Tag Archives: Coastal Issues

Major flooding on the Mississippi River to cause large Gulf of Mexico dead zone

hypoxic-zone-gulf-nasa
The hypoxic zone in the northern Gulf of Mexico refers to an area along the Louisiana-Texas coast in which water near the bottom of the Gulf contains less than 2 parts per million of dissolved oxygen, causing a condition referred to as hypoxia. Sediment loads from the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers empty into the Gulf of Mexico. Caption USGS. Photo source: NASA

By NOAA

The Gulf of Mexico’s hypoxic zone is predicted to be larger than average this year, due to extreme flooding of the Mississippi River this spring, according to an annual forecast by a team of NOAA-supported scientists from the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, Louisiana State University and the University of Michigan. The forecast is based on Mississippi River nutrient inputs compiled annually by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

Scientists are predicting the area could measure between 8,500 and 9,421 square miles, or an area roughly the size of New Hampshire. The largest hypoxic zone measured to date occurred in 2002 and encompassed more than 8,400 square miles.

The average over the past five years is approximately 6,000 square miles of impacted waters, much larger than the 1,900 square miles which is the target goal set by the Gulf of Mexico/Mississippi River Watershed Nutrient Task Force. This collaboration between NOAA, USGS and university scientists facilitates understanding links between activities in the Mississippi River watershed and downstream impacts to the northern Gulf of Mexico.

Hypoxia is caused by excessive nutrient pollution, often from human activities such as agriculture that results in too little oxygen to support most marine life in bottom and near-bottom water.

Hypoxic zone
Hypoxia can cause fish to leave the area and can cause stress or death to bottom dwelling organisms that can’t move out of the hypoxic zone. Hypoxia is believed to be caused primarily by excess nutrients delivered from the Mississippi River in combination with seasonal stratification of Gulf waters. Excess nutrients promote algal and attendant zooplankton growth. The associated organic matter sinks to the bottom where it decomposes, consuming available oxygen. Stratification of fresh and saline waters prevents oxygen replenishment by mixing of oxygen-rich surface water with oxygen-depleted bottom water. Caption USGS. Image source: EPA

The hypoxic zone off the coast of Louisiana and Texas forms each summer and threatens valuable commercial and recreational Gulf fisheries. In 2009, the dockside value of commercial fisheries in the Gulf was $629 million. Nearly three million recreational fishers further contributed more than $1 billion to the Gulf economy taking 22 million fishing trips.

“While there is some uncertainty regarding the size, position and timing of this year’s hypoxic zone in the Gulf, the forecast models are in overall agreement that hypoxia will be larger than we have typically seen in recent years,” said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D.

During May 2011 stream-flow rates in the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers were nearly twice that of normal conditions. This significantly increased the amount of nitrogen transported by the rivers into the Gulf. According to USGS estimates, 164,000 metric tons of nitrogen (in the form of nitrite plus nitrate) were transported by the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers to the northern Gulf. The amount of nitrogen transported to the Gulf in May 2011 was 35 percent higher than average May nitrogen loads estimated in the last 32 years.

“The USGS monitoring network and modeling activities for water quantity and quality helps us ‘connect the dots’ to see how increased nutrient run-off in the Mississippi watershed during a historic spring flood event impacts the health of the ocean many hundreds of miles away,” said Marcia McNutt, Ph.D., USGS director.

Coastal and water resource managers nationwide require new and better integrated information and services to adapt to the uncertainty of future climate and land-use changes, an aging water delivery infrastructure, and an increasing demand on limited resources.

The actual size of the 2011 hypoxic zone will be released following a NOAA-supported monitoring survey led by the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium between July 25 and August 6.

Original Article

Hypoxia 101, EPA

Expanding Hypoxic Areas In Coastal Waters, in Coastal Care

City Pavement Affects Weather and Foster Build-up of Polluted Air

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New-York. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

New research focusing on the Houston area suggests that widespread urban development alters weather patterns in a way that can make it easier for pollutants to accumulate during warm summer weather instead of being blown out to sea.

