Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hawaii bans plastic bags

according to this article from  Surfrider Foundation

 Plastics degrade at an incredibly slow rate in landfills, but even slower in the ocean so the accumulation is greater.  Here is a conservative explanation by NOAA.

A big topic of conversation these days is the "garbage patch" in the mid-Pacific gyre.
Again, here is a link to NOAA for a less reactionary explanation. 
NOAA is a government organization staffed by scientists, thus tend to not make hyperbolic statements.

Whether you think that giant piles of plastic garbage are rapidly killing off marine life, which in turn is having a negative impact on the food chain to which we are directly linked, or if you think that a little garbage is floating in the ocean, doesn't it make sense to pay attention to how many plastic bags you are using?

I am constantly amazed that the default mode for cashiers is to put everything in a bag.  If I carry two small items from the shelf to the cash register, then why do they need to go in a bag?  It's a waste. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Westbrook River Park

Southern Maine project in which the idea is to do more than put in a boring old fish ladder.

The fish ladder is great as it will allow upstream fish passage.  But, with the growing popularity of whitewater boating over the past couple of generations, several boaters have taken their love for playing with fast-moving water to school, earned engineering degrees, and become whitewater park designers.   These whitewater parks create structures which more closely mimic a natural river than the old-style fish ladders.  These improved fish ladder / whitewater parks have become very attractive to towns interested in renewing interest in forgotten river corridors, often resulting in great quality of life improvements for that town.

Whitewater park designers carefully consider the positive impact such restoration projects have on fish habitat.

Here is an example of Recreational Engineering and Planning's proposal in Michigan.

A project in CA is gaining ground because of the balanced plan that addresses the concerns of boaters, fishermen, environmentalists, and the general population of the town.

The Tulsa whitewater park project


Monday, May 21, 2012

Vote for this image and be awesome

This is the link to the contest.  Enjoy the images.  Vote for mine if you find yourself compelled to help.

All proceeds of this contest go to benefit The Freshwater Trust.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Colorado River a major economic attraction

"Among the study’s key findings, river-related recreation in the six-state region:
  • Supports 234,000 jobs across Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming
  • Produces $26 billion in economic output
  • Generates $17.0 billion in retail sales
  • Out performs regional farming revenues by 14.6% on average
  • Contributes $3.2 billion in federal, state, and local tax revenue annually
  • Provides enough state and local tax revenues to fund over 29,000 teacher positions
  • Creates $10.4 billion in annual earnings, salaries, and wages" 


Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Navigation, not just for fish

This is an effort to raise awareness of a simple concept:
If a fish ladder must be installed
Then why not one that acts more like a natural river?
It looks better.
It creates recreational opportunities in the local community.
It is safer.
Whitewater park engineers are the ones who know how to do this.


Repost the above link to your Facebook, Google+, or any forums in which you participate.  Local people are trying to make the plans for an ugly concrete fish ladder into something more sensible.  This will benefit ww boaters.  This will benefit fish.  This will benefit the local community far beyond boaters and fishermen.

Here is a link to a study re: fish stream habitat and ww parks.  You'll see the careful attention that ww park engineers give fish habitat,  and how much better ww features are vs. typical concrete steps.