Acoustic survey tracks whale population trends along the coast of Southern California

Posted on by Bob Berwyn:blue_whale_001_noaa_body_color Blue whale numbers holding steady; fin w86bdfeee-b9c8-4a62-baa4-a2488c3728f8-originalhales increasing… 

Staff Report: FRISCO — A new acoustic survey in Southern California coastal waters is helping researchers track whale populations.The data analyzed by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego suggests that blue whale numbers are holding steady, while the number of fin whales is increasing.Both species are often seen in the Southern California Bight, the curved region of California coastline with offshore waters extending from San Diego to Point Conception (near Santa Barbara, Calif.), but little is known about their use of the area, where ever-increasing ship traffic has raised concerns about collisions between whales and boats.To learn more, researchers with the Scripps Marine Bioacoustics Lab and Scripps Whale Acoustic Lab  set out specialized recording devices on the seafloor, tracking whale vocalizations  from 2006-2012.The findings were described in the journal Endangered Species Research. The study was supported by the Office of Naval Research, and provides the first detailed view into the spatial use of Southern California waters by blue and fin whales, the two largest cetacean species in the world. Both are classified as endangered species.

Scripps marine acoustician Ana Širović found that blue whale calls were more commonly detected at coastal sites and near the northern Channel Islands, while fin whale calls were detected further off shore, in central and southern areas.

“I think it’s an interesting difference in trends because both of the species were subject to whaling earlier in the twentieth century, and now they’re clearly responding differently,” said Širović.

The acoustic data and overall trends outlined in this study are consistent with visual observations from another Scripps-led study. Širović said the parallel findings between the two studies as evidence that passive acoustics can be used as a powerful tool to monitor population trends for these large marine mammals.

“I think it’s very exciting that we see the same trends in the visual and acoustic data, because it indicates the possibility of using acoustics to monitor long-term trends and changes,” she said, adding that the new study suggests there is a resident fin whale population in the area.

The seasonal recordings of blue whale calls reinforces what’s already known about their migration from the waters off the coast of Mexico and Costa Rica, arriving in Southern California in late spring to forage through the fall.

The leave in early winter, but researchers aren’t certain where they go next. Although researchers have studied blue and fin whales for years, Širović said both species are particularly mysterious, and scientists still don’t know some basic information about them, such as their mating system or breeding grounds.

The Southern California Bight is a highly productive ecological territory for many marine animals due to strong upwelling of cold water, but researchers have not found any evidence that blue or fin whales are breeding there.

The productivity of the coastal region also makes it a hotbed for human activity, with large cities onshore and ships, commercial fishing vessels, and other human impacts ever-present in the water. Since fin whales generally live further offshore, Širović posits that they might have a slight advantage over blue whales, which tend to inhabit areas where there is more ship traffic–increasing their chances for ship strikes.

“It seems that for fin whales, things are probably improving,” she said Širović.

“For blue whales, it’s a little bit harder to tell. There is a question right now as to whether their population has grown to its maximum capacity, because there are many lines of evidence showing that their population is not growing currently,” she said. “So the question remains, is it because that’s just what their population size can be maximally, or are there factors that are keeping them from growing further?”

Širović hopes that future studies can help identify why there is this difference in population trends of blue and fin whales. Now that she and her colleagues have taken a first look at the broad trends of the two species, they want to dig deeper and look into environmental drivers and other factors and features that may be causing some of the spatial distribution patterns and long-term changes of the whales.4074036

Summit County Citizens Voice

Blue whale numbers holding steady; fin whales increasing

Staff Report

FRISCO — A new acoustic survey in Southern California coastal waters is helping researchers track whale populations.

The data analyzed by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego suggests that blue whale numbers are holding steady, while the number of fin whales is increasing.

Both species are often seen in the Southern California Bight, the curved region of California coastline with offshore waters extending from San Diego to Point Conception (near Santa Barbara, Calif.), but little is known about their use of the area, where ever-increasing ship traffic has raised concerns about collisions between whales and boats.

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Our rainforests are home to millions of species. We must preserve them for future generations.

