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News stories about "wetlands," with punchlines: http://apocadocs.com/d.pl?wetlands
Related Scary Tags:
oil issues  ~ water issues  ~ climate impacts  ~ rising sea level  ~ contamination  ~ heavy metals  ~ habitat loss  ~ canary in coal mine  ~ deforestation  ~ massive die-off  ~ toxic water  

Tue, Feb 23, 2016
from Washington Post:
Seas are now rising faster than they have in 2,800 years, scientists say
"We can say with 95 percent probability that the 20th-century rise was faster than any of the previous 27 centuries," said Bob Kopp, a climate scientist at Rutgers University who led the research with nine colleagues from several U.S. and global universities.... The new research also forecasts that no matter how much carbon dioxide we emit, 21st-century sea level rise will still greatly outstrip what was seen in the 1900s. Nonetheless, choices made today could have a big impact. For a low emissions scenario, it finds that seas might only rise between 24 and 61 centimeters. In contrast, for a high emissions scenario -- one that the recent Paris climate accord pledged the world to avert -- they could rise as much as 52 to 131 centimeters, or, at the very high end, 4.29 feet. ...

What's a few feet, between friends?


Tue, Jul 7, 2015
from Denver Post:
Thousands of birds abandon eggs and nests on Florida island
The din created by thousands of nesting birds is usually the first thing you notice about Seahorse Key, a 150-acre mangrove-covered dune off Florida's Gulf Coast. But in May, the key fell eerily quiet all at once. Thousands of little blue herons, roseate spoonbills, snowy egrets, pelicans and other chattering birds were gone. Nests sat empty in trees; eggs broken and scattered on the muddy ground. "It's a dead zone now," said Vic Doig, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist. "This is where the largest bird colony on the Gulf Coast of Florida used to be."... First, they tested left-behind bird carcasses for disease or contaminants. Those tests came back negative. Next, they researched possible new predators. Did raccoons swim over from another island? Perhaps some great horned owls flew out at night and started feasting? Traps caught a few raccoons, which is common, but not enough to have created a wholesale abandonment. There were no telltale signs of owls.... ...

It must be the canaries, abandoning ship.


Thu, Sep 26, 2013
from Charlotte Observer:
North Carolina rejects $600,000 in grants to study fracking impact
North Carolina's environment agency has taken the unusual step of returning a federal grant to study streams and wetlands that could be harmed by hydraulic fracturing for natural gas. The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources had itself recommended last year that baseline water-quality data be collected where drilling might occur. The information would help document any problems linked to drilling. But under new leadership appointed by Gov. Pat McCrory, the department now says it doesn't want the $222,595 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency. The department also returned a second grant of $359,710 for wetlands monitoring. Division of Water Resources director Tom Reeder said the fracking study will be done, but not now and not by the unit that applied for the grant. The Program Development Unit, which housed experts in aquatic ecosystems, is being disbanded in a reorganization of the division.... "This is not a grant being imposed on North Carolina by a federal agency that doesn't really know what we need," she said. "This was a grant being sought by DENR to meet known challenges." Diggins added: "It raises the concern of whether this is part of a trend of backing away from science." ...

Who needs science, when hope springs eternal?


Wed, Jul 17, 2013
from Smithsonian Institution:
High Carbon Dioxide Spurs Wetlands to Absorb More Carbon
Under elevated carbon dioxide levels, wetland plants can absorb up to 32 percent more carbon than they do at current levels, according to a 19-year study published in Global Change Biology from the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, Md. With atmospheric CO2 passing the 400 parts-per-million milestone this year, the findings offer hope that wetlands could help soften the blow of climate change. ...

Too bad we've been destroying our wetlands!


Mon, Jan 14, 2013
from American Bird Conservancy, via YubaNet:
Wading Bird Nesting in Key U.S. Area Plummets 39 Percent Below 10-Year Average
One of the nation's largest and most important wading bird breeding areas - south Florida, which includes the Everglades National Park - has seen wading bird nesting plummet to levels 39 percent below ten-year averages, according to a new report by the South Florida Water Management District. This weather-induced decline bucks a trend dating to 1985 of growing bird populations in South Florida as a result of restoration of water flows in the Everglades, and reaffirms the need for speeding completion of the project.... "These numbers are alarming because we are talking about extremely important bird breeding grounds on a national level and we're looking at three years of poor breeding success," said Kacy Ray, Beach Nesting Bird Conservation Officer for American Bird Conservancy, one of the nation's leading bird conservation organizations. ...

