Breaking Waves: Ocean News

07/16/2019 - 05:30
Queensland department of environment to allege that document contained false and misleading information about land disturbances The Queensland government has started prosecution proceedings in relation to information in Adani’s annual return for its Carmichael mine. The Queensland government’s department of environment and science has commenced legal proceedings against Adani Mining under the Environmental Protection Act over claims it provided false or misleading information in its 2017/2018 annual return. Continue reading...
07/16/2019 - 00:30
Implementation of ban ‘inadequate’ and has resulted in more waste, says Lord Teverson The ban on the wasteful discards of healthy and edible fish at sea has failed, according to a Lords report. Despite its enormous popularity with the British public, the measure has been poorly implemented in the UK and the result is more fish being needlessly wasted. The implementation of the discards ban has been “inadequate” according to Lord Teverson, speaking to the Guardian after a report on the issue that he co-wrote. A committee of the House of Lords criticised the government in a report for failing to put the ban into proper effect. Continue reading...
07/16/2019 - 00:00
Radical change needed to make UK food and farming system sustainable within 10 years The true cost of cheap, unhealthy food is a spiralling public health crisis and environmental destruction, according to a high-level commission. It said the UK’s food and farming system must be radically transformed and become sustainable within 10 years. The commission’s report, which was welcomed by the environment secretary, Michael Gove, concluded that farmers must be enabled to shift from intensive farming to more organic and wildlife friendly production, raising livestock on grass and growing more nuts and pulses. It also said a National Nature Service should be created to give opportunities for young people to work in the countryside and, for example, tackle the climate crisis by planting trees or restoring peatlands. Continue reading...
07/15/2019 - 21:57
Council in Victorian town to vote whether to re-home birds popular on social media, following reports of ‘intimidating’ behaviour A plan to relocate a flock of domestic geese in the Victorian tourist town of Daylesford has drawn concern from some local tourism operators, who say the geese are a popular Instagram drawcard. The Hepburn shire council will vote on Tuesday night on whether to relocate the 30-odd domestic geese, which have been living on Lake Daylesford in increasing numbers for several years. Continue reading...
07/15/2019 - 19:20
Millions displaced in India, Nepal and Bangladesh, with Assam and Bihar among the worst-hit regions More than 100 people have been killed and millions more affected by devastating floods and landslides across parts of south Asia. Heavy monsoon rains over the past week have left many dead in Nepal and Bangladesh, and submerged vast areas of north-east India. Continue reading...
07/15/2019 - 19:00
The flightless birds were found huddling near the grills under the shop, where it was warm “Waddling vagrants” in the form of two little blue penguins have been released by police after they were detained for setting up home under a Wellington sushi outlet. Their cover was blown after a shop worker heard them making a cooing, humming sound. It is understood that the penguins were hiding near the grills beneath the sushi shop, where it was warm. Continue reading...
07/15/2019 - 18:35
Mining company said it wanted ‘peace of mind’ that groundwater review would not be ‘hijacked’ by anti-coal activists The deputy prime minister, Michael McCormack, has defended Adani after revelations it tried to get the names of scientists reviewing a crucial plan for its Queensland mine, fearing they might be anti-coal activists. The ABC has cited emails – obtained under freedom of information by the Lock The Gate environment group – showing Adani demanded the federal government reveal the names of the scientists. Continue reading...
07/15/2019 - 18:01
Committee urges action over flame retardants found in breast milk and umbilical cords Britons are being exposed to a “cocktail of chemicals” from the womb onwards, with potentially life-threatening consequences, MPs have warned. Ministers were accused of “sitting on their hands” while “unnecessary and potentially toxic” chemicals continued to enter people’s homes. Continue reading...
