New York Times - The Obama administration announced plans on Monday to step up the fight against illegal fishing, pollution and other crimes at sea, including the creation of two new national marine sanctuaries, one in Maryland and the other in Lake Michigan, the first in 15 years. Administration officials also said they intended to expand the use of satellites that track illegal activity by detecting night lights used by fishermen to attract fish, and committed to better track all seafood that enters American ports. "Our economies, our livelihoods and our food all depend on our oceans," President Obama said in a videotaped message presented at the second annual Our Ocean conference held in Valpraíso, Chile. "And yet we know that our actions are changing them." Read more.
New York Times - As Coast Guard planes and cutters continued searching Tuesday for survivors of the container ship El Faro, which sank five days ago during Hurricane Joaquin, new questions arose, about the 40-year-old ship's safety standards and whether pressure to deliver cargo on time took precedence over keeping the ship away from potential danger as it sailed into the storm. To address some of those concerns, Tote Maritime Puerto Rico, El Faro's owner, said in a statement that it would hire an independent maritime company to conduct a safety assessment of the ship and its protocols. The assessment will be released to the public. Read more.
Wall Street Journal - Along South Carolina's coast, residents were preparing for a second round of flooding as rivers swollen from days of devastating rains make their way toward the Atlantic. In the Columbia area, where some have started to return home to assess damage and clean up, the threat of more flooding still hadn't lifted. About 1,000 residents near the compromised Beaver Dam were told to evacuate Wednesday morning. Crews worked overnight after a sinkhole formed nearby, pumping water out of the pond to relieve pressure on the dam, but authorities said it could breach at any time. Read more.
New York Times - Anticipating a storm, William Hugh Epps, the owner of a feed and garden store in this small town, had concocted a simple plan. He would pile empty pallets a foot high, and then pile his precious inventory - tens of thousands of dollars' worth of feed - atop the pallets. Surely, he thought, the water would not get that high. He was wrong: Floodwater filled the store and inched toward the top of the bubblegum machine, his inventory tumbled, and by Tuesday afternoon, the place was suffused with the fetid smell of spoiled feed and dirty water. "All I can say is devastating," said Mr. Epps, 63, a farmer who has lived here in Clarendon County for nearly his entire life. "That's the only word that suits it." Read more.
New York Times First Draft - As President Obama doubles down on climate chnage as a legacy issue, the White House has appointed Thomas Reynolds, a top communications strategist at the Environmental Protection Agency and a seasoned political operative, to a new position dedicated solely to messaging Mr. Obama's global warming agenda. Mr. Reynolds has already spent the past two years at the E.P.A. running an aggressive public relations campaign to build support for Mr. Obama's climate change push. That push is anchored in a set of ambitious new E.P.A. regulations on coal-fired power plants, which Republicans have attacked as a "war on coal." Read more.
Wall Street Journal - California is doubling down in its fight against global warming. On Wednesday, Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to sign an ambitious climate change measure to increase California's renewable electricity use to 50% and double energy efficiency in existing buildings by 2030. "We have technological means, and now we have the legal mandate to reduce carbon pollution," Mr. Brown said in a statement after the Legislature approved the bill, SB350, last month. The Democratic governor began the year with a proposal for the state to set the most aggressive greenhouse-gas emissions benchmark in North America. He discussed global-warming concerns with the pope at the Vatican in July and met with other leaders around the world on the issue. Read more.
New York Times First Draft - The Hurricane Joaquin floodwater plaguing South Carolina could prove difficult to navigate for some of the Republican presidential candidates, in particular Senator Lindsey Graham, the sitting senator from the state. "Let's just get through this thing, and whatever it costs, it costs," Mr. Graham told CNN's Wolf Blizter on "The Situation Room," in a plea for federal aid. As Mr. Blitzer pointed out, Mr. Graham voted against a large relief package for New York and New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy. He said he did not remember voting that way and was "all for helping the people in New Jersey," but he later clarified his thoughts to The Washington Post, saying that package was a "pork-fest" and that he would "fight like a tiger to make sure somebody doesn't use our tragedy for their advantage." Read more.
Associated Press - The shorefront borough appears to be backing away from a plan to restrict parking near its newly replenished beaches to residents only after the proposal generated storms of protest. The New Jersey Environmental Protection Department told The Associated Press that borough officials indicated Tuesday they will table the proposal indefinitely. The Deal Board of Commissioners was scheduled to vote Friday on an ordinance limiting parking on six streets near the beach to residents, who would be given permits for their cars. But word of the borough's plans generated much opposition; an online petition against the plan had gathered nearly 3,000 signatures as of Tuesday evening. Read more.
NJ Advance Media - Heavy surf pounded the beaches in northern ocean County this past weekend, swallowing large swaths of sand and causing severe erosion. In prats of Mantoloking and Brick, the water is right up to the steel seawall, which saved those towns from major property damage. And now official sin both towns are imploring residents to sign easements to allow the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to proceed with its replenishment. Brick Mayor John G. Ducey said on Tuesday he was expecting his phone to ring off the hook on Monday from residents looking to sign the easements. "I don't know how many homeowners can look out their front window, walk up to where the ocean is now and not sign the easement voluntarily," Ducey said. "We need that 100 feet of sand in front of the houses before the next storm comes." Read more.
