Eelgrass wasting disease has new enemies: Drones and artificial intelligence

photo: underwater eelgrass

When infected with eelgrass wasting disease, blades of eelgrass develop black and brown splotches (‘lesions’) that can spread and kill the blade. Credit: Olivia Graham/Cornell University

Every year, the world loses an estimated 7 percent of its seagrasses. While the reasons are manifold, one culprit has long confounded scientists: eelgrass wasting disease.

This September a team of biologists is zeroing in on the problem, in the first study of the … [more…]

Pipeline firm found guilty of criminal charges in Santa Barbara oil spill

Photo: cleaning oil-contaminated wildlife. Pipeline firm found guilty of criminal charges in Santa Barbara oil spill

Volunteers and staff of the International Bird Rescue use a toothbrush and soap to clean a brown pelican that was rescued from an oil spill off Refugio State Beach in Santa Barbara County. (ROBYN BECK / AFP/Getty Images)

A Houston-based pipeline firm has been found guilty of criminal charges that it knowingly caused or should have known it was causing a catastrophic oil spill off Refugio State Beach in Santa

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Navajo Water Supply is More Horrific than Flint, But No One Cares Because they’re Native American

photo: Navajo Water Supply is More Horrific than Flint, But No One Cares Because they’re Native American

The news out of Flint, Michigan brought the issue of contaminated drinking water into sharp focus, as it was revealed that officials at every level—local, state and federal—knew about lead-poisoned water for months but did nothing to address the problem.

Under state-run systems like utilities and roads, poorer communities are the last to receive attention from government plagued by inefficiencies and corrupt politicians. Perhaps no group knows this better than … [more…]

Hurricane Florence breaches manure lagoon, coal ash pit in North Carolina

photo: Hurricane Florence breaches manure lagoon, coal ash pit in North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. — Flooded rivers from Florence’s drenching rains have swamped coal ash dumps and low-lying hog farms, raising pollution concerns as the swollen waterways approach their crests Monday.
North Carolina environmental regulators say several open-air manure pits at hog farms have failed, spilling pollution. State officials also were monitoring the ongoing threat from the breach of a Duke Energy coal ash landfill near Wilmington.

Department of Environmental Quality Secretary … [more…]

Glacier depth affects plankton blooms off Greenland:

Study shows complex connection between meltwater discharge and nutrient input — ScienceDaily

Summary: The unusual timing of highly-productive summer plankton blooms off Greenland indicates a connection between increasing amounts of meltwater and nutrients in these coastal waters. Researchers now show that this connection exists, but is much more complex than widely supposed. Whether increasing meltwater has a positive or negative effect on summertime phytoplankton depends on the depth at which … [more…]