Waders made faders in the 'Glades Hades.


Wed, Jan 25, 2012
from PhysOrg:
Restored wetlands rarely equal condition of original wetlands
Wetland restoration is a billion-dollar-a-year industry in the United States that aims to create ecosystems similar to those that disappeared over the past century. But a new analysis of restoration projects shows that restored wetlands seldom reach the quality of a natural wetland. "Once you degrade a wetland, it doesn't recover its normal assemblage of plants or its rich stores of organic soil carbon, which both affect natural cycles of water and nutrients, for many years," said David Moreno-Mateos, a University of California, Berkeley, postdoctoral fellow. "Even after 100 years, the restored wetland is still different from what was there before, and it may never recover."... Wetlands provide many societal benefits, Moreno-Mateos noted, such as biodiversity conservation, fish production, water purification, erosion control and carbon storage. He found, however, that restored wetlands contained about 23 percent less carbon than untouched wetlands, while the variety of native plants was 26 percent lower, on average, after 50 to 100 years of restoration. While restored wetlands may look superficially similar - and the animal and insect populations may be similar, too - the plants take much longer to return to normal and establish the carbon resources in the soil that make for a healthy ecosystem. ...

All I have to do is wait 50 to 100 years? That's well worth it, for new suburban development!


Wed, Oct 12, 2011
from Bangor Daily News:
Shellfish harvesters plagued by acidic 'dead muds'
They're called dead muds. Rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere combined with unregulated nitrogen pollution are having a deadly effect on Maine's shellfish, some researchers say. Scientists are starting to measure the impact of increasingly acidic waters on coastal organisms, and what they've found is alarming. Formerly fertile shellfish flats are becoming uninhabitable wastelands of dreck.... "They call them dead muds," said Mark Green, an oyster grower and marine science professor at St. Joseph's College in Standish. "The darker muds and sulfur-rich muds don't have any clams, and those are the flats that have lower pH levels. Places where historically there have been great harvests that supported clammers for decades, you now see water quality changes that are reflected in the mud." The more acidic the water, the lower the pH. In these places, researchers aren't finding dead or unhealthy shellfish. They're finding nothing at all. It is a complete eradication. ...

"uninhabitable wastelands of dreck." Now that's writing!


Mon, Apr 4, 2011
from PhysOrg:
Declining mangroves shield against global warming
Mangroves, which have declined by up to half over the last 50 years, are an important bulkhead against climate change, a study released on Sunday has shown for the first time.... Destruction of these tropical coastal woodlands accounts for about 10 percent of carbon dioxide emissions from deforestation, the second largest source of CO2 after fossil fuel combustion, the study found. Fewer trees not only mean less CO2 absorbed from the air, but also the release of carbon stocks that have been accumulating in shallow-water sediment over millennia. Mangroves -- whose twisted, exposed roots grace coastlines in more than 100 countries -- confer many benefits on humans living in their midst. The brackish tidal waters in which the trees thrive are a natural nursery for dozens of species of fish and shrimp essential to commercial fisheries around the world. Another major "ecosystem service," in the jargon of environmental science, is protection from hurricanes and storm surges. ...

I bet that passive-voice "decline" has an active causal agent behind it.


Mon, Mar 28, 2011
from St. Petersburg Times:
Bill will adversely affect environment, but will it create jobs?
Builders of homes, offices, roads and other projects have been allowed to wipe out more wetlands in Florida than in any other state. But now, in the name of sparking job growth, state lawmakers want to make it even easier to develop wetlands and just write a check for the damage. The 63 pages of CS/HB 991, which passed its latest committee vote Wednesday 14-0, are packed with changes to the state's wetlands, water pollution and development permitting rules. The bill makes it easier to build roads through wetlands, easier for polluters to escape punishment, easier to open new phosphate mines and harder for regulators to yank a permit from someone who did things wrong. ...

No worries. All this raping of the earth will create plenty of jobs in the Post-Apocalypse.


