News Clips: Feb. 9-10, 2010

Endangered Species/Hawaii

·         Army mulls high-speed water transportsStars and Stripes
… noting the state is host to the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary where whales migrate to every winter to breed and calve. …


·         Whales suspected in massive herring lossNew Zealand Herald
Something is holding down the herring population of Alaska’s Prince William Sound, and marine scientists are tailing some rather large suspects: humpback whales.



·         Agency Proposes Climate Service to Spur AdaptationNew York Times
The Obama administration announced plans yesterday to create a new National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Service. The proposed entity would provide “user-friendly” information to help governments and businesses adapt to climate change, creating a central federal source of information on everything from projections of sea level rise to maps of the nation’s best sites for wind and solar power.



·         Feds Announce New Actions to Battle Asian CarpScience Magazine
The Obama Administration has announced a new strategy for preventing the carp from entering the Great Lakes, where they could threaten a sportfishing industry worth $7 billion. The plan also includes money for research on how to battle the fish. However, the move appears unlikely to end a feud between midwestern states over what to do about the carp.


Marine Debris

·         Junk accumulating on Monterey Bay ocean floor: Scientists find increasing San Jose Mercury News
The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary has just started a gear removal project to remove nets and traps.


Cold Water Coral

·         Study boosts notion of offshore wind productionBaltimore Sun
About 2,900 wind turbines could be placed using current technology in relatively shallow Atlantic waters 28 miles to 43 miles off the Maryland coast, according to a report by researchers at the University of Delaware’s Center for Carbon-free Power Integration. As many as 12,000 turbines ultimately could be deployed, the researchers say, as new wind generators are developed that can operate in deeper ocean waters, including on floating platforms.


Ocean Acidification

·         Impact of near-future ocean acidification on echinoderms « Ocean … Anne-Marin Nisumaa
As a consequence of increasing atmospheric CO2, the world’s oceans are warming and slowly becoming more acidic (ocean acidification, OA) and profound changes in marine ecosystems are certain. Calcification is one of the primary targets for studies of the impact of CO2-driven climate change in the oceans and one of the key marine groups most likely to be impacted by predicted climate change events are the echinoderms.


·         New UC Davis study: Climate ‘tipping points’ may arrive without warning, says top forecasterScience Daily
A new University of California, Davis, study by a top ecological forecaster says it is harder than experts thought to predict when sudden shifts in Earth’s natural systems will occur — a worrisome finding for scientists trying to identify the tipping points that could push climate change into an irreparable global disaster.


Federal Budget

·         Senators back cuts in deficit, not in budgetUSA Today
Even as they call for reining in the record federal budget deficit of $1.6 trillion, more than one-third of the nation’s 100 U.S. senators have criticized proposed spending cuts in President Obama’s budget that would affect their states.


Northwest Hawaiian Islands

·         Northwest Hawaiian Islands Exhibit hails maritime heritage at Mokupapapa Discovery CenterHawaii 24/7

A new NOAA exhibit commemorating the rich maritime heritage of Papahanaumokukuakea Marine National Monument opened Feb 5 at Mokupapapa Discovery Center in Hilo. “Lost on a Reef” focuses on shipwreck sites discovered over the last the decade that represent 200 years of maritime history in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.


Marine Sanctuaries

·         Venomous lionfish wreak havoc in Florida KeysMiami Herald
A rapid response team was organized by REEF and government agencies in anticipation of the lionfish invasion of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

·         Hands Across the Sand join Saturday in Key WestKeysNet
Officials with the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council are sitting down on Feb. 16 to discuss the proposed drilling and how gulf currents could impact Keys waters.


Marine Protected Areas

·         Penguins saved by marine zoneNews24
Three months after trawling was stopped, 70% of the birds were feeding within the 20km zone, tucking into fish that now became available.


·         Biodiversity Offsets and Marine and Coastal DevelopmentEcosystem Marketplace
Biodiversity Offsetting … is complicated in marine offsets due to the inherent logistical difficulty in accessing and studying marine systems such as deep water or pelagic habitats, coral reefs, and seagrass meadows. Undertaking evaluations in such habitats increases the time necessary to evaluate or score biodiversity and consequently the costs associated (expertise, equipment, etc.).


Also of Interest

·         URI researcher calls for global effort to monitor marine

A University of Rhode Island researcher who studies chemical pollutants in the marine environment has called on colleagues around the world to establish a global monitoring network to verify that the chemicals banned by the United Nations in 2003 are no longer in use.

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