BP oil spill partly blamed for Gulf dolphin deaths

dolphins-blue
Photo source: ©© LaPrimaDonna

Excerpts;

The deaths of over 150 dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico so far this year is due in part to the devastating 2010 BP oil spill and the chemical dispersants used to contain it, a report said Thursday.

A total of 153 dolphins have been found in the Gulf so far in 2011, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Sixty-five of the mammals were babies…

Read Original Article, AFP

BP Oil Spill Linked To Dolphins’ Death, in Coastal Care

Sea Turtle’s Deaths Up Along Gulf Shores, Joining Dolphins’ Trend, in Coastal Care

Sea Creatures Flee Oil Spill And Gather Near Shore, in Coastal Care

How The Gulf Oil Spill Hurt animals, in Coastal Care

Climate Change Impacts in China

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Shanghai. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

The received wisdom used to be that climate change would have relatively little impact on China. But that views seems outdated.

Like the United States, China is large and geographically diverse; as such, the impacts of climate change vary across the country…

Read Original Article, By Dan Farber, Professor Of Law, University Of California-Berkeley

Rising sea levels trigger disasters in China: report
Gradually rising sea levels caused by global warming over the past 30 years have contributed to a growing number of disasters along China’s coast.

Scientists Argue Against Conclusion That Bacteria Consumed Deepwater Horizon Methane

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Retrieving Sample Cylinders into Gulf – Multicorer sampling operation aboard the RV Gyre.
Credit – with permission from: Texas A&M-University Corpus Christi, Sandra Arismendez / NOAA

Excerpts;

A technical comment published in the May 27 edition of the journal Science casts doubt on a widely publicized study that concluded that a bacterial bloom in the Gulf of Mexico consumed the methane discharged from the Deepwater Horizon well.

The debate has implications for the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem as well as for predictions of the effect of global warming, said marine scientist and lead author Samantha Joye, University of Georgia Athletic Association Professor in Arts and Sciences…

Read Full Article, By Sam Fahmy, University of Georgia

Methane Concentration Surprises Scientists, in Coastal Care

Scientists Document Fate Of Deep Hydrocarbon Plumes, in Coastal Care

1 Million Times The Normal level Of Methane Near The Gulf Oil Spill, in Coastal Care

Beaches In Britain Beat 2010’s Bathing Quality Standards

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Marram grass and sand dunes, Duddon Estuary Site of Special Scientific Interest, Sandscale Haws National Nature Reserve Cumbria. Photo source: ©© Natural England

By Press Association

Britain’s beaches have had one of their best years in a quarter of a century of the Good Beach Guide, the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) has said.

Across the UK, 461 beaches were given the top recommended award for having excellent bathing water quality in the guide, the third highest number in the guide’s 24-year history, and a significant increase on last year. Some 42 more bathing spots reached the top grade in 2011 than in 2010.

But 46 failed to meet even the basic standards of water quality set in European law 35 years ago, the MCS said, a slight increase on last year’s figure of 41.

[…]

Read Original Article

Do Beach Awards Encourage People To Go To The Beach?, in Coastal Care

The Peril of Plastic

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“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…”
Captions and Photo: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

For bizarre items floating in the ocean, try topping this: The upper half of a set of false teeth, seen bobbing around in the South China Sea.

“I remember thinking: ‘How on earth did it get there?”’ said Lindsay Porter, a marine scientist based in the Malaysian city of Kota Kinabalu, who spotted the item from a research vessel about 200 kilometers, or 125 miles, off China in 2009…

Read Full Article, The New York Times

The Fifth International Marine Debris Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii, in Coastal Care

Plastic Pollution, Coastal Care

All the Way To The Ocean, in Coastal Care

Plastic Pollution in Namibia

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Plastic pollution. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

When the 5 Gyres South Atlantic expedition crew arrived safely in Nambia where they would set sail for the second leg of the South Atlantic gyre expedition, they were in a beach town Swakopmund.

The Skeleton Coast is surrounded by breathtaking dunes, the oldest desert on Earth, and imagery reminiscent of both Road Warrior and Sebastião Salgado’s timeless landscapes in his Genesis project. The beaches are beautiful, but a walk along the shoreline and a quick beach cleanup showed that like coastal areas all over the world, Namibia has a problem with plastic trash accumulating on its otherwise relatively pristine beaches…

Read Full Article, By Leslie Moyer, The 5 Gyres

Plastic Pollution, Coastal Care

Mediterranean Sea Invaded by Hundreds of Alien Species

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Ibiza, Mediterranean sea. Photo courtesy of: © Denis Delestrac

Excerpt from, the Department of Marine Ecology at the University of Gothenburg, in ScienceDaily

More than 900 new alien species have been encountered in the coastal environments of the eastern Mediterranean Sea in recent decades, including the poisonous pufferfish.

The invasion of alien species has had the consequence that the whole food chain is changing, while there is a lack of knowledge on which to base relevant risk assessments, a four-year study conducted at the University of Gothenburg shows…

Read Full Article

University of Gothenburg

Tepco Confirmed Meltdowns at 2 more Fukushima Reactors

Fukushima-Daiich-tsunami
This picture made available by Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) shows the scene on 11 March 2011 as the tsunami washes in on the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power station. Photo source: EPA

Excerpts;

The operator of the nuclear power plant at the center of a radiation scare after being disabled by Japan’s earthquake and tsunami confirmed Tuesday that there had been meltdowns of fuel rods at three of its reactors…

Read Original Article, Reuters

New photographs released of tsunami hitting the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power station in Japan

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The defence walls crumble as the huge wave washes in. Photo source: EPA

Exploring The Hidden Coastal World of The Maritime Maya

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Mayan coast, Tulum, Mexico. Photo source: ©© Jeff Stvan

By NOAA

NOAA-sponsored explorers are searching a wild, largely unexplored and forgotten coastline for evidence and artifacts of one of the greatest seafaring traditions of the ancient New World, where Maya traders once paddled massive dugout canoes filled with trade goods from across Mexico and Central America.

