Water News Roundup, January 2016
AwN | A lot of times I cut out some interesting topics and news because I don't have the time to give a rundown of each topic. I think by combining some of the more interesting, (or threatening) topics, I can present a more completete picture of what is going on. Though I won't always be offering as much analysis of the topic. On a similar note, I think I will be trying to follow a schedule for the roundup posts and release them on the 15th and at the end of the month.
Microbead Ban, Pollution Tracking, GMO Salmon
I am leading with the banning of Microbeads in the U.S. I reported on this back in September and it is a major relief that action has been taken, however, as the following article notes, there remains major work to be done.
I will be interested to see what happens with the labeling of GMO Salmon since the nominee Dr. Robert Califf for commissioner of the FDA is likely to be blocked by his stance on GMO Salmon.
And don't forget the continuing story of lead poisoning in Flint, Michigan, which I have left out because I have covered it elsewhere.
As always if you have interesting topics on anything I cover on theawn.com contact me on social media and if its fits the bill I'll get it out there. Easiest ways to contact me are on google+ and twitter.
Victory! Microbeads Banned in the U.S.
OC | 2016 has barely started, and we can already share a huge win for our ocean. Thanks to the support of ocean advocates like you, Congress has backed a bill banning the use of microbeads in personal care products. And just this week, President Obama signed this bill into law.
Microbeads might be tiny, but this legislation is huge. The new law means companies will phase out the sale of products containing microbeads over the next two years, and stop making personal care products with microbeads altogether by July 1, 2017.
Federal ban on microbeads is a drop in the plastics-filled ocean (Commentary)
S | As nasty as these substances are, though, the ban wouldn't have sailed through Congress if the consumer-products industry had mounted serious objections to it. As it happens, many major cosmetics makers has already agreed to phase out microbeads -- thanks in part to campaigns like Ban the Bead! A nationwide ban was almost a foregone conclusion anyway after California in October joined six other states in barring use of microbeads in personal-care products.
Here's something to consider, though: Although Americans bought products containing more than a half-million pounds of microbeads, this represents a negligible amount of the plastic dumped in the ocean.
Celebrating a Big Year for the Ocean
OC | This has been a landmark year for the ocean. The tireless work of ocean advocates—like you—has resulted in a series of victories moving us towards a cleaner, healthier ocean for the communities and animals that depend on it. Here at Ocean Conservancy, we’ve had quite a busy year, and we’re proud to have played our part in working towards a better ocean.
We engaged communities to take action on ocean acidification.
We made progress on smart ocean planning.
We helped keep risky offshore drilling out of the U.S. Arctic Ocean.
We redoubled our efforts to restore the Gulf of Mexico following the BP Deepwater Horizonoil disaster.
We led the way in tackling ocean plastics.
Sensor network can detect exact location and size of ocean pollution
THUG | They designed an intelligent sensor system that can detect very small quantities of chemical pollution that might come from oil leaks and other contaminants. It can detect the exact location of toxic waste, diesel and other hydrocarbons and how far they have spread through that part of the ocean.
The sensors are embedded in floating devices that can be deployed in any body of water and using clever algorithms move independently to find the perimeters of a pollution event like in an oil spill. The sensors communicate back to the researchers in real time so that a map can be created using their relative positions and what contaminants they're detecting.
How Ocean Pollution Affects Humans
FDA nominee sails through Senate committee, but could a fish stand in his way?
WP | Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) told her colleagues on the committee that met Tuesday to vote on Califf's nomination that she is willing to stall it until he and FDA agree to mandatory labeling requirements for the AquaAdvantage salmon.
The salmon, produced by Massachusetts-based AquaBounty and approved by the agency in November, is an Atlantic salmon that contains a growth hormone from a Chinook salmon and has been given a gene from the ocean pout, an eel-like fish. The result is a fish engineered to grow twice as fast as its natural counterpart. The first genetically altered animal approved for human consumption, it has been the subject of long-running fights involving food-safety activists, environmental groups and the salmon fishing industry.
2015 Year-In-Review: Tremendous Victories for Rivers
AR | The best part of any journey is the people you share it with, and the people, like you, who joined us to protect rivers in 2016 helped us win some incredible victories.
Nationwide, we removed 30 dams and restored 443 miles of rivers through dam removal or re-operation. We safeguarded 140 miles of rivers with new Wild and Scenic designations, and protected more than 447,000 acres of riverside lands.
