Breaking Waves: Ocean News

03/31/2020 - 01:00
Recycling Association warns of serious impact on supplies of food and medicine packaging Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The UK could be hit by a national cardboard shortage as more and more local councils suspend their regular recycling collections owing to pressures caused by the coronavirus outbreak, the industry’s trade body has warned. The Recycling Association said it has huge concerns about a looming European and even worldwide shortage of fibre – used paper and cardboard – which is used to manufacture millions of cardboard boxes essential for food and medical supplies distribution. Continue reading...
03/30/2020 - 18:52
Berejiklian government gives green light to Peabody Energy to extract coal beneath reservoir for its Metropolitan mine The New South Wales government has approved the extension of coalmining under one of Greater Sydney’s reservoirs in a move that environment groups say could affect the quality of water in the drinking catchment. The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment has granted approval to Peabody Energy for three new longwalls that will extract coal as part of its Metropolitan mine. Continue reading...
03/30/2020 - 18:01
Graphic imagery should be used on petrol pumps and air tickets, experts say Cigarette packets with grisly warnings of the consequences of smoking are intended to deter smokers. Now a group of public health experts says similar warnings should appear on high-carbon products, from airline tickets and energy bills to petrol pumps, to show consumers the health impacts of the climate crisis. Warning labels would be a cheap but potentially highly effective intervention that would make consumers aware of the impact of their purchases on climate breakdown, according to the experts. Continue reading...
03/30/2020 - 18:01
Report says plastic from Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestlé and Unilever products could cover 83 football pitches every day Four global drinks giants are responsible for more than half a million tonnes of plastic pollution in six developing countries each year, enough to cover 83 football pitches every day, according to a report. The NGO Tearfund has calculated the greenhouse gas emissions from the open burning of plastic bottles, sachets and cartons produced by Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestlé and Unilever in developing nations, where waste can be mismanaged because people do not have access to collections. Continue reading...
03/30/2020 - 15:31
Ocean Leadership ~ In the tidal wave of news last week dealing with health concerns, there’s probably one story you missed. That’s because it didn’t have to do with COVID-19 and its immediate impacts to human health but rather what’s happening concurrently with ocean health — more specifically, coral reef health. Thanks to continued warmer than usual water, the Great Barrier Reef just experienced its third mass coral bleaching event in five years. As the recently passed stimulus package, as well as private donors, ramp up research on COVID-19 to help address this pandemic, it’s hard for many to think about research dollars going to much else. But it’s critically important in the midst of this global crisis that we also continue funding our ongoing research programs, including those at NOAA that support its Coral Reef Conservation Program. There are countless legitimate reasons why ocean research must continue alongside this important pandemic-related medical research, and several are directly related to human health concerns, as anyone who has ever experienced a red tide or who has eaten a bad oyster can tell you. But it goes beyond that — what would happen if we have to rely on food and other resources from U.S. waters alone? Our global ocean economy relies on unimpeded shipping and associated supply chains — over 90% of global trade occurs through ocean carriers. What happens if another health crisis shuts down our ports and our shipping industry for months, which we’re already seeing to some extent with COVID-19? if funding for U.S. ocean scientific research and monitoring lag, would we be able to ensure our ocean, coastal, and freshwater ecosystems are sustainably managed and able to sustainably support our needs in this paradigm? As Congress deals with the pressing needs of today surrounding COVID-19, they still have responsibilities to safely move forward with the FY 2021 appropriations process that funds our federal agencies. As legislation is drafted for the next fiscal year, I hope funding for our ocean agencies and programs is adequate and sustained. We can’t stop paying attention to the ocean. It’s closely linked to human health in so many ways that our circumstances today should be seen as a call to action to invest in research to learn more about all the ways that the ocean impacts human health — both positively and negatively. As we continue to move through the COVID-19 crisis, many ocean researchers are continuing their vitally important work today amongst much institutional turmoil and future research funding uncertainty. We must all continue to recognize and steadfastly support this important work, and especially the “ocean heroes” who are performing it. To that end, we will continue to publish Ocean News Weekly, though likely every other week, and will continue informing you about virtual ocean-related events and happenings, both on and off the Hill and across our ocean nation and ocean planet. Satellite Data Boosts Understanding Of Climate Change’s Effects On Kelp Tapping into 35 years of satellite imagery, researchers at Oregon State University have dramatically enlarged the database regarding how climate change is affecting kelps, near-shore seaweeds that provide food and shelter for fish and protect coastlines from wave damage. And the Landsat pictures paved the way to some surprising findings: A summer of warm water isn’t automatically bad news for kelps, and large winter waves aren’t either. The OSU research was the first to use Landsat data to study bull kelp, large seaweeds that grow in “forests” that form canopies in shallow ocean water. Read our most recent and past newsletters here: The post Jon White – From the President’s Office: Amidst COVID And Coral Decimation, Our Ocean Efforts Must Endure (03-30-2020) appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.
