Tag Archives: Pollution

U.S. agency says no to requests for ocean surveys with airguns

whale-ship
Humpback whale. Captions and Photo source: NOAA Photo Library

Excerpts;

Federal officials have turned down six applications to use airguns to look for undersea sites that might yield oil and natural gas up and down the East Coast, including areas off North Carolina.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said the risks to marine life outweigh the potential benefits of seismic surveying along the Outer Continental Shelf, particularly since the Atlantic has been removed from the federal leasing program.

Dozens of coastal towns and counties have passed resolutions objecting to surveying with airguns…

Read Full Article, The Outer Banks Voice (01-06-2017)

Could Seismic Tests Harm Fish? Coastal Review (06-18-2016)

Sonic Sea, Film Documentary; NRDC May 19th, 2016
Oceans are a sonic symphony. Sound is essential to the survival and prosperity of marine life. But man-made ocean noise is threatening this fragile world. “Sonic Sea” is about protecting life in our waters from the destructive effects of oceanic noise pollution…

U.S. Blocks Oil, Gas Drilling in Atlantic Coastal Waters; (03-15-2016)
The Obama administration pulled back its plan to sell new oil and gas leases off the southeast U.S. coast, ceding to environmental concerns and continuing a trend among federal agencies to slow fossil fuels development in an era of climate change. U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said that the decision was made because many coastal communities oppose oil drilling off their shorelines.

Estimates of offshore drilling’s benefits exaggerated, report says, The Virginian Pilot (12-15-2015)
A report released in December, and prepared for the Southern Environmental Law Center, contends that the potential economic benefits, as cited in a prior report released in 2013 by the American Petroleum Institute, have been exaggerated and don’t take into account the potential loss of jobs in tourism, commercial fishing and other business sectors…

Why U.S. East Coast Should Stay Off-Limits to Oil Drilling, Yale E360 (02-28-2015)
It’s not just the potential for a catastrophic spill that makes the new proposal to open Atlantic Ocean waters to oil exploration such a bad idea. What’s worse is the cumulative impact on coastal ecosystems that an active oil industry would bring…

Don’t Drill Along the East Coast, The New York Times (02-04-2015)

When You Drill, You Spill; Huffington Green (05-27-2015)

Christmas Revelers Leave 15 Tons of Trash on Australian Beach


Popular, clean Bondi Beach, near Sydney. Photograph: © SAF – Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Coogee beach – a popular destination in the Sydney suburb for backpackers on Christmas Day – was left strewn with a reported 15 tonnes of garbage by an estimated 10,000 resellers…

Read Full Article, The New York Times (12-30-2016)

Sydney’s Coogee beach devastated by garbage after ‘backpacker’ Christmas party; Guardian UK (12-30-2016)

Age-Old Problem: River in Jordan Polluted by Copper 7,000 Years Ago

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Wadi Faynan, Jordan. Photo source: ©© APAAME

Excerpts;

The first river polluted by humanity may have been discovered in the Wadi Faynan region of southern Jordan, contaminated by copper about 7,000 years ago, a new study finds…

Read Full Article, LiveScience (12-13-2016)

Human impact has pushed Earth into the Anthropocene, scientists say; Guardian UK (01-08-2016)
There is now compelling evidence to show that humanity’s impact on the Earth’s atmosphere, oceans and wildlife has pushed the world into a new geological epoch, an “Anthropocene” – ending the current Holocene which began around 12,000 years ago…

The Anthropocene epoch: scientists declare dawn of human-influenced age; Guardian UK (08-29-2016)

All Human-Made Objects on Earth Amount to 30 Trillion Tons

komodo-plastic
Although uninhabited by people, and remote, Komodo island’s beaches are covered with plastic. Indonesian National Park of the Komodo. Captions and Photo: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Scientists recently discovered that all objects on Earth created by people adds up to an astoundingly large figure.

All of these objects are collectively known as Earth’s “technosphere.” Distributed evenly over the planet’s surface, the technosphere would translate into about 110 pounds (50 kilograms) for every 11 square feet (1 square meter), the researchers said…

Read Full Article, LiveScience (12-05-2016)

Plastic Island: How our throwaway culture is turning paradise into a graveyard, CNN (12-01-2016)

Here’s How Much Plastic Ends Up In the World’s Oceans,The Time (02-13-2015)
Every year, 8 million metric tons of plastic end up in our oceans, it’s equivalent to five grocery bags filled with plastic for every foot of coastline…

The Ocean Is Contaminated by Trillions More Pieces of Plastic Than Thought, IOP Science (12-08-2015)
This new study suggests there are 15 to 51 trillion micro plastic particles (those less than 200 millimeters in size) in the world’s oceans, weighing between 93 and 236,000 metric tons. This is about seven times more than scientists had previously estimated…

