Washington Post- Humanity is badly damaging the oceans. To give just one example, we’re filling them with 8 million metric tons of plastic annually, equivalent to “five bags filled with plastic for every foot of coastline in the world,” according to researcher Jenna Jambeck of the University of Georgia. It’s obvious that this harms the oceans and the organisms that live in them. But plastic and other forms of trash also mar shorelines and, thus, the experience of beachgoers. And according to new research, that may actually take a toll on the human psyche — or at least, undermine any psychological benefits that come with going to the beach to begin with.
Washington Post- Fountains were once a revered feature of urban life, a celebration of the tremendous technological and political capital it takes to provide clean drinking water to a community. Today, they’re in crisis. Though no one tracks the number of public fountains nationally, researchers say they’re fading from America’s parks, schools and stadiums. “Water fountains have been disappearing from public spaces throughout the country over the last few decades,” lamented Nancy Stoner, an administrator in the Environmental Protection Agency’s water office.
The Hill- Whether we live close to them or not, we rely on our oceans for so much more than fish. Oceans also filter toxins, absorb carbon dioxide, provide recreation for millions and yields important marine products, such as biofuels from algae. These ocean services can be severely compromised by disease outbreaks among little-appreciated plants and animals like seagrasses, corals, sea stars, lobsters, abalones, oysters and fish. Just in the past year, we have witnessed thousands of strandings by sea lions from domoic acid toxicosis, thousands of beachings of dolphins from morbillivirus and widespread devastation of starfish due to sea star wasting disease. Over 20 species of sea stars — keystone species that were common three years ago — have virtually disappeared from many California, Oregon and Washington shores.
The Hill-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) pledged Wednesday that he’ll keep up his fight to stop Obama administration environmental rules through spending bills. In a column in The Cincinnati Enquirer, McConnell claimed credit for the Senate appropriations provisions that block Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) efforts, saying it is his responsibility to protect Kentucky from them.
UPenn Wharton- Clean, safe drinking water has been available for so long in the U.S. that no one thinks twice about filling a glass of water at the kitchen sink or flushing a toilet. Indeed, for most people the shock would be if any of these conveniences failed to function. But the very longevity that has bred such faith in America’s water systems now threatens its future. Vast networks of underground pipes, often dating back to the 19th century, are nearing or are already past the end of their useful lives. But unless a water main breaks or a street caves in, it is all too easy to ignore the invisible infrastructure slowly crumbling beneath our feet.
Los Angeles Daily News- The Anheuser-Busch brewery in Van Nuys will soon be tapping less water to brew its beer. The St. Louis-based company said it is investing $20 million to make the facility more water efficient, as the region struggles with a persistent drought. Among the improvements will be new meters to better track and measure water use and equipment to reduce the amount of water utilized in the beer packaging process, including rinsing out cans before they are filled.
Inframanage- In Lansing, Michigan, a much-awaited planning document designed to direct Michigan’s water usage and management policies for the next 30 years has been released in draft form. It is a 160-page report that outlines dozens of recommendations for protecting and improving the water management of the state. The state Office of the Great Lakes developed the report. Included in this outline is the initiative to prepare infrastructure management plans for all Michigan recreation harbors among many other recommendations the draft proposes.
News Bureau Illinois- Thirsty cities, fields and livestock drink deeply from aquifers, natural sources of groundwater. But a study of three of the most-tapped aquifers in the United States shows that overdrawing from these resources could lead to difficult choices affecting not only domestic food security but also international markets.
Today Online- A major global concern at present is that the world will run out of water to meet the needs of its burgeoning population. Since water is needed for every aspect of life, the fear is that there will not be enough water for an estimated 9.3 billion people by 2050 and their numerous water-related needs. However, the most pressing global water problem of the future will be water quality and not quantity. The quality of water is progressively deteriorating in nearly all the countries of the world.
Independent- The first of three phases of a five-year flood control project funded by the Congressional Sandy aid bill passed in 2013, has been completed in time for Fourth of July weekend. The first phase of the $104 million Port Monmouth Hurricane and Storm Damage Reduction Project included beach replenishments, dune construction, the extension of an existing fishing pier and the construction of a 305-foot groin to impede water flow and limit sediment movement. The first phase accounts for $18 million of the total project, which is designed to offer storm protection to the low-lying Port Monmouth community in Middletown Township.
Houston Business Journal- It looks like something straight out of a Caribbean beach vacation brochure: crystal blue waters rimmed by white sand and palm trees. In reality, however, these so-called “crystal lagoons” are self-cleaning, man-made lakes as big as 27 Olympic-sized swimming pools combined. And they could be coming to a master-planned community in Houston. Crystal Lagoons U.S. Corp. is expanding to Texas, and plans to establish a Houston office. The Miami-based company is in negotiations with two local developers to build crystal lagoons in the Bayou City.
Bangor Daily News-Politicians and lobstermen came together in Belfast on Tuesday at a press conference held to urge state and federal agencies to slow down and reduce the scope of a proposed Searsport harbor dredging project. “You need to put the brakes on this thing,” fisherman David Black of Belfast said to the applause of the few dozen people at the Belfast Boat House. “Let’s do some more work before we go any further.”