Posted on August 31, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
New data to help long-term coastal planning
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — A team of scientists have taken a close look at coastal erosion trends in Hawaii and determined that sea-level rise is the main driver, outweighing other factors like waves, sediment supply and coastal development.
The researchers from the University of Hawaii – Manoa, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology and the State of Hawaii, Department of Land and Natural Resources said that knowing that sea-level rise is a primary cause of shoreline will help resource managers and planners going forward. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: coastal erosion, global warming, Hawaii, sea level rise | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 6, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Hurricane Iniki reached Kauai in September 1992 as a Category 4 storm, with winds up to 140 mph.
Study projects two to three times as many storms by the end of the century
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Large scale shifts in hemispheric circulation patterns and ocean temperatures are likely to steer more hurricanes toward the Hawaiian Islands in coming decades.
A poleward shift of the subtropical jet stream and warmer temperatures over the equatorial central Pacific will combine to make the storms two to three times as likely by the last quarter of the century, according to scientists with the International Pacific Research Center, University of Hawaii at Manoa. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming, Hurricanes | Tagged: climate change, global warming, Hawaii, Hawaiian hurricanes, hurricanes, Pacific hurricanes | Leave a comment »
Posted on January 22, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Haleakalā silverswords (ʻahinahina) in full bloom.
NPS photo by Kit Harris
‘The silversword example foreshadows trouble for diversity in other biological hotspots’
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — An all-out effort to protect a rare Hawaiian plan from extinction may not be enough in the face of climate change.
The Haleakalā silversword made a strong recovery from early 20th-century threats, but researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa say it has been hit hard by climate change, undergoing increasingly frequent and lethal water stress. Local climate data confirm trends towards warmer and drier conditions on the mountain, which the researchers warn will create a bleak outlook for the threatened silverswords if climate trends continue. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, climate and weather, Drought, endangered species, Environment, global warming | Tagged: climate change, endangered species, global warming, Hawaii, The Haleakalā silversword | Leave a comment »
Posted on December 17, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Pelagic birds do need a bit of land, and some nesting areas in Hawaii may be threatened. Bob Berwyn photo.
USGS study says sea bird rookery in outlying Hawaiian Islands at risk
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Sea level rise could threaten the breeding areas of numerous sea bird breeding areas in the northwestern Hawaiian Islands, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study that analyzed the combined effects sea-level rise and wave action.
Most climate change models predict a 1-meter rise in global sea level by 2100, with larger increases possible in parts of the Pacific Ocean. Those rising sea levels may inundate low-lying islands across the globe, placing island biodiversity at risk. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: biodiversity, climate change, global warming, Hawaii, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, sea level rise | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 31, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Most of Hawaii’s coral reefs are concentrated around the big island, according to this NOAA map.
Overfishing and commercial harvesting pose a threat to biodiversity
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Hawaii’s reefs may have a fighting chance to survive climate change impacts if they’re protected from other impacts like overfishing, but so far, state officials haven’t done enough conservation planning — and haven’t even followed the Hawaii Environmental Policy Act’s requirement to examine aquarium collection’s effects on the environment before issuing collection permits.
Last week, a coalition of community groups and activists took the state to court, asking Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources to conduct environmental reviews — including an examination of cumulative damage to the state’s reefs — before granting permits that allow unlimited aquarium collection of marine wildlife in coastal waters.
Earthjustice filed the complaint under the Hawaii Environmental Policy Act in the 1st Circuit Court on behalf of Rene Umberger, Mike Nakachi, Kaimi Kaupiko, Willie Kaupiko, Conservation Council for Hawaii, The Humane Society of the United States and the Center for Biological Diversity. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, coral reefs, endangered species, Environment | Tagged: biodiversity, coral reefs, Environment, Hawaii | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 18, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Limits on longline bycatch set to protect endangered turtles
Loggerhead sea turtle. PHOTO COURTESY NOAA.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Endangered leatherback and loggerhead sea turtles around Hawaii may have a better chance of recovery after a federal court last week set strict limits on the longline swordfish fishery in the waters around the islands.
“Our settlement ensures that sea turtles can swim more freely and safely in Hawaii’s waters,” said Miyoko Sakashita, oceans director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “If loggerheads and leatherbacks are going to survive, we need to stop killing them in our fisheries.”
