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Category Archives: Environmental Law

The State of the Birds 2014 United States of America

“One hundred years after the extinction of the passenger pigeon, the nation’s top bird science and conservation groups have come together to publish The State of the Birds
2014—the most comprehensive review of long-term trend data for U.S. birds ever conducted. The authors call the results unsettling. The report finds bird populations declining across several key habitats, and it includes a “watch list” of bird species in need of immediate conservation help. The report also reveals, however, that in areas where a strong conservation investment has been made, bird populations are recovering. The full report can be found at stateofthebirds.org. The State of the Birds 2014 is authored by the U.S. Committee of the North American Bird Conservation Initiative—a 23-member partnership of government agencies and organizations dedicated to advancing bird conservation. The report is based on extensive reviews of population data from long-term monitoring. It looks to birds as indicators of ecosystem health by examining population trends of species dependent on one of seven habitats: grasslands, forests, wetlands, ocean, aridlands, islands and coasts. This year’s report is also a five-year check-in on the indicators presented in the inaugural 2009 State of the Birds report. After examining the population trends of birds in desert, sagebrush and chaparral habitats of the West, the report’s authors identify aridlands as the habitat with the steepest population declines in the nation. There has been a 46 percent loss of these birds since 1968 in states such as Utah, Arizona and New Mexico. Habitat loss and fragmentation due to development are the largest threats. These are also significant threats in the nation’s grasslands, where the report notes a decline in breeding birds, like the eastern meadowlark and the bobolink, of nearly 40 percent since 1968. That decline, however, has leveled off since 1990—a result of the significant investments in grassland bird conservation.”

Glacier National Park May Have No Glaciers by 2035

New York Times – By MICHAEL WINES: “GLACIER NATIONAL PARK, Mont. — What will they call this place once the glaciers are gone? A century ago, this sweep of mountains on the Canadian border boasted some 150 ice sheets, many of them scores of feet thick, plastered across summits and tucked into rocky fissures high above parabolicContinue Reading

Urban Water Blueprint

Mapping conservation solutions to the global water challenge – The Nature Conservancy “This report addresses a critical issue facing mayors in cities around the world: access to clean and adequate water supplies. The growth of urban populations, coupled with incidences of sudden climate stress and long-term land degradation of drinking watersheds, pose increasing risks toContinue Reading

Reducing Coastal Risk on the East and Gulf Coasts

“Hurricane- and coastal-storm-related losses have increased substantially during the past century, largely due to increases in population and development in the most susceptible coastal areas. Climate change poses additional threats to coastal communities from sea level rise and possible increases in strength of the largest hurricanes. Several large cities in the United States have extensiveContinue Reading

EPA – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

“Learn how reducing, reusing, and recycling can help you, your community, and the environment by saving money, energy, and natural resources. Recycling programs are managed at the state and local level—find information on recycling in your community.”

Google launches application to track global fish poaching

SkyTruth, Oceana & Google Announce New Technology Initiative to Illuminate Global Fishing Activity: “SkyTruth, Oceana and Google announced Global Fishing Watch, a big data technology platform that leverages satellite data to create the first global view of commercial fishing. On November 14, 2014, a prototype was unveiled at the 2014 IUCN World Parks Congress inContinue Reading

Report: Donald Trump’s Golf Course Is Threatening Washington’s Water Supply

Washington Post: “The Trump National Golf Club in Sterling poses one of the most dangerous threats to the quality of the Potomac River, according to a study published Tuesday by the Potomac Conservancy – 2014 State of the Nation’s River . The club’s move in 2011 to chop down 400 trees in order to give oneContinue Reading

NASA – How the View from Space Is Protecting Earth Today

“Efforts to conserve parks and protected areas around the world are being aided by Earth observations from space-based sensors operated by NASA and other space agencies as well as commercial providers. A new book released this week highlights how the view from space is being used to protect some of the world’s most interesting, changing,Continue Reading

Criminality, Corruption and the Devastation of Tanzania’s Elephants

Environmental Investigation Agency. Vanishing Point – Criminality, Corruption and the Devastation of Tanzania’s Elephants, November 2014. “The devastating poaching crisis in Tanzania 25 years ago was characterised  by increased criminality, corruption, the proliferation of firearms, the failure of the judicial system and the perception that Tanzania was a sanctuary for criminals. Between 1977-87, Tanzania lost over 50,000 elephants,Continue Reading

Lack of Transparency Raises Serious Concerns about Planned Uranium Processing Facility

“Federal officials have refused to publicly release information about the cost and scope of a planned Uranium Processing Facility (UPF) in Tennessee, even as the project moves toward the design and construction phase. The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) has raised alarms about the scant details that have been revealed about the multi-billion dollar UPF projectContinue Reading

NOAA removes 57 tons of marine debris from Northwestern Hawaiian Islands

News release: “A team of 17 NOAA divers sailing aboard NOAA Ship Oscar Elton Sette has returned from a 33-day mission to remove marine debris from Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in Hawaii, a World Heritage Site and one of the largest marine conservation areas in the world. In total, they removed approximately 57 tons of derelict fishing netsContinue Reading

Largest Clean Air Act Settlement in History

Settlement with Hyundai and Kia protects consumers and ensures greenhouse gas emissions reductions “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice today announced an historic settlement with the automakers Hyundai and Kia that will resolve alleged Clean Air Act violations based on their sale of close to 1.2 million vehicles thatContinue Reading