Category Archives: Ecosystem Destruction

Biodiversity has substantially changed in one of the largest Mediterranean wetlands


Photo source: Henk Kosters

Excerpts;

The Camargue in southern France is widely recognised as one of the largest and most biodiverse wetlands in the Mediterranean region.

Recent research has now shown that grasshoppers, crickets and locusts, comprising orthopterans, and also dragonflies and amphibians have severely declined since the 1970s. This provides evidence of substantial deterioration of the Camargue ecosystem…

Read Full Article; Science Daily (12-19-2019)

Biologists investigate mass die-of freshwater mussels


Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Freshwater mussels, like pollinators and trees, are critical to their larger ecosystems and the world around them. They create habitat for other species, like freshwater coral reefs, and help maintain the structure and rigidity of the waterways they call home. They scoop up algae and nutrients, processing and concentrating them for others to eat.

But perhaps most importantly, these soft-bodied invertebrates improve the water quality around them. They filter out sediment and agricultural runoff, limiting the size and impacts of dead zones…

Read Full Article; NPR (12-06-2019)

A pipeline runs through it

refugio-oil-spill-cc
Refugio Beach, oil along the coastline, May 2015. External corrosion on an oil pipeline was the root cause of a leak that spilled more than 140,000 gallons of crude on the Santa Barbara coast in May, federal regulators reported Wednesday. This oil spill was the state’s largest coastal oil spill in 25 years affecting Santa Barbara County. Photograph: © SAF – Coastal Care.

Excerpts;

The 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline could soon slice across Appalachia. If completed, the hundreds of miles of 42- and 36-inch diameter steel would carry 1.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas every day…

Read Full Article; Grist (12-03-2019)

Trump Lawyers Defend Pipeline’s Route Across Appalachian Trail; Bloomberg News (12-02-2019)
Environmental groups opposed to the pipeline have until Jan. 15 to respond to the briefs. Oral argument is set for Feb. 24…

In the deep end: ‘Life in Troubled Waters’ Exhibit


Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

The photographs taken by Selvaprakash Lakshmanan look at the changing Indian coastal landscape that has been affected by erosion, chemical plants, rising sea levels and over-fishing.

“It also shows communities – 250 million people live within 50 metres of the Indian coastline – and trying to cope with every changing reality,” says Lakshmanan about his ‘Life in Troubled Waters’ project…

Read Full Article; The New Indian Express (12-05-2019)

Inside the deadly world of India’s sand mining mafia; National Geographic (06-26-2019)

Tragedy of The Commons: Corrosive Growth of the Illegal Sand Mining Mafia, The Citizen (01-04-2016)
Not many people may know that illegal sand mining is a nationwide phenomena in India, and with spurt in housing and infrastructure projects, the illegal sand mining is thriving beyond the ambit of formal economy and law and order. Sand is everywhere and so is the sand mafia…

Climate change is reshaping communities of ocean organisms


Photograph: © SAF – Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Climate change is reshaping communities of fish and other sea life, according to a pioneering study on how ocean warming is affecting the mix of species. The study covers species that are important for fisheries and that serve as food for fish, such as copepods and other zooplankton…

Read Full Article; Science Daily (11-25-2019)

Trump Administration announces plan to expand oil development in Alaska


Alaska. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

The Trump administration announced a new plan that could open up an additional 6.6 million acres within the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska to fossil fuel development.

One of the plan’s proposals would allow drilling on 80 percent of the reserve, considered the largest undisturbed tract of public land in the United States…

Read Full Article; Yale E360 (11-22-2019)

Trump Moves to Open Nearly All Offshore Waters to Drilling; The New York Times (01-04-2018)

Trump Spares NO Coast, Every State at Risk: A Call To Take Action, By NRDC (01-05-2018)

US official reveals Atlantic drilling plan while hailing Trump’s ability to distract public; Guardian UK (03-14-2019)

Business View: ‘No Good Reason For Drilling’; Coastal review (05-31-2017)
Every aspect of offshore drilling, from exploration to transporting the product from the drilling site, has implications for marine life and coastal communities…

The ‘Job-Killing’ Fiction Behind Trump’s Retreat on Fuel Economy Standards; Yale E360 (04-20-2017)

Estimates of offshore drilling’s benefits exaggerated, report says, The Virginian Pilot (12-15-2015)

Trump, reversing Obama, will push to expand drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic, The Washington Post (04-28-2017)

