Washington Post- Government officials leading a multi-state cleanup of the Chesapeake Bay pledged on Thursday to continue their efforts to reduce pollution in the watershed but acknowledged the difficulty of meeting their environmental targets for 2017. “We have a lot of progress and work to do going forward,” Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), who leads the Chesapeake Executive Council, said after the annual meeting at the National Arboretum in Northeast Washington. “A strong partnership is the only way we’re going to be successful.”States have struggled since 1983 to curb pollution levels in the bay’s 64,000-square-mile watershed, where urban/suburban and agricultural runoff have nurtured algal blooms that suffocate fish in oxygen-depleted “dead zones.”
Washington Post- It has been widely discussed — but not yet peer reviewed. Now, though, you can at least read it for yourself and see what you think. A lengthy, ambitious, and already contested paper by longtime NASA climate scientist James Hansen and 16 colleagues appeared online Thursday in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussion, an open-access journal published by the European Geosciences Union. The paper, entitled “Ice melt, sea level rise and superstorms: evidence from paleoclimate data, climate modeling, and modern observations that 2 ◦C global warming is highly dangerous” is now open for comment — peer review in this journal happens in public.
The Hill- Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer wants presidential candidates to lay out visions for a low-carbon future in order to get donations from his PAC. 2016 hopefuls will have to pledge energy policies that would lead to half of the country’s electricity coming from zero-carbon sources by 2030 and 100 percent by 2050. “We will call on candidates to lay out policies that will get us to this goal,” Steyer, founder and president of NextGen Climate PAC, told the New York Times Friday. “That’s the hurdle candidates have to get over to win our support.”
CNN- Pope Francis joined 65 mayors and local politicians from around the world Tuesday at a Vatican-sponsored conference on climate change and modern slavery. "The Holy See can make nice speeches," Pope Francis said in remarks to participants, "but the most important work goes from the peripheries to the conscience of human kind." The Pope told the mayors they were the ones most able to affect those in the peripheries. Francis also touched on the problems of addiction, unemployment, health and human trafficking experienced by those in urban areas as well as deforestation of the Amazon and excess technology affecting forced migration.
Business Insider- The four-year California drought is causing unparrellel devestation to the region. Analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch thinks it’s going to get a lot worse. “We view the unprecedented drought in California as a harbinger of the coming global water crisis,” BAML strategists wrote in a note to clients on Tuesday. “By 2050E, 45% of projected GDP is at risk, with as many as 50 countries at risk of conflict over water.”The numbers are scary. Groundwater levels have dropped as much as 100 feet, while the Sierra Nevada snow-pack is at only 5% of historical levels. When considering the economic impact of the drought, it gets even more frightening. “The drought is expected to cost California agriculture alone US $US2.7 billion in economic costs in 2015, with disruption extending to mandatory water restrictions, wildlife, land subsidence, seawater intrusion, wildfires, and human health,” the note said
USGS- Coral reefs, under pressure from climate change and direct human activity, may have a reduced ability to protect tropical islands against wave attack, erosion and salinization of drinking water resources, which help to sustain life on those islands. A new paper by researchers from the Dutch independent institute for applied research Deltares and the U.S. Geological Survey gives guidance to coastal managers to assess how climate change will affect a coral reef’s ability to mitigate coastal hazards. About 30 million people are dependent on the protection by coral reefs as they live on low-lying coral islands and atolls. At present, some of these islands experience flooding due to wave events a few times per decade. It is expected that this rate of flooding will increase due to sea level rise and coral reef decay, as the remaining dead corals are generally smoother in structure, and do less to dissipate wave energy. Loss of coral cover not only causes increased shoreline erosion but also affects the sparse drinking water resources on these islands, which may eventually make these islands uninhabitable. In order to prevent or mitigate these impacts, coastal managers need know to what extent their reef system may lose its protective function so that they can take action. The new study gives guidance on a local reef’s sensitivity to change. The new research has been accepted for publication in “Geophysical Research Letters,” a journal of the American Geophysical Union.
