Environmental News January 20 - February 5 2015

Quote for the week

"You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make."
—Jane Goodall

Captive Killer Whale Is Ruled to Be Member of Endangered Species
Date: February 5, 2015
Author: Brian Clark Howard
Publisher: National Geographic
Lolita, the oldest and lonelist captive orca in the U.S. currently residing at the Miami Seaquarium may finally have her chance at freedom! NOAA, a branch of the Federal government, recently listed her as an endangered species since her native pod in Puget Sound was listed an endangered species in 2005. This all came as a response from a petition filed in 2013 – the voice of the public truly matters!
Read more here.

Dr. Sylvia Earle Boldly Addresses the UN To Urge Legal Protection for High Seas
Date: January 20, 2015
Publisher: Mission Blue
Dr. Sylvia Earle urges the UN to increase protection for the high seas, a life-sustaining part of our biosphere that suffers from pollution and overexploitation, amongst many other anthropogenic threats.
Read more here.

Simple soil mixture reverses toxic stormwater effects
Date: January 20, 2015
Publisher: ScienceDaily (study conducted by NOAA, Washington State University, and CA Fish and Wildlife)
According to new research by NOAA, Washington State University, and CA Fish and Wildlife, a column of common soil can filter out toxins from runoff that had been killing juvenile coho salmon. This easily-implemented filtration method can save thousands of salmon at a very low cost.
Read more here.

Pioneer study examines declining coral reef health due to pesticides/sea surface temperatures
Date: January 20, 2015
Publisher: ScienceDaily (study conducted by University of North Florida)
A recent study examines the response of corals to mosquito pesticide runoff. The researchers discovered that Porites astreoides larvae is resistant to moderate levels of runoff, but only in the short term.
Read more here.

Possible Bill to Ban Microbeads in Wisconsin
Date: January 20, 2015
Author: Sari Soffer
Publisher: wbay.com
Microbeads, or tiny plastic particles, can be found in popular products such as facial cleansers. They easily bypass filtration in wastewater treatment facilities and drift into the ocean, ending their journey in the stomachs of fish and other marine organisms. Senator Robert Cowles from Wisconsin proposes a bill to reduce, and eventually ban the selling of microbead products statewide.
Read more here.

Mysterious Goo Coats Hundreds of California Seabirds
Date: January 21, 2015
Author: Paul Heltzel
Publisher: Discovery.com
In the San Francisco Bay area, hundreds of seabirds have been found covered in a gooey substance, leading to massive dieoffs from hypothermia. This non-petroleum based material has yet to be identified by the California department of Fish and Wildlife.
Read more here.

Study projects unprecedented loss of corals in Great Barrier Reef due to warming
Date: January 22, 2015
Publisher: ScienceDaily (information obtained from National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS))
According to a recent study, corals in the Great Barrier Reef are projected to decline to a shocking 10% or less, at the current rate of global warming. If the water temperature is too warm, then corals will expel their zooxanthellae (symbiotic microorganisms that keep the corals alive) in the bleaching process.
Read more here.

Warming seas decrease sea turtle basking
Date: January 23, 2015
Publisher: Science Daily (information obtained from a study at Duke University)
Sea turtles bask in the sun for thermoregulation. A recent study establishes an inverse relationship between rising sea surface temperature and basking behavior, reflecting the tremendous impact that global climate change has on our flora and fauna.
Read more here.

Whale sharks finally receive international protection
Date: January 24, 2015
Author: Eric Hopton
Publisher: redorbit.com
New regulations prohibiting the deployment of large nets around whale sharks have been issued. In the event that a whale shark becomes trapped in the net of a fishing vessel, the whale shark must be released unharmed.
Read more here.

Obama to propose protecting U.S. Artic wildlife refuge from drilling
Date: January 25, 2015
Author: Julia Edwards
Publisher: News Daily
President Obama will propose to Congress the expansion of a wilderness protection region in the Artic, from an area of 12 million acres to 19.8 million acres. If Obama's proposal takes effect, this region will be completely protected from oil and gas drilling.
Read more here.

Rare Megamouth Shark Washes up in Philippines
Date: January 28, 2015
Author: Keith Wagstaff
Publisher: NBC News
Megachasma pelagios, an ultra-rare shark found in deep waters, washed ashore on the Philippines coast. This shark is so rare that it has encountered humans for only 60 times.
Read more here.

Mystery malady affecting sea lion pups strains Sausalito wildlife center
Date: February 3, 2015
Author: Mary Callahan
Publisher: The Press Democrat
An unusually-high number of sea lion pups have been washing ashore along the California coastline. The majority of the pups are emaciated and malnourished, prompting questions about the lack of care from their mothers.
Read more here.