Tag Archives: pollution

The ‘Soul’ of the Pacific Northwest is dying of starvation

“I believe we have orcas in our soul in this state.” Those were the words of Washington Gov. Jay Inslee earlier this year after forming the Southern Resident Orca Task Force, an initiative meant to keep endangered killer whales alive in the region. Scientists point to a number of factors for the dwindling number of orcas in the region, including pollution, both old and new sources, that accumulate in their primary prey, Chinook salmon. This pollution gets stored in the orca’s fatty tissues, suppressing their immune system and making the whales more susceptible to disease… “It’s an ecosystem-wide problem,” Hanson said. “Things are out of whack and we have to get them back to where we can sustain killer whales. And the clock is ticking.” >click to read<18:00

Wastewater worries

On Tuesday, the Ontario City Council voted to have City Manager Adam Brown send a returning letter to Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality. The letter will outline major concerns with a draft sent to the city by the department for review and comment of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit. The permit would allow the city to discharge wastewater into the Snake River, with new limits and pollutant monitoring six months out of the year.,, Among top concerns are the exorbitant costs to upgrade existing wastewater treatment facilities,,, Arsenic, along with copper and mercury are bioaccumulative toxins that aggregate in fish tissue,,, >click to read< 18:50

New record of whale strandings along coast

While East Londoners have been enjoying a bumper season of whale sightings over the past few weeks, a fourth humpback whale in less than a month has beached and died along the East London coastline. East London Museum principal scientist Kevin Cole said the strandings were a new record for his cetacean database. Yesterday, Cole examined the badly decomposed carcass of the fourth dead humpback on the rocks west of Chintsa West.,,, He said a number of factors could be responsible for the strandings including old age, pollution, ship strikes and the effects of seismic blasting to explore for gas and oil offshore. click here to read the story 11:34

What goes in the water in Wisconsin comes out in the Gulf of Mexico

A group of farmers in southwestern Wisconsin’s Driftless Area has become acutely aware that what gets into the watershed here can wind up hundreds of miles away.  These farmers use conservation practices to keep nutrients on their land and out of lakes and streams.  Margaret Krome, policy program director at the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, says nutrients that get into the water here follow a direct path down the Mississippi River. “Those nutrients go shooshing right out into the Gulf of Mexico and create a zone with such high nutrients that they end up with a big algal bloom, and that sucks all the oxygen out of the water and kills other organisms,” she explains. “So it’s a dead zone because fishermen can’t fish there.” The Wisconsin farmers have developed a relationship with Gulf fishermen, who are appreciative of the farmers’ efforts to help improve fishing conditions in the Gulf. click here to read the story 10:52

Florida’s building boom threatens wildlife-rich lagoon

The most biologically diverse waterway in America is seriously ill. The Indian River Lagoon is repeatedly being choked with oxygen-robbing algae, its surface increasingly dotted with thousands of dead fish, manatees, birds and other creatures. The culprits: farm runoff and a huge influx of people that has sent lawn fertilizer and other pollutants into the lagoon, which runs 156 miles along Florida’s Atlantic Coast, almost to Palm Beach, and includes the Cape Canaveral area. “It’s the death by a thousand cuts,” said Bob Knight, an environmental scientist with the Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute who has studied Florida’s waters for 40 years. The lagoon’s woes threaten the region’s $2.5 billion recreation, fishing and tourism economy, alarming kayak tour operators, charter boat captains, restaurateurs and organizers of bird-watching festivals. click here to read the story 19:48

Meanwhile, in Tasmania – Drag fish farm regulation into 21st century

Sea based fish farms dump tonnes of faeces into the water. Think of them as a large toilet that does not flush. I cannot think of an industry in Tasmania other than aquaculture that is allowed to dump an unlimited amount of pollution in our waterways. Not only is there no limit on the amount of faeces salmon farms can dump in coastal waters, Tasmania also lacks science-based regulations to determine which parts of our coastline are suitable for salmon farms. International research shows that if you put fish farms in bays and harbours, where the water is shallow and current speed is low, fish faeces accumulates under cages, killing everything below them. Nitrogen discharged into the water column creates risk of harmful algal blooms, like the types we have seen worsening with increased salmon farms in the Huon and D’Entrecasteaux Channel. Other countries have responded to this research by offering incentives to move farming onshore. Read the story here 12:46

