Category Archives: Inform

Florida surfer uses drone to capture awe-inspiring views of sharks

black-tip-shark
Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

A Florida surfer didn’t realize just how many sharks were swimming around him until he recorded drone video over the beach…

Read Full Article; CNN (02-20-2020)

Researchers captured footage of a rare shark nursery 2,500 feet below the coastal waters of Ireland; BusinessInsider (11-12-2018)
Drone footage of a rare shark nursery, found 200 miles off Ireland’s western coast, has been revealed. It’s being called a discovery on a “scale not previously documented in Irish waters…”

How Should We Respond When Humans and Sharks Collide? National Geographic (07-05-2013)

Exploring the secrets of marsh happiness


Can you tell if the two marshes shown above are thriving or deteriorating over time?

By NOAA;

Two Unhappy Marshes
Researchers found that both of these marshes are “unhappy,” even though one of them appears to be vibrant and healthy. “Happy,” or persistent, marshes all share common traits. It is more difficult to characterize “unhappy,” deteriorating tidal marshes, because these ecosystems can fall apart in many different ways. By understanding how marshes can deteriorate so differently, coastal managers can make wiser conservation decisions.

NOAA research reserve scientists and partners recently published a study that examines the secret to marsh happiness. The team learned that “happy” marshes shared similar characteristics, whereas “unhappy” marshes deteriorate in diverse ways. By understanding how marshes can deteriorate so differently, coastal managers can make wiser conservation decisions.

Published in Environmental Research Letters, the study ground-truthed previous resilience findings from the National Estuarine Research Reserve System and U.S. Geological Survey. Many partners contributed, and the authors included scientists from the Elkhorn Slough and Narragansett Bay Research Reserves.

According to the study, “happy,” or persistent, marshes all shared common traits. What healthy marshes shared most of all was vegetation distributed on the higher end across low-to-high landscape elevations. The single most important measurement in assessing a “happy” tidal marsh is whether a sizeable proportion of its vegetation is at a high elevation in relation to current water levels. Another feature of “happy” marshes is a low percentage of unvegetated versus vegetated area in the marsh landscape.

Characterizing an “unhappy,” deteriorating tidal marsh is more complex because marshes can fall apart in many different ways. One finding contradicted a previous assumption: namely, that gains in marsh elevation and sediment indicate greater resilience. The authors say marshes with these characteristics performed inconsistently and often signaled the muddy mess that degrading marshes can become, not marsh health.

Original Article and Learn More; NOAA (02-19-2020)

Excavation to begin on next phase of Summerland oil well cleanup


Capping of the Becker well, February 27, 2018, Summerland beach, California. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

During the week of February 10, 2019, exploratory excavation work will begin on oil wells leaking onto Summerland Beach, as part of the planning for capping up to three more wells on and off the beach – including the notorious Treadwell #10 offshore well (pictured above). The actual capping work will take place during the months of June/July 2020…

Read Full Article; EdHat (01-31-2020)

Becker well capped—a century later; Coastal View (02-28-2018)

U.S. companies use misleading “recyclable” labels on hundreds of plastic products

andaman-south-sentinel
Although inhabited and remote, South Sentinel island is covered with marine debris, mostly plastic. South Sentinel, Andaman Islands, Bay of Bengal. Captions and Photo: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Greenpeace USA released the results of a comprehensive survey of the nation’s 367 material recovery facilities (MRFs) today, revealing that only PET #1 and HDPE #2 plastic bottles and jugs may legitimately be labeled as recyclable by consumer goods companies and retailers. The survey found that common plastic pollution items, including plastic tubs, cups, lids, plates, and trays, may not be labeled as recyclable according to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requirements for products and labeling. Additionally, many full body shrink sleeves that are added to PET #1 and HDPE #2 bottles and jugs make those products non-recyclable as well.

“This survey confirms what many news reports have indicated since China restricted plastic waste imports two years ago — that recycling facilities across the country are not able to sort, sell, and reprocess much of the plastic that companies produce,” said Jan Dell, independent engineer and founder of The Last Beach Cleanup, who led the survey of plastics acceptance policies at the 367 MRFs.