Dear Friends,
Since our last newsletter, we celebrated Earth Day with Almond Trees donated by generous sloth fans from around the globe, updated our Buttercup Inn guest rooms and welcomed popular animal and nature conservationist Jeff Corwin, who was enchanted by our rescued baby sloths!Speaking of which, we’ve rescued a record number of orphaned infants needing incubators and round-the-clock care. We’re trying to understand the biological/environmental reasons why mothers are abandoning their tiny babies, as well as the seemingly ever-increasing incidence of twin births when a mother can only successfully raise one baby (requiring abandonment of the other.) With all the new arrivals, we need to purchase an ultrasound machine and expand our NICU–stat!
The Number One question we get: “May I hold a sloth?” In the recent past we allowed volunteers to handle sloths, so there are tons of photos online of people holding sloths. But last year we were alarmed to discover how stressful it was for sloths to be held by strangers. They appear outwardly calm, but experience acute tachycardia. Unlike a human baby, they don’t cry or fuss, but their hearts race in fear. Sloths–as huggable as they look–are wild animals with unpredictable self-defense behaviors, such as biting or scratching. Also, travelers bring foreign microbes and allergens that can affect the sloths’ immune systems. For their well-being and yours, we do not allow guests to touch, hold or hug sloths.
And please keep away from roadside scammers who let you hold a sloth for a photo. They simply knock an innocent animal out of its tree, exploit it for quick money, then allow the animal to die from lack of nutrition. When the next tourist comes along who wants to hold a sloth for a photo, they repeat this inhumane practice. It’s literally the opposite of the work we do. Thank you for understanding.
All the best,
Judy Avey-Arroyo
Judy Avey-Arroyo


A lovely family found a baby sloth in Guapiles–a 5-hour drive round trip for us to make this rescue! The sloth was alone in a tree overhanging a river, no mother in sight. The baby fell from the tree, and when the family replaced it, the baby began crying out and acting erratically–probably trying to attract its absent mother’s attention–causing it to fall again. That’s when the family called us for a rescue.We believe the baby is female and about 5 months old–unprepared for independence. She weighs 810 grams and, on her first night here, ate an entire leaf, a promising sign of self preservation.We asked the young granddaughter what to name the baby sloth. She chose Nube (“Cloud” in Spanish), because she felt that her recently late father sent the baby from above … through the clouds.

 
Fresh insight into Bradypus food intake

In March I was delighted to publish my latest scientific paper entitled: “Sloths like it hot: ambient temperature modulates food intake in the brown-throated sloth (Bradypus variegatus)” in PeerJ, the award-winning biological and medical sciences journal.During the study we measured exact levels of food intake in three-fingered sloths and investigated how these levels were affected by changes in ambient temperature. We discovered that sloths actually eat surprisingly little on a daily basis (73.5 g dry weight of leaves per day)–three times less than the amoun

t eaten by the similarly-sized howler monkey. Furthermore, we found that the amount of food consumed is remarkably consistent among individuals. Over the course of five months, my three study sloths–Felice, Jewel and Brenda–consumed a total of 61.3%, 60.0% and 61.3% of food provided respectively­–less than a 1.5% difference!

The study* suggests that the known fluctuation of sloth core body temperature with ambient temperature affects the rate at which gut fauna process digesta, allowing for increased rates of fermentation at higher temperatures. Since Bradypus sloths maintain a constantly full stomach, faster rates of fermentation should enhance digestive throughput, increasing the capacity for higher levels of food intake, thereby allowing increased energy acquisition at higher ambient temperatures. This contrasts with other mammals, which tend to show increased levels of food intake in colder conditions, and points to the importance of temperature in regulating all aspects of energy use in sloths.

*Cliffe RN, Haupt RJ, Avey-Arroyo JA, Wilson RP. (2015) Sloths like it hot: ambient temperature modulates food intake in the brown-throated sloth (Bradypus variegatus) PeerJ 3:e875 https://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.875
Firefighters rescued a male Bradypus and brought him to us. He was in perfect health, but  we noticed something strange: this three-fingered sloth had four perfectly-formed toes on his left foot. While we often see missing digits due to genetic deformities, this was the first time we had ever seen an extra toe!

