One Cool Thing: Marines Having a Shell Of A Time in Hawaii

One Cool Thing: Marines Having a Shell Of A Time in Hawaii

Marine Corps Base Hawaii is going all out to protect …. green sea turtles.  Yup.  For the first time, this year the training base had endangered green sea turtles nesting on one of its beaches.  So the team of wildlife specialists on the base marked the nests with posts and used orange tape to keep […]

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Should Joshua Trees Be Designated Endangered in California?

Should Joshua Trees Be Designated Endangered in California?

The state of California is considering whether to formally designate southern California’s iconic Joshua Tree as an endangered species, and it seems that local developers and businesses, including the renewable power industry are pushing back and expressing concerns.  The California Fish and Game Commission put off a decision last week on whether to study whether the famed tree is endangered, saying they needed more time look at the issue.

Why This Matters:  Clashes like this between conservationists and the renewable energy industry are bound to increase. We will need to find ways to reconcile these competing environmental interests.  Our future depends on it.

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Captain of Tanker That Wrecked in Mauritius Is Arrested, Questions Emerge About Panamanian Vessel

Captain of Tanker That Wrecked in Mauritius Is Arrested, Questions Emerge About Panamanian Vessel

The Captain of the giant tanker that ran aground off the coast of Mauritius causing a devastating oil spill in pristine marine areas was arrested last week after it emerged in local news reports that a preliminary examination by the police showed the crew was having a party on the night the ship ran off course, according to The New York Times.

Why This Matters: As Nishan Degnarain asks in Forbes, “Why has global shipping or the authorities in Panama not invested in leading-edge maritime control center – an Ocean Mission Control?

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Brazil’s Biodiversity-Rich Pantanal Wetlands “Ravaged” By Wildfires

Brazil’s Biodiversity-Rich Pantanal Wetlands “Ravaged” By Wildfires

Fires are “ravaging” the biodiversity-rich Pantanal region of Brazil, Jake Spring of Reuters reported Tuesday. In the first fifteen days of August alone, the national space research agency of Brazil recorded 3,121 fires, which is almost five times greater than last year. Already, 6% of the Pantanal burned from January to July due to high temperatures, dry conditions, and high winds.

Why This Matters: As the world’s largest wetland, the Pantanal is home to key biodiversity.

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Mauritius Scrambling to Save Wildlife and Its Tourism Industry After Devastating Oil Spill

Mauritius Scrambling to Save Wildlife and Its Tourism Industry After Devastating Oil Spill

On Saturday, the Japanese oil tanker Wakashio that ran aground three weeks ago off the coast of the island of Mauritius broke in half. The Panama-flagged vessel was traveling from China to Brazil with no cargo, but it was carrying more than 4,000 tons of heavy fuel oil and diesel, of which between 800 and 1,200 tons have already spilled. 

Why This Matters:  It is unbelievably challenging to clean up an oil spill of this magnitude — just ask anyone who stood on the beaches in Louisiana mopping up oil after the Deepwater Horizon spill.

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Border Wall Continues To Rack Up Environmental Damages, And Now Maybe Nets Too?

Border Wall Continues To Rack Up Environmental Damages, And Now Maybe Nets Too?

Several ponds at the San Bernardino National Wildlife Refuge went dry or had an extremely low supply, according to documents obtained by two environmental non-profits, and the reason was the agency building President Trump’s border wall there ignored repeated warnings that using the groundwater there to make cement for the wall would cause irreparable harm to the Refuge and to local water supplies, The Washington Post reported. 

Why This Matters:  It seems the Trump administration believes it can do anything to build its wall — regardless of how extreme and what laws it might violate.

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