The international study, led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), could have implications for the air quality of fast-growing coastal cities in the United States and other midlatitude regions overseas. The reason: the proliferation of strip malls, subdivisions, and other paved areas may interfere with breezes needed to clear away smog and other pollution…

Read Full Article, University Corporation For Atmospheric Research, UCAR

City Pavement Affects Weather, Boosting Smog

A Giant Brought to Its Knees: The Atlantic Coastal Forest

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“Last light on denuded hills.” Atlantic Rain Forest Region of Brazil… denuded (Minas Gerais State). Captions and Photo source: ©© Christoph Diewald

Excerpts; from Atlantic Rainforest Organization, UNEP, and OurAmazingPlanet

“It’s the most threatened rainforest in Brazil, a global biodiversity hotspot, and contains around one in 12 of all species on the planet. We must be talking about the Amazon, right? Wrong. It’s the Atlantic Forest, which used to run in a continuous strip along the 2,000 miles of Brazil’s eastern seaboard, up the steep coastal mountain slopes and, in places, far into the interior, reaching parts of Paraguay and northern Argentina. But the story of the Atlantic Forest does not end at the tide line. Its influence extends well out into the coastal waters of Brazil, as the nutrients from the forest flow into the estuaries and bays to form rich feeding grounds for a wide variety of marine creatures.” Tim Hirsch, OurAmazinPlanet

The Amazon forest is thousands of miles from where most Brazilians live, unlike the Atlantic Forest. The later has been right in the path of agricultural and urban development for 500 years, and today 130 million people live within its boundaries.

When European colonists arrived in the 1500s, the atlantic forest extended along Brazil’s entire coastline, covering more than 386,000 sq. miles along the coast, from the state of Rio Grande Do Norte thousands of miles south to Rio Grande Do Sul., and extending into eastern Paraguay and northeastern Argentina.

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Atlantic forest, Itacaré, Brazil. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Now, the Atlantic Forest is a shadow of its former self.

Today, It has lost almost 93 percent of its original size. Less than 7% of that cover remains, in the wake of centuries of forest clearing for agriculture and urban development, with trees felled to produce charcoal and to be used as fuel for iron and raw steel production. For many years, the Upper Parana Atlantic Forest in Paraguay had one of the highest rate of deforestation in Latin America. The forests continue to be transformed into agricultural land without adequate planning.

In Brazil, the Atlantic forest fragmented remains, by centuries of unsustainable use and logging, cover some 28,600 square kilometers. “At this rate, the forest will be gone by 2050,” warned SOS Mata Atlântica Foundation. In a survey released May 26th 2011, the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) along with the SOS Mata Atlântica Foundation, published data from Atlas of the Atlantic Forests Remnants. The data informed the dire situation in 16 out of 17 states for 2008-2010 period.

The Atlantic Forest ecoregion once stretched over 1 million km2 along Brazil’s coast in 13 states, with extensions inland into Eastern Paraguay and the Misiones province in Northeastern Argentina.

“When European colonists arrived in the 1500s, the atlantic forest extended along Brazil’s entire coastline, covering more than 386,000 sq. miles along the coast…Now, the Atlantic Forest is a shadow of its former self.”

The ecoregion contains 2 types of tropical moist broadleaf forests, the coastal and interior Atlantic Forests, and the Araucaria Pine Forest which previously covered a large portion of the Brazilian states of Parana and Santa Catarina and their borders with Argentina. The coastal and interior Atlantic Forests are some of the richest tropical moist forests on Earth, harboring unique collections of species quite distinct from the Amazon. A 1993 survey identified 450 different tree species within one hectare of Atlantic Forests in the Southern Bahia state – one of the highest diversities of tree species reported in the world.

The cities of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo both lie within the forests.

According to a recent analysis from the Global Land Cover Facility of the University of Maryland, NASA, and the organisation Guyra Paraguay, 35% of the Atlantic Forest was lost in Paraguay between 1989 and 2003.

Some of the largest forest remnants of the Atlantic Forest are found in the Upper Parana River watershed in Argentina and Paraguay. These remnants are still large enough to provide habitat for top predators such as the jaguar and the harpy eagle, as well as large herbivores like the South American tapir, deer, and peccaries.

Today only 7% of the original Atlantic Forests cover remains in Brazil, all of it fragmented by centuries of unsustainable use. This fragmentation, coupled with high endemism, makes the Atlantic Forests one of the most endangered rainforests in the world.” ( according to Atlantic Rainforest Organization)

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A roadside scene in the Rio de Janeiro State of Brazil. Captions and Photo source: ©© Blake Maybank

Although governments have attempted to controll deforestation to a certain extent, more needs to be done for responsible soy cultivation and sustainable forest management. A stronger commitment is also needed to restore priority forest areas.

