Category Archives: News

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…

U.N. confirms the ocean is screwed


Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

The ocean isn’t alright.

The seas, which hold some 332,519,000 cubic miles of water, are warming, rising, acidifying, and losing oxygen. And a new comprehensive U.N. climate special report, released Wednesday, presents an encyclopedic review of how Earth’s oceans and ice sheets have been altered as the world relentlessly warms…

Read Full Article; Mashable (09-25-2019)

Erosion threatens scenery and real estate along iconic California coastline


Severe coastal erosion, Refugio State Beach, California. Photo: © SAF – Coastal Care

Excerpts;

This is supposed to be a beautiful beach, but instead it looks like a disaster area because a sea wall built about a decade ago to protect homes has failed. Now property owners are spending millions to fix it.

From Mexico to Oregon, the iconic California coastline runs more than 3,400 miles. “CBS This Morning” correspondent Jonathan Vigliotti drove just over 600 of those miles to see how the state is getting ready for what scientists say is the inevitable future…

Read Full Article; CBS News (09-25-2019)

Sea Level Rise Could Double Erosion Rates of Southern California Coastal Cliffs; USGS (07-09-2018)
Coastal cliffs from Santa Barbara to San Diego might crumble at more than twice the historical rate by the year 2100 as sea levels rise. U.S. Geological Survey scientists combined several computer models for the first time to forecast cliff erosion along the Southern California coast…

Iconic Refugio Beach Palms May Soon Be History; Noozhawk (02-21-2016)

Disappearing Beaches: Modeling Shoreline Change in Southern California; USGS (02-14-2017)
Using a newly-developed computer model, scientists predict that with limited human intervention, 31 to 67 percent of Southern California beaches may become completely eroded (up to existing coastal infrastructure or sea-cliffs) by the year 2100 under scenarios of sea-level rise of one to two meters…

Beach Bashing; UCSB Current News (02-14-2017)
New research conducted by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists and their colleagues at UC Santa Barbara and six other institutions found that during the 2015-16 El Niño winter beach erosion on the Pacific coast was 76 percent above normal, and that most beaches in California eroded beyond historical extremes…

Worst erosion in 150 years tears 180 feet from SF’s Ocean Beach; SF Gate (02-15-2017)
The beaches lining the coast between Mexico and Canada form a protective barrier that keeps the turbulent ocean from eating away at seaside cliffs and flooding low-lying coastal towns and cities, scientists say…

Sea-Level Rise Poses Hard Choice for Two Neighborhoods: Rebuild or Retreat? Take Part (04-25-2015)

California Coastal Armoring Report: Managing Coastal Armoring and Climate Change Adaptation in the 21st Century;By Molly Loughney Melius, Fellow, Stanford Law School Margaret R. Caldwell, Diretor, Environment and Natural Resources Law & Policy Program, Stanford Law School (May 2015)
In response to erosion and storm events, Californians have built seawalls, revetments, and other “coastal armoring” structures along significant portions of California’s coast. Coastal armoring now occupies more than 110 miles, or at least 10 percent, of the overall California coastline. This coastal armoring has diminished California’s beaches and habitat, irreversibly altered bluffs, caused increased erosion to neighboring properties, and marred the natural beauty of the coast…

“Seawalls Kill Beaches,” Open Letters by Warner Chabot And Rob Young; (10-03-2014)

Seawalls: Ecological effects of coastal armoring in soft sediment environments; Science Daily (07-24-2017)
For nearly a century, America’s coasts — particularly those with large urban populations — have been armored with human made structures such as seawalls. These structures essentially draw a line in the sand that constrains the ability of the shoreline to respond to changes in sea level and other dynamic coastal processes…

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…

Beach rebuilding efforts won’t stave off climate change impacts forever; Guardian UK (09-20-2018)

Coastal policy needs dose of reality; Op Ed by Orrin Pilkey; Star News Online (02-02-2017)

Let’s end war with ocean, Op-Ed by Orrin H. Pilkey
The immediate future most certainly holds more miles of sandbags, resulting in more narrowed and ugly beaches.But this trend can be halted and reversed. Now is the time to make peace with the ocean.The time is now to stop sandbagging, both physically with no more shore-hardening structures, and politically with no more exceptions to the intent of the rules, no more undermining existing legislation, and a return to enforcement…

The only answer to rising seas is to retreat; By Orrin H. Pilkey & Keith C. Pilkey; The News & Observer (10-18-2017)

Sweetwater Authority eyes sand mining, material dredging opportunities, CA


Sediment trapped by dam, Elwha river. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

The board of the Sweetwater Authority is interested in sand mining and material dredging opportunities in and around the South Bay water agency’s two reservoirs.

The agency, which serves National City, Bonita and parts of Chula Vista, plans to solicit interest from sand mining companies to explore the concept…

Read Full Article; The San Diego Union Tribune (09-22-2019)

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

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…

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

Cemex mine reflects human hunger for sand, California; Monterey County Now (01-14-2016)
The disappearance of the beach reflects an alarming reality: Southern Monterey Bay, Marina in particular, has the highest coastal erosion rate in the state of California. For more than 20 years, scientists have speculated about the sand mine’s contribution to that erosion rate, and a 2008 study concluded it was the primary cause. The Cemex mine in Marina is the only remaining coastal sand mine in the entire United States. Which leads to new questions…

An Evaluation of the Ongoing Impacts of Sand Mining at the CEMEX Lapis Sand Plant in Marina, California on the Southern Monterey Bay Shoreline; By Robert S. Young, PhD; (05-29-2017)
The City of Marina commissioned this report to assist in its management and decision‐making for coastal property and resources within the City’s jurisdiction. This report provides a review and synthesis of available documentary information and scientific literature addressing the impact of current sand mining activities within southern Monterey Bay…