E & E Daily- Sea lions present an increasing threat to salmon in the Columbia River, but a bill aimed at making it easier to kill the mammals does not solve the problem, an official from the National Marine Fisheries Service testified yesterday. Barry Thom, the agency's deputy regional administrator for the West Coast, was one of several witnesses at a hearing on three bills, including H.R. 564. Thom said the agency supports the bill's goal of stopping sea lions from gobbling up endangered salmon. But he said it does not remove the biggest challenge: a provision in the Marine Mammal Protection Act that requires the identification of individual seals and sea lions before killing them.
The Post & Courier- The Army Corps of Engineers issued a public notice Thursday that could reactivate plans for a new cruise ship terminal at Union Pier in downtown Charleston. The public can comment in writing and request a hearing on the State Ports Authority’s permit request until Aug. 24. The SPA is proposing to build the $35 million terminal. It said this week that it has provided the Army Corps with about 40,000 pages of material to address concerns downtown residents and environmental groups have raised about pollution, noise and other quality-of-life issues.
JOC- California port executives Thursday urged key legislative representatives meeting in Oakland to invest in the state’s priority trade corridors to stem the loss of cargo to competing North American ports. “Challenges to our business are everywhere — Mexico, Canada and the U.S. East Coast,” said Chris Lytle, executive director of the Port of Oakland. “We’re doing all we can to keep Oakland and other California ports the most attractive option for international shippers, but we can use your help.” The meeting in Oakland is timely because the California Legislature in Sacramento is holding a special session devoted to transportation. Senate and Assembly members are looking at how ports and goods movement contribute to the state’s economy. Issues under discussion range from trade corridors to transportation funding and competitive challenges facing California’s freight transport sector.
WaterWorld- The Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE, an educational nonprofit organization, has awarded $250,000 to Team DuraFET -- a collective of environmental and technology leaders from Honeywell Aerospace, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, and Sea-Bird Scientific -- for its development of advanced deep-sea pH sensor technologies (SeaFET, SeapHOx and Deep-Sea DuraFET).
Mead & Hunt- No matter the size of municipal water or wastewater project, you always need money. Fortunately, there are many funding sources packaged in many shapes and sizes. Funding sources have varying criteria relative to eligible projects, eligible applicants, funding amounts, application periods and then of course the application process itself.
Lohud- Dredging of the Hudson River for the new Tappan Zee Bridge will resume next month near Westchester. Bridge builder Tappan Zee Constructors will remove nearly 200,000 cubic yards of sand and silt south of the existing bridge to create a flotation channel for the largest crane on the bridge replacement project beginning on or about Aug. 6. Starting in 2017, the existing bridge will be dismantled, said Brian Conybeare, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s adviser on the $3.9 billion project.
Democrat & Chronicle- Complaints about Lake Ontario water quality have piled up this summer like waves on a stormy shore. People jaw about debris on the beach and tree branches in the water, but mostly about mud — discolored, chocolatey, muddy water. The latest episode this weekend, which left near-shore areas of the lake an unusual brownish green, prompted some to blame dredging in the Genesee River, which began in May and ended July 12. But officials say the dredging is only one factor. Fingers also are being pointed at the sky: Heavy rainstorms that hit the Rochester area over the last month and a half, especially to the city’s south, have washed huge amounts of soil and debris into creeks and rivers.
Marshfield News Herald- The city plans to borrow $3.2 million for water system upgrades, most of which would be used to repair and replace water mains. Should the City Council give final approval for the borrowing — in the form of bonds — the city would spend more than $656,000 in 2015 for water mains on Wildwood Court, South Maple Avenue and North Cedar Avenue from Arnold Street to Blodgett Street. In 2016, the city would spend just under $1.2 million for water mains on Upham Street, Locust Avenue, Hemlock Avenue and Weister Court. Meters, equipment for the city’s new water tower and land for a future well would also be purchased with the money.