Biodegradable Plastics Are Not the Answer to Reducing Marine Litter, Says UN; UN News Center (11-23-2015)
Widespread adoption of products labelled ‘biodegradable’ will not significantly decrease the volume of plastic entering the ocean or the physical and chemical risks that plastics pose to marine environment, concluded a UN report released today…

Great Pacific garbage patch far bigger than imagined, aerial survey shows; Guardian UK (10-04-2016)

The Anthropocene epoch: scientists declare dawn of human-influenced age; Guardian UK (08-29-2016)

Princess Cruises Hit With Largest-Ever Criminal Penalty For ‘Deliberate Pollution’

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Super-sized cruise ship, Venice, Italy. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

The California-based cruise operator, Princess Cruise Lines, will pay a $40 million fine for “deliberate pollution of the seas and intentional acts to cover it up,” according to the Department of Justice, which calls it “the largest-ever criminal penalty involving deliberate vessel pollution…”

Read Full Article, NPR (12-01-2016)

France to Soon Enact the Principle of Ecological Prejudice; Le Figaro (02-28-2015)
French Justice Minister Christiane Taubira, presented, a bill proposing to include the notion of ecological prejudice in the Civil Code, and to make reparation a legal obligation.
The bill was adopted June 21st, 2016, and the notion of ecological prejudice is now included in the french Civil Code.

UN maritime agency to limit carbon emissions from international shipping

ships
Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki moon has welcomed the steps agreed upon on October 28, 2016, by the members of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to address greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping.

According to a statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson, the steps include: efforts to limit sulphur emissions; a mandatory data system for fuel consumption; strengthened implementation of energy-efficiency regulations; and a road map for developing by 2023 a comprehensive IMO strategy on reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ships.

“Welcoming these important steps, the Secretary-General calls for urgent and ambitious action to limit the greenhouse gas emissions from global shipping [which] are projected to rise significantly given the critical role that shipping plays in the global economy,” said the statement.

Further to the statement, Mr. Ban called on IMO members, in partnership with the maritime industry, to promote further progress on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ships to contribute to the objective of the Paris Agreement on climate change, which enters into force on 4 November 2016…

Read Full Article, UN News Center (10-28-2016)

Ship engine emissions adversely affect the health of inhabitants of coastal regions; Science Daily (07-19-2016)
Ship emissions adversely affect the health of inhabitants of coastal regions. This was the main finding of a study on the influence of ship engine emissions on macrophages in the lungs. Since macrophages also play a key role in lung diseases such as COPD, the study is important for understanding the health risks of ship exhausts…

Sea Traffic Pollutes Our Lungs More Than Previously Thought, Science Daily (11-20-2015)
New data show that the air along the coasts is full of hazardous nanoparticles from sea traffic. Almost half of the measured particles stem from sea traffic emissions, while the rest is deemed to be mainly from cars but also industries and natural particles from the sea…

“FREIGHTENED – The Real Price of Shipping,” a movie by multi award-winning filmmaker Denis Delestrac-©-2016; (03-31-2016)
90% of the goods we consume in the West are manufactured in far-off lands and brought to us by ship. The cargo shipping industry is a key player in world economy and forms the basis of our very model of modern civilisation; without it, it would be impossible to fulfil the ever-increasing demands of our societies. Yet the functioning and regulations of this business remain largely obscure to many, and its hidden costs affect us all. Due to their size, freight ships no longer fit in traditional city harbours; they have moved out of the public’s eye, behind barriers and check points…

Super-sized ships: How big can they get? Independent (10-21-2014)
Despite the physical limits and risks, ships of more than 450m are anticipated within the next five years…

Worldwide Ship Traffic Up 300 Percent Since 1992, AGU (11-29-2014)
Maritime traffic on the world’s oceans has increased four-fold over the past 20 years, likely causing more water, air and noise pollution on the open seas, according to a new study quantifying global ship traffic…

Beach asphalt removal project underway; Gulf Islands National Seashore

gulf-seashore-asphalt
Drive along the Gulf Island National Seashore, florida. Photo source: ©© Chapstickaddict

Excerpts;

The goal of the $10.85 million project, which began earlier in October, is to clean decades of debris from blacktopped roads and parking lots eroded by tropical storms and hurricanes.

This work to remove small asphalt chunks from miles of gleaming white beachfront is expected to take years…

Read Full Article; PNJ (10-25-2016)

Coal-Tar-Sealant Runoff Causes Toxicity and DNA Damage; USGS (04-14-2015)
Runoff from pavement with coal-tar-based sealant is toxic to aquatic life, damages DNA, and impairs DNA repair, according to two studies by the U.S. G.S. Pavement sealant is a black liquid sprayed or painted on the asphalt pavement of parking lots, driveways and playgrounds to improve appearance and protect the underlying asphalt.

