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Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life
Susanna Pershern / Submerged Resources Center/ National Park Service / public domain

By Melissa Gaskill

Two decades ago scientists and volunteers along the Virginia coast started tossing seagrass seeds into barren seaside lagoons. Disease and an intense hurricane had wiped out the plants in the 1930s, and no nearby meadows could serve as a naturally dispersing source of seeds to bring them back.

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Cyclone Gati on Sunday had sustained winds of 115 miles per hour. NASA - EOSDIS Worldview

Cyclone Gati made landfall in Somalia Sunday as the equivalent of a Category 2 hurricane, the first time that a hurricane-strength storm has made landfall in the East African country, NPR reported.

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Like many other plant-based foods and products, CBD oil is one dietary supplement where "organic" labels are very important to consumers. However, there are little to no regulations within the hemp industry when it comes to deeming a product as organic, which makes it increasingly difficult for shoppers to find the best CBD oil products available on the market.

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Key West voters have passed three ballot initiatives to limit the impact of visiting cruise ships on island life and fragile marine habitats. felixmizioznikov / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Despite being a well-known port of call on the Caribbean cruise circuit, the City of Key West voted to ban large cruise ships from visiting and to restrict foot traffic from vessels. Supporters and opponents disagreed about the safety, environmental and economic merits of the proposals.

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The island of Tristan da Cunha. VictoriaJStokes / iStock / Getty Images Plus

In the South Atlantic Ocean, a tiny island of 250 people has made a significant contribution to global marine conservation by protecting a huge swath of ocean under its control.

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An orca swims in the Pacific Northwest. Malcolm Surgenor / Flickr / Creative Commons

The U.S. Navy has secured permission for exercises in the Pacific Northwest that could harm endangered orcas and other marine mammals.

The new rule, published in the Federal Register Thursday, would allow the Navy to increase the number of Southern Resident killer whales it could "take"—or potentially harm—from two a year currently to 51 a year through 2027, The News Tribune reported.

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A new study finds ocean waters heated by climate change give them extra fuel for hurricanes. 12019 / Needpix

Hurricanes are staying stronger for longer after making landfall, causing greater and more widespread destruction, because ocean waters heated by climate change give them extra fuel, according to a study published Wednesday in Nature.

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A new study finds plastic pollution increases ocean acidification. Placebo365 / Getty Images

A new study finds that plastic water bottles submerged three weeks at sea contained more detrimental bacteria than seawater, creating conditions that lead to ocean acidification.

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King penguins are seen at Salisbury Plain on South Georgia Island. David Stanley / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 2.0

The world's largest iceberg could collide with South Georgia Island, posing a major risk to the wildlife that call it home.

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A new study considers the amount plastic the U.S. ships abroad, to places such as Hong Kong. Nick Mallos / Ocean Conservancy

The U.S. is the No. 1 generator of plastic waste in the world and as high as the No. 3 generator of ocean plastic waste.

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CIRA / NOAA

Hurricane Eta, the record-tying 28th named storm in an extremely active 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, is now menacing Nicaragua as a Category 4 storm.

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A ghost forest in Nags Head Woods, North Carolina on Oct. 16, 2017. NC Wetlands / CC BY 2.0


Along the Atlantic coast, ghost forests provide haunting signs of sea-level rise. These stands of bleached and broken tree trunks are all that remain after salty water inundates a forest.


Matt Kirwan is with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. He says ghost forests are not a new phenomenon, but they're moving inland faster as seas rise.

"Eventually they'll fall apart and become stumps surrounded by marshland," he says. "And so when you see a ghost forest now, you're seeing where the marsh will be in the future."

Marshes are valuable ecosystems, so in some ways, that's positive.

"Ghost forests are a surprising indicator of ecological resilience in coastal systems," Kirwan says. "They mark how marshes naturally migrate in response to sea-level rise."

But that migration comes at a cost.

"Places that people have lived for hundreds of years are becoming too wet and too salty to grow crops on, in some cases," Kirwan says. "And of course, the forest resources are being lost. And in some cases, people are forced to move from their homes as the land becomes too flooded."

So ghost forests have become eerie symbols of rapid change.

Reposted with permission from Yale Climate Connections.

A North Atlantic right whale feeds off the shores of Duxbury Beach, Massachusetts in 2015. David L. Ryan / The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The population of extremely endangered North Atlantic right whales has fallen even further in the last year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said Monday.

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