Category Archives: News

Peruvian Glaciers Have Shrunk By 30 Percent Since 2000

lima-peru
Lima, Peru. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Nearly 30 percent of Peru’s glaciers have melted away since 2000, threatening a critical source of drinking water and irrigation for millions of people downstream, according to a new study published in the journal The Cryosphere.

Overall, the country lost nearly 8 gigatons of ice from 2000 to 2016, with 170 glaciers — covering an area equivalent to 80,000 soccer fields — disappearing entirely…

Read Full Article; Yale E360 (10-07-2019)

Turkey’s Dam-Building Spree Continues, At Steep Ecological Cost

elwha-dam-2011
Elwha River Dam, the largest dam removal project ever attempted in the U.S, 2011. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Nearly 90 miles of the historic Tigris River will soon be turned into a vast reservoir as Turkey completes the massive Ilisu Dam. While the government touts the project as a source of carbon-free electricity, it will displace 80,000 people and threaten a host of species…

Read Full Article; Yale E360 (10-03-2019)

The Wrong Climate for Damming Rivers, A Video from Todd Southgate (05-26-2016)
Though large hydropower projects are often presented as a “clean and green” source of energy, nothing could be further from the truth…

In an era of extreme weather, concerns grow over dam safety; Yale E360 (07-09-2019)
Many of the United States’ 91,000 dams are aging and sorely in need of repairs that could collectively cost tens of billions of dollars. Experts are increasingly worried that as extreme precipitation events increase, dams are at greater risk of failure, threatening lives and posing environmental risks…

Unintended consequences of dams and reservoirs; Science Daily (11-13-2018)
An international team of drought scientists show that while many dams and reservoirs are built, or expanded, to alleviate droughts and water shortages, they can paradoxically contribute to making them worse…

Hydropower, innovations and avoiding international dam shame; Science Daily (11-05-2018)
The benefits of energy from dams no longer outweigh the social and environmental costs that damming up rivers brings about…

DamNation; a Documentary That’s Testing the Waters of Corporate Social Responsibility; Produced by Stoecker Ecological and Felt Soul Media” and presented by Patagonia.

Dams – Cutting off our Beach Sand; By Gary Griggs (12-19-2014)

Erosion Washes Away Australian Beach, Leaving Towering Sand Cliffs Along Shoreline

bells-beach-coastal-care
Australia. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

The beach in one Australian town is washing away at an alarming rate, leaving dangerous sand cliffs along the shoreline and causing a childcare center to be torn down.

Stockton Beach is adjacent to the city of Newcastle, New South Wales, on Australia’s southeastern coast. The beach has been washing away for years, and community members were told at a meeting last year to expect the situation to get worse…

Read Full Article; Weather Channel (10-04-2019)

Sea levels to rise 1.3m unless coal power ends by 2050, report says; Guardian UK (10-26-2017)

Australia: South Coast Beach Erosion Worse Than Predicted; The Sydney Morning Herald (10-02-2015)

Rethinking Living Shorelines, By Orrin H. Pilkey, Rob Young, Norma Longo, and Andy Coburn;Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines / Western Carolina University, March 1, 2012, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University
In response to the detrimental environmental impacts caused by traditional erosion control structures, environmental groups, state and federal resource management agencies, now advocate an approach known as “Living Shorelines”that embraces the use of natural habitat elements such as indigenous vegetation, to stabilize and protect eroding shorelines.

NOAA Study Finds Marshes, Reefs, Beaches Can Enhance Coastal Resilience, NOAA (04-29-2015)

“Living Shorelines” Will Get Fast Track to Combat Sea Level Rise, Scientific American (07-06-2016)
As sea levels rise along U.S. coasts, it may soon get easier for people and local governments to obtain federal permits to build what are known as “living shorelines,” natural or nature-based structures designed to protect communities and infrastructure from extreme storms and flooding even as they protect habitat…

Living shorelines a more natural approach to preventing coastal erosion, WNCT (05-18-2016)
For centuries, large bulkheads have been used to help control erosion along coastlines. More recent research suggests that a natural approach may be a better alternative. Having nature on your side, especially during a storm or hurricane, is proven to provide better protection from coastal erosion…

The biggest source of microplastics in California coastal waters? Car tires


Washed out on our coasts in obvious and clearly visible form, the plastic pollution spectacle blatantly unveiling on our beaches is only the prelude of the greater story that unfolded further away in the world’s oceans, yet mostly originating from where we stand: the land…Captions and Photo: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

According to a study from the San Francisco Bay Microplastics Project, the biggest source of microplastic pollution in California’s coastal waters may come from car tires…

Read Full Article; CNN (10-05-2019)

People may be breathing in microplastics, health expert warns; Guardian UK (05-10-2016)
People could be breathing in microparticles of plastic, according to a leading environmental health expert, with as yet unknown consequences on health…

Sea salt around the world is contaminated by plastic, studies show; Guardian UK (09-08-2017)
New studies find microplastics in salt from the US, Europe and China, adding to evidence that plastic pollution is pervasive in the environment…

Video captures moment plastic enters food chain, BBC News (03-11-2017)
A scientist has filmed the moment plastic microfibre is ingested by plankton, illustrating how the material is affecting life beneath the waves. The footage shows one way that plastic waste could be entering the marine and global food chain…