Moreover, while there are a number of protected areas in the Atlantic Forest, the majority are reserves in name only. In practice, there is not enough financing for their adequate protection.

Indeed, on May 26th 2011, the survey released by theNational Institute for Space Research (INPE) along with the SOS Mata Atlântica Foundation, was welcomed by the general media, with a priori cheering headlines:
“The rate of deforestation of Brazil’s Atlantic Forest along much of the country’s eastern coast fell by some 55 percent between 2008 and 2010, according to a study released Friday. The reduction can be explained by more stringent laws and better control.”

But, besides the “numbers” as the officials clearly stated: ” The survey proves that the native forest removal continues and the data warns to implement public policies that encourage Biome conservation and restoration.” And added, ” Between 2008 and 2010, the forest, which is the country’s most devastated ecosystem, second only in the world to the forests of Madagascar, lost 32,000 hectares.”

The deforestation rates are going down from previous year… But so are the forest surfaces’, and undoubtly so is the number of remaining trees to be cut down !!!!

32,000 hectares of a vanishing forest, is an astonishing and devastating reality!

The rates of deforestation have been presented as follow:

Period 1985-1990: 466,937 ha
Period 1990-1995: 500,317 ha
Period 1995-2000: 445,952 ha
Period 2000-2005: 174,828 ha
Period 2005-2008: 102,938 ha
Period 2008-2010: 31,195 ha

Furthermore, and corroboratively, earlier in May, the Brazil government announced the creation of an emergency task force to fight deforestation of the Amazon rainforest, after a sharp increase in deforestation in that region was recorded in March and April this year, 2011…

deforestation brazil coastal atlantic forest
Scattered clouds mingle with the smoke from scores of fires burning near the mouth of the Amazon River in Brazil, Atlantic coast. The fires, most of which are probably agricultural fires people have set on purpose to clear forest, have been marked with red dots. Caption and image: by Jesse Allen, Earth Observatory / NASA.

Restoration and preservation projects have been developped.

As presented by Atlantic Forest Organization’s Website, WWF has a number of restoration projects in the region aimed at returning native forest where it has previously been destroyed or degraded.

Such a protection exist as The Discovery Coast Atlantic Forest Reserves, in the states of Bahia and Espírito Santo, and consists of eight separate protected areas containing 112,000 ha of Atlantic forest and associated shrub (restingas).

WWF is also working on establishing new protected areas and creating “green corridors” to connect isolated tracts of forests.

The defined Objectives are to:
1. Increase WWF institutional presence in the Atlantic Forests, building credibility to act in the region in partnership with government and other NGOs.
2. Carry out specific activities which make information available that can serve as a basis for ecoregional conservation planning.
3. Contribute to the development of an ecoregional conservation plan, with an emphasis on establishment and effective implementation of protected areas.
4. Promote the establishment of new protected areas.
5. Contribute to the effective implementation of protected areas.
Solution
To ensure stable ecosystems and biological processes as well as to preserve viable populations of key endemic species in the long-term, all forest fragments must be preserved, prioritizing action according to forest type, biodiversity, local endemism, size and biological integrity of the forest.

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Brazilian coastal forest, Itacaré. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

In addition, these fragments must be strategically linked with forest corridors, which in some cases imply forest rehabilitation. (Atlantic Rainforest).

In a press release, June 5th, 2011, UNEP declared, within the frame of a synthesis unveiled during this year’s World Environment Day (WED) celebrations, Forests in a Green Economy: : ” Investing an additional US$40 billion a year in the forestry sector could halve deforestation rates by 2030, increase rates of tree planting by around 140 per cent by 2050, and catalyze the creation of millions of new jobs according to a report by the UN Environment Programme.

The Green Economy initiative has identified forestry as one of the ten central sectors capable of propelling a transition to a low carbon, resource efficient, employment-generating future if backed by investment and forward-looking policies.

Creative tree planting are promoted to pursue regeneration and recovery, but also increasing engagement from the private sector in these nature-based assets and mobilization by cities and communities across the globe in tree planting efforts, new kinds of smart market mechanisms, ranging from REDD+ to payments for ecosystem services, are emerging.” (UNEP).