River Herring spawn in NY tributary for 1st time in 85 years

A few days after a long-abandoned industrial dam was removed from the mouth of a Hudson River tributary this spring, hundreds of river herring swarmed up into the shallow waters to spawn for the first time in 85 years. The removal of the rusted steel dam on the Wynants Kill near Albany was the first of what ecologists hope will be many barriers removed in Hudson tributaries to restore spawning habitat for herring and other ocean-going species that have been devastated by habitat loss, pollution and overfishing. “There are more than 1,500 dams in the Hudson estuary watershed, most of them no longer in use,” said Frances Dunwell, coordinator of the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s Hudson River Estuary Program. “One of the key items on our to-do list by 2020 is to remove as many of these barriers as possible.” Read the rest here 12:01

Pollution may have killed hundreds of fish in Cockburn Sound: Scientist

A leading WA scientist says pollution may have killed more than 700 fish in Cockburn Sound, south of Perth. Over a four-day period from November 19-22, officers from the Department of Fisheries plucked hundreds of different species of fish from in and around the sound after getting a tip-off from anglers. The sound is a popular fishing spot with more than 12,000 boaties using the water each year. It is also used for commercial fishing with close to 130 different species of fish in the sheltered water body. Read the article here 15:15

Ecosystems Are Dying as Long Island Contends With a Nitrogen Bomb

Thousands of dead bunker fish and hundreds of diamondback turtles washed ashore last May in Peconic Bay on the east end of Long Island, New York. Fed by warming waters and a stream of nitrogen, a foul bloom of algae had so depleted the estuary of oxygen that marine life suffocated. The waters of the bay swirled red and brown. Basic septic units are not designed to remove nitrogen. When too many households with septic are clustered too densely, nitrogen levels spike. Converted into ammonium in the tank and then nitrate in the soil, nitrogen seeps into groundwater and ends up in rivers, lakes, and bays, where it feeds a menagerie of algae species. Read the rest here 21:32

Toxic road runoff kills adult coho salmon in hours, study finds

10082015-cohoCPA new study shows that stormwater runoff from urban roadways is so toxic to coho salmon that it can kill adult fish in as little as 2½ hours. Scientists have long suspected that the mixture of oil, heavy metals and grime that washes off highways and roads can be poisonous to coho, but the study is the first to prove it. In some place, like Longfellow Creek in West Seattle’s Delridge area, up to 90 percent of females were killed. “It was apparent that something coming out of those pipes was causing it,” Spromberg said. Read the rest here 22:21

Roger Frate of Darien has a simple answer to improving the lobster stock in Long Island Sound.

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and Roger Frate, owner of Darien Seafood MarketFrate said it was pesticide used to combat the West Nile Virus in 1998 and 1999 that decimated the Sound’s lobster population and sent it into a tailspin from which it has yet to recover.  Connecticut banned the use of some pesticides, but New York hasn’t, he said.  But Carlo said he’s noticed a rebound in the number of lobsters. “The lobsters right now are looking nice and healthy,” he said. “There’s been a huge improvement since 2012.”  However, Frate said fishermen still believe pesticides are harming lobsters. Read the rest here 12:20

Pollution harms fishermen’s livelihoods

pollution harms fishermenWaste pollution from sewage and mushrooming informal settlements, plus constant harassment from law enforcers has harmed subsistence fishermen in recent years, a study has revealed. Among their key findings was that there was significant environmental deterioration in the condition of the beaches. A multinational Durban oil refinery was identified as a major source of pollution (mainly chemicals /oil), often discharged into the Isipingo River. Pollution is killing our global fisheries. Where are the phony activists? Read the rest here 22:18

Fish declines linked to effects of excess nutrients in coastal estuaries and the abundance of fish in offshore commercial fishery

A comprehensive study of a major California estuary has documented the links between nutrient runoff from coastal land use, the health of the estuary as a nursery for young fish, and the abundance of fish in an offshore commercial fishery. The study, published the week of June 8, 2015, in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, focused on Elkhorn Slough and Monterey Bay on California’s central coast.  ” is nitrogen, whether it comes from an agricultural field or sewage or urban runoff. Read the rest here 16:22

Dan Bacher: 2010 article warned: MLPA Initiative will do nothing to stop a big oil spill

 I wrote the following article in 2010 warning of the consequences of not protecting the ocean from oil spills, oil drilling, pollution and all human impacts other than fishing and gathering in the “marine protected areas” created under the. This article warned of the consequences of allowing a Big Oil lobbyist and other corporate operatives to oversee “marine protection” in California. Read the rest here  19:59 (photo)

