirds at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge are much higher than initially thought after tsunami waves pounded the islands, officials said.

Read Full Article, CNN

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Midway Atoll, View Photos Slideshow, Midway Atoll NWR 2011 Tsunami

Illegal Sand-Mining Threatens Sea Turtle Population, St Kitts-Nevis

Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care


The biodiversity of St Kitts and Nevis, including the sea turtle population, is under threat due to the increase in illegal sand-mining that is taking place.

Sea turtles use the sand to nest their eggs and are among the animals for which the beach is a means of survival of the species…

Read Full Article, Caribbean News

Raised Awareness On Illegal Sand Mining In St Kitts, in Coastal Care

Sea Turtlle Eggs Poaching Legalized in Costa Rica: The Debate, Coastal Care

Global Sand Mining: Learn More, Coastal Care