Friday, July 6, 2018

NOAA Supports Fishing in MPAs? New EPA Boss, Warming Worse than Expected and More

1. NOAA Representative Supports Opening Marine Monuments to Commercial Fishing


An internal document suggests the nation’s leading ocean science agency is planning to gut protections for America’s marine national monuments, opening millions of acres of federal water to commercial fishing as early as September. Rear Admiral Timothy Gallaudet, acting administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, detailed the proposed change in a presentation at the Department of Commerce’s “Vision Setting Summit” last month.

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2. E.P.A. Chief Scott Pruitt Resigns Under a Cloud of Ethics Scandals


WASHINGTON — Scott Pruitt, President Trump’s administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, resigned after facing months of allegations over legal and ethical violations. Mr. Trump announced the resignation in a tweet on Thursday in which he thanked Mr. Pruitt for an “outstanding job” and said the agency’s deputy, Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist, would take over as the acting administrator on Monday. In his resignation letter, Mr. Pruitt cited “unrelenting attacks on me personally” as one of the reasons for his departure, an apparent reference to the numerous investigations into his stewardship of the agency.

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3. Traces of 'Sonic Boom' Meteorites Found in the Ocean


The first mission designed to hunt a meteorite that crashed into the ocean has now discovered what may be tiny fragments of the meteorite's crust, researchers say. On March 7, three National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather stations detected the fall of a meteorite about 15.5 miles (25 kilometers) off the coast of Washington state. "The fall was widely seen around local areas and widely heard around local areas — it came with some loud sonic booms," Marc Fries, the cosmic dust curator for NASA, told Live Science.

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4. How Andrew Wheeler, the New Acting E.P.A. Chief, Differs From Scott Pruitt



WASHINGTON — The departure of Scott Pruitt, the scandal-plagued former head of the Environmental Protection Agency, means that the agency will be led in the coming months by Mr. Pruitt’s deputy, Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist who shares Mr. Pruitt’s zeal to undo environmental regulations. Mr. Wheeler is viewed as a consummate Washington insider who avoids the limelight and has spent years effectively navigating the rules. 
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5. One unexpected sticking point at the G-7: Plastics pollution in the ocean



There was a quiet detail in a report on this weekend’s disastrous Group of 7 Summit in Canada that didn’t receive much notice. It’s known that there was a variety of issues on which President Trump and the U.S. delegation disagreed with its allies in drafting a statement meant as a capstone to the brief meeting, but the Toronto Star lifted up something unexpected: plastics. From its report: “The Americans didn’t want to agree to a declaration on climate change that referenced the Paris accord, nor did they want to sign on an oceans charter, which contained targets on plastics, with similar language. … No one expected Trump would sign on the climate change piece, but they’d hoped the U.S. would agree to take joint action to tackle plastic pollution in the world’s oceans.”

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6. Global warming may be twice what climate models predict

Future global warming may eventually be twice as warm as projected by climate models and sea levels may rise six meters or more even if the world meets the 2°C target, according to an international team of researchers from 17 countries. The findings published last week in Nature Geoscience are based on observational evidence from three warm periods over the past 3.5 million years when the world was 0.5°C-2°C warmer than the pre-industrial temperatures of the 19th Century.
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7. China tariffs could hurt remaining U.S. shark fin business 
A new set of Chinese tariffs on U.S. seafood including items made from shark fins could jeopardize what remains of the American industry for the controversial products. China announced the 25 percent tariffs in mid-June that are expected to apply to exported American goods such as lobster and salmon beginning in July. They also will apply to whole or cut shark fins, as well as shark fin products that are canned or preserved, according to a Chinese government website.

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Sea Save Foundation is committed to raising awareness of marine conservation. The Week in Review is a team effort produced by the Sea Save staff to provide a weekly summary of the latest in marine research, policy, and news.

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