Thu, Mar 10, 2011
from Scientific American:
Blue Carbon: An Oceanic Opportunity to Fight Climate Change
Mangroves are tangled orchards of spindly shrubs that thrive in the interface between land and sea. They bloom in muddy soil where the water is briny and shallow, and the air muggy. Salt marshes and sea grasses also flourish in these brackish hinterlands. Worldwide, these coastal habitats are recognized for their natural beauty and ability to filter pollution, house fish nurseries and buffer shorelines against storms. Less known is their ability to sequester vast amounts of carbon--up to five times that stored in tropical forests. Dubbed "blue carbon" because of their littoral environment, these previously undervalued coastal carbon sinks are beginning to gain attention from the climate and conservation communities.... To date, human encroachment has destroyed more than 35 percent of mangroves, 30 percent of sea grass meadows and 20 percent of salt marshes. Stopping such destruction could therefore become an important element in confronting climate change. ...

I say no action until we get equal protection for womangroves.


Wed, Dec 1, 2010
from BBC:
Mercury 'turns' wetland birds such as ibises homosexual
Mercury affects the behaviour of white ibises by "turning them homosexual", with higher doses resulting in males being more likely to pair with males. Scientists in Florida and Sri Lanka studied the effect of mercury in the birds' diet. Their aim was to find out why it reduced the ibises' breeding. Mercury pollution can come from burning coal and waste, and run-off from mines. The report, in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, shows that wetland birds are particularly badly affected by it. Although the researchers already knew that eating mercury-contaminated food could affect an animal's development, they were surprised by the "strange" results of this experiment. "We knew mercury could depress their testosterone (male sex hormone) levels," explained Dr Peter Frederick from the University of Florida, who led the study. "But we didn't expect this." The team fed white ibises on food pellets that contained concentrations of mercury equivalent to those measured in the shrimp and crayfish that make up the birds' wetland diet. The higher the dose of mercury in their food pellets, the more likely a male bird was to pair with another male. Dr Frederick and his colleagues say the study shows that mercury could dramatically reduce the breeding rates of birds and possibly of other wildlife. ...

Society, I'm afraid, is still working under the "don't ask, don't tell" regime.


Sat, Aug 21, 2010
from Yale360:
Extent of Mangrove Forests Less Than Previous Estimates, Survey Shows
The first comprehensive survey of the world's mangrove forests using satellite imagery reveals that the vital ecosystems are 12 percent smaller than earlier estimates and are swiftly disappearing. ... The scientists, reporting their findings in the journal Global Ecology and Biogeography, estimated that more than half of the world's mangrove forests have disappeared, with a third being lost from 1980 to 2000. Mangrove forests, which grow in tropical and sub-tropical tidal zones, are among the most important ecosystems on the planet, providing habitat for marine life and preventing coastal erosion. But human activity, such as shrimp farming, as well as storms and rising seas, have taken a heavy toll on mangrove forests. The survey showed that 42 percent of mangrove forests are located in Asia, 21 percent in Africa, 15 percent in North and Central America, 12 percent in Oceania, and 11 percent in South America. Only 7 percent of remaining mangrove forests are currently protected by parks and reserves. ...

Let's create womangroves, so they can reproduce faster!


Fri, Jun 11, 2010
from New York Times:
Oil Could Reach Atlantic Coasts
For weeks there have been discussions about the potential for the spreading Gulf of Mexico oil slick to slip around Florida and flow up the East Coast. Now a suite of simulations, run by an international team of ocean and climate scientists, shows this is a likely outcome should the flow remain unabated this summer. The researchers stress there are caveats and uncertainties, most notably related to the state of the gulf's highly variable loop current in coming weeks. (The Department of Energy put out its own fact sheet stressing that the simulations are highly uncertain.) But nearly all of the simulations end up with oil flowing east and north. There's even a small chance some of the oil could cross the Atlantic Ocean and reach Europe, although Martin Visbeck, a German oceanographer involved with the work, noted that it would most likely be extremely diluted and degraded by then. ...

I want my life back.


