COASTAL development, rising sea levels, increasing storm surges and a vocal community are a potent political mix. The climate change debate has rightly focused on the critical need to reduce carbon emissions but inadequate attention is being given to what we need to do in terms of adaptation to climate change on the coast.
Our coastal communities face an impending crisis. Continuing development in areas likely to be inundated is foolhardy at best. For a nation skilled at emergency management when it comes to floods and fire, we are remarkably unprepared for when the inevitable storm surge hits a populated coastal area.
Read more ‘Our endangered coast’ – Opinion – theage.com.au – Barbara Norman
CHINA launched a crackdown on plastic bags yesterday, banning production of ultra-thin bags and forbidding supermarkets and shops from handing out free carriers from June 1.
China uses too many bags and fails to dispose of them properly, wasting valuable oil and littering the country, China’s cabinet, the State Council, said in a notice posted on the central government Website (www.gov.cn).
“Our country consumes huge amounts of plastic bags every year. While providing convenience to consumers, they have also caused serious pollution, and waste of energy and resources, because of excessive use and inadequate recycling,” it said.
Plastic bags set to be banned — Shanghai Daily | wå¥ — English Window to China News.
In the late 19th century, the banks of the Charles River near the Harvard campus were covered with marshes, cut through with small streams that advanced and retreated with the tides.
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Then engineers took over. The tidal marshes were filled, land was reclaimed, and many of the streams were buried underground in pipes.
Now, as Harvard begins its expansion on the Allston side of the Charles, there is a push to return the area to a more natural state – part of an emerging national movement that touts the environmental benefits of landscape restoration.
For the last two years, Harvard, the city, the local community, and various groups including the watershed association have worked – sometimes contentiously – to determine the best course for the project. Bowditch said her group’s main goal is to figure out how the drainage systems in North Allston work and how to make them work better.
Could Harvard expansion restore Allston’s watery ways? – The Boston Globe.
It’s a quest similar to those undertaken by neighboring communities after a six-year building boom that changed the landscape of the once mostly-rural suburbs southwest of Chicago. Since 2000, Will County’s population surged 33 percent, making it the fastest-growing county in Illinois and among the most rapidly expanding in the U.S.
Now that the building has slowed, many communities are taking a step back to identify areas straining under the weight of urbanization.
“We know the slowdown isn’t going to last forever,” DeVivo said. “Now is the perfect time to focus our attention toward protecting our natural environment.”
The environmental survey of Long Run Creek, released late last year and funded by an $80,000 state grant, revealed a creek under assault. Researchers documented garbage dumps similar to what DeVivo had seen, but also areas of the creek where natural buffers have eroded, contributing to a loss of native plants and insects.
Stopping the flow of urban pollution — chicagotribune.com.
Environmentalists eager to save urban trees are promoting the Evergreen Cities campaign, naming it one of their top four priorities for the legislative session that starts next Monday. They’re pushing a $1 million program to improve urban forests statewide.
Protections for urban trees vary widely in the Puget Sound region, contributing to a dramatic decline in the tree cover. Satellite images from the ’70s are dominated by green swaths with black specks of buildings and roads. Recent pictures are practically reversed, with black oozing across the image and green patches shining through.
It’s an urban deforestation seen nationwide. About 25 percent of city tree canopy vanished over the past 30 years, based on satellite image analysis by American Forests, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit group.
Environmentalists push $1 million program to save urban trees. Seattle – LISA STIFFLER SeattlePI