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Category Archives: Environmental Law

Cleanup Solution for Massive Ocean Plastic Problem

“About 8 million tons of plastic enters the ocean each year (Jambeck et al., 2015). Part of this accumulates in 5 areas where currents converge: the gyres. At least 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic are currently in the oceans (Eriksen et al., 2014), a third of which is concentrated in the infamous Great Pacific GarbageContinue Reading

GAO Reports – Arctic Planning, Farm Program Modernization, Underutilized Military Facilities

Arctic Planning: DOD Expects to Play a Supporting Role to Other Federal Agencies and Has Efforts Under Way to Address Capability Needs and Update Plans, GAO-15-566: Published: Jun 19, 2015. Publicly Released: Jun 19, 2015. Farm Program Modernization: Farm Service Agency Needs to Demonstrate the Capacity to Manage IT Initiatives, GAO-15-506: Published: Jun 18, 2015.Continue Reading

Extract from Pope Francis’s encyclical on climate change

Via The Guardian – This is an extract from Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si – “The pope’s encyclical on climate change – on Thursday June 18, 2015 the Vatican published Pope Francis’s long-awaited encyclical on the environment, which warns of ‘serious consequences’ if the world does not act on climate change.”: “TheContinue Reading

Study – Arctic Ocean rapidly becoming more corrosive to marine species

“New research by NOAA, University of Alaska, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in the journal Oceanography shows that surface waters of the Chukchi and Beaufort seas could reach levels of acidity that threaten the ability of animals to build and maintain their shells by 2030, with the Bering Sea reaching this level of acidity by 2044. “Our research showsContinue Reading

CRS – Invasive Species: Issues in Brief

Invasive Species: Issues in Brief – M. Lynne Corn, Specialist in Natural Resources Policy; Renée Johnson, Specialist in Agricultural Policy. May 22, 2015. “For the first few centuries after the arrival of Europeans in North America, plants and animals of many species were sent between the two continents. The transfer of non-natives consisted not onlyContinue Reading

Review of the Everglades Aquifer Storage and Recovery Regional Study

“The Florida Everglades is a large and diverse aquatic ecosystem that has been greatly altered over the past century by an extensive water control infrastructure designed to increase agricultural and urban economic productivity. The Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP), launched in 2000, is a joint effort led by the state and federal government to reverseContinue Reading

NASA’s massive new dataset tells us what daily weather report will be in 2100

Via onEarth: “Forget your weather app with its five- or even ten-day forecasts—a supercomputer at NASA has just provided us with high-resolution climate projections through the end of the century. The massive new 11-terabyte data set combines historical daily temperatures and precipitation measurements with climate simulations under two greenhouse gas emissions scenarios. The project spansContinue Reading

Role of Data in Tracking Black Markets in Wildlife

Via Wired: “The international black market in wildlife—alive or dead—is notoriously difficult to track. Hunters and smugglers don’t report their take for the same reasons that drug dealers don’t report profits to the IRS. But if you could actually track those networks, maybe you could do something about them. That’s what sent Nikkita Patel, aContinue Reading

What you can do to help protect pollinators

US Fish and Wildlife Service: “Pollinators need your help! There is increasing evidence that many pollinators are in decline.  However, there are some simple things you can do at home to encourage pollinator diversity and abundance. 1) Plant a Pollinator Garden 2) Provide Nesting Habitat 3) Avoid or Limit Pesticide Use“

FEMA Launches New Data Visualization Tool

[June 11, 2015] “the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) launched a new data visualization tool that enables users to see when and where disaster declarations have occurred across the country. As hurricane season kicks off, the tool helps provide important information about the history of hurricanes and other disasters in their communities and what residentsContinue Reading

California Curtails Senior Water Rights

Senior Water Rights Curtailed in Delta, San Joaquin & Sacramento Water sheds – “With drought conditions continuing into the summer months, the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) announced today that there is insufficient water available for senior water right holders with a priority date of 1903 or later in the San JoaquinContinue Reading

Report – Renewable Energy Target Setting

“What are renewable energy targets? Why set a renewable energy target? How should they be designed and translated into specific policy instruments? Renewable energy targets have become a defining feature of the global energy landscape. Some 164 countries around the world have adopted at least one type of renewable energy target as of mid-2015, upContinue Reading