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Sun, May 30, 2010
from Palm Beach Post:
Scientists: Subsurface oil from Gulf gusher may be heading toward Florida coast
University of South Florida researchers have discovered a huge plume of subsurface oil they say is heading from the Deepwater Horizon spill toward an underwater canyon whose currents would ferry it straight to Florida's West Coast. The plume - 22 miles long and more than 6 miles wide - is invisible, and can only be detected with special equipment and chemical tests. But if it enters the DeSoto Canyon, it might spread droplets of oil throughout the ecosystem of West Florida's waters, potentially washing the tiny plants and animals that feed larger organisms in a stew of toxic chemicals. The plume, discovered by researchers on the University of South Florida College of Marine Science's Weatherbird II vessel, may be a result of BP's unprecedented - and controversial - use of chemical dispersants to break up oil directly at the site of the leak. It is the second such plume found so far, though the other was headed out to sea. ...

If I can't see it, how can it be toxic?


Wed, May 26, 2010
from National Geographic:
Gulf Coast Pipelines Face Damage as Oil Kills Marshes
A vast network of pipes and platforms is woven into these wetlands, and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill could literally expose them to potential ruptures and wreckage, experts say. If oil kills off marsh plants, wetlands will turn to open water, putting the shallowly buried coastal pipelines at risk of ships strikes, storms, and corrosive salt water. Each rip means more leaking oil, costly repairs and replacements, and in some cases, new wetland-restoration projects.... About 26,420 miles (42,520 kilometers) of onshore oil and natural gas pipelines snake through coastal counties between Mobile Bay (map), Alabama, and Galveston (map), Texas, according to Virginia Burkett, chief scientist for global change research at the U.S. Geological Survey's National Wetlands Research Center in Lafayette, Louisiana.... What's more, the Gulf coastline has been literally sinking as fossil fuels are pumped out of the earth, according to the Gulf research institute. And as the coast sinks, sea level rises--submerging and killing off marshes, according to the USGS.... Add the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and you've got a "perfect storm of wetlands loss," Harte Research Institute director Larry McKinney said in an email. ...

Glad the oil companies saved us all that money finding the cheapest way to feed our addiction.


Wed, May 19, 2010
from CBS:
CBS Reporters Forbidden by BP and Coast Guard fromOil-soaked Louisiana Marshes
It may be the most disturbing site yet: the first heavy sludge now oozing into the marshes of Louisiana as the slick continues to grow in size out in the gulf. CBS News correspondent Kelly Cobiella reports it's an ominous sight. The oil is thick and black and stretches about a quarter mile down a beach. It goes beyond the booms into the sensitive marsh lands which are home to migratory birds.... When CBS News tried to reach the beach, covered in oil, a boat of BP contractors with two Coast Guard officers on board told us to turn around under threat of arrest. Coast Guard officials said they are looking into the incident. ...

Well done, Coast Guard! A shining example of corporate government.


Tue, May 18, 2010
from WTSP:
Tar balls reported on Key West shores
About 20 tar balls have washed ashore in Key West, the U.S. Coast Guard said Monday night. They ranged in size from about three inches to about 8 inches. They were found on beaches of the Fort Zachary Taylor and the adjacent Navy beach at Truman Annex. The Coast Guard said they were recovered at a rate of about three tar balls an hour throughout the day. The heaviest concentration was found at high tide, shortly after noon. Samples were collected and will be shipped to a lab for analysis to determine their exact source, the Coast Guard said. ...

Better Pray.


Sat, May 15, 2010
from Nola.com:
Tiniest victims of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill may turn out to be most important
But scientists who know these estuaries best are more concerned about a less photogenic community. The grass, microscopic algae and critters living in the wafer-thin top layer of marsh mud - called the benthic community - are the fuel that drives the whole system. If it's covered with oil, everything above, including birds, fish and cute, furry critters, will be in trouble. And so will the humans who rely on the marsh for storm protection and seafood production. "The top two millimeters of that marsh muck is where the action is in a coastal estuary," said Kevin Carman, dean of the College of Basic Sciences at LSU. "That's the base, the food that fuels the whole system... fish, shrimp, oysters, all the species that rely on the estuary." Half of the all the life created in the one of the world's most productive estuaries takes place in this slimy zone just seven-hundredths of an inch thick. It's a world too small for the human eye to detect and involves creatures few people have ever heard of, but one that looms huge for the larger critters in the system.... But if the oil is thick enough to coat the soil as well as the leaves and stems and seeps into the soil to affect the roots, the impact could be far longer, and much more serious. "In that case it might be five or six years before the oil is degraded enough, because the soil would have no oxygen and no light and the organisms that can degrade the oil would not be there," he said. "We seen examples at inland spills when the soil was soaked, and nothing really grew there for four years." ...