May the recognized fragility of the Atlantic coastal Forest become the very seed of its salvation…—CLG

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Brazilian coastal forest, Itacaré. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care


Read Original Article, A Giant Brought to Its Knees

SOS Mata Atlântica and INPE disclose data from Forest Remnants Atlas May, 26, 2011, Ministerio da Ciencia e Tecnologia

UNEP, Press Release “Economic Benefits of Boosting Funding for Forests”

Restoring South America’s Atlantic forests

Destruction of Brazil’s Atlantic Forest Falls 55%, AFP in TerraDaily

Brazilian Beauty: The Threatened Atlantic Forest, OurAmazingPlanet

“100 percent trash boat” sets sail in Taiwan

plasti-pollution-plastic-bottles
Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpt;

A boat built completely from plastic bottles and other recycled materials, including old advertising banners, set sail in Taiwan to raise awareness about the marine environment. It will tour around Taiwan for educational purposes…

Read Full Article, Reuters

Canadian province bans single-use plastic bottled water
The Canadian province of Manitoba on Wednesday banned water bottles from all of its offices to encourage drinking of tap water. Manitoba is the second Canadian province to enact a water bottle ban, after Nova Scotia.

Plastiki: A Journey From Trash To Triumph

Shipwrecks No More: Recycling Old Boats, in ScienceDaily
Nearly 5,000 recreational boats are retired and disposed of every year in Norway- either sunk to the bottom of the sea or burned in a bonfire, as there is no way to dispose of them properly, no place to take them, and no way to recycle the materials they contains. Now, researchers have developed a new method for recycling these vessels.

World Oceans Day: Tomorrow June 8th

ocean
Photo source: NOAA

Excerpts; from UN World Oceans’ Day

Many countries have celebrated World Oceans Day following the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, which was held in Rio de Janerio in 1992. Thus, World Oceans Day, which had been unofficially celebrated every June 8 since its original proposal in 1992 by Canada, was officially recognized by the United Nations sixteen years later.

In 2008, the United Nations General Assembly decided that, as from 2009, 8 of June would be designated by the United Nations as “World Oceans Day” (resolution 63/111, paragraph 171).

“The oceans are essential to food security and the health and survival of all life, power our climate and are a critical part of the biosphere. The official designation of World Oceans Day is an opportunity to raise global awareness of the current challenges faced by the international community in connection with the oceans.” UN.

Since then it has been coordinated internationally by The Ocean Project and the World Ocean Network with greater success and global participation each year.

On 8 June 2011, the Empire State Building will be lit white, blue and purple in celebration of World Oceans Day.

This year the general theme is: World Oceans Day (8 June 2011): “Our oceans: greening our future”

However, as stated by World’s Oceans Day officials:

“Starting this year we are launching a two-year theme for WOD 2011 and WOD 2012.

The World Oceans Day 2011 & 2012 second theme is Youth: the Next Wave for Change. World Ocean Day – The Ocean Project.

The aim is to challenge participants to view ocean protection as a way of life, with a special emphasis around World Oceans Day each year. This focus on youth is based on market research by The Ocean Project and others which clearly shows that youth are the most promising members of the public to reach out to if you want to effect lasting change. Young people are the most knowledgeable and motivated segment of the population when it comes to the environment and its protection. Youth generally have the free time, familiarity with current issues, and the motivation to go out of their way to take environmental action.”

Panels and segment to be discussed will be:
– Oceans and the environment: Mrs. Maria Teresa Mesquita Pessôa, Permanent Mission of Brazil to the United Nations
– Oceans and the social impact: Ms. Chandrika Sharma, International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF)
– Economic aspects of the oceans: Dr. Rashid Sumaila, University of British Columbia, Canada
– Oceans and youth: Mr. William Mott, The Ocean Project

United Nations, World Oceans Day

World’s Oceans Website

Unesco

Break the Grip of the Rip®

rip current
View of rip current. Photo source: NOAA

By NOAA

With vacation season on the horizon, NOAA and partners are alerting beach-goers to the threat of rip currents and how to prevent drowning from their strong and potentially fatal grip.

The National Weather Service issues rip current outlooks for different coastal areas, called “surf zone forecasts,” so be sure to check out the rip current outlook before heading to the beach this summer.

