August 27, 2006 |
Call it a version of the Peaceable Kingdom gone awry. Biologists say it is a mystery as to exactly why dozens of marine mammals, some sick and starving, have beached along the mid-Atlantic shoreline this summer in areas opposite where they would normally be found. Among the latest finds are five hooded seals, all pups about 6 months old that were brought to the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine over the course of the last three weeks. Three were found on New Jersey beaches, one in North Carolina, and one in Virginia.
January 6, 1989 |
In the realm of The Big One That Got Away and Other Tall Tales, perhaps no folklore of the high seas is as old and as trusted as the myth of the dolphin, patron saint of the shipwrecked sailor and lover of mankind. The Greek gods swore by the aquatic mammals. Ancient mariners viewed them as good luck, and even surfers claim that dolphins have warded off sharks and nuzzled the would-be victims back to shore. Take the story just the other day, from Australia. A 17-year-old boy surfing off the coast of New South Wales, about 400 miles north of Sydney, told police that a group of dolphins chased away a shark who had just taken a bite out of him and his surfboard.
June 18, 1989 |
Whales don't swim in Lake Michigan, but a battle over how to save them is nonetheless brewing on its shores. The feud pits the John G. Shedd Aquarium, one of the city's premier cultural institutions, against environmental and animal-rights groups who claim that the aquarium's plan to acquire six Arctic and Pacific whales for its newest exhibit is morally and legally indefensible. Both sides say they want to preserve the marine mammals, whose existence is threatened. But aquarium officials want to do that by acquainting people with them close up, while their critics contend that the only way to help is to leave the whales in the ocean.
May 13, 2006
New Jersey's coast could soon host up to 80 offshore windmills generating electricity for a power-hungry population. It's a needed leap forward for a state already a model on clean energy and environmental protection. The governor's nine-member wind advisory panel decided last week, after 15 months of study, that the state's pressing need for clean, renewable energy warranted a small-scale, public-private pilot project. The panel shed its initial nervousness and realized that only the observation of an actual wind farm, "carefully sited, developed and monitored," would answer lingering questions on aesthetics, wildlife impact and potential to supply electricity.
May 21, 2003
What does it take for a species to earn a little respect in Washington? Forget spotted owls, banana slugs and snail darters for a second. They've had their controversies. Let's talk dolphins. They're cute, smart and funny. Children love them. One even got his own TV show. And lately, after clearing mines from the port of Umm Qasr so humanitarian aid could be delivered to Iraq, dolphins became war heroes. Yet, today the House of Representatives may gut a key protection of dolphins in the wild - and many other safeguards for animals that live on the land and in the sea. The "National Security Readiness Act" is an environmental rollback so extreme it would make Newt Gingrich blush.
September 15, 1994 |
COUNTERINTELLIGENCE AGENTS COUNTER INTELLIGENT THIEVES Russian counterintelligence officers, who normally crack foreign spy rings and nab dangerous criminals, have lately turned their attention to tracking down library books stolen from the Russian National Library. Librarians said documents 250 to 700 years old had been stolen over a period of several years and were beginning to turn up on New York and Jerusalem antiquities markets. Enter Russia's Federal Counterintelligence Service, which just last week arrested an unemployed man who it said had stolen some 18th-century books.
August 5, 1994 |
Madeleine K. Albright, U.S. representative to the United Nations, has signed an agreement amending the deep-seabed mining part of the Convention on the Law of the Sea. This agreement crowns a 10-year effort to eliminate treaty provisions irreconcilable with free-market principles. Because of these provisions, the United States refused to sign the convention, even though President Ronald Reagan said the 16 other parts of the convention were "consistent with United States interests.
December 5, 1990 |
TUNA TSORIS Bet you thought you'd heard the last about dolphin-safe tuna. Wrong. In an angry parting of the ways, several environmental groups allege that the Thailand-based parent company of Bumble Bee Seafoods Inc. has not lived up to its promise to buy only tuna caught by such methods. Officials of Bumble Bee, H. J. Heinz's StarKist Seafood Co. and Van Kamp Seafood Co. Inc.'s Chicken of the Sea brand pledged in April not to buy tuna caught in ways that harm the marine mammals.
May 26, 1991 |
A pornographic magazine featuring Siamese twins was left on a beach in Santa Cruz, Calif. Two funeral wreaths, a prosthetic foot and 2 1/4 pounds of marijuana were found in Florida. Tampon applicators were most abundant in Cape Cod. California accounted for the most underclothing. Overall, 10 kitchen sinks, 3,741 condoms, 34,139 fast-food containers and one life-size inflatable doll were dumped on the nation's beaches last year, according to a study of coastline cleanups released last week by the Center for Marine Conservation.
March 13, 2003
Daily on CNN, high-ranking Defense Department spokesmen brag about America's military might. Yet today, on Capitol Hill, Congress is likely to hear testimony that woodpeckers and dolphins are impeding military readiness. What's up with that? A larger agenda is playing out in Washington, one that wouldn't necessarily protect soldiers but would surely endanger public health. Under the guise of preparation for war, the Pentagon is seeking broad exemptions from environmental laws that regulate air pollution, hazardous waste and toxic cleanup and that protect endangered species, migratory birds and marine mammals.