By Lek Kadeli – EPA Blog – It All Starts with Science – December 22, 2014
EPA recently announced a partnership to help communities across the United States and around the world achieve that very definition of city resilience by supporting 100 Resilient Cities, pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation. Agency sustainability scientists and other experts will help urban communities take actions today to realize vibrant and healthy futures. 100 Resilient Cities was launched in 2013 to provide urban communities with access to a network of expertise, innovative tools, and models that will help them meet and bounce back even better from serious challenges—from chronic stresses such as air pollution and diminishing access to clean water, to more sudden events including floods, “superstorms” and other weather events, and acts of terrorism. For full blog post, click here.
By Oliver Milman – The Guardian – December 21, 2014
A plan to dump dredged sediment onto a sensitive wetlands area beside the Great Barrier Reef near Abbot Point would lead to much more slurry being pumped into the waters of the reef than officially estimated, a report has warned. In its submission to the federal government, the environment group WWF cites expert advice that the project’s modelling underestimates by nearly 30% the amount of sediment and water that would be discharged into the ocean through a pipe from the wetlands ponds. A total of 1.7m cubic metres of dredged seabed will be mixed with nearly 12.5m cubic metres of seawater to create the slurry, which will be stored within ponds in Queensland’s Caley Valley wetlands. The seabed is being removed in order to expand the Abbot Point port, a coal export terminal near Bowen. The ponds will be constructed near new railway lines running from Abbot Point. For full story, click here.
By John Vidal – The Guardian – December 15, 2014
The world’s beaches are being washed away as coastal developments increase in size and engineers build ever higher sea walls to defend against fierce winter storms and rising sea levels, according to two of the worlds’ leading marine geologists. The warning comes as violent Atlantic and Pacific storms this week sent massive 50ft waves crashing over sea defences, washed away beaches and destroyed concrete walls in Europe, north America and the Philippines. “Most natural sand beaches are disappearing, due partly to rising sea levels and increased storm action, but also to massive erosion caused by the human development of the shore,” said Andrew Cooper, professor of coastal studies at the University of Ulster. For full story, click here.
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Urban Waters Federal Partnership is seeking applications for projects that develop community capacity to sustain local natural resources for future generations. Fundable projects include wetlands creation and restoration; green infrastructure and stormwater management; citizen’s science and volunteer water monitoring; coastal habitat, riparian, urban forest restoration and other water quality protection and restoration projects in local communities. The grant program gives priority to projects located in underserved, environmentally overburdened communities. Deadline is February 2, 2015. For more information, click here.
By Jerry Zremski – The Buffalo News – December 9, 2014
The federal government’s big-money commitment to restoring the Great Lakes is now almost certain to continue another five years thanks to House passage Tuesday of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative of 2014. The bill, which passed by voice vote, authorizes $300 million in federal funding for each of the next five years for Great Lakes programs. The legislation, which is expected to be approved by the Senate and sent to President Obama for his signature later this week, establishes a path forward for a program that has brought $1.6 billion to the lakes since 2010. The multi-agency effort has worked to clean up pollution, restore shorelines, combat invasive species and protect fish and wildlife, but Brian Smith, associate executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, said that’s just the start of the work that’s needed. For full story, click here.