And here I thought the oil would work like moisturizer!


Fri, Apr 30, 2010
from CBC:
Massive oil spill reaches Louisiana shore
A massive and growing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has reached the coast of Louisiana, which is in a state of emergency to help prevent catastrophic environmental damage. Faint fingers of oil sheen began lapping at the state's shoreline on Thursday night while thicker oil hovered about eight kilometres offshore. Oil is expected to wash ashore in Mississippi on Saturday before reaching Alabama on Sunday and Florida on Monday.... "I am frightened," said David Kennedy, the acting assistant administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Ocean Service. "This is a very, very big thing," Kennedy said. "And the efforts that are going to be required to do anything about it, especially if it continues on, are just mind-boggling."... About 34,000 birds have been counted in the national refuges most at risk, McKenzie said. Gulls, pelicans, roseate spoonbills, egrets, shore birds, terns and blue herons are in the path of the spill. ...

We can't even learn Blue-heronese fast enough, much less Spoonbillese, to tell them to RUN!!!


Thu, Apr 29, 2010
from BBC:
Gulf of Mexico oil slick said to be five times bigger
The US Coast Guard says five times as much oil as previously thought could be leaking from a well beneath where a rig sank in the Gulf of Mexico last week. Rear Admiral Mary Landry said 5,000 barrels (210,000 gallons) a day were now thought to be gushing into the sea 50 miles (80km) off Louisiana's coast. A third leak had also been discovered at the site, Adm Landry said. One fire-fighting expert told the BBC the disaster might become the "biggest oil spill in the world". "The Exxon Valdez [tanker disaster off Alaska in 1989] is going to pale [into insignificance] in comparison to this as it goes on." If US Coast Guard estimates are correct, the slick could match the 11m gallons spilt from the Exxon Valdez within less than two months.... With the spill moving towards Louisiana's coast, which contains some 40 percent of the nation's wetlands and spawning grounds for countless fish and birds, she said a "controlled burn" of oil contained by special booms could limit the impact. Environmental experts say animals nearby might be affected by toxic fumes, but perhaps not as much as if they were coated in oil. ...

This British Petroleum-based catastrophe is Becoming a Possible Bottomless Pit of Bad Planning.


Tue, Mar 23, 2010
from Reuters, via DesdemonaDespair:
Uganda says pollution of Lake Victoria worsening
Pollution in parts of Lake Victoria is worsening so fast that soon it may be impossible to treat its waters enough to provide drinking water for the Ugandan capital, a senior official said Monday. The lake, east Africa's largest by area, also supplies water to millions in neighboring Kenya and Tanzania, and supports fishing communities in all three countries.... "The water has become so thick from effluent that is being discharged directly into the lake because the wetlands that used to filter it have all been destroyed by developers." Fisheries experts say heavy concentrations of pollutants are killing certain fish species. "As more algal blooms, phosphates, nitrates, heavy metals and fecal matter all pile into the lake, it's going to be harder and harder to clean the water," Sawula said. ...

The Queen Mum would not be pleased.


Wed, Jul 15, 2009
from Jerusalem Post:
Study shows dramatic decline in coastal wetlands
The recently published study... entitled "Decline of wetland ecosystems in the coastal plain of Israel during the 20th century," discusses the harmful impact of humans on the country's wetlands over the past century. It makes use of satellite images, aerial photographs and historical maps to chart the history of the country's dramatic wetland decline. According to the report, "Out of 192 swamps and rain pools recorded in historical sources, only 18 percent [35] still exist today." The study attributed the decline, which was also found to have taken its toll on local plants and animals, to an "increase in population, farming and built-up areas." According to Prof. Noam Levin, the study's author, several species had "disappeared from Israel." One of those species was a rare amphibian unique to Israel, he said. "The only place in the world it existed was in Israel. They drained the lakes and swamps and it wasn't found anywhere again," Levin told The Jerusalem Post. ...