We just had to name him Quattro (meaning “four” in Italian). We released him with a tracking backpack within the Sanctuary’s protected reserve. Of all the wild sloths I have worked with, Quattro was the most difficult to find after release. For weeks we searched for him in the jungle, and although his transmitter sent a strong signal, I was unable to locate him, even with his trademark extra toe!
I’ve been braiding a link of dissolving plastic into my Sloth Backpack harnesses. The plastic weakens in rain and humidity until the backpack eventually drops off and falls to the rainforest floor. Maybe that extra toe gave Quattro a superpower of invisibility, because–despite hours in the jungle every day–I was never able to visually located him again. Maybe we should have named him Houdini! After four weeks of searching, I was relieved to find his discarded backpack on the forest floor, which means he probably established a new territory of his own. ¡Muy buena suerte, Quattro!Becky Cliffe, studying for her PhD from Swansea University (UK), is wrapping up her final year of research at the Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica. BeckyCliffe.com

 

Our rainforests are home to millions of species … we must preserve them for future generations.
When you’re not assisting at the Sanctuary, where do you work?

In my small animal practice in Puerto Viejo with my veterinary clinic partner, Dr. Estefania Solano, I teach surgery at Universidad Veritas in Coronado, and am involved in spay and neuter programs around the country.

Why don’t veterinarians spay and neuter sloths?

Because they are wild animals, we want to preserve them–not turn them in to mascots. If there is ever a chance in the future that our infant rescues can be released into the wild, they will be able to reproduce.

What is the most surprising thing you’ve discovered about sloths?

They are unlike most mammals and yet have characteristics of many different species: a digestive system similar to that of cows, a reproductive system similar to that of humans–among other similarities–while their musculature is quite different than any mammal. They are a puzzle to science!

What part of the Sanctuary do you think is most important for Insider’s Tour guests to see?

Our NICU Nursery–where the tiny babies are cared for–because it demonstrates how human encroachment is causing a major problem for sloth survival. When you see so many rescued babies in one place, it’s blatantly obvious there are problems in their habitat.

As a native Costa Rican, what does the concept of Pura Vida mean to you?

In spite of one’s problems and daily challenges, one must have the right attitude to confront these situations with valor and joy of spirit … Pura Vida!

What is the one message you would like to tell the world about conserving the rainforest?

Sloths are one of the few indigenous American species still present, and they have had the capacity to adapt genetically in one form or another for millions and millions of years. And our tropical American rainforests are home to millions of species of native flora and fauna. We must preserve them for future generations.

    Rehabilitate

A juvenile Choloepus crushed her lower jaw when she accidentally fell from a tree. Luckily, she was rescued and rushed to Dr. Francisco Arroyo, who did a superb job of wiring her jaw together. For three weeks following surgery, despite Mandy’s obvious fear and pain, she bravely accepted being hand-fed liquified leaves. By mid-February, her jaw had almost fully healed. The wires were removed for the final stage of her rehabilitation, allowing her to relearn independence and forage for herself.

 
We received a sadly familiar phone call about a sloth being attacked by a dog. This adult female Choloepus had severe bite wounds but fortunately no broken bones or neurological injuries. We cleaned and dressed her wounds, then carefully monitored her for signs of stress trauma. We were encouraged to see that the very next day, Willa had an appetite and began eating-the first sign of a sloth feeling better on the road to recovery.Within days, the repeat scenario: Another phone call, an adult female Choloepus attacked by dogs. A frequent and tragic consequence of human encroachment into sloths’ habitat, both sloths were rescued from developed areas with too few trees and too many pet dogs. The one thing we can do is to relocate the sloths away from the hazards of urban/suburban areas.Remarkably Willa’s and Walda’s injuries and recovery timelines were similar, so we decided to release them simultaneously.Each was fitted with a Sloth Backpack Daily Diary Data Logger and VHF for tracking. We released them in a forested area adjacent to the Sanctuary, where we can monitor their progress as they establish their new territories and food trees.

Earth Day 2015
 

Our Earth Day 2015 Almond Tree planting initiative has been an overwhelming success, thanks to our very generous donors and the result of our collaboration with American Apparel and illustrator Todd Selby. We’re  celebrating Earth Day Every Day, as Almond Tree donations are welcome year-round.