Greenpeace has identified numerous examples of U.S. companies using misleading labels. Target, Nestlé, Danone, Walmart, Procter & Gamble, Clorox, Aldi, SC Johnson, and Unilever are among the companies that Greenpeace has asked to correct their labels, and some changes are underway. If companies show no willingness to end this deception, the organization plans to file formal FTC complaints…

Read Full Article; Greenpeace (02-18-2020)

America’s ‘recycled’ plastic waste is clogging landfills, survey finds; Guardian UK (02-18-2020)
Many plastic items that Americans put in their recycling bins aren’t being recycled at all, according to a major new survey of hundreds of recycling facilities across the US…

More Recycling Won’t Solve Plastic Pollution; Scientific American (07-06-2018)

Only 14% of plastics are recycled – can tech innovation tackle the rest? Guardian UK (02-22-2017)
Billions of pounds of plastic waste are littering the world’s oceans. Now, an organic chemist and a sailboat captain report that they are developing a process to reuse certain plastics, transforming them from worthless trash into a valuable diesel fuel with a small mobile reactor that could operate on land or at sea…

More than 8. 3 billion tons of plastics made: Most has now been discarded; Science Daily (07-19-2017)
Humans have created 8.3 billion metric tons of plastics since large-scale production of the synthetic materials began in the early 1950s, and most of it now resides in landfills or the natural environment, according to a study.

What are businesses doing to turn off the plastic tap? UNEP (06-28-2018)

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…

Over 180 countries -not including the US– agree to restrict global plastic waste trade; CNN (05-11-2019)
The governments of 187 countries have agreed to control the movement of plastic waste between national borders, in an effort to curb the world’s plastic crisis — but the United States was not among them…

Plastic Pollution: When The Mermaids Cry, The Great Plastic Tide, Coastal Care
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…

Plastic pollution poses new threat to a turtle paradise


“When plastic ingestion occurs, it blocks the digestive tract, gets lodged in animals windpipes cutting airflow causing suffocation, or fills the stomach, resulting in malnutrition, starvation and potentially death. Indeed, it is found that debris often accumulates in the animals’ gut and give a false sense of fullness, causing the animal to stop eating and slowly starve to death.” —Captions and Photo: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

The oceanic island of Príncipe lies in the Gulf of Guinea off the west coast of Africa. In 2012, the entire island was designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve

The waters surrounding Príncipe harbour five of the world’s seven species of sea turtle and this remote island’s relatively pristine beaches provide crucial nesting sites.

Arguably, the most insidious threat is the plastic permeating Príncipe’s waters and piling up on its beaches…

Read Full Article; PhysOrg (02-17-2020)

Microplastics found deep in sand where turtles nest; Phys Org (09-26-2018)
Scientists found an average of 5,300 particles of plastic per cubic metre at depths of 60cm (2ft) on beaches in Cyprus used by green turtles and loggerheads. These beaches in Cyprus are located far from industrial practices and aren’t visited by large numbers of people. The findings support the theory that beaches act as a “sink” for marine micro plastics…

Micronizing ocean plastics threaten sea turtle populations, ocean life cycle; Science Daily (09-17-2018)
Ingestion of degrading ocean plastics likely poses a substantial risk to the survival of post-hatchling sea turtles because the particles can lead to blockages and nutritional deficiencies, according to new research…

The Plastic Found In a Single Turtle’s Stomach, Daily Mail (03-24-2011)

Marine turtles dying after becoming entangled in plastic rubbish; Science Daily (12-18-2017)

60% of Loggerhead Turtles Stranded on Beaches in South Africa Had Ingested Plastic, EcoWatch (05-031-2016)

Plastic Pollution / When The Mermaids Cry: The Great Plastic Tide, Coastal Care
“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…”

Climate change is coming for the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C.


The Tidal Basin, Washington, DC. Photo source: Wikimedia

Excerpts;

The Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C., overlooks the Tidal Basin, a man-made body of water surrounded by cherry trees. But at high tide, people are forced off parts of the path. Twice a day, the Tidal Basin floods and water spills onto the walkway.

One problem is that the land is sinking. But as the climate warms, sea levels are also rising. And the flooding gets even worse during extreme storms, which are growing more common…

Read Full Article; Yale Connections Climate (02-17-2020)

India and Norway team up to fight plastic pollution


“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…”
Photo and captions source: © SAF — Coastal Care.

Excerpts;

India and Norway have joined forces to investigate the possibility of establishing a global agreement to fight plastic pollution.

They emphasised a shared understanding of the global and urgent nature of marine plastic litter and microplastics and underlined the issue cannot be solved by any one country alone…

Read Full Article; Energy Live News (02-17-2020)