07/15/2019 - 15:22
Ocean Leadership ~ DC Isn’t The Only Place Heating Up These Days It seems like every week there’s a new weather-related event affecting millions of people across the country, from floods and hurricanes to wildfires and droughts. Ocean and atmospheric scientists continue efforts to better understand if and how these individual extreme weather events are tied to our changing climate and how we can better prepare for and respond to them in the future. In the Arctic, climate and ocean conditions are changing rapidly, impacting all who live there — human and otherwise — as well as commercial sectors and international enterprises that seek to make the most of the opportunities of this evolving maritime region. According to satellite analysis by the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), Arctic sea ice is at its lowest extent in recorded history for this time of year and may be on pace to break the 2012 minimal ice extent record this coming September.  As we “melt” toward a periodically ice-free Arctic, there will be significant impacts on our Earth systems and related ocean security concerns. The good news is that there continue to be many admirable efforts and venues to apply our growing understanding of Arctic change to ensure the region remains healthy and prosperous for all its inhabitants as changes unfold. Several of these efforts will be highlighted later this week at the 8th Symposium on the Impacts of an Ice-Diminishing Arctic on Naval and Maritime Operations, co-sponsored by one of our member organizations, the U.S. Arctic Research Commission (USARC), and several other federal and private entities. This two-day event is open to the public and will address how diminished sea ice affects marine transportation; international, federal, state, and local operations; security; scientific research; infrastructure; investments; and policy. Learn more (including how to attend in-person and how to webcast it) here. Many of our member institutions and organizations are deeply involved in Arctic research and monitoring, including several from Alaska. One of these is the University of Alaska Fairbanks, College of Fisheries and Ocean Science (CFOS), who is a world leader in this arena and operates the RV Sikuliaq, the only ice-capable U.S. research vessel devoted specifically to research in the region. As many colleges and universities face current and future fiscal challenges, we must all work diligently to ensure research and educational programs around ocean science and technology, to include Arctic ones, remain a top academic priority for our Arctic nation. If not, I fear a lack of science-based decision-making will lead to a future Arctic that is far from prosperous and sustainable for the precious life that is there, including human populations and all Arctic nations. Massive Seaweed Bloom Affects Florida’s Beaches A dark mass stretches from West Africa to the Gulf of Mexico. It’s slowly growing and choking the life out of some marine animals. The mass is a giant seaweed bloom called the Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt. Researchers at the University of South Florida College of Marine Science discovered the belt and the seasonal pattern of the blooms. The seaweed usually flares up in the summer months, with the worst blooms occurring in July and August. Read our most recent and past newsletters here: http://oceanleadership.org/newsletter-archive/ The post Jon White – From the President’s Office: 07-15-2019 appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.
07/15/2019 - 14:07
Ocean Leadership ~ (Credit: Architect of the Capitol) From: Ocean News Weekly/ By: Ocean Leadership Staff  What Passed Several fiscal year (FY) 2020 appropriations bills passed in the House in June, including the chamber’s Commerce-Justice-Science (H.R. 3055), Energy-Water (H.R. 2740), and Interior-Environment (H.R. 3052) appropriations bills. Bills aimed at addressing ocean and coastal acidification, including the Coastal and Ocean Acidification Stressors and Threats (COAST) Research Act of 2019 (H.R. 1237), the Coastal Communities Ocean Acidification Act of 2019 (H.R. 1716), the Ocean Acidification Innovation Act of 2019 (H.R. 1921), and the National Estuaries and Acidification Research (NEAR) Act of 2019 (H.R. 988), passed the House in early June and now await action from the Senate. Collectively, these bills would enhance the federal government’s research and response efforts to better understand the effects of ocean acidification on coastal communities. What’s New The National Oceanographic Partnership Program (NOPP) Reauthorization Act (H.R. 3161), introduced by Representative Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) in June, would support ocean security by facilitating partnerships among federal agencies, academia, industry, and other members of the oceanographic science community to further advance knowledge of ocean science. In June, the Save Our Seas 2.0 Act (S. 1982) was introduced in the Senate. The bill builds upon the Save Our Seas Act of 2018 (S. 3508; P.L. 115-265), which was signed into law in October 2018 and took the first steps to addressing the growing global issue of marine debris by reauthorizing the Marine Debris Program under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and by fostering international collaboration. This new bill would continue work on reducing marine debris through increasing investments in domestic waste infrastructure, providing additional support for domestic debris response programs, and enhancing international collaboration to address the issue at a global level. In May, legislation was introduced in both the House and Senate to study the impact that sunscreen chemicals pose to human health and coral reefs around the world. The Oxybenzone and Octinoxate Impact Study Act of 2019 (S. 1371, H.R. 2588) would require the Environmental Protection Agency to study the effects of two key chemicals, oxybenzone and octinoxate, found in many commercial brands of sunscreen on human health and the environment. The Reef Safe Act of 2019 (S. 1374, H.R. 2587) would require the Food and Drug Administration to develop standards for a “Reef Safe” label for sunscreens. What’s Next Congress has under three months to meet the September 30 deadline on FY 2020 appropriations. To avoid a government shutdown, both chambers must pass identical versions of 12 appropriations bills that are then signed by the president. The House has passed nine of the 12 spending bills and the Senate has not yet released any funding bills nor held any markup sessions. Congress could also pass a continuing resolution to maintain FY 2019 spending levels for all or part of FY 2020. In addition to the appropriations discussions, Congress must also decide whether to raise the spending caps imposed by the Budget Control Act of 2011 (P.L. 112-25). If Congress votes to raise the spending caps, there would be more available funding for FY 2020 nondefense discretionary appropriations bills. Related coverage from the Consortium for Ocean Leadership March and April’s Congressional Wrap Up Legislators “Sea” Wave Of Ocean Bills February’s Congressional Wrap Up January’s Congressional Wrap Up The State Of Our Ocean December’s Congressional Wrap Up Ocean Acidification Bills Coast To Committee October And November’s Congressional Wrap Up Tapping Into Our Blue Economy Want to receive articles like this straight to your inbox? Sign up for our newsletter! The post May And June’s Congressional Wrap Up appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.