Rip currents claim more than 100 lives per year nationally. For that reason, NOAA has teamed up with the United States Lifesaving Association and the National Park Service to sponsor this summer’s Rip Current Awareness Campaign, which starts June 5, with the theme Break the Grip of the Rip®.

According to the United States Lifesaving Association, each year America’s beach lifeguards rescue more than 50,000 swimmers from rip currents and swimming at a guarded beach can greatly reduce the chance of drowning.

Rip currents are narrow channels of water moving swiftly away from the shore, and they can pull people far out into the ocean. Rip currents are surprisingly strong. They occur just above the ocean floor and can knock people off their feet. Rip currents often occur with strong onshore winds, in cuts or breaks of a sandbar along the edge of the breaking waves, and near man-made objects such as piers or jetties. But they can occur anywhere there are breaking waves including the Great Lakes.

Rip Current Safety Tips

Before you go:

Check surf zone forecasts
Study how rip currents work and how to escape them.
Swim at a beach with lifeguard protection and talk with the lifeguard about the safest places to swim.
Observe and obey signs and flags posted to warn about rip currents.
Never swim near jetties, piers, or groins where there are fixed rip currents.
Don’t swim in a large body of water that is subject to changing wind, waves and currents unless you are a strong swimmer.
Swim with a buddy, never alone.
Rip currents are strongest at low tide.

If you get caught in the grip of a rip current:

Yell for help immediately.
Don’t swim against a rip current – it will just tire you out.
Escape the rip current by swimming parallel to the beach until you are free.
If you are unable to swim out of the rip current, float or calmly tread water.
When out of the current, swim toward the shore.

Original Article

San Diego Surfing Academy: How to Identify & Avoid Rip Currents, Youtube Video, And Safety Tips, Coastal Care

Rip Currents Are The Greatest Hazards on Most Beach, Youtube Video

Space Station Gets Unprecedented Views of Earth Coasts

nasa-space-new-view-coastlines
View of the Hyperspectral Imager for Coastal Oceans (HICO) and Remote Atmospheric and Ionospheric Detection System (RAIDS) Experiment Payload (HREP) installed on the Japanese Experiment Module of the International Space Station. Image source: NASA.

Excerpts,

Advanced technology aboard the International Space Station is now providing unprecedented views of the planet’s coastlines.

Knowing what activity is occurring along Earth’s coasts is key for planning and carrying out humanitarian relief and military actions, as well as monitoring for pollution, coral reef health and other environmental concerns. However, the millions of square miles that make up the coasts of oceans are complicated in nature, consisting of dissolved matter and suspended detritus that obscure water and sea bottom types that can vary quickly over just dozens of yards.

Now the Hyperspectral Imager for the Coastal Ocean (HICO), installed on the International Space Station in 2009, is providing unprecedented new views of coastlines around the world…

Read Original Article, OurAmazingPlanet

Rising sea levels endangering Australia’s World Heritage-listed Kakadu wetlands

kakadu
Kakadu is one of the very few places listed as a World Heritage Area for both its cultural and natural values. It is a place of exceptional beauty and is considered one of the most biologically diverse places on the Australian continent. The Timor and Arafura Seas are bordering Kakadu Park’s northern shores. Photo source: ©© Matt Francey

Australia’s Kakadu wetlands ‘under climate threat’

Excerpts

“Rising sea levels linked to global warming will endanger Australia’s World Heritage-listed Kakadu wetlands, according to a government report released Thursday as part of the campaign for a carbon tax.
The study found Kakadu was “one of Australia’s natural ecosystems most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change”, with higher oceans a “serious risk” to its ecosystem.

Monsoon rainforests, mangroves and woodlands would suffer and unique turtle, fish, crab, crocodile and bird species would decline, said the report…”

Read AFP Article

kakadu-uranium-mining
Ranger 3 open pit, Northern Territory, Australia. Uranium mine: Photo source: Geomartin /Wikimedia

By Claire Le Guern,

As changes in climate -accelerated by increased carbon emissions and greenhouses gas- are greatly endangering coastal ecosystems mainly due to sea level rise and its direct impacts, the Kakadu national park’s area has been afflicted and environmentally altered by yet, an other man-induced environmental devastation: uranium mining.