Controversial beachfront sand mining operation along Monterey Bay to close; The Mercury News (06-27-2017)

Monterey Bay, California: Beach Sand Mining from a National Marine Sanctuary; By Gary Griggs (09-01-2014)
The 30-mile long, continuous sandy shoreline around Monterey Bay is the most visited stretch of shoreline on the central coast. Yet, it holds the dubious distinction of being the only active beach sand mining operation along the entire United States shoreline. To make matters even worse, it all takes place along the shoreline of a protected National Marine Sanctuary. Something is seriously wrong with this picture…

The Conservation Crisis No One Is Talking About, By John R. Platt, 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…

Corporate Sand Mining In SF Bay Sparks ‘Sand Wars’; CBS Bay Area (11-13-2018)
Six years ago, nonprofit environmental advocacy organization San Francisco Baykeeper sued sand-mining firm Hanson Marine Operations and the State Lands Commission to stop sand mining in the Bay. However, in November, an appeals court judge sided with the State Lands Commission and the sand mining company…

California sand-mining company prevails in lawsuit; Mazzarella Law (11-13-2018)

State sued over sand mining in San Francisco Bay, California; East Bay Times (01-31-2017)

Sand Mining in SF Bay Dealt Blow by State Appeals Court, SF Examiner (11-18-2015)
A California appeals court has ruled that sand in the San Francisco Bay must be considered a public trust resource, potentially challenging the practice of mining for sand in the Bay that’s in turn used in construction projects. Wednesday’s ruling in the lawsuit between San Francisco Baykeeper and the California State Lands Commission in the California 1st District Court of Appeal is considered a major victory by environmental advocates who have argued sand mining contributes to erosion at Ocean Beach and threatens the Bay’s ecosystem.

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, Rarer Than One Thinks.”
“Sand Wars” film documentary by Denis Delestrac – first broadcasted on the european Arte Channel, May 28th, 2013 in its french version: “Le Sable: enquête sur une disparition”, where it became the highest rated documentary for 2013 – expressly inspired the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to publish this 2014-Global Environmental Alert.

Sand Wars, An Investigation Documentary, By Mutlti-Awards Winner Filmmaker Denis Delestrac (©-2013)

Global Sand Mining: Learn More, Coastal Care

Rising tides force Miami Beach residents to seek higher ground


Miami City’s Skyline, Through the Reflex System of a Camera. Photo courtesy of: ©Marc Martinez

Excerpts;

Scientists with the United Nations Wednesday released their most alarming report yet on climate change. Oceans are warming, sea levels are rising and polar ice is melting — all of that is accelerating because of increasing carbon dioxide levels.

But the report warns the harshest consequences may be on low-lying coasts, where almost 700 million people live.

The shores of Miami Beach are lined with multi-million dollar homes and yachts. For more than 60 years, it has been home to charter boat captain Dan Kipnis. The low-lying Miami Beach regularly floods during high tides, but not because of storms or hurricanes…

Read Full Article; CBS News (09-25-2019)

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

Miami’s fight against rising seas; BBC (04-04-2017)
In the battle against rising seas, Florida – which has more to lose than almost anywhere else in the world – is becoming ground zero…

Sand’s end, The Verge (11-17-2016)
Miami Beach has run out of sand. Now what?..

Miami Beach Sees Rising Seas as No Threat to Real Estate Boom, For Now; Phys.Org (04-22-2015)

Developers don’t get it: climate change means we need to retreat from the coast, Guardian UK (15-03-2016)
It is preposterous to build in areas that are bound to flood. So why are real estate companies still doing it?..

Atlantic City and Miami Beach: two takes on tackling the rising waters; Guardian UK (03-20-2017)

Florida has spent more than $100 million pouring more sand onto beaches in the past three years. Is it time to wave a white flag? Sun Sentinel (06-08-2018)
In South Florida’s war against the tides, it may be time to recognize that discretion is the better part of valor. For the past 70 years, the state of Florida has spent more than $1.3 billion on packing sand onto eroding beaches…

Column: High-rises spell the end for Florida beaches; By Orrin H. Pilkey and J. Andrew G. Cooper; Tampa Bay (07-25-2017)
Floridians are becoming more attuned to sea level rise and more familiar with nuisance flooding related to the rising sea. However, we believe there is less recognition that by century’s end it is likely that most of Florida’s major beaches will be permanently gone…

Reinforce and Build: The vicious cycle driving development on Florida’s most fragile beaches; by John Platt, Hakai Magazine (12-20-2016)

Gone with the wind: storms deepen Florida’s beach sand crunch; Reuters (02-16-2018)
Costs of so-called beach renourishments are a fraction of the total, measured in hundreds of millions of dollars, but the effort is crucial for Florida’s $67 billion tourism industry. And while sand needs are surging, there is not enough to go around…

Sand washes away as quickly as it can be dumped, Bathtub Beach, FL, TCPalm News (11-17-2017)
Between 2004 and 2014, some $13.6 million was spent on beach renourishment in Martin County, Florida. About $7.1 million came from local funds — your tax dollars. In the past two years, more than $6 million from a variety of sources has been spent to renourish and restore dunes at Bathtub Beach alone…

Florida is drowning. Condos are still being built. Can’t humans see the writing on the wall? Guardian UK (02-15-2018)
People tend to respond to immediate threats and financial consequences – and Florida’s coastal real estate may be on the cusp of delivering that harsh wake-up call…