"Raw sewage and other pollution continued to foul American beaches in 2008. For the fourth year in a row, more than 20,000 beach closing days were reported in the USA, according to a report released today by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in Washington, D.C."
Water & Oceans
"In a big win for oil companies, a federal appeals court said it will allow the U.S. Interior Department to move forward with oil and natural gas leasing plans for the Gulf of Mexico that were drawn up by the Bush administration."
In one handy spot, you'll find hundreds of rarely visited Web pages published by a vast variety of federal offices and programs doing science on environmental and other topics.
"HOUMA, La. -- As thousands attended Grand Isle's biggest tourist event this weekend most of its beaches -- and others close by -- were under advisories for high levels of bacteria in the water. State environmental officials say they don't know the cause because there are too many potential contamination sources."
A variety of initiatives aimed at reducing shipping-related emissions are in the works.
"A coalition of three nonprofit water protection groups are jointly requesting that the Washington Department of Ecology 'abandon its plans to weaken industrial stormwater protections.'"
The mysterious, miles-long "blob" found floating in the Chukchi Sea is not an oil spill or alien life-form, according to early tests, but an unusual algal bloom.
Jackson ordered staff to make existing information more accessible and understandable to the public, including posting on the Web state performance reports under the Clean Water Act.
"The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has published a final rule in the Federal Register prohibiting the harvesting of krill in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) off the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington."
"This year's Atlantic hurricane season could be less severe than usual due to start of another El Nino period in June."