These 10 companies are flooding the planet with throwaway plastic; Greenpeace (10-09-2018)
Nine months, six continents, 239 cleanup events, and more than 187,000 pieces of trash later, we now have the most comprehensive snapshot to date of how corporations are contributing to the global plastic pollution problem…

Microplastic pollution in oceans is far worse than feared, say scientists; Guardian UK (03-12-2018)

Four billion particles of microplastics discovered in major body of water; Science Daily (09-12-2019)
While collecting water samples and plankton, researchers discovered a high concentration of microplastics, which are known to disrupt the marine food chain…

Microplastics pollute most remote and uncharted areas of the ocean; Guardian UK (02-12-2018)
First data ever gathered from extremely remote area of the South Indian Ocean has a surprisingly high volume of plastic particles, say scientists. Currently scientists can only account for 1% of the plastic they think is in the ocean…

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…

Simple changes in intensity of weather events ‘could be lethal’

indo-buffalo
Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Faced with extreme weather events and unprecedented environmental change, animals and plants are scrambling to catch up, with mixed results. A new model helps to predict the types of changes that could drive a given species to extinction…

Read Full Article; Science Daily (09-30-2019)

Coastal birds can weather the storm, but not the sea; Science Daily (09-18-2019)
How can birds that weigh less than a AA battery survive the immense power of Atlantic hurricanes?

Ocean cleanup device successfully collects plastic for first time


“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;

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.

Boyan Slat, the creator of the Ocean Cleanup project, tweeted that the 600 metre-long (2,000ft) free-floating boom had captured and retained debris from what is known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch…

Read Full Article; Guardian UK (10-03-2019)

Great Pacific garbage patch: giant plastic trap put to sea again; Guardian Uk (06-22-2019)

This floating pipe is trying to clean up all the plastic in the ocean; CNN (10-11-2018)

Remember that kid who invented a way to clean up ocean plastic? He’s back, and it’s happening; MNN (09-04-2018)
Boyan Slat’s solar-powered booms will soon be in the Pacific Ocean…

Inventor tries to conquer the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch”; CBS News (09-07-2018)

Boyan Slat’s Ocean Cleanup Project Launches Historic First Prototype at Sea, EcoWatch (06-23-2016)
Boyan Slat’s ambitious plan to rid the world’s oceans of plastic has taken another step towards reality with its first prototype to be tested at sea. The Ocean Cleanup Foundation, founded by the 21-year-old Slat, has deployed a 100-meter clean-up boom today in the North Sea in The Netherlands…

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…”

A whale found dead, 3 others euthanized on South Carolina beach


Photo source: ©© Angieandsteeve.
“Of all cetaceans – whales and dolphins – pilot whales are the species most likely to strand themselves. Their name itself, pilot whale, comes from their propensity to follow a single leader…” Captions: Philip Hoare, author of Leviathan or, The Whale

Excerpts;

Biologists will perform necropsies on one whale that died and three that were euthanized after becoming stranded on a South Carolina beach.

Pilot whales are usually at least 100 miles offshore, “so when you see them come this close to shore, it’s definitely alarming…”

Read Full Article; CBS News (09-29-2019)

Mass Strandings of Pilot Whales: A Study, Science Daily (03-14-2013)
Biologists since Aristotle have puzzled over the reasons for mass strandings of whales and dolphins, in which groups of up to several hundred individuals drive themselves up onto a beach…

Are humans to blame for mass whale strandings? by Philip Hoare, Guardian UK (05-201-2011)

We know they aren’t feeding’: fears for polar bears over shrinking Arctic ice

polar-bears
Photo source: ©© Jidanchaomian

Excerpts;

This year’s annual minimum of the Arctic sea ice tied with the second-lowest extent on record, a mere 1.6m sq miles, and badly affected polar bear populations that live and hunt on the north slope of Alaska, plus those that live on the ice floes in the Bering Sea…

Read Full Article; Guardian UK (09-29-2019)

Polar bears could become extinct faster than was feared, study says; Guardian UK (02-01-2018)

Soul-crushing’ video of starving polar bear exposes climate crisis, experts say; Guardian UK (12-08-2017)
Video footage captured in Canada’s Arctic has offered a devastating look at the impact climate change is having on polar bears in the region…

Busy Times at the World’s Largest Polar Bear Prison; The Atlantic (12-16-2016)
Sea ice has done some extremely odd things in 2016, as climate change is reshaping the Arctic faster than the rest of the planet. According to a new study, there’s a 71 percent chance that the global polar bear population will fall by over 30 percent in the next three decades. The only hope for the polar bear is to reduce carbon emissions, in the hope that the runaway pace of Arctic warming will eventually stabilize and reverse…

Polar Bears Shifting to Areas with More Sea Ice, Genetic Study Reveals; USGS (01-06-2015)
Scientists from around the Arctic have shown that recent generations of polar bears are moving towards areas with more persistent year-round sea ice…

Stranded Polar Bears at Kaktovik, Barter Island, Alaska; Guardian UK (11-21-2011)
Possibly hundreds of bears are becoming stranded on the coastal plain of North Alaska, because they cannot reach the retreating sea ice. Will Rose and Kajsa Sjölander, captured shots of stranded polar bears as part of “70° North”, a multimedia project documenting the impact of climate change and resources exploration in the Arctic…

Save The Arctic Video, Greenpeace; Greenpeace (09-01-2012)
Greenpeace, Jude Law, Radiohead and hundreds of thousands of people around the world are coming together to demand we save the Arctic from oil drilling, industrial fishing and militarization…