Association of State Wetland Managers - Protecting the Nation's Wetlands.

bos2An unexpectedly happy—or at least nuanced—tale of invasion

By Brandon Keim – Anthropocene Magazine – October 11, 2017
Within a few years of their escape in the early 1990s from farms off the coast of Germany, Pacific oysters established feral populations along the North Sea’s eastern shores. The oysters were invasive, spreading without restriction, and smothered native mussels, which are an important bottom-of-the-food-chain food source for the region’s seabirds. Ecological catastrophe appeared imminent. Yet that’s not what happened. Twenty-six years after their arrival, Pacific oysters and mussels now seem to be coexisting. The resulting communities, dubbed “oyssel reefs” by researchers who describe the invasion’s dynamics in the journal Ecosphere, may even be healthier than the mussels alone. “The introduction and spread of Pacific oysters has entailed more resistant, more resilient and more diverse communities at sites of the former mussel beds,” said Karsten Reise, the study’s lead author and an ecologist at the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research. “Oyssel reefs are likely to better cope with the challenges of the Anthropocene. For full article, click here.

 

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wppThese dogs are helping to solve environmental problems

By Isabelle Groc – Ensia – October 11, 2017 – Video
It is still cool in the morning as Spots gets ready to start work. Calm and confident, the imposing 10-year old light brown Kangal is leading a herd of goats into a pasture. “He is always excited to go out with the goats,” says Tyapa Toivo, small livestock manager at the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF). In this part of north-central Namibia, the goats graze every day on the same land where leopards, cheetahs and jackals also live. But the goats are safe with Spots. He watches over them intensely, and if a predator approaches, he barks loudly and places himself between the herd and the threatening animal. This is usually sufficient to scare the predator away. “Our goats go out every day and we have cheetah roaming around, but I have never experienced losses from a cheetah,” says Toivo. “They know that this herd of goats is with a dog, so they don’t bother coming any closer.” For full story and to view video, click here.

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bos2Why Protect 600,000 Square Miles That Most People Will Never See?

By Jenny Woodman – Ensia –  October 3, 2017  – Video
Much of what lay beneath the ship was a mystery. The edge of the continental shelf plummets more than 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) somewhere in the vicinity of oceanographer Robert Ballard’s Exploration Vessel (E/V) Nautilus, which was making its way to Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary, about 60 miles (97 kilometers) northwest of San Francisco. For full story and to view video, click here.

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wppTracking Little Turtles on the Prairie

By Cara Byington – Cool Green Science – September 6, 2017
What do you do if you only have eight known Blanding’s turtles in the population you’re studying at Illinois’s Nachusa Grasslands Preserve? Well, if you’re Rich King and colleagues, you lure them into hoop traps baited with sardines, attach tiny transmitters to their shells with an epoxy resin, and then spend the months from April to October using radio telemetry to track them by hiking the prairie holding an antenna above your head, all of which is not as easy as it may sound. For full blog post, click here.

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bos2“Unlawful Government Takings”

By Janice Kaspersen – Forester Daily News – September 18, 2017
Among the many, many flooded homes in Houston after Hurricane Harvey are some for which the owners say the government is responsible. A group of homeowners is suing both the Army Corps of Engineers and the San Jacinto River Authority for releasing water from a reservoir—water, they say, that damaged or destroyed more than a thousand homes that wouldn’t have otherwise been flooded. With some of those homes valued as high as a million dollars, the damages could run to billions. For full story, click here.

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wppWhat would an entirely flood-proof city look like?

By Sophie Knight – The Guardian –September 25, 2017
They call it “pave, pipe, and pump”: the mentality that has dominated urban development for over a century. Along with the explosion of the motorcar in the early 20th century came paved surfaces. Rainwater – instead of being sucked up by plants, evaporating, or filtering through the ground back to rivers and lakes – was suddenly forced to slide over pavements and roads into drains, pipes and sewers. Their maximum capacities are based on scenarios such as 10-year storms. And once they clog, the water – with nowhere else to go – simply rises. The reality of climate change and more frequent and intense downpours has exposed the hubris of this approach. As the recent floods from Bangladesh to Texas show, it’s not just the unprecedented magnitude of storms that can cause disaster: it’s urbanisation. For full story, click here.

 

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bos2Can the United States Afford Another Hurricane?

By Jackie Snow – Hakai Magazine– September 21, 2017
The 2017 North Atlantic hurricane season still has about five weeks to go, but it’s already one of the most expensive on record. According to Gavin Magor, a senior financial analyst at rating agency Weiss Ratings, claims on damages caused by Hurricane Harvey will cost from US $160- to $190-billion, and Irma will cost $50- to $60-billion. This toll makes the two storms more expensive than 2005, when four hurricanes caused $143-billion in damages. It’s just as bad for some of the islands in the Caribbean, with an early estimate putting the damage from Irma at $10- to $13-billion, the most expensive storm on record in the region. Such massive expenses force the question: can the United States afford to take another hit? For full article, click here.

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wppPolicy changes needed at every level to survive the next storm

By Chad Berginnis – The Hill – September 3, 2017
Rainfall amounts from Harvey were huge, but not unprecedented. Texas previously held the continental U.S. record for a rainfall when Tropical Storm Amelia in 1978 dumped 48 inches of rain. In terms of property damage and economic loss, Harvey may end up surpassing Katrina, but we will see other floods like it in the future. 
For full blog post, click here.

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bos2River and Water Conservation Organizations’ Role in Disaster Management

By Alice Srinivasan – River Network – September 12, 2017 
Natural disasters are becoming more frequent and severe. Between 1995 and 2015, the United Nations estimated that a staggering 4.1 billion people worldwide were injured, left homeless, or required emergency assistance as a result of weather-related disasters 1. The majority of victims were impacted by flooding, which claims approximately 200 lives each year in the United States 2. The need for community-based disaster preparedness and emergency response has never been greater. For full story, click here.

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wppOpinion: The Flood Reduction Benefits of Wetlands

By Michael W. Beck and Siddharth Narayan – The Scientist – August 31, 2017
The ongoing devastation from Hurricane Harvey sadly reminds us of the risks of coastal living. We feel deeply for the communities in Harvey’s path. One of us (Sid Narayan) hails from a coastal city in south India that has seen its fair share of tragedy too, from annual cyclones to the 2004 Asian tsunami. Sid has spent his career as a coastal engineer trying to design solutions to reduce those risks. He has carved a niche as one of the small but growing number of engineers helping to show where natural solutions can contribute cost effectively to risk reduction. As a coastal ecologist, the other author (Mike Beck) has had to run from storms too, including once abandoning his boat and broken trailer in a swampy, roadside ditch in the Florida panhandle. Over the past four years, our team has had the opportunity to look beyond coastal biodiversity and to work closely with the insurance sector to evaluate the benefits of coastal wetlands for flood risk reduction. For full opinion, click here.

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