Category Archives: Inform

A simple burst of bubbles is keeping this canal clear of plastic


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;

In Amsterdam, the Great Bubble Barrier is a simple solution to plastic pollution: creating an invisible barrier that helps collect the trash that ends up in the water…

Read Full Article, FastCompany (01-22-2020)

Engineers build vacuum to clean microplastics in sand; BBC News (06-19-2019)
Hawaii’s Kamilo Beach (AKA “Trash Beach”) received a trial cleaning from the Hoola One. The machine was designed by a group of engineers from the University of Sherbrooke in Quebec, Canada…

Ocean cleanup device successfully collects plastic for first time; Guardian UK (10-03-2019)
A huge floating device designed by Dutch scientists to clean up an island of rubbish in the Pacific Ocean that is three times the size of France has successfully picked up plastic from the high seas for the first time…

Beach cleanups are missing millions of pieces of plastic; National Geographic (05-16-2019)
In the last decade, beach cleanups have grown into a global phenomenon, with volunteers gathering at regular intervals for the Sisyphean task of cleaning up plastic trash. Now, a new research suggests that beach cleanups can inadvertently mask the full scale of plastic pollution, much of which lies below the sand’s surface…

Plastic pollution: When The Mermaids Cry: The Great Plastic Tide, Coastal Care – ©2009
” 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…
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…”

Beach access is a line in the sand that needs revisiting by Florida lawmakers


A Gulf Coast of Florida community. Photograph courtesy of: © Orrin H. Pilkey and J. Andrew G. Cooper

Excerpts;

The beach belongs, by law, to the people of Florida — the part that gets wet, that is. This is because the idea of the seashore as belonging to “the public trust” is grounded in an era before anyone ever considered sunbathing or swimming in the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico.

The state’s prime attraction — 825 miles of Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Intracoastal Waterway sand and surf — is secondary only to its subtropical climate.

However, some 60 percent of Florida’s beaches front private lands, and even renourishment projects funded by taxpayers do not guarantee access to the beach.

As more beaches wash away, individual landowners are unlikely to see this loss as theirs alone…

Read Full Article, the Herald Tribune (01-25-2020)

Does new law restrict public access to Florida’s beaches? Miami Herald (04-06-2018)

Portions of beaches across FL could soon be restricted to public; ABC Action News (03-30-2018)
Beaches across Florida are about to see a major change. Stretches of sand behind condos, hotels and homes, could soon be off limits to the public…

Who owns Florida’s beaches? Private landowner rights can clash with public beach access; Naples Daily News (11-16-2017)
In a State known for plenty of beautiful shores, the clash over who owns Florida’s beaches pits residents against tourist for access to the sand…

Shifting Sands, Shifted Rights: The Beach as Contested Space; UF Law (01-28-2016)
Determining rights to Florida’s sandy beaches has presented a thorny set of issues. But for many years, the public and private interests have co-existed. Now, along with population growth, sea level rise and relentless erosion have become an uncomfortable reality. The infinite variety of scenarios that sea level rise is presenting and will present along the coast will challenge our legal system in many ways…

Column: The future of Florida’s beaches and the public’s right to know; Op Ed. by Orrin Pilkey (12-07-2015)

‘Sand wars’: the battle to replenish Florida’s beaches amid climate crisis; Guardian UK (10-25-2019)

Disappearing beaches: a line in the sand; ABC News (06-07-2016)
The forces chewing away at the nation’s beaches are only getting worse as climate change fuels rising seas. Rob Young, a coastal geologist from the program for the study of developed shorelines at Western Carolina University, said “Coastal communities have to understand that any of the solutions that they’re thinking of to hold the beach in place for a little while are all temporary solutions…”

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)

Sea level rise could reshape the United States, trigger migration inland


Severe coastal erosion, Isla Vista, California. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

A new study uses machine learning to project migration patterns resulting from sea-level rise. Researchers found the impact of rising oceans will ripple across the country, beyond coastal areas at risk of flooding, as affected people move inland.

Popular relocation choices will include land-locked cities such as Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Denver and Las Vegas. The model also predicts suburban and rural areas in the Midwest will experience disproportionately large influx of people relative to their smaller local populations…

Read Full Article; Science Daily (01-22-2020)

Sea Level Rise Will Reshape U.S. Population In All 50 States; Yale E360 (04-19-2017)
Sea level rise could cause mass migrations that will affect not just the United States’ East Coast, but reshape communities deep in the heart of the country, according to new research…

Coastal property was once king. Fears of climate change are undermining its value; The WSJ (10-31-2018)
In a growing number of coastal communities, homes near the sea are appreciating more slowly than those inland. That’s bad news for people on the beach, good news for those farther away…

Coastal residents need to set aside money now to cope with future flooding; Sun Sentinel (07-10-2018)
Sea-level rise is a national economic insecurity. According to the National Ocean Service, 39 percent of the U.S. population in 2010 lived in counties that are on shorelines…

Coastal homes could see flood insurance premium going up again, and that’s only the beginning; Miami Herald (07-24-2018)

The next five years will shape sea level rise for the next 300, study says; The Washington Post (02-20-2018)
Peaking global carbon dioxide emissions as soon as possible is crucial for limiting the risks of sea-level rise, even if global warming is limited to well below 2 degrees C. A new study analyzes for the first time the sea-level legacy until 2300 within the constraints of the Paris Agreement…

Sea level rise is already eroding home values, unbeknownst to their owners; NOLA (08-21-2018)

Is Your Home At Risk Of Flooding From Rising Seas By 2050? Check This Map.; BuzzFeed News (11-13-2018)
Even if the world more aggressively tackles global warming, about 350,000 homes across the US, worth about $190 billion at today’s prices, are built on land that’s at risk of annual flooding by 2050. And if no steps are taken to curb carbon emissions, the number of at-risk homes jumps to about 385,000…

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…