Impact of the Fukushima accident on marine life, five years later

daiichi-decommission
Decommission of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, February, 2015. Captions and Photo source: ©© IAEA Imagebank

Excerpts;

Five years ago, the largest single release of human-made radioactive discharge to the marine environment resulted from an accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan. Approximately 80 percent of the fallout happened over the Pacific Ocean.

A new study explores the environmental consequences in the marine environment of the accident. It outlines the status of current research about the impact of the fallout on plant and animal life and what remains to be done as the radioactivity continues to spread…

Read Full Article, Science Daily (10-18-2016)

Fukushima and the oceans: What do we know, five years on?, Science Daily (07-05-2016)
A major international review of the state of the oceans five years after the Fukushima disaster shows that radiation levels are decreasing rapidly except in the harbor area close to the nuclear plant itself where ongoing releases remain a concern…

Fukushima Site Still Leaking After Five Years, Research Shows, WHOI (03-09-2016)
Five years after the Fukushima nuclear accident, study shows levels of radioactive forms of cesium in the ocean off Japan are thousands of times lower than during the peak releases in 2011, however, analysis of cesium and strontium indicate releases from the plant are not yet “under control,” a statement that has been used by the Japanese government to describe the situation when levels are below regulatory limits…

Higher Levels of Fukushima Cesium Detected Offshore, WHOI (12-05-2015)
Scientists monitoring the spread of radiation in the ocean from the Fukushima nuclear accident report finding an increased number of sites off the US West Coast showing signs of contamination from Fukushima. This includes the highest detected level to date from a sample collected about 1,600 miles west of San Francisco…

Maersk in hot water for sending ships to notorious scrapping beaches

shipyard1
Shipbreaking on the beach, Chittagong, Bangladesh. Photo source: ©© Adam Cohn

Excerpts;

While outwardly against the procedure, 14 ships of its ships were being broken up on open beaches in India and Bangladesh.

The Danish oil and shipping company Maersk finds itself in turbulent seas following the revelations that 14 of its ships were scrapped on notorious beaches in Bangladesh and India in 2013 and 2014.

Outwardly, the company blasted the use of the scrapping beaches, but meanwhile it was reportedly earning money by pushing a German shipping company to try and get the best steel price at the very same beaches for 14 of its ships, according to confidential contracts Politiken, TV2 News and DanWatch are in possession of.

Read Full Article, CPH Post Denmark, (10-17-2016)

Breaking Bad on the Beach, NASA / Earth Observatory (09-28-2014)
Tens of thousands of ships ply the world’s oceans, bays, and rivers. But what happens when those ships have become too old or too expensive to operate? In most cases, they end up on the shores of Asia…literally…

Chittagong Beach Ship Breaking Yards, Bangladesh, Guardian UK (05-05-2012)
Stretched along 12 miles of what just a decade ago was a pristine sandy beach, ore carriers, container ships, gas tankers, cruise liners and cargo ships of every size and description are being dismantled by hand in 140 similar yards, at Chittagong beach Ship Breaking Yard, Bangladesh, the world’s second largest ship breaking area. Every year more than 250 redundant ships, many from Britain and Europe, come here to be broken up…

The Ship-Breakers, National Geographic (05-2014)
In Bangladesh men desperate for work perform one of the world’s most dangerous jobs…

New EU Rules ‘Fail’ Against Shipbreaking Dangers, IPS News (07-17-2013)
The European Parliament’s Environment Committee voted last in favour of a proposal aiming to put an end to European ships being recklessly scrapped in developing countries…

“Ship yard, Bangladesh”: A Photo by Jana Asenbrennerova, National Geographic Photo Contest 2010

“FREIGHTENED – The Real Price of Shipping,” a movie by multi award-winning filmmaker Denis Delestrac-©-2016; (03-31-2016)
90% of the goods we consume in the West are manufactured in far-off lands and brought to us by ship. The cargo shipping industry is a key player in world economy and forms the basis of our very model of modern civilisation; without it, it would be impossible to fulfil the ever-increasing demands of our societies. Yet the functioning and regulations of this business remain largely obscure to many, and its hidden costs affect us all. Due to their size, freight ships no longer fit in traditional city harbours; they have moved out of the public’s eye, behind barriers and check points…

Super-sized ships: How big can they get? Independent (10-21-2014)
Despite the physical limits and risks, ships of more than 450m are anticipated within the next five years…

Worldwide Ship Traffic Up 300 Percent Since 1992, AGU (11-29-2014)
Maritime traffic on the world’s oceans has increased four-fold over the past 20 years, likely causing more water, air and noise pollution on the open seas, according to a new study quantifying global ship traffic…

shipbreaking2
Shipbreaking, Chittagong, Bangladesh. Photo source: ©© Adam Cohn