Bay Journal - Harris Creek was once home to nearly 1,500 acres of Maryland's best oyster reefs, bu tin recent decades its oyster population - like those in much of the Bay - had dramatically dwindled. When biologists surveyed the creek a few years ago, "we barely found an acre that was functioning at what we would consider the historic level," said Stephanie Westby, oyster project coordinator with National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration Chesapeake Bay Office. In fact, only a few hundred thousand oysters remained. With few oysters to rebuild them, the reefs had deteriorated. In short, Harris Creek looked like much of the rest of the Chesapeake, where oyster numbers are estimated to be at 1 percent or less of their historic abundance. That was then. Today, biologists hope Harris Creek looks more like the Bay's future than its past. Read more.
Street Insider - The United States joins the five Gulf states in announcing a settlement to resolve civil claims against BP plc (NYSE: BP) arising from the April 20, 2010 Macondo well blowout and the massive oil spill that followed in the Gulf of Mexico. This global settlement resolves the governments' civil claims under the Clean Water Act and natural resources damage claims under the Oil Pollution Act, as well as economic damage claims of the five Gulf states and local governments. Take together this global resolution of civil claim is worth $20.8 billion, and is the largest settlement with a single entity in the department's history. Read more.
Times-Picayune - Louisiana's coastal marshes will be the key focus of $8.8 billion BP will pay to restore vast natural resource losses caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, part of a $20.8 billion settlement with federal and Guld state governments announced Monday (Oct. 5). The environmental portion also includes targeting significant money on Gulf of Mexico resources, federal and state trustees said. Louisiana, which suffered most of the oil spill's environmental damage, will be guaranteed $5 billion of natural resource damage assessment money. "This investment of funds particularly focuses on restoring Louisiana coastal marshes as an essential element of the preferred alternative," said the Damage Assessment Restoration Plan released Monday by the trustees. Read more.
Boating Industry - Located in the heart of Brooklyn Bridge Park between Piers 4 & 5 ONE°15 Brooklyn Marina, the newest marina in New York City, is currently under construction with new docks being anchored and a state-of-theart wave attenuation system now in place. Construction will be completed this fall, with a grand opening anticipated for spring 2016. A joint venture between majority owner SUTL Group and Edgewater Resources, ONE°15 Brooklyn Marina offers unparralleled water access to the local Brooklyn community, New Yorkers, and boating enthusiasts from around the globe. Read more.
AdVantage News - The Board of Commissioners and staff members at America's Central Port welcomed state and local officials along with hundreds of business leaders for dedication of the South Harbor project Monday. The project constructed 9,600 feet of rail track, moved more than 1 million cubic yards of dirt and used approximately 8,000 cubic yards of concrete to create a new rail, truck and barge terminal and general cargo barge dock. "This is a great day for the city of Madison," said Mayor John Hamm III, current board chairman at America's Central Port. "Today we celebrate the opportunities this project has created for the city of Madison, the port district and for the St. Louis region as a whole." Read more.
St. Louis Biztalk - More than 300 regional officials and industry players gathered Monday on the new concrete surface of a general cargo dock, part of America's Central Port new $50 million South Harbor project, to celebrate the nearing completion of the harbor. The port held the ribbon cutting to the South Harbor ahead of its operational launch to beat the winter weather. Dennis Wilmsmeyer, executive director of the port, said work crews are still installing and testing equipment at the harbor's facilities, which will become operational within a couple of months. The new harbor represents a major expansion of the port's capabilities, including a grain facility that can handle up to 50,000 bushels per hours, and a general cargo dock, with a surface area roughly the size of a football field, that Wilmsmeyer and other port and county officials hopes will one day support container-to-barge shipping. Read more.
Wicked Local - Efforts to rebuild badly-eroded and storm-blasted Town Neck Beach have always been complex and complicated, involving three levels of government, Mother Nature's wintertime fury, and now the court system. At the start, the town had to fund coastal-geology review and renourishment planning; comply with regulatory review; secure project money as well as town, state and federal permits; locate a sediment source ;and win approval to deposit that sand on the beachfronts. Now the continuing shoreline reclamation story becomes one of the legal strategizing. It has shifted from Massachusetts Land Court to U.S. District Court in Boston back to the state court. A ruling could be a game-changers. Read more.
Herald-Tribune - Southwest Florida beaches draw thousands of tourists to the region each year - pumping millions of dollars in bed taxes in Sarasota County coffers. The town of Longboat Key reassured the county Monday of its plan to keep those sandy shorelines pristine. During a largely informational meeting Monday between the county and Longboat Key commissions, which lasted less than an hour, the town updated area officials on its plans to restore Longboat Key beaches. The town has received state permits to dredge both the north and southern passes of the island to help bolster the eroding shores. Read more.