May 26, 2015 |
Over the past 200 years, the country has lost half of its wetlands. Even in this era of environmental awareness, the rate has accelerated from 60,000 acres a year in 1998 to 80,000 a year in 2009. This matters because wetlands filter water for plants and animals that are integral parts of the food chain and provide rest stops for migratory birds. They also serve as a sponge in storms, protecting people and property. Some of New Jersey's wetlands have the misfortune of being near its popular beach towns.
October 30, 2013 |
When Hurricane Sandy hit the Jersey Shore a year ago today, the wetlands-monitoring equipment of Tracy Quirk, an Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University researcher, was in its path. If the storm washed everything away, two years of painstaking work - not to mention hours of slogging through marsh muck in hip waders to install the devices - would be compromised. She'd have to start over to get continuous, long-term data. The equipment, it turned out, did more than survive.
October 30, 2012
By Michael P. Nairn Even as residents of Southwest Philadelphia's flood-prone Eastwick neighborhood face the consequences of another major storm, city officials are considering a zoning change that would lead to the construction of more than 700 apartments there. Bordering Darby Creek and Cobbs Creek, Eastwick is located on a floodplain, an inherently unstable and shifting landscape. Moreover, it's downstream of the Clearview and Folcroft Landfills, which are federally designated Superfund sites.
October 22, 2012 |
The electronic billboard that flashed to life near the Margate Causeway in April, a half-mile from Richard and Debbie Levitt's backyard, took the couple's breath away. "This thing came towering up from the salt marsh . . . like a giant movie screen, changing every eight seconds," Richard says. "It was horrible," Debbie adds. The Northfield residents, both 65, have successfully sued to get the plug pulled - temporarily, at this point - on the action-packed LED light show.
August 24, 2012 |
Murky storm-water ponds, ugly waste-water lagoons and threatened wetlands may soon find a friend that helps them look and feel better. The tonic appears in the form of small floating islands filled with beneficial plants that help improve water quality, curtail erosion, and benefit wildlife. In southeastern Virginia, these grant-funded islands have been planted and are being studied and evaluated at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia Institute of Marine Science at Gloucester Point, Virginia Zoo in Norfolk and Elizabeth River sites.
April 29, 2012
Bush joins vets on 3-day bike ride FORT WORTH, Texas - Former President George W. Bush accompanied 20 wounded veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan on his second annual 100-kilometer (62-mile) mountain bike ride through Palo Duro Canyon State Park outside Amarillo, which concluded Saturday. Retired Marine rifleman Eric Elrod, 29, said he had never met a president until the three-day Warrior 100K. "To meet any commander in chief is a big deal, but especially cool to meet your commander in chief who was in office at the time you served," Elrod said.
January 8, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Mike and Chantell Sackett wanted to live on scenic Priest Lake in Idaho but couldn't afford to. So they bought a residential lot across the road that offered a distant view of the water, cleared the land, and put down gravel. But instead of building their dream home, the Sacketts found themselves enmeshed in a four-year legal battle with the Environmental Protection Agency over whether their dry lot is protected "wetlands" and possibly off-limits for building. On Monday, the Supreme Court will take up the Sacketts' case, not to redefine wetlands but to decide whether landowners are entitled to a hearing before a judge when confronted by the EPA. The case is being closely watched by developers and environmentalists.
January 7, 2012
New Jersey has received a $1 million federal grant to protect ecologically sensitive wetlands in Cape May County that are home to many species of migratory birds. The state Environmental Protection Department will use the money to buy five parcels totaling 140 acres in Middle Township. They will be added to the 17,000-acre Cape May Wetlands Wildlife Management Area. That site includes land between the Garden State Parkway and the barrier islands. The area provides habitat for one of the most significant concentrations of migratory birds in the world, including the red knot, nesting water birds, water fowl, and rare plants and animals.
March 24, 2010 |
Prominent Burlington County farmer James Durr is in trouble with the government - again. A federal grand jury last month indicted Durr, 55, for allegedly making false statements to authorities and "taking" at least one bog turtle. The turtles are native to New Jersey and have been federally protected under the Endangered Species Act since 1997, largely due to habitat loss. The alleged acts against the species, scientifically known as Clemmys muhlenbergii, occurred on Durr's Turtle Creek Farm in North Hanover.
August 30, 2009 |
Four years ago this weekend, Hurricane Katrina, a Category 3 storm, caused massive destruction along the Gulf Coast from central Florida to Texas. Much of the damage was caused by storm surge, which destroyed infrastructure and damaged critical refineries. It also contributed to levee failures, flooding homes and small businesses on a scale that stunned even the most jaded hurricane watchers. The severity of Katrina's damage in Louisiana was caused, in part, by the fact that the state had already lost one-third of its original wetlands - about 2,000 square miles - an area larger than Delaware.