Rivers deliver the fresh water that flows from our kitchen faucets, and sustain the crops that fill our dinner plates. When we protect rivers, we are protecting our families, our communities and ourselves. Thank you to the caring river champions who donated to help us stop harmful legislation, contacted elected officials to speak up on behalf of their local rivers, or devoted a Saturday to pick up riverside trash in their communities. Together we make a difference for rivers!
We’re excited to begin the year on a wave of momentum built by last year’s successes.
Take a look below at a taste of what we’ve accomplished together....
Rivers of despair, polluted from Basel to Shanghai and Melbourne
ET | The latest revelation about the Yarra River of Melbourne fame is simply one of a series of exposés that have involved almost every major river in any city wherever. In this tragic case, people and trees have been exposed to a poisonous mixture of chemicals, but there have been severe cases where actual known chemicals have been casually released to cause direct consequences. Hopefully, the dead trees will be the limit of this latest tragedy. It has however been proposed that a certain Jacinta Allan (Senior Minister in Victoria State) could, go jump in the river, just to test it.
The State of Victoria is relatively pollution free, like much of the Australian continent. This toxic mix was formed by reactions around a wash-down facility at Warrandyte state park, at the natural swimming pool know as Pound Bend. Vehicles washed there (several times over) sometimes included chemical containers and the Parks herbicide supplies. Legal restrictions therefore did not come into play as no large-scale release occurred at any one time. However, the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) could probably fine the facility if measurements were taken, even at this point
For Ocean Fish, What Happens Upstream Doesn’t Stay There
PT | Although regional fishery management councils are limited to setting rules about fishing activities in U.S. waters—which generally begin 3 miles from shore and extend to 200 miles—most managers recognize that what happens inshore or upstream can have a major impact on the health of fish populations.
Innovative research supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) is now providing fishery managers with new opportunities to think about the big picture. Projects on both the West and East coasts are working to identify and quantify why upstream areas matter, how those places are likely to change, and what that could mean for management of ocean fish.
2015 River Cleanup Recap
AR | To honor that tradition, I’m going to share the highlights, accomplishments, and memories from the 2015 cleanup season! In the past 12 months of cleanups, organizers across the country have accomplished great things, including:
- Registering 1,320 cleanup sites
- Mobilizing 45,399 volunteers
- Removing 1,971,442 pounds of trash
I was lucky enough to take over the National River Cleanup® program in August of this year and was out at my first American Rivers cleanup on the Merrimack River in Massachusetts within the month. I learned a lot about organizing a cleanup and was energized by the enthusiasm and passion of the volunteers. The excitement stuck with me as we hosted cleanups in some of our priority river basins. We cleaned up the Ashley River in South Carolina, the Yampa River in Colorado, and Marsh Creek in California. The first half of the year brought volunteers together with American Rivers in Knoxville, Tennessee; Windsor, Virginia; Sumner, Washington; Castroville, California; and Waterbury, Vermont.
Historic Moment For Colorado’s Rivers
AR | As of November 19, 2015, Colorado has its first ever Water Plan. The Plan, ordered by Governor Hickenlooper in 2013, is intended to guide how the State of Colorado will manage water, protect rivers, and sustain agriculture through 2050 while facing climate change and a growing population. The Plan represents thousands of hours of work on behalf of the Colorado Water Conservation Board, river basin roundtables, and conservation organizations like American Rivers and many others.
So what’s in the Plan? Groundbreaking stuff- a conservation goal of 400,000 acre/feet or a little over 130 billion gallons of water in cities and towns, recognition that streams and rivers are important to Colorado’s economy and quality of life, committed funding for Stream Management Plans, a commitment to more flexible and dynamic water management, and an assurance that future water development will not come at the expense of farms and ranches.
Mainstream media finally admits: Adding fluoride to water a 'useless scheme' with no benefit to public health
NN | Recently, The Guardian reported that many health experts are calling for a moratorium on water fluoridation. The claims of the benefits of water fluoridation, as opposed to those of topical fluoride (directly applied to the teeth), are actually unproved.
Some more recent studies claim that fluoridation of drinking water is linked to bone cancer in boys, as well as bladder cancer, hypothyroidism, hip fractures and lower IQ in children.
Read More at NaturalNews