Leaves of the Terminalia catappa are a favorite sloth nosh and, in this era of deforestation for development, your donations allow us to give back to Mother Earth by stabilizing the soil, providing shade and filtering the air.
Muchas gracias to those who donated-your name or your honorees’ names are being carved on the commemorative plaque right now! It will be on display soon at the Sanctuary. For new donations, names will be featured on the Earth Day 2016 plaque.
Consider donating in memory of a loved one, or to honor a wedding, anniversary or new baby. Make your secure donation by PayPal athttp://www.slothsanctuary.com/donate-to-support-the-sloth-sanctuary/
Funny footnote: Celebrity that she is, Buttercup was featured on the retail hang-tag for American Apparel’s organic cotton, sweatshop-free T-shirt with Todd Selby’s illustration. The first non-human model for American Apparel, she became the subject of several surprising news stories!
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Vaquita population may be down to 50

Summit County Citizens Voice

Illegal fishing drives species toward extinction

asdf A vaquita in the Gulf of California. Photo courtesy NOAA/Paula Olsen.

vaquita habitat map Vaquitas live only in the northern end of the Gulf of California, where they are threatened by illegal fishing.

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — Illegal gillnet fishing in the northern Gulf of California continued to take a toll on endangered vaquita porpoises the past few years, according to a new report suggesting that as few as of 50 vaquitas remain.

The report, from the Committee for the Recovery of the Vaquita (CIRVA), is based on acoustic detection surveys, which is the best way to count the small porpoises. Based on the most recent survey, the scientists concluded an apparent 42 percent drop in the vaquita population from 2013 to 2014, when scientists estimated the population at less than 100.

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image
https://ckelbert.wordpress.com/2015/06/16/child-on-oceanside/

I don’t know if you’re hurting t-day.
E’en so, His love can light the way.
We’re each on our own unique pathway.

Some are so broken they’ve no will to stay.
Don’t highlight the faults of others you see.
They have their own reasons for defeat.

Just allow Him to, help, guide – strengthen you.
You’ll find He’ll restore and mend too.
His love and light is for receiving my friend. 

We’re all just empty vessels He longs to fill.————————————————————

Child on Oceanside:

Here is a lad whose cast in pales.

His eyes breath the ocean breeze.

The whim and the wave tailgates.

———–

The depth of the sea emeralds he.

He takes steps to dive in just yet.

Withal, his weak limbs only float.

———-

Song’s of seagulls speak his cord.

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https://ckelbert.wordpress.com/2015/06/19/death-to-life-2/

As he fingers moment to moment.

Day to day footprints lye in sand.

He Weeps……

Even Though We’ve Lived Apart (A Tribute To My Father)

aromaticcoffees

A tribute to my father today. A man who raised four children as a widower. How he kept it together we’ll never comprehend. And even although we are scattered around the world now, the influence of this wonderful man keeps as all together…

So here’s a poem I found.

Even though we’ve lived apart, I do not love you less. There’s provision in the heart For storing tenderness.

There’s a love that like a star Must reconfigure space To turn the far-flung wanderers Towards some predestined grace.

Time matters not, nor pain, nor death, Nor fate as hard as stone. This truth needs but a single breath, And that we now have known.

Ah, Father! What a joy to live With love at last expressed! Life has no greater gift to give Than that with which we’re blessed.

– Nicholas Gordon

http://www.aromaticcoffees.co.uk

fathersday

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Animal Sanctuary: Real or Fake?

How Can I Tell If An Animal Sanctuary Is Genuine, Or If They Are Taking Advantage Of Animals?!

There a many people across the world that put the safety and care of endangered animals above themselves. A great animal sanctuary’s first concern is always to the animal, making sure they are happy, healthy, and that they feel safe. The animals there are abused, abandoned, or simply displaced by circumstance. These animals are released into the wild when possible, but a great many don’t have that option. A good sanctuary will bring you to the brink of tears with their dedication and success. However, not every “sanctuary” is what it advertises. Some are glorified breeding houses that exploit the animals and don’t take their health into consideration. It’s tough to tell them apart, but it’s important that you go through a rigorous vetting before contributing or taking part in any sanctuary.