We extinguish species with such efficiency.


Fri, May 22, 2009
from Telegraph.co.uk:
Reptiles in Europe more at risk of extinction than birds and mammals
23 per cent of amphibians and 21 per cent of reptiles are at risk of dying out. Most of the pressure the species in danger face comes from human destruction of their habitat, climate change, pollution and the presence of invasive species. The studies, released on International Biodiversity Day, also show that more than half of frog, toad, salamander and newt species (59 per cent) in Europe are suffering declines in their populations. And 42 per cent of reptiles are in decline, the IUCN said.... Dr Helen Temple, programme officer for the IUCN Red List unit, said: "Natural habitats across Europe are being squeezed by growing human populations, agricultural sprawl and pollution. "That is not good news for either amphibians or reptiles." ...

"Not good news" for humans much, either.


Sat, Apr 25, 2009
from Scripps Institution of Oceanography / UC San Diego via ScienceDaily:
No 'Burp' Accelerating Climate Change?...
An expansion of wetlands and not a large-scale melting of frozen methane deposits is the likely cause of a spike in atmospheric methane gas that took place some 11,600 years ago, according to an international research team led by Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego... "This is good news for global warming because it suggests that methane clathrates do not respond to warming by releasing large amounts of methane into the atmosphere," said Vasilii Petrenko, a postdoctoral fellow at University of Colorado, Boulder, who led the analysis while a graduate student at Scripps.... "This study is important because it confirms that wetlands and moisture availability change dramatically along with abrupt climate change," said [co-author Jeff] Severinghaus. "This highlights in a general way the fact that the largest impacts of future climate change may be on water resources and drought, rather than temperature per se." ...

What a relief: We'll die of thirst, not heat!


Mon, Sep 15, 2008
from Connecticut Post:
What's killing off our salt marshes?
Up and down the Eastern Seaboard, the coastal wetlands are dying, and no one knows for sure why this is happening. First observed in the Florida panhandle in 1990, the shoreline degradation, called sudden wetland dieback, has been observed in hundreds of locations from Louisiana to Maine. Scientists say that while it's normal for coastal marsh vegetation to have its bad years, they have never seen marsh grass die and not recover, until now.... Researchers agree that solving the marsh dieback puzzle is important -- not only for the Sound, but for the Earth as well. "The salt marsh is the second most productive ecosystem on the planet -- only the tropical rainforest will produce more biomass per square kilometer," Elmer said. "It also serves as a home for many organisms. ...

I think the answer is simple:
we are.


Wed, Jul 23, 2008
from BBC:
Warming world 'drying wetlands'
"More than 700 scientists are attending a major conference to draw up an action plan to protect the world's wetlands. Rising temperatures are not only accelerating evaporation rates, but also reducing rainfall levels and the volume of meltwater from glaciers. Although only covering 6 percent of the Earth's land surface, they store up to an estimated 20 percent of terrestrial carbon." ...

Perhaps all our tears will be able to compensate for some of the loss.


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Which might explain why we don't get invited to parties anymore.
Mon, Jul 21, 2008
from United Nations University, via EurekAlert:
Massive greenhouse gases may be released as destruction, drying of world wetlands worsens: UN
Warming world temperatures are speeding both rates of decomposition of trapped organic material and evaporation, while threatening critical sources of wetlands recharge by melting glaciers and reducing precipitation.... Says UN Under Secretary-General Konrad Osterwalder, Rector of UNU: "Too often in the past, people have unwittingly considered wetlands to be problems in need of a solution. Yet wetlands are essential to the planet's health -- and with hindsight, the problems in reality have turned out to be the draining of wetlands and other 'solutions' we humans devised." ...

From his lips to Gaia's ears.


Sun, Jul 13, 2008
from The Independent (UK):
Sewage threatens to turn flamingo breeding site into cesspool
In one of the world's great wildlife spectacles, tens of thousands of lesser flamingos gather at a South African wetland - but it is a spectacle now gravely threatened by pollution.... The dam is being used to dump raw sewage from a malfunctioning treatment plant owned by the Sol Plaatje Municipality. "Without urgent action, the dam will become a polluted cesspool devoid of birdlife," said Duncan Pritchard, of BirdLife South Africa. ...

