CNN reports Alabama is abusing BP oil spill money. Above, a state rep defends plans to spend beach restoration funds on building a new convention center and tourist attractions on the beach, above.
Alabama is spending just 8.5% on restoring beaches and marine ecosystems. Louisiana, for comparison, is spending 100% of the BP penalties on wetland, wildlife, marshes, and other coastal restoration. Florida is spending 90% on restoration.
After a cleanup effort that cost tens of millions of dollars, visitors from the Rockaways to the Hamptons will be able to enjoy miles of seashores that have been groomed and cleaned up by volunteers and work crews. In still others, sunbathers may have to squeeze their towels a little closer on beaches shrunken in some places by half its normal size by the effects of erosion.
"People are going to rewrite the formula for the beach," says Andrew Field, co-owner of the popular Rockaway Taco restaurant near Queens’ Rockaway Beach, a 7-mile stretch of sand off the Atlantic Ocean that was perhaps the city’s hardest-hit beachfront.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will work all summer to restore 3.6 million cubic yards of sand in a stretch of beach where, at high tide, what last summer was prime real estate for sunbathing is now part of the ocean. […] after spending more than $270 million in repair costs, all 14 miles of New York City’s beaches will be open for the Memorial Day weekend, including Coney Island, Brighton and Manhattan Beaches in Brooklyn; Orchard Beach in the Bronx; Midland, Wolfe’s Pond, Cedar Grove and South Beaches in Staten Island; and, of course, Rockaway Beach in Queens.
Passionately written story of the largest dam removal project in U.S. history. The project is helping restore huge salmon runs as well as ecosystems left damaged by the 100 year old infrastructure project.
As the last block of concrete was pulled from the riverbed, the Elwha River in the Olympic Mountains of Washington State flowed freely for the first time in over 100 years. The river was historically one of the most productive salmon streams for its size in the Pacific Northwest. Four hundred thousand salmon once swam its length each year but, in the century since the dam’s construction, that number had fallen to a few thousand.
Within months of the dam’s removal, nature has rushed back: over 200 salmon have already returned. The prospect of a river teeming with silverbacked salmon weighing over 45 kilograms each may no longer remain a hazy memory of local Native American tribes.
The Elwha dam removal project stands as one of the first large dams ever removed. The intent of removing the dams is to fully restore the Elwha River ecosystem and its native migratory fish species. In doing so, the Elwha dam project revived the debate of how to balance the conflicting demands of humans for both clean energy and healthy ecosystems.
Previously, that debate has been weighted decisively in favor of dam projects. But with a greater understanding of the value of ecosystem services, the Elwha dam project may represent the start of a revolution in how we assess the West’s aging dam infrastructure.
“Watch the trailer for an exciting series of videos documenting the comprehensive restoration and conservation process in the Hall of North American Mammals that took place from the spring of 2011 to the Fall of 2012.
The 16-part series was recognized as an Official Honoree for the 2013 Webby Awards in the Documentary: Series category”
Allan Savory: How to green the world’s deserts and reverse climate change
Not at all what I expected. For just over half his talk, Savory discusses the issue of desertification, which many of you are familiar with. He (like many others) makes the case for restoring these deserts.
Then, in the last six minutes, he completely blows everyone’s minds. You just gotta see it.
Anonymous asked: hi Michael Cote,My names is Benjamin Hale. I am a post grad student of the UniversityManchester currently undertaking my masters in architecture. I am looking at Venice as a possible location for a project as I find it to be a fascinating city. Im conducting an urban analysis in order to better understand the typologies found in the city and to ascertain the reasons why it has evolved in the way that it has. Could you please point me in the direction of some decent visual and reading material?:)
Thanks for the note. How on earth did you know I studied/toured Venice??
Architectural histories of Venice are a dime a dozen. I’d try to get into the heads of actual Venetians. Also, there is a firm that is hired exclusively by the city to maintain the canals and piazzas. They mostly do stone-work-restoration and are experts at it. Sorry, but the name slips my mind, but you can google around. What’s interesting about their firm is that they document the processes very precisely and publish it on line with movie clips and very visual reports.
Beautiful restoration occurring along the Bronx River by non-profits, young people, landscape architects, and city planners.
“I come here all the time,” he said. “It’s incredible, no?”
Yes, it is.
For years one of the most blighted, abused waterways in the country, the southern end of the Bronx River has been slowly coming back and with it the shoreline that meanders through the South Bronx. Next year, barring further delays, what looks to be an innovative work of green architecture, by the Brooklyn firm Kiss & Cathcart, is slated to open in Starlight Park, a green stretch upriver from Hunts Point Riverside. This summer at the mouth of the river another street-end pocket park, Hunts Point Landing, is opening between a Sanitation Department depot and a food processing plant.
The New York waterfront is changing perhaps more than any other part of the city. For centuries the interests of big money and industry shaped it. These days, notwithstanding dogged efforts by the Economic Development Corporation to kindle business along the waterfronts of Sunset Park in Brooklyn and on Staten Island, the city’s old industrial waterfront is in many places giving way to parks and luxury apartment towers where money still talks, like along the Hudson.
But compared with headline-making projects in Manhattan and Brooklyn, the unexpected renaissance under way along the south end of the Bronx River flies largely below the radar. Park by park a patchwork of green spaces has been taking shape, the consequence of decades of grinding, grass-roots, community-driven efforts. For the environmentalists, educators, politicians, architects and landscape designers involved, the idea has not just been to revitalize a befouled waterway and create new public spaces. It has been to invest Bronx residents, for generations alienated from the water, in the beauty and upkeep of their local river.
"American eels were once found in great abundance on the East Coast, often quite far inland, but dams have sealed off much of their routes and their population has plummeted. However, the good news is that some of those old dams are no longer needed and are being torn down.
In 2004 the 22-foot-high Embrey Dam on the Rappahannock River in Virginia was dismantled. Since then, American eel numbers have shot up in headwater streams nearly 100 miles away, according to research just published by the U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Park Service.
Researchers measured eels in Shenandoah National Park streams and found significant increases in numbers two years after the dam came down, with those gains accelerating since.
“Our study shows that the benefits of dam removal can extend far upstream,” Nathaniel Hitt, a USGS biologist and lead author of the study, said in a statement. “American eels have been in decline for decades and so we’re delighted to see them begin to return in abundance to their native streams.”
The study authors noted that the American eel is being considered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for listing as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.”
Hundreds of dams across the US are candidates for removal. Dam removal restores river health, ecosystems, and habitat - all of which have economic benefits, such as increased property value and recreation opportunities.