A Texas judge has ruled that the atmosphere and air must be protected for public use, just like water, which could help attorneys tasked with arguing climate change lawsuits designed to force states to cut emissions.
Visit us daily for updates on NOAA activities at the 64th Annual Meeting of the IWC in Panama City, Panama. We'll be live Tweeting at @USAForWhales — on everything from whale conservation to research and management — starting June 24 through July 6.
The wicked drought that plagued Texas last year had an upside: cleaner beaches.
With the state in the grips of its driest year on record, less polluted runoff from Houston and other cities poured into coastal waters.
As a result, the number of times Texas beaches were closed or had posted advisories because of high bacteria levels in 2011 dropped by nearly half from the previous year, according to a report released by The Natural Resources Defense Council.
Texas' cleaner waters were due, in part, to the record dry spell.
Overall, the state ranked eighth for water quality among the 30 in the survey. The chronically dirty beaches in Corpus Christi and surrounding Nueces County also had cleaner water last year but still accounted for half of the state's beach closings and advisories.
Galveston County, meanwhile, had 13 beaches, including Appfel Park and Steward Beach, where water quality improved or remained the same from 2009.
Even with the assist from the drought, the NRDC said local, state and federal officials could do more to limit polluted runoff, including the use of “green infrastructure,” such as porous pavement that allows rainwater to seep into the ground rather than drain into sewers.
Menhaden is a small, oily fish that most people have never heard of. You won't, after all, see menhaden in supermarkets or seafood stores or on restaurant menus. However, this species could be a test case for ecosystem-based fisheries management in Chesapeake Bay.
Observers say the state-managed program is languishing because of a passive approach to acquiring water rights. Texas, unlike some other states, does not purchase rights, opting instead to wait for donations.
There's an unseen foreign invasion going on in the Gulf of Mexico. Its stealth and speed is matched only in the uncertainty it has created among scientists and the people who make their livings from the Gulf's waters.
When Susan Combs was growing up on her family's West Texas ranch, conserving water was part of everyday life: If the windmill wasn't turning and the storage tank at least half full, the household plumbing was turned off — even the toilets.
How warm was 2011 in relation to past years? Were the extreme events we saw in the U.S. the same around the globe? Why is ocean temperature so important to climate? What is a La Niña and how does it affect climate? Get answers to these questions and more during our Climate Chat highlighting the release of the 2011 State of the Climate 2011 Report.
It took Gulf Coast lawmakers more than two years to persuade a divided Congress their communities deserve most of the billions of dollars BP will pay in fines for its role in the 2010 oil spill.
Now comes another challenge: figuring out how to spend that money.
Officials in the five states affected — Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas — have some time to weigh which projects and programs will best help the Gulf Coast recover from the nation's worst environmental disaster.
The first payments of the estimated $5 billion to $20 billion in fines imposed by the federal government aren't expected until early next year, after a scheduled civil trial. If a settlement is reached before that, the money could arrive sooner.
Under the RESTORE Act, 80% of the fine money levied against BP is earmarked for the five Gulf Coast states. It's an unprecedented arrangement. Typically, such financial penalties go to an oil-spill liability trust fund and the U.S. Treasury's general fund for distribution nationwide.
Much of the money is expected to finance projects already on the drawing board, including some proposed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Local officials are figuring out great plans for how we can do giant restoration projects on the Gulf Coast.
The need to align HR with the business has become more urgent than ever. Financial markets exert relentless pressure for growth, especially in emerging markets. Customers demand more and better service at lower cost.
NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey has announced a new website — www.stormsurge.noaa.gov — designed to provide vital information to help protect communities, people and property from the devastation of coastal flooding.
It might be difficult to think of something as wet as a bay or estuary as being “in drought,” but the devastation across Texas in 2011 also struck these coastal ecosystems. Unlike on land, many of the coastal effects of a drought occur beneath the surface of the water, hidden from view.
Rio de Janeiro, 19 June 2012 – Over 80 per cent of countries have reformed their water laws in the past twenty years as a response to growing pressures on water resources from expanding populations, urbanization and climate change.
“Simply, this is putting tools of sustainability into the hands of citizens,” says John Jacob, professor and extension specialist with Texas Sea Grant and Texas AgriLife Extension Service, and director of the Texas Coastal Watershed Program. “These tools help facilitate participatory democracy and enable nonexpert citizens to engage complex data sets in new and meaningful ways.” image by FreeDigitalPhotos.net