03/30/2020 - 12:10
Ocean Leadership ~ (Credit: Architect of the Capitol) Spending Package Includes Money for Research, Institutions of Higher Education, Fisheries, and Aquaculture From: Ocean News Weekly/ By: Ocean Leadership Staff  Last week, the president signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (H.R. 748), a $2.2 trillion spending package to help individuals, families, and businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis. This is the third and largest package passed this month, and lawmakers from both parties have indicated they expect a fourth bill in the coming weeks. You can find more details of the CARES Act in the articles below. Title-by-Title Summary of H.R. 748 (Office of Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Leahy) In the News $340 billion surge in emergency funding to combat coronavirus outbreak (Senate Appropriations Committee) Massive U.S. coronavirus stimulus includes research dollars and some aid to universities (Science Magazine) Third coronavirus response bill includes research boost (American Institute of Physics) Already looking for the next Stimulus: College leaders were disappointed by the Senate’s stimulus proposal. But they are looking ahead to getting more in another round. (Inside Higher Ed) Stimulus includes $300 million for fisheries and aquaculture (National Fisherman) Congress pumps up NSF program to fast-track COVID-19 research (Science Magazine) Want to receive articles like this straight to your inbox? Sign up for our newsletter! The post Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Signed Into Law appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.
03/30/2020 - 11:30
The site of mass fish kills in 2019 has received significant inflows and the lower Darling River will finally reconnect with the Murray “It’s hard to put into words,” Graeme McCrabb says of seeing water flow again into the Menindee Lakes. “After the fish kills there’s a more emotional viewing of water coming through. The significance of these pools being refreshed and fish getting a chance to survive, it’s pretty moving.” Continue reading...
03/30/2020 - 11:04
They might be closed to the public, but the animals still need to be tended and fed by staff Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage It’s easy enough for Darren McGarry to socially distance from other people as his home is based in Edinburgh zoo. McGarry, who has worked for the zoo for 34 years, can go an entire day without seeing someone since a UK-wide lockdown forced non-essential businesses to close. Though zoos across the country are unusually quiet, zookeepers are faced with the challenge of ensuring life goes on as normal for the animals they care for amid a pandemic that has profoundly altered British society. Continue reading...
03/30/2020 - 09:19
Ocean Leadership ~ (Credit: Architect of the Capitol) From: Ocean News Weekly/ By: Ocean Leadership Staff  What Passed The House passed a series of bills that would reauthorize restoration and conservation programs for the Great Lakes (H.R. 4031), Puget Sound (H.R. 2247), San Francisco Bay (H.R. 1132), and Chesapeake Bay (H.R. 1620), in addition to reauthorizing the National Estuary Program (H.R. 4044). The House also passed the Department of Homeland Security Climate Change Research Act (H.R. 4737), which instructs the Department of Homeland Security to conduct research on and address the impacts of climate change on national security. The Harmful Algal Bloom Essential Forecasting Act (H.R. 3297) passed out of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Environment. If enacted, this legislation would designate federal operations monitoring for Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) as “services for emergencies involving the safety of human life or the protection of property,” allowing them to continue in the event of a government shutdown. What’s New Bicameral legislation combating plastic pollution was introduced. If enacted, the Making Investments in Curbing the Ruinous Output of Plastics Act of 2020 (MICRO Plastics Act of 2020; S. 3306; H.R. 5902) would establish a microplastics pilot program at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that both works to remove and prevent the release of microplastics into the environment. The Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act of 2020 (S. 3263; H.R. 5845) aims to eliminate plastic closer to the source by phasing out single-use plastic products, shifting more responsibility to corporations for their waste, reducing packaging, and reforming waste and recycling collection systems. Both chambers also addressed offshore energy sources. The Water Power Research and Development Act (H.R. 6084) was introduced and passed from the Subcommittee on Energy to the full House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. This legislation would promote marine energy and other hydropower research, development, and application in the Department of Energy (DOE). In the Senate, the Opening Federal  Financial  Sharing  to  Heighten  Opportunities  for  Renewable  Energy  (OFFSHORE) Act  of  2020 (S. 3485) was introduced to expand revenue sharing for offshore wind projects and to reauthorize the National Oceans and Coastal Security Act, which provides funding support for communities adapting to sea level rise; severe storms; ocean acidification; and other threats to our ocean, coasts, and Great Lakes. The legislation would direct 12.5 percent of payments from offshore wind farms, such as operating fees, bonuses, and royalties, into the National Oceans and Coastal Security Fund for coastal infrastructure projects, habitat and species conservation efforts, and other mitigation of outer Continental Shelf activity The Advancing the Quality and Understanding of American Aquaculture Act (AQUAA) Act (H.R. 6191) was also introduced in the House. If enacted, this legislation would establish a regulatory system for sustainable offshore aquaculture in the United States exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Provisions include an office within the National Marine Fisheries Service for more efficient permitting and management and a research and development grant program for disease management, sustainable feed, and mitigation of possible adverse ecosystem impacts. What’s Next Appropriators continue work on funding bills for fiscal year (FY) 2021. Following the release of the president’s budget request on February 10, each chamber’s appropriations and related committees have been holding hearings and collecting testimony as each drafts their versions of the FY 2021 appropriations bills. Both chambers spent the last several weeks of March focused on the COVID-19 stimulus bill and the House is now in an indefinite recess, with the Senate currently set to return April 20, so there remains uncertainty as to when and how appropriators will continue the FY2021 funding process. Related Coverage From The Consortium For Ocean Leadership Senate Comments On Commerce Budget Finding Federal Funds For Research And Development President’s Budget Request For FY 2021 Released December’s Congressional Wrap Up November’s Congressional Wrap Up October’s Congressional Wrap Up August and September’s Congressional Wrap Up Want to receive articles like this straight to your inbox? Sign up for our newsletter! The post February and March’s Congressional Wrap Up appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.
03/30/2020 - 08:34
A novel approach to geochemical measurements helps scientists reconstruct the past intensity of the methane seeps in the Arctic Ocean. Recent studies show that methane emissions fluctuated, strongly, in response to known periods of abrupt climate change at the end of the last glacial cycle.