We're so tired of this.
Now it's flamingos in the coal mine.


Wed, Jun 4, 2008
from Telegraph.co.uk:
UN report: Coastal communities face disaster
Entire marine ecosystems are threatened because of human mismanagement, according to the UN academic study. It warns of a looming, potentially "terminal" disaster in several coastal areas unless they are given better care.... In the past 50 years bays and estuaries, sea grasses, and mangroves and wetlands have all suffered dramatically because of human activity, the report states. Shorelines have hardened, channels and harbours have been dredged, soil dumped, submerged and emergent land moved, and patterns of water flow changed. ...

But we are the masters of nature. Aren't we?


Sat, May 24, 2008
from National Wildlife Federation via ScienceDaily:
Dramatic Impact Of Sea-Level Rise On Chesapeake Bay's Coastal Habitats
"A new report ... shows in vivid detail the dramatic effects of sea-level rise on the largest estuary in the US, which sustains more than 3,600 species of plants, fish and animals including great blue herons and sea turtles. If global warming continues unabated, projected rising sea levels will significantly reshape the region's coastal landscape, threatening waterfowl hunting and recreational saltwater fishing in Virginia and Maryland, according to the report by the National Wildlife Federation." ...

Since global warming doesn't seem to be abating, everybody better start heading for the hills.


Mon, May 19, 2008
from Planet Ark via Reuters:
US Changes Course, Bans Drilling In Arctic Wetland
"The Bush administration on Friday proposed keeping potentially oil-rich wetlands in Arctic Alaska off-limits to drilling because of their ecological sensitivity, a reversal of its earlier plan. The Bureau of Land Management proposed a 10-year leasing moratorium for 430,000 acres of wetlands north and east of vast Teshekpuk Lake in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. Environmentalists and local groups hailed the decision." ...

The polar bear plight has suddenly made this administration all touchy-feely!


Sun, May 4, 2008
from The Baltimore Sun:
Marshes produce mercury hazard
"...As Maryland and other states look to build thousands of acres of wetlands to fight global warming, the research has significant implications. More wetlands would absorb more carbon dioxide, but they also could make mercury health hazards worse." ...

These days, not even the earth itself is on the earth's side.


Sat, May 3, 2008
from Time Magazine:
Lowe Eyes the Everglades
"Lowe's, the home improvement chain, wants to move the border [of Miami-Dade County's Urban Development Boundary (UBD] so it can erect a new store on more than 20 acres of the wetlands; further south, developers want to hop the line to build a commercial park and thousands of new homes. Protesters, including Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez, gathered to denounce the plans last week -- but on Thursday the Miami-Dade County Commission approved the Lowe's and the office developments." ...

No doubt the wetlands will be nourished by the tears shed over this development.


Mon, Mar 31, 2008
from Science Daily (US):
Migratory Wetland Habitat for Shorebirds Declining Fast
"A decline by more than 70 percent of several North American shorebird species since the early 1970s has brought state, federal and international concern about conservation efforts for these birds and their wetland habitat.... Shorebirds stop over in Oklahoma to utilize wetlands and other waterways to rest and feed during both their spring and fall migrations. Davis said little is known about how landscape patterns and land use influence shorebirds migrating through the state. ...

Oklahoma! where the wind goes sweepin' down the plain -- but where development may be sweepin' out the birds.


Fri, Dec 14, 2007
from The Hindu (India), Nov 21, 2007:
Urbanisation causing wetland depletion
"Experts found that the pollution of wetland ecosystems in the State was considerably high in Vembanad-Kol backwater system following various types of pollution in the upstream areas of the Pampa, Achenkovil and Periyar rivers. Also, salinity intrusion into rivers due to low water level in the summer months makes it unfit for drinking and other uses like irrigation. Heavy metal concentration was observed during the pre-monsoon months. The high metal concentration, observed in Kochi harbour area during the pre-monsoon season, was also attributed to the intrusion of high saline waters and precipitation of particulate matter." ...

"... on the verge of total degradation." That term ['total degradation'] was not defined, so we must disregard it.


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