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Image courtesy of: shutterstock

When I was 16 I found out about an exotic sanctuary near me in Wisconsin. It took in abused and abandoned big cats, as well as a few bears, horses, foxes, and various farm animals. Each animal came from a horrific environment. One Sumatran tiger, a breed quickly becoming extinct, had been defanged and declawed by the circus he lived in. Tiger teeth are actually part of the jawbone, meaning his jaw couldn’t close correctly, and he couldn’t eat anything but boneless meat. One of the Jaguars (who lived below the room I stayed in) had been beaten numerous times with a metal pipe by her drug dealer owner, causing brain lesions, and a massive mistrust for males. Far too many of the animals came from other “sanctuaries” that were shut down for animal abuse, as well as some that escaped euthanasia at zoos for being “too old.” Every animal had a similar story, but almost every one turned into a happy, friendly, and affectionate animal. They had large indoor and outdoor enclosures, fresh meat every day, and at no point where they exploited or used as an attraction. A great sanctuary will have happy, playful animals because they provide a safe environment for the animals.

There are a number of red flags to look for that can easily identify those animal farms that you should stay far away from. Of course, these are not the only signs to look for. If you feel uncomfortable with the sanctuary, walk the other way.


where did all these animals come from?

Sanctuary animals can be broken into two categories, rescue animals and commercial animals. Seems obvious right? It’s sadly more complex than that.

Rescue animals are going to come from circuses, zoos, those saved from hunters or disease, or private homes. None of them are capable of surviving in the wild, so they need a home to live out the rest of their days. Each animal will have a story, most likely not a good one. Pay attention to why the animal is there, and you’ll get a quick understanding of what the sanctuary is trying to accomplish.

“Commercial” is a broad term, but in essence it’s the best one. These animals are captured specifically for housing in the facility, or they are bred in captivity for the purpose of selling or displaying. Some hide behind the veil of “protecting the species,” but animals born in captivity can’t be released into the wild, so they are simply an attraction, which is exactly what real sanctuaries are trying to protect their wards from.

image: http://d1vmcse0jge0ha.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/shutterstock_46407289-941×627.jpg

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“come on in and play!”

Are the animals available for photo ops with you? Can you ride around on them? This is a huge distinction, and an immediate way to know if you should run the other way. Being able to SEE the animals is great. Most sanctuaries give tours (the one I worked with limited tours to 5 people maximum), but they are small, and keep the psychological needs of the animals in mind. No animals wants to be smothered by people. Most come from backgrounds that bred mistrust of people, and even a “gentle” animal can turn deadly when scared. There should always be a significant barrier between the animals and the guests, and the animals should always have somewhere they can go to be alone if they become stressed. If you can pay for a photo with them, or you can interact directly with the animal right away, then the facility is certainly not a sanctuary.

Training should never be tolerated.

Rescue animals often come from abusive situations. Circuses and private owners often use cruel and violent training methods, leading to long-term physical and psychological harm, often times to the point the animal can never recover. When an animal is rescued, it should have a safe home. It isn’t there to do tricks or to be a showpiece. There is no need to train them! Yet, many commercial facilities have trainers on staff in order to keep their photo op animals in line. Things like bull hooks, electric fences or prods, and chains are all signs of an abusive facility. At no point should the animal be chained or tied up. All of these actions lead to abuse, and are the antithesis of what a sanctuary is trying to accomplish.

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Everyone needs to play

Pay attention to how the animals are housed. No sanctuary will have the endless space that the animals would have in the wild, they should have ample space to run and play. They should have toys, enclosures to sleep and hide, and a way to separate them from the enclosure when it’s time to clean. At no time should an animal be tied up, and their enclosure should be on grass or natural ground, not cement! If the animal can only pace and turn around, then their welfare is being ignored, brazenly so. Imagine what you would need to be happy in that situation, and if you don’t see it, then you know the “sanctuary” is a sham.

Home sweet home?

We can’t read an animals mind, but there are a number of behaviors that are obvious signs of distress in the animals. Zoochosis is the unnatural behavior animals exhibit in captivity, and a common occurrence in the commercial shelter community. Acts like pacing constantly back and forth is the most noticeable sign. Their posture tends to be hunched and more predatory when pacing, showing how anxious and bored they really are. Other signs are sitting and rocking, self-mutilation, and chewing or licking the bars of their cage constantly. Each of these is a sure sign the animals is in a terrible situation.


