Double whammy killed coral reefs off Texas coast

Double whammy killed coral reefs off Texas coast

Photo: This colony of Spiny Flower Coral (Mussa angulosa) shows sections that are partially bleached, completely bleached, and even some dead sections already overgrown with algae. A bleached Fire Coral stands alongside. (Credit: Joyce & Frank Burek/NOAA Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary)

Researchers may have solved the mystery of what caused the death of the large and colorful reefs about 100 miles from the Galveston coast 3 years ago.

[more…]

How an Old Law Is Helping Fight New Plastic Problems

How an Old Law Is Helping Fight New Plastic Problems

New legislative efforts to ban plastics are important, but a recent court ruling in Texas reminds us that enforcing existing laws is a crucial part of the plastics fight.

On October 15 a federal court approved the largest citizen-suit settlement ever awarded under the Clean Water Act: $50 million.

A fourth-generation Texas shrimper, Diane Wilson, used the citizen suit provision of the Clean Water Act to sue the petrochemical manufacturer … [more…]

These Dams Needed Replacing 15 Years Ago. Now Texas will Drain Four Lakes Instead.

These Dams Needed Replacing 15 Years Ago. Now Texas will Drain Four Lakes Instead.

Photo: The dam at Lake McQueeny, near Seguin, is one of four remaining in the Guadalupe River Valley in Central Texas that are at risk of failure. MIGUEL GUTIERREZ JR. / THE TEXAS TRIBUNE

Texas officials will start draining four lakes next week in Guadalupe County in Central Texas without a plan in place for when the lakes, and the 90-year-old dams that support them, will be rebuilt. Area homeowners, … [more…]

Report: Galveston Bay Shows Resiliency, But Some Worrisome Factors

Report: Galveston Bay Shows Resiliency, But Some Worrisome Factors

Photo: Lisa Gonzalez, president and CEO of the Houston Advanced Research Center, was on Houston Matters to discuss the findings of the 2019 Galveston Bay Report Card. Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz/Houston Public Media

Galveston Bay is in overall good condition, but the loss of wetlands, along with a slight decline in water quality and sea level rise, are concerning factors, according to the 2019 Galveston Bay Report Card.

The annual report … [more…]

“Fumes Across the Fence Line” – Causes and Effects of Environmental Racism

"Fumes Across the Fence Line” - Documenting the Causes and Effects of Environmental Racism, and Asking: What are the Next Steps?

A study released in November of 2017 produced by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) the Clean Air Task Force (CATF) and the National Medical Association (NMA) “Fumes Across the Fence-line” shows for the first time with empirical data that pollution disproportionately affects communities of color. The 36-page study links pollutants emitted by gas or oil facilities near communities of color to high rates of asthma … [more…]