In the deserts of Dubai, salmon farming thrives

dubai-artificial-islands1
Artificial islands, Dubai. Photo: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Even for a country known for its extravagant ventures, building Fish Farm, located along the southern border of the emirate, was a challenging endeavour. Salmon usually live in cold waters such as those in and off Iceland, Norway, Scotland and Alaska…

Read Full Article; PhysOrg (11-19-2019)

Farmed salmon are different at DNA level than wild salmon in hundreds of ways; Oregon State University (02-18-2016)

Farmed Fish Consumption At Record High, UN Report Reveals, Guardian Uk (05-19-2014)
Humans have never eaten so much fish and other seafood, but nearly half of it is no longer caught wild but is grown in farms, says the United Nations. The rapid growth in the number of people living near coasts and fish farming’s ability to keep up with population growth has seen per capita fish consumption soar from 10kg per person in the 1960s to more than 19kg in 2012…

Artifishial : The Fight to Save Wild Salmon; Patagonia Films – 2019

How the U.S. betrayed the Marshall Islands, kindling the next nuclear disaster

bikini-atoll-baker-atomic-bomb
The “Baker” explosion, part of Operation Crossroads, a nuclear weapon test by the United States military at Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, on 25 July 1946.
There was no classic mushroom cloud rising to the stratosphere, but inside the condensation cloud the top of the water geyser formed a mushroom-like head called the cauliflower, which fell back into the lagoon. The water released by the explosion was highly radioactive and contaminated many of the ships that were set up near it. Some were otherwise undamaged and sent to Hunter’s Point in San Francisco, California, United States, for decontamination. Those which could not be decontaminated were sunk a number of miles off the coast of San Francisco. Captions and Photo source: US Army

Excerpts;

In the Marshall Islands, Runit Dome holds more than 3.1 million cubic feet — or 35 Olympic-sized swimming pools — of U.S.-produced radioactive soil and debris, including lethal amounts of plutonium. Nowhere else has the United States saddled another country with so much of its nuclear waste, a product of its Cold War atomic testing program…

Read Full Article; LA Times (11-10-2019)

Revisiting Bikini Atoll, NASA (03-10-2014)
Sixty years ago, the United States detonated a thermonuclear bomb on Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands, that altered the landscape, hundreds of lives, and the trajectory of a nuclear arms race…

Bikini Atoll nuclear test: 60 years later and islands still unliveable, Guardian UK (03-01-2014)

Effects of nuclear tests in French Polynesia remains a major concern, ABC News (02-24-2014)
France conducted nearly 200 nuclear tests in French Polynesia between 1966 and 1996. The French Government has admitted in the past it’s possible the Mururoa atoll could cave in because it has been sapped by the underground tests…

French Nuclear Tests Showered Vast Area of Polynesia With Radioactivity, Guardian UK (07-03-2013)
French nuclear tests in the South Pacific in the 1960s and 1970s were far more toxic than has been previously acknowledged and hit a vast swath of Polynesia with radioactive fallout, according to newly declassified ministry of defence documents…

Red tide is back off the coast of Florida.

red-tide-bioluminiscence
Red tide bioluminescence. Distinctive blue flashes, a type of bioluminescence, that are visible at night in some marine environments are caused by tiny, unicellular plankton known as dinoflagellates, some of which can produce toxins that are harmful to the environment. Captions: Science Daily. Photo source: ©© Phil Gibbs

Excerpts;

The toxic algae has returned to the waters off southwest Florida and has begun to slowly creep up the state’s Gulf coast over the past month.

Residents who experienced the last one are worried — about their health, the wildlife and whether their businesses can endure another prolonged outbreak…

Read Full Article; CNN (11-12-2019)

Florida has a new water problem: red tide on the state’s busiest coast; Miami Herald (10-04-2018)
A red tide that has sloshed up and down the Gulf Coast for nearly a year, leaving a wake of dead sea life, murky water and stinky beaches, has now landed on the state’s most crowded shores in Miami-Dade County…

As Florida’s toxic red tide stretches on, residents report health problems; NBC News (09-02-2018)

Red tide is devastating Florida’s sea life. Are humans to blame? National Geographic (08-08-2018)
Thousands of sea creatures now litter many of southern Florida’s typically picturesque beaches. “Anything that can leave has, and anything that couldn’t leave has died…”

Worst “red tide” toxic algae bloom in years killing turtles, manatees in Florida; CBS News (08-02-2018)

Toxic Algal Blooms Aren’t Just Florida’s Problem. And They’re On The Rise. Huffington Green (07-07-2016)