Under the settlement, upheld by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the longline swordfishing boats will have to curtail their activity for the season once they’ve landed 17 turtles as bycatch.
The settlement rejected an appeal by the fishing industry, which sought to invalidate the agreement, and resolved a lawsuit brought by the Turtle Island Restoration Network, the Center for Biological Diversity and KAHEA, a native Hawaiian-environmental alliance. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, Marine biology | Tagged: biodiversity, endangered species, Hawaii, leatherback sea turtles, loggerhead sea turtles, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit | Leave a comment »
Posted on December 23, 2010 by Bob Berwyn
A new study from Hawaii shows that fish in protected marine reserves can help build fishery stocks far outside the protected areas.
New science bolsters case for establishing protected marine areas
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Marine ecologists at Oregon State University have shown for the first time that tiny fish larvae can drift with ocean currents and “re-seed” fish stocks up to 100 miles away, according to a new study from Hawaii. The findings show that marine reserves can be critical to rebuilding fishery stocks in areas outside the reserves.
The research was published this week in PLoS One, a scientific journal.
“We already know that marine reserves will grow larger fish and some of them will leave that specific area, what we call spillover,” said Mark Hixon, a professor of marine biology at OSU. “Now we’ve clearly shown that fish larvae that were spawned inside marine reserves can drift with currents and replenish fished areas long distances away.
“This is a direct observation, not just a model, that successful marine reserves can sustain fisheries beyond their borders,” he said. “That’s an important result that should help resolve some skepticism about reserves. And the life cycle of our study fish is very similar to many species of marine fish, including rockfishes and other species off Oregon. The results are highly relevant to other regions.” Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, Summit County Colorado | Tagged: Conservation International, Environment, fisheries, Hawaii, marine reserves, Oregon State University, Summit County News, Washington State University, yellow tang | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 6, 2010 by Bob Berwyn
A sea turtle swims lazily along a coral reef in Hawaii, trailed by tropical fish. (Photo by Kosta Stamoulis, courtesy Oregon State University via Flickr.)
Many people say they would skip visiting a reef if that’s what it takes to protect it
By Bob Berwyn
Tourists are often charged with loving their favorite places to death, but when it comes to coral reefs, that may not be the case.
Oregon State University and the University of Hawaii recently completed an interesting study showing that people feel so strongly about the importance of protecting coral reefs that many would be willing to forego a visit if that’s what it takes to save the reefs.
The study suggests reefs are a rare exception to controversies over human use versus environmental conservation. The core belief is often strong enough that if it means people have to be kept out, so be it. Continue reading
Filed under: Environment, Summit County Colorado | Tagged: coral reefs, Environment, Hawaii, Hawaiian Islands, marine resours conservation, Scuba diving, Summit County, Summit County News, Tropical fish | Leave a comment »
Posted on July 9, 2010 by Bob Berwyn
Designation of new sites due end of July; Mount Vernon is also on the list
The Pitons, Cirques and Remparts of La Réunion, France, in the Indian Ocean, is another area actively seeking World Heritage status for the conservation and tourism benefits of the designation. Click on the photo for more information. Image courtesy Reunionweb.com.
An endangered Hawaiian monk seal comes ashore at the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in Hawai’i. Photo courtesy the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — By the end of this month, planet Earth will have a few more of its most cherished spots designated as World Heritage sites, recognized internationally for their outstanding natural and cultural values. And this year, the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in Hawai’i is one of the candidates for listing. Mount Vernon, George Washington’s estate, is the other U.S. candidate this year.
Papahānaumokuākea is the country’s largest marine reserve and has a good chance of making the list, as the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) focuses on marine ecosystems. See a YouTube video on the reserve at the end of this story.
“This year … we will launch new studies promoting greater representation of deserts and marine areas on the World Heritage List,” said Tim Badman, IUCN’s Head of World Heritage. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, Environment, Marine biology, Summit County Colorado, Travel | Tagged: 2010 world heritage listings, Hawaii, Papahānaumokuākea marine reserve, Summit County, Summit County Colorado, Summit County News, Travel, world heritage sites | 1 Comment »