One exploration goal is to discover the remains of a Maya trading canoe, described in A.D. 1502 by Christopher Columbus’ son Ferdinand, as holding 25 paddlers plus cargo and passengers.

Through the end of May, the team is exploring the remote jungle, mangrove forests and lagoons at the ancient port site of Vista Alegre (“happy view” in Spanish) where the Caribbean meets the Gulf of Mexico at the northeastern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula. Scientists believe the port was part of an important trading network and was used at various times between about 800 B.C. and A.D. 1521, the date scholars use to designate the start of Spanish rule.

“The maritime Maya have been described much like ancient seagoing Phoenicians. They traded extensively in a wide variety of goods, such as bulk cotton and salt, and likely incense from tree sap called copal, jade, obsidian, cacao, Quetzal and other tropical bird feathers, and even slaves,” said Dominique Rissolo, Ph.D., expedition co-chief scientist and director of the Waitt Institute in La Jolla, Calif. “Maya trade was far-ranging between the Veracruz coast of modern Mexico and the Gulf of Honduras, with each port a link in a chain connecting people and ideas. Yet there is still much to learn about the extensive history and importance of the maritime Maya and how they adapted to life by the sea.”

“Maritime economies were strengthened and far-ranging trade routes were established between A.D. 850 and 1100,” said Jeffrey Glover, Ph.D., expedition co-chief scientist with Georgia State University’s Department of Anthropology in Atlanta. “It was during this time when the Maya at Chichen Itza relied increasingly on maritime commerce to maintain and extend control over much of the Yucatan peninsula. The period most associated with Maya seafaring followed, between A.D. 1100 and 1521.”

maya fiery pool exhibition
Panel with a seated ruler in a watery cave, Ministerio de Cultura y Deportes. Surrounded by the sea in all directions, the ancient Maya viewed their world as inextricably tied to water.The Maya viewed water as animate and intelligent, a living and thinking force with the power to influence events. Water was central to the structure of the universe and present at the beginning of time—oceans, rivers, springs, and rain were united, both literally and spiritually. Caption Peabody Essex Museum, and photograph © 2009 Jorge Pérez de Lara.

Recent archaeological work at Vista Alegre included completion of an architectural map of the site, test excavations to obtain cultural materials, and a 13-mile reconnaissance of coastal environments that revealed a number of small ancient and historical sites and cultural features.

During expeditions at the port site in 2005 and 2008, explorers mapped 29 structures including platforms, mounds, raised causeways, and a concrete-filled 35-foot tall, steep-sided pyramid that dominates the central plaza and appears to have been heavily damaged by hurricanes. Explorers believe the summit of the pyramid was also used by lookouts to monitor approaching and departing canoes. In addition to the features on the island, a narrow walkway connects the port to a collapsed and looted temple 0.8 miles away on the mainland.

The expedition team also includes co-chief scientists Patricia Beddows, Ph.D., of Northwestern University’s Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences in Evanston, Illinois; Beverly Goodman, Ph.D., of the Leon Charnet School of Marines Sciences at the University of Haifa, Israel; and Derek Smith, of the University of Washington Department of Biology. Emily McDonald of NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research is on the team to coordinate Web coverage.

Two scientists from Mexico and a small number of U.S. students will join parts of the expedition, which will also provide post-expedition technical reports to the Mexican National Institute of Anthropology and History. A goal of the exploration is to enable Mexico to better protect and preserve its coastal and submerged cultural resources.

The explorers are contending with many of the same challenges that faced ancient Maya seafarers, including shelter, as some team members will be in tents and slung hammocks, the remoteness of the area that is accessible only by boat, the scarcity of fresh water, the possibility of tropical storms, and the danger and nuisance of a variety of local inhabitants, including mosquitoes, snakes, spiders and crocodiles.

“The Maya largely had to live off the land in this remote area where they found and used resources to survive. Like them, we have to search for scarce fresh water, but our challenges are more about making the research work in less than optimal conditions. It will involve some good MacGyvering,” said Glover, referring to the television actor who used ingenuity and materials at hand to invent his way out of a fix.

The expedition is part of Proyecto Costa Escondida (Hidden Coast Project), a long-term interdisciplinary research effort co-directed by Glover and Rissolo and focused on the dynamic relationship between the Maya and their coastal landscape.

fiery pool mayan art

Fiery Pool: The Maya and the Mythic Sea, an exhibition that showcases more than 90 works of Maya art, many shown for the first time in the United States, offering exciting new insights into Maya culture that focus on the sea as a defining feature of the spiritual realm and the inspiration for the finest works of art. More than a necessity to sustain life, water was the vital medium from which the world emerged, gods arose and ancestors communicated.

Original Article

Fiery Pool: The Maya And The Mythic Seas, Opening Exhibition, Pictures

The mission of the Santa Aguila Foundation is to raise awareness of and mobilize people against the ongoing decimation of coastlines around the world.

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