Category Archives: Features

Marine Spill Prevention Policies in Spain Analyzed

The Prestige oil tanker sank off the Galician coast, Spain, carrying 77,000 tonness of fuel oil in 2002. The spill polluted thousands of kilometers of coastline and more than one thousand beaches on the Spanish, French and Portuguese coast, causing one of the biggest environmental disaster in Europe’s history.
The Prestige was Greek-operated, officially registered in the Bahamas, but with a Liberian-registered corporation listed as its owner. It was insured in Britain, and was registered as part of a Swiss fleet that has its headquarters in London, while the captain was Greek.
Captions. Photo source: ©© Stéphane M. Grueso


The study analyzes the actions adopted by a dozen countries after suffering disasters similar to that of the Prestige, the oil tanker which sank off the coast of Galicia towards the end of 2002, provoking a spill of fuel-oil which turned out to be one of the biggest ecological disasters in the history of Spain…

Read Full Article, Science Daily

The BP Spill: Learning from Spain’s 2002 Disaster, Time
In Muxía, they say black stains still occasionally emerge on the white sands of the local beach. But otherwise, nearly eight years after the Prestige tanker broke apart off the coast of this town in northwestern Spain, spilling 66,000 tons of oil, there are few visible signs of damage. The WWF warns that since the worst effects of contamination are cumulative, it is too soon to judge the Prestige’s environmental impact.

A Seeping Tanker Turns Spain’s Beaches Into an Oily Sandbox, The New York Times

Satellite Photos of Japan, Before and After

The extent of inundation from the destructive and deadly tsunami triggered by the March 11, 2011, magnitude 8.9 earthquake centered off Japan’s northeastern coast about 130 kilometers (82 miles) east of the city of Sendai is revealed in this before-and-after image pair from the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) instrument on NASA’s Terra spacecraft. Image Source: NASA/GSFC/LaRC/JPL, MISR Team


Aerial photos taken over Japan have revealed the scale of devastation across dozens of suburbs and tens of thousands of homes and businesses…

Read Full Article, The New York Times

Google Satellite Images
The images, from Google partner GeoEye, were generated by the IKONOS satellite,. View slideshow in Los Angeles Times

Japan Tsunami, Before & After: Zoomable Satellite Images, National Geographic

NASA Images Tsunami’s Effects on Northeastern Japan, NASA / JPL

Toxin Found in Fishes That Clogged US Marina

Photo source: ©© Cristina Hsu


The millions of sardines that were found floating dead in a Southern California marina this week tested positive for a powerful neurotoxin, researchers said.

High levels of domoic acid were found in the sardines, which may have distressed them off the Los Angeles coastline and caused them to swim into the Redondo Beach marina, University of Southern California biologist David Caron wrote in a summary of his laboratory’s findings which were reported by the Los Angeles Times…

Read Original Article, AP

California Beach Fish Die-Off

Japan earthquake and tsunami: How to help

Reflection, mother and child by the sea, Japan. Photo source: ©© mrhayata


Japan was hit by one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded. The magnitude-8.9 quake spawned a deadly tsunami that slammed into the nation’s east coast, leaving a huge swath of devastation in its wake. Hundreds of people are dead and many more are still missing or injured.

Japan has often donated when other countries have experienced disasters, such as when Hurricane Katrina impacted the United States. Below are organizations that are working on relief and recovery in the region.

AMERICAN RED CROSS: Emergency Operation Centers are opened in the affected areas and staffed by the chapters. This disaster is on a scale larger than the Japanese Red Cross can typically manage. Donations to the American Red Cross can be allocated for the International Disaster Relief Fund, which then deploys to the region to help.

GLOBALGIVING: Established a fund to disburse donations to organizations providing relief and emergency services to victims of the earthquake and tsunami.

SAVE THE CHILDREN: Mobilizing to provide immediate humanitarian relief in the shape of emergency health care and provision of non-food items and shelter.

SALVATION ARMY: The Salvation Army has been in Japan since 1895 and is currently providing emergency assistance to those in need.

AMERICARES: Emergency team is on full alert, mobilizing resources and dispatching an emergency response manager to the region.

CONVOY OF HOPE: Disaster Response team established connection with in-country partners who have been impacted by the damage and are identifying the needs and areas where Convoy of Hope may be of the greatest assistance.

INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL CORPS: Putting together relief teams, as well as supplies, and are in contact with partners in Japan and other affected countries to assess needs and coordinate our activities.

SHELTER BOX: The first team is mobilizing to head to Japan and begin the response effort.

Read Full Article, AP

The European Commission activates Europe’s civil protection system

Japan Tsunami
March 11th 2011, Tsunami energy propagation map. Photo Source NOAA


At the request of Japan, the European Commission activated the European Civil Protection Mechanism to provide assistance in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck the country on 11 March. Japan has requested search and rescue teams and search dogs for ongoing operations…

Read Full Article, Europa

World rushes aid to quake-hit Japan

Massive Quake triggers devastating Tsunami, Japan

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


A ferocious tsunami spawned by one of the largest earthquakes on record slammed Japan’s eastern coast Friday, killing hundreds of people as it swept away ships, cars and homes while widespread fires burned out of control.

Hours later, the tsunami hit Hawaii but did not cause major damage. Warnings blanketed the Pacific, putting areas on alert as far away as South America, Canada, Alaska and the entire U.S. West coast. In northeastern Japan, the area around a nuclear power plant was evacuated after the reactor’s cooling system failed…

Original Article, AP

Tsunami Leaves Wake of Destruction Across Northern Japan, The New York Times

Japan Quake: Measuring the Damage With Dr. Michio Kaku
In this Video Interview, from ABC, Dr. Michio Kaku, a highly respected American physicist, quantifies the damage of the earthquake and tsunamis.

CNN Video:

Japan deadly Tsunami, CNNLive Coverage

Japan deadly Tsunami, BBC Live Coverage
The quake was the fifth-largest in the world since 1900 and nearly 8,000 times stronger than the one which devastated Christchurch, New Zealand, last month, said scientists.

The Science Behind Japan deadly Earthquake

Human Ancestors Lived on Shaky Grounds
An international team of scientists has established a link between the shape of the landscape and the habitats preferred by our earliest ancestors. Our earliest ancestors preferred to settle in locations that have something in common with cities such as San Francisco, Naples and Istanbul: on active tectonic faults in areas that have an earthquake risk or volcanoes, or both.

NHK TV Japan Video:

Plastic Pollution and Chile Coastline, The Latest 5 Gyres Mission

Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care


5 Gyres, an organization that seeks to study plastic pollution in waters around the world, report on the problem, and attempt to provide solutions, has embarked on a new mission exploring the southern coast of Chile to document any and all incidents of plastic pollution.

In addition to the northern Pacific gyre there are 5 gyres around the world, and one is off the western coast of southern Chile. Winds sweep across the south Pacific, and a lot of the plastic ends up in the jagged coastline of southern Chile…

Read Full Article, Inhabitat

Report From The South Sea, On The Search For Plastic Pollution

Surprisingly Few White Sharks Off California Coast, First Census Finds

Great white shark. Photo source: ©© Elias Levy


In the first census of its kind, research led by UC Davis and Stanford University found that there are far fewer white sharks off central California than biologists had thought.

The study, published in the journal Biology Letters, is the first rigorous scientific estimate of white shark numbers in the northeast Pacific Ocean. It is also the best estimate among the world’s three known white-shark populations (the others are in Australia/New Zealand and South Africa)…

Read Full Article, Science Daily