CLIMATE, POLLUTION, AND OVERFISHING

It seems that at least every 5 years I’ve got to return to the dispute of overfishing vs. other factors responsible for depleted fish populations. I surely wrote about it on this page in 2002, 2007 and 2012. Now, with a feeling of déjà vu, I’m back at it.,, The trigger was a letter sent to me by my friend Cormac Burke in which a British Fisherman Skipper (ret) M W Jackson wrote to Fishing News. Mr. Jackson was complaining of the lack of judgment in which the general press distributed misinformation by conservationists who are self proclaimed experts,,, Read the rest here  09:17

Microplastic pollution discovered in St. Lawrence River sediments

Previously undocumented in North American rivers, concentrations of microplastic particles in the St. Lawrence are as high as has been observed in the world’s most contaminated marine sediments. Owing to their small size and buoyancy, they may readily pass through sewage treatment plants. Read the rest here 08:18

Dick Pinney’s Guidelines: New Hampshire’s Great Bay’s natural resources declining

THIS COLUMN is a copy of a report about the decline of the Great Bay natural resources that has happened over the span of my 76 years of living and loving Great Bay,,, “Anyone that doubts the harmful effects of the millions of gallons of sewerage that is released into the Great Bay watershed by the many municipalities has to have their head buried in the heavily polluted sand and muck around the shorelines.” Read the rest here click for larger image 16:40

Study highlights threats to Southern Resident killer whales

A NOAA report released on June 25, 2014, which focused on 10 years of research and conservation efforts on the endangered Southern Resident killer whales, confirms that the three major threats to the recovery of the animals are pollution, vessel noise and food availability. Chinook salmon make up a majority of the whales’ diet, Many runs of Chinook are endangered or threatened,, Pollution? Read the rest here 09:16

Great Bay watch: Waterkeeper shares concerns on pollution, propane

The most compelling one, Barnum said, is nitrogen discharge, either from wastewater plants or from nonpoint pollution such as runoff from fertilizers. He said nitrogen has killed most of the eelgrass in Great Bay and Little Bay. “It’s just a vital component,” Barnum said of eelgrass. “If we didn’t have the eelgrass, we’d be looking at a mud flat, pure and simple.” Read the rest here 08:23

Study Finds Reduction in Pollution in Chesapeake Bay

A new report says the states in the Chesapeake Bay’s watershed are making progress in reducing pollution, but fall short in preventing runoff from urban, suburban and farming sources. Read more here 06:52

Alewives and Blueback Herring haven’t rebounded

But like many fish, herring face a veritable Pandora’s box of pressure. Habitat degradation, the damming of rivers, overfishing and pollution have cut their numbers drastically, by as much as 95 percent by some esitimates. Read more here capecodonline  13:13

Big oil lobbyist serves on federal marine protected areas panel – Dan Bacher

Catherine Reheis-Boyd’s role as a “marine guardian” for both the state and federal governments is just one example of the many conflicts of interests that infest environmental politics in California. California Department of Fish and Wildlife map of South Coast “marine protected areas” that fail to protect the ocean from fracking, oil drilling, pollution, military testing, wind and wave energy projects, corporate aquaculture and all human impacts on the ocean other than fishing and gathering. Read more here indybay.org  13:30

Outdoors: Both man and nature must share blame for demise of shellfish

Several factors are implicated in their demise. Over-fishing, pollution, habitat degradation, diseases and bad weather can all affect the highly vulnerable 2-year scallop life cycle. My brother Gary, who has shell-fished the Cape all his life, connects their disappearance with the loss of our eel-grass beds. [email protected]

Researchers think industrious oysters could clean up Chesapeake

WashingtonPost – Behold the tiny oyster. No, not on the half-shell, with a squirt of lemon, but in its watery habitat, the Choptank River. Out there on a reef with many other oysters, the bivalve is awesome, a janitor that helps remove pollution with incredible efficiency. continued

Puget Sound can’t heal itself – We can no longer put off the work needed to restore valuable waters, By Dave Somers

On a nice day, looking out from Everett across Port Gardner toward the Olympic Mountains, it is excusable to think all is well. The water is blue, the seagulls soar, and the boats cut back and forth.  Do not be lulled by this vision. Past generations can be forgiven for not understanding the negative effects of their actions. We cannot claim the same excuse. continued