Read more at http://blog.theanimalrescuesite.com/know-animal-sanctuaries/#yI9biHf1A6PTrMeo.99

Asbestos Tradgedy in Big Sky Country

. Welcome to Libby, Montana, population 2,691. In many ways, Libby is like any other small town. It sits nestled between bits of national forest, it has a train station and a few schools (go Loggers!), and for many years its economy was supported by the nearby logging and mining operations. But in other ways, Libby is very different.

Downtown Libby, Montana. Image: U.S. EPA.

  Libby has a heartbreaking story to tell.

For decades, the company W.R. Grace operated a vermiculite mine in Libby. Vermiculite is a mineral used for insulation and fireproofing in many building materials. (By the way, it’s also the material used for those little white balls in potting soil.)

The vermiculite mine in Libby provided … over 70% of all vermiculite sold in the U.S. between 1919 and 1990.

The vermiculite mine in Libby provided hundreds of jobs, as well as over 70% of all vermiculite sold in the U.S. between 1919 and 1990. And while vermiculite itself isn’t known to be harmful, the Libby mine also included a large deposit of something much more dangerous: asbestos.

The asbestos in Libby’s mine has caused 400 deaths — and counting.

Mining the vermiculite that lay alongside asbestos released harmful asbestos fibers into the air. The asbestos appeared as a fine dust that coated the entire mine — it goteverywhere — and caused harm not only to the mine workers, but to their friends, family, and other town residents as well.

But it’s never easy to criticize a company that plays such a huge role in a town’s life. In the 2004 documentary “Libby, Montana” by High Plains Films, one resident explained:

[W.R.] Grace was on the school board, Grace was on the hospital board, Grace owned the bank. And when you talked about dust control here and … what [the dust] was doing harmful to these people here, the first thing to come out of their mouth was ‘You gonna close that mine down, and you gonna put all these people out of work?’ Well you didn’t have very many friends here when you started talking like that.”

Mine manager Earl Lovick held town positions outside the mine. Images: “Libby, Montana.”

Fast-forward to today: An estimated 400 people in Libby have died from asbestos-related diseases, and more than 2,000 have been sickened by the asbestos. Hundreds more deaths are expected from these diseases, as they can take decades to manifest.

Records show that W.R. Grace knew about the adverse health effects from asbestos in the mine many years before the mine’s closure in 1990. Mine manager Earl Lovick, who died of asbestosis in 1999, testified to having knowledge of the presence and dangers of asbestos. (Check out 9:46 and 12:24 in the video below for clips of Lovick’s statements.)

The company has since paid out millions of dollars in settlement money for civil cases concerning the effects of the asbestos. In 2008, W.R. Grace faced thousands of personal injury claims and agreed to settle all present and future claims via a trust. The amount of money they’re doling out is nearly incomprehensible. But does it really make up for the deaths and the sickness?

Libby continues to heal … slowly but surely.

In 1999, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency responded to widespread concerns surrounding the asbestos in Libby. The agency collected hundreds of samples from around Libby. In 2002, the site was declared a Superfund site, and cleanup began.

A 2014 draft of the EPA’s human health risk assessment states, “It is now possible to live and work in Libby without excessive exposure to asbestos. … Remaining asbestos needs to be safely managed.”

The asbestos risk may be under control (or close to it), but that doesn’t mean the people of Libby have forgotten how W.R. Grace changed the course of their town’s history.

An abbreviated version of the feature documentary, LIBBY, MONTANA.

View the complete film on iTunes –
https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/lib…

More about the Movie –
A small company town in Montana is beset by the worst case of a widespread toxic contaminant in U.S. history. For decades, the corporate conglomerate W. R. Grace knew what the residents of Libby did not: that they were being exposed to a deadly form of asbestos. All the while, the company allowed the spread of the contaminant all over the town — in the school grounds, the Little League baseball field, and in countless homes and yards. Now, the U.S. government has determined that nearly one quarter of the residents have some form of asbestos-related lung abnormality, and hundreds have already died of asbestos-related causes.  Libby, Montana is the story of the American dream gone horribly wrong.  Libby, Montana was broadcast on the national PBS Series, POV/The American Documentary. It was nominated for a national News and Documentary Emmy Award in 2008.

ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
Doug Hawes-Davis and Drury Gunn Carr, co-founded High Plains Films in 1992, and have collaborated on nearly 30 documentaries. Their most recent feature film, ALL THE LABOR premiered at the SXSW Film Festival in 2013. In 2012, their feature documentary FACING THE STORM: STORY OF THE AMERICAN BISON was broadcast on the national PBS series, Independent Lens, and won a Northwest Emmy Award for best documentary feature. In 2007, their documentary feature, LIBBY, MONTANA was broadcast nationally on the acclaimed PBS Series, POV, and was nominated for a National Emmy Award the following year. Other well-known High Plains Films include, BRAVE NEW WEST, KILLING COYOTE, VARMINTS, THIS IS NOWHERE, and THE NATURALIST.

Hawes-Davis is the founder of the annual Big Sky Documentary Film Festival. Now in its eleventh year, the festival is consistently recognized as one of the world’s finest documentary cinema events. Both Carr and Hawes-Davis remain involved in festival programming and development.

Sink Holes: Buried Alive

 More Recent Sinkhole Activity: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/evergreen-line-sinkhole-closes-clarke-road-indefinitely-1.3103583?cmp=rss Sinkhole Threats are Rising. In a leafy suburb near Tampa, Florida, on February 28, 2013, a giant hole opened up under the bedroom floor of Jeffrey Bush, swallowing him as he slept. His body was never found. Bush was a victim of a sinkhole—a worldwide hazard that lurks wherever limestone and other water-soluble rocks underpin the soil. When carbon dioxide from the air dissolves in rainwater, it forms a weak acid that attacks soft rocks, riddling them with holes like Swiss cheese. Sinkholes can occur gradually when the surface subsides into bowl shaped depressions or suddenly when the ground gives way. These geological hazards have swallowed highways, APARTMENT buildings, horses, camels, even golfers, with monster-size holes cracking the earth from Siberia to Louisiana. Filled with compelling eyewitness video of dramatic collapses, and following scientists as they explore the underlying forces behind these natural disasters, NOVA travels the globe to investigate what it’s like to have your world vanish beneath your feet.

This solar powered floating farm can produce 20 tons of vegetables every day

From design practice, Forward Thinking Architecture, come a set of modular floating farms that harvest sunlight and rainwater, as well as desalinate saltwater and grow thousands of tons of vegetables ever year.

Inspired by Chinese floating fish farms, these rectangular units measure 200×350 meters and can connect with other modules via walkways.  The usage of waterways is a great compliment to the farming industry because it makes farming available in so many more locations.  It reduces the need to import food by localizing growth and incorporates rivers and lakes as viable “farmland.”

Each unit is comprised of three levels.  The bottom floor focuses on aquaculture and water desalination, the first floor on hydroponic crop cultivation, and the roof is adorned with solar panels, skylights and rainwater collectors.

Each module is anticipated to make 8,152 tons of vegetables every year and bring in 1,703 tons of fish.  The modules, then, connect into a grid and can scale up into huge farms, producing local food for entire cities.

http://www.inhabitat.com/could-solar-powered-modular-floating-farms-be-an-answer-to-global-food-self-sufficiency/

http://www.forwardthinkingarchitecture.com/SFF-FLOATING-FARMS-INITIATIVE

This blog is free & open source, however embeds may not be.

 
Minds

The Dept of Fisheries launches a “Shark Monitoring Program” to make the Ocean Safer for Humans

Australia: The worlds Deadliest Shark Coast. The “Great White Shark” is the most deadly of the oceans predators. The Shark Investigation Team works on making the deadly seas safer for humans. The Dept of Fisheries launches an extensive “Shark Monitoring Program” The Western Australia  (Full Documentary) Deadly Shark Attacks

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New “camoflauge” wetsuits prevents shark attacks

shark documentary documentary (Nature Documentary)
Deadly Shark Attacks documentary Full
Ocean Documentary
full documentary shark documentary documentary
shark documentary documentary Documentary
Animals of Deep Ocean full documentary
Great White Shark Most Terrifying Predator on the Planet full documentary
Most Terrifying Predator full documentary
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