Category Archives: Inform

The missing 99%: why can’t we find the vast majority of ocean plastic?


Micro 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;

What scientists can see and measure, in the garbage patches and on beaches, accounts for only a tiny fraction of the total plastic entering the water…

Read Full Article; Guardian UK (12-31-2019)

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…

The plastic polluters won 2019 – and we’re running out of time to stop them

andaman-south-sentinel
Although inhabited and remote, South Sentinel island is covered with marine debris, mostly plastic. South Sentinel, Andaman Islands, Bay of Bengal. Captions and Photo: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Further steps have been taken to clean up beaches and seas in 2019 – but much more needs to be done.

From having little impact on the climate just 20 years ago, the production and disposal of plastic now uses nearly 14% of all the world’s oil and gas. Plastic production is expected to grow to 20% by 2050 by which time the industry’s climate emissions could rise to 2.75bn tonnes a year and plastic could be driving half of all oil demand growth…

Read Full Article; Guardian UK (01-02-2020)

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…

The environment in 2050: flooded cities, forced migration – and the Amazon turning to savannah


After storms Dirk, Petra, Qumaira, Ruth monster storm was the latest of the series of Atlantic storms battering Brittany’s coast, France. Photo source: ©© Cecile Nouail

Excerpts;

A storm is certainly brewing. The science is clear on that. The question now is how we face it.

Unless we focus on shared solutions, violent storms and devastating blazes could be the least of the world’s troubles. Civilisation itself will be at risk…

Read Full Article; Guardian UK (12-30-2019)

Why you should go to the world’s least-visited countries


Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

As a glut of anxious headlines document overtourism, it’s easy to think that the planet is simply full.

But stray from the well-worn tourist trails, and you’ll discover another travel story entirely. In much of the world, there are places that are eager to welcome tourists — and when practiced sustainably, where tourism can even help alleviate poverty…

Read Full Article; CNN (12-30-2019)

Venice becomes the front line in the battle against overtourism; CNN (06-15-2019)

The Toll of Tourism: Can Southeast Asia Save Its Prized Natural Areas? Yale E360 (04-18-2019)

Chile moves to protect Easter Island by limiting tourism; DW (08-02-2018)
Tourists visiting Chile’s Easter Island will face new restrictions for traveling and staying on the island, Chile authorities have said. The move is aimed at protecting both the natural environment and island heritage.

Colombia’s Tayrona National Natural Park: A Caribbean Coast Gem; By Nelson Rangel-Buitrago & William J. Neal- October 2017
In 2015 and again in 2017 the park was closed for short periods to all except for indigenous groups who live within the park area “for ecological, environmental and spiritual healing” (Colombia Travel Blog, 2017), and the suggestion is made that the Park Management should set a cap on the number of visitors within the park at any given time. The “healing” time is also important to the hundreds of species that call the park home, including at least 56 endangered species. A cap on numbers of visitors may sound draconian, but the park’s mission is to protect the natural ecosystems, rather than becoming just another amusement center…

The biggest environmental story that no one knows about”: The recovery of groundfish off the West Coast


West Coast ground fish. Groundfish refers to more than 90 different types of roundfish, flatfish, rockfish, sharks, and skates off the West Coast. With a few exceptions, groundfish live on or near the bottom of the ocean. Fishermen from Washington, Oregon, and California catch them year-round using a variety of gear types. Photo and captions: NOAA

Excerpts;

A rare environmental success story is unfolding in waters off the U.S. West Coast.

After years of fear and uncertainty, bottom trawler fishermen — those who use nets to catch rockfish, bocaccio, sole, Pacific Ocean perch and other deep-dwelling fish — are making a comeback here, reinventing themselves as a sustainable industry less than two decades after authorities closed huge stretches of the Pacific Ocean because of the species’ depletion…

Read Full Article; CBS News(12-26-2019)

Purchasing «Sahara sand» to maintain a Canary Islands’ beach stirs controversy

sand-mined-shores
Results of an intensively sand mined beach and shoreline, near Larache, Morocco, Northern Africa. Sand miners at the water edge, donkeys, and sand lorries up cliff, are seen in the background.
Blond and beautiful expanses of beach sand and once spectacular coastal dunes – some of which towered up to 60 meters high – have disappeared, revealing now a bare landscape. Captions and Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care
Sand is the second most consumed natural resource, after water. The construction-building industry is by far the largest consumer of this finite resource. The traditional building of one average-sized house requires 200 tons of sand; a hospital requires 3,000 tons of sand; each kilometer of highway built requires 30,000 tons of sand… A nuclear plant, a staggering 12 million tons of sand…The Sand business was estimated to be a $70 billion industry, worldwide…!”— Denis Delestrac, “Sand Wars” Multi Award-Winning Filmmaker (©-2013).

Excerpts;

The Canary Islands archipelago has been slammed for using Sahara sand to maintain one of its beaches. The works were also criticized for violating the procedure set by the islands’ authorities.

It has been argued that «the purchase contributes to finance the illegal Moroccan occupation of the former Spanish colony»…

Read Full Article; Yabiladi (12-26-2019)

Trouble in paradise: the Canary Island beach accused of illegally importing sand; Guardian UK (07-28-2017)

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 Wars” investigative film by Denis Delestrac – first broadcasted on the european Arte Channel, May 28th, 2013, where it became the highest rated documentary for 2013 – expressly inspired the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to publish this 2014-Global Environmental Alert.

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

Concrete, or Beaches? World’s Sand Running Out As Global Construction Booms; The Ecologist (05-09-2017)

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, 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…

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 Wars, An Investigation Documentary, By Multi Award-Winning Filmmaker Denis Delestrac (©-2013)
Is sand an infinite resource? Can the existing supply satisfy a gigantic demand fueled by construction booms? What are the consequences of intensive beach sand mining for the environment and the neighboring populations…? This investigative documentary takes us around the globe to unveil a new gold rush and a disturbing fact: the “Sand Wars” have begun…

Global Sand Mining: Learn More, Coastal Care

Unprecedented and worrying rise in sea levels

oc-la-reunion
Indian Ocean. Photograph courtesy of: © Isabelle Duflo

Excerpts;

A new study has discovered new evidence of sea-level variability in the central Indian Ocean.

The study, which provides new details about sea levels in the past, concludes that sea levels in the central Indian Ocean have risen by close to a meter in the last two centuries…

Read Full Article; Science Daily (12-23-2019)