Waterkeeper Alliance Launches 2013 Swim Guide Website and Mobile App
For millions of beachgoers, swimmers and surfers across the U.S. and Canada, finding and enjoying that perfect stretch of sand and water has just become a whole lot easier with the launch of the Swim Guide, a new, free, smartphone app.
Provided and managed by member groups within Waterkeeper Alliance, a network of 207 water protection groups worldwide, the Swim Guide helps the user locate the closest, cleanest beach, get directions, view photos and determine if the water is safe for swimming. The Swim Guide also allows the user to share the whole adventure with their friends and family on social networks. Waterkeeper Alliance is proud to partner with Hertz on the Waterkeeper Swim Guide.
“Every year, millions of people get sick from coming into contact with polluted water at their local beaches,” said Marc Yaggi, executive director for the Waterkeeper Alliance.“The Swim Guide provides a free, easy to use, way for people to find a beach where their families can swim and enjoy the beach safely.”
"The Swim Guide re-connects communities with their waterways by telling people how to find the closest beach and if it safe to swim when they get there,” said Waterkeeper Alliance President Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
“An informed public is the foundation stone of a functioning democracy by making water quality data easily available. This app will promote healthy public debate about the costs of pollution to our communities.”
The Swim Guide utilizes water quality monitoring data from government authorities to determine the water quality at nearly 5,000 beaches across North America and is updated as frequently as the water quality information is gathered.
The innovative, free Swim Guide app also includes descriptions and photographs of beaches and employs a tool for citizens to report a pollution problem from their smartphone or through the website.
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California is bracing for rare January wildfires this week amid damaging Santa Ana winds coupled with unusually hot and dry winter weather.
High winds, gusting up to 80- to 90 miles per hour in some parts of the state, are expected to last through Wednesday evening. Nearly the entire state has been in a drought for months, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, which, alongside summerlike temperatures, has left vegetation dry and flammable.
Utilities Southern California Edison and PG&E, which serves the central and northern portions of the state, warned it may preemptively shut off power to hundreds of thousands of customers to reduce the risk of electrical fires sparked by trees and branches falling on live power lines. The rare January fire conditions come on the heels of the worst wildfire season ever recorded in California, as climate change exacerbates the factors causing fires to be more frequent and severe.
California is also experiencing the most severe surge of COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, with hospitals and ICUs over capacity and a stay-at-home order in place. Wildfire smoke can increase the risk of adverse health effects due to COVID, and evacuations forcing people to crowd into shelters could further spread the virus.
As reported by AccuWeather:
In the atmosphere, air flows from high to low pressure. The setup into Wednesday is like having two giant atmospheric fans working as a team with one pulling and the other pushing the air in the same direction.
Normally, mountains to the north and east of Los Angeles would protect the downtown which sits in a basin. However, with the assistance of the offshore storm, there will be areas of gusty winds even in the L.A. Basin. The winds may get strong enough in parts of the basin to break tree limbs and lead to sporadic power outages and sparks that could ignite fires.
"Typically, Santa Ana winds stay out of downtown Los Angeles and the L.A. Basin, but this time, conditions may set up just right to bring 30- to 40-mph wind gusts even in those typically calm condition areas," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Mike Doll.
For a deeper dive:
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By Monir Ghaedi
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to keep most of Europe on pause, the EU aims for a breakthrough in its space program. The continent is seeking more than just a self-sufficient space industry competitive with China and the U.S.; the industry must also fit into the European Green Deal.
European satellites continue to provide data on climate change.