Of the world’s proven estimated uranium reserves (5,469,000 tonnes), 23% (valued at more than $300 billion), are held in Australia, which is the third greatest uranium exporter behind Canada and Kazakhstan.(Wikipedia)

Besides the very activity itself, reported safety breaches, unplanned natural occurences, unconformity of mineral deposits, and radiologically contaminated process water, have been tainting the story of the “protected” area. Indeed, Kakadu National Park, located in the Northern Territory of Australia, possesses within its boundaries a number of large uranium deposits. The uranium is legally owned by the Australian Government, and is sold internationally.

“Australia’s Greens Party wants the Ranger uranium mine located in the country’s Kakadu National Park closed permanently, saying the mine poses a significant threat to the world heritage listed site.” ( ABC News, Australia)

Technically the site of the Ranger mine and the adjacent Jabiluka area are not per se part of Kakadu National Park, but are completely surrounded by it, as they were specifically excluded when the park was established from 1981. Wikipedia

However, polluted water is leaking into Kakadu from uranium mine. The World heritage-listed Kakadu National Park is leaking 100,000 litres of contaminated water into the ground beneath the park every day, a Government appointed scientist has revealed. This is equivalent to three petrol tankers, of contaminant leaking from the mine’s tailings dam into rock fissures beneath Kakadu.The Age News, Australia

Consequently, the uranium mine, operated by Energy Resources of Australia Ltd, has been closed since January as heavy rains threatened a spillage of toxins from a water storage facility.

That closure had been extended until late July. However, continuing exploitation is undeniably on the agenda.

Energy Resources of Australia Ltd (ASX: ERA) is a public company based in Australia. It is a subsidiary of the, British mining giant Rio Tinto Group, which owns 68.4% of the company. ERA is the world’s third-largest uranium producer, through the Ranger Uranium Mine in the Northern Territory.

ubirr-rock-art-sea-turtle
Kakadu National Park. Aboriginal Painting, Ubirr Rock. Photo Travelnt / Wikimedia

Kakadu National Park is located within the Alligator Rivers Region of the Northern Territory of Australia. It covers an area of 19,804 km2 (7,646 sq mi), extending nearly 200 kilometres from north to south and over 100 kilometres from east to west.

Besides encompassing breathtaking natural wonders, exceptional natural beauty and unique biodiversity, Kakadu is one of very few places World Heritage listed for both its cultural and its natural values. The area has been inhabited by indigenous Aboriginal tribes. Yet, once again, the mining industry has demonstrated its environmental destructive effects and consequent undeniable process off desacration of natural and cultural sites.

Ubirr is located in the East Alligator region of Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory of Australia, 40 km from Jabiru, and is famous for its rock art. It consists of a group of rock outcrops on the edge of the Nadab floodplain where there are several natural shelters that have a collection of Aboriginal rock paintings, some of which are many thousands of years old.

The rock faces at Ubirr have been continuously painted and repainted since 40,000 BCE. Wikipedia

Climate Change Strategy, Official Report, Kakadu National Park

Read More about The Uranium mining controversy

Papua New Guinea Mine Waste Dumping: The Ramu Case, in Coastal Care

EPA Begins Monitoring Summer Monitoring to Protect Area Beaches, Coastal Waters

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Dune restauration. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpt; by John Senn, EPA

With the beginning of the beach season, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is again undertaking a beach and harbor protection program to safeguard beaches and bays in New Jersey and New York and protect the health of the people who enjoy them.

EPA’s program includes helicopter surveillance for floating debris, water quality sampling and grants to support state beach protection programs. The summer monitoring program kicked off on Saturday, May 28 with helicopter flights searching for floating debris in the New York/New Jersey Harbor.

“EPA is on the job every summer sampling water quality to make sure that beachgoers can enjoy the water without worry,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck. “Our efforts also ensure that floating debris is found and removed from the water before it can make its way onto a beach where it could affect people’s health and damage wildlife.”

Working together with other federal, state and local agencies, EPA’s program operates seven days a week. This comprehensive, science-based beach and coastal water program has many components, including shellfish bed water quality monitoring, and grants to states to help with their beach monitoring and public notification programs. As they do every summer, EPA scientists will fly over the New York/New Jersey Harbor in a helicopter, searching for floating debris. The helicopter will also be used to collect water samples near shellfish beds and along the New Jersey coast for phytoplankton analysis, and take samples for bacteriological analysis around Long Island to support New Jersey’s and New York’s shellfish protection program…

Read Original Article

More Information, EPA