May 9

Antarctic environmental protection: Strengthening the links between science and governance

first_imgThe Antarctic has significant environmental, scientific, historic, and intrinsic values, all of which are worth protecting into the future. Nevertheless, the area is subject to an increasing level and diversity of human activities that may impact these values within marine, terrestrial and cryosphere environments. Threats to the Antarctic environment, and to the aforementioned values, include climate change, pollution, habitat destruction, wildlife disturbance and non-native species introductions. Over time, a suite of legally binding international agreements, which form part of the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS), has been established to help safeguard the Antarctic environment and provide a framework for addressing the challenges arising from these threats. Foremost among these agreements are the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty and the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. Many scientists working in Antarctica undertake research that is relevant to Antarctic environmental policy development. More effective two-way interaction between scientists and those responsible for policy development would further strengthen the governance framework, including by (a) better communication of policy makers’ priorities and identification of related science requirements and (b) better provision by scientists of ‘policy-ready’ information on existing priorities, emerging issues and scientific/technological advances relevant to environmental protection. The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) has a long and successful record of summarizing policy-relevant scientific knowledge to policy makers, such as through its Group of Specialists on Environmental Affairs and Conservation (GOSEAC) up to 2002, currently the SCAR Standing Committee on the Antarctic Treaty System (SCATS) and recently through its involvement in the Antarctic Environments Portal. Improvements to science-policy communication mechanisms, combined with purposeful consideration of funding opportunities for policy-relevant science, would greatly enhance international policy development and protection of the Antarctic environment.last_img read more

December 30

Virginia non-profit asks residents to save their oyster shells to support baby oysters

first_imgGrizzly bear attacks mountain biker in southern Montana The ultra-rare blue calamintha bee was first described in 2011. It was recorded at only four locations totaling just 16 square miles of pine scrub habitat at Central Florida’s Lake Wales Ridge, according to a blog post by the Florida Museum. Scientist were unsure if the blue bee still existed until this spring, when the bee was spotted once again. Wildlife officials say the attack does not appear to be predatory and authorities are not searching for the bear. The trail is closed while the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks agency investigates. “I was open to the possibility that we may not find the bee at all so that first moment when we spotted it in the field was really exciting,” said Chase Kimmel, a postdoctoral researcher with the Florida Museum of Natural History. Kimmel and his advisor, Jaret Daniels, are working on a two-year project to study the bees. Their study could help determine whether the blue bee qualifies for protection under the Endangered Species Act.   Virginia non-profit asks residents to save their oyster shells to support baby oysters Rare blue bee spotted at Florida’s Lake Wales Ridgecenter_img Each year, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation receives several thousand bushels of oyster shells from restaurants in Virginia. The shells are recycled into new homes for baby oysters and planted in waterways around the region, the Virginian-Pilot reports. But this year, due to restaurant restrictions caused by the coronavirus, the non-profit is running low on donated shells. Photo from Getty Images A man out for a mountain bike ride on Memorial Day in Big Sky, Montana got the surprise of a lifetime when he rounded a sharp corner on a trail and came face to face with a grizzly bear. The bear attacked the biker, but the man, in this 60’s, was able to walk away and find help. He was later airlifted to a hospital with injuries to his face and back and is in stable but critical condition. To help support the oyster population, the foundation is asking the public to drop off their shells when they eat local oysters at home. “You can help bring back oysters in the Chesapeake whenever you drop off those empty shells,” Jackie Shannon, Virginia oyster restoration manager for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, said in a statement. Shell drop-off bins are located throughout Hampton Roads. View a full list of drop-off locations here. last_img read more

December 16

Let’s Be Smart About Where Long Island Places Multifamily Housing

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Millennials. The Brain Drain. Jobs. What do these terms all have in common?Apparently, the connection is multifamily housing. According to proponents, multifamily housing will allow Long Island to retain its millennials, who are reportedly fleeing in droves, aka the Brain Drain, and developing mixed-use multifamily housing will generate jobs.Is this type of development the solution to our region’s economic malaise? Yes, and no—depending on where they crop up.The theory is that multifamily housing, placed within a “walkable” distance from the Long Isand Rail Road station, is the best way to reinvigorate Long Island’s burned-out villages and downtown areas. Transit-oriented development (or TOD for short) is rooted in a relatively new kind of urbanism that calls for “Smart Growth” to cure the ills of suburban sprawl. Much of our clogged traffic, high property taxes and lack of job opportunities stems from the fact that we all live in our own separate piece of paradise. Increasing Long Island’s population density, the measure of people per square mile, will cure the suburban sickness that ails us.For far too long, Long Islander builders have focused on supplying single family homes, but the tide has turned. Suddenly, it seems that both stakeholders and developers are united in saying that Long Island needs more apartments, in other words multifamily housing. So, like any responsive capitalistic endeavor, that’s what developers have started to build. Certainly, compared to our neighbors, Long Island has the lowest supply of apartments in the metropolitan area outside of New York City.According to U.S. census data, 21 percent of Long Island’s households live in rentals, compared with 33 percent in western Connecticut, 34 percent in the Hudson Valley, and 37 percent in northern New Jersey.Various stakeholder groups like the Suburban Millennial Institute, which recently held a conference at Hofstra University dedicated to the creation of jobs on the Island for this younger generation; Destination Long Island, a nonprofit organization that pushes for “triple-bottom-line economic development”; and other advocates have embraced this statistical shortfall, regularly pushing for the creation of more apartments Island-wide. As Suburban Millennial Institute’s founder, Jeffrey Guillot, put it, “I’m happy to join the chorus of stakeholders who call for transit-oriented development as a method by which we can make the region more attractive.”One has to walk around the Village of Patchogue to experience the turnaround the area has seen in the last decade, when half the store fronts were empty and the place had the feel of a ghost town, especially at night. The sound of power tools echo off of the store fronts as development after development crops up, while every weekend sees packed restaurants and people walking down Main Street or taking in a show at the theatre.The Village has been hailed as an example of what unfettered local development can bring to an area, with groups like Vision Long Island consistently  heaping praise on the municipality’s willingness to break ground on new complexes. While other municipal areas on Long Island seem to shun growth, the Village of Patchogue has embraced it under Mayor Paul Pontieri.Mayor Pontieri has found much success with this approach, but there are downsides to such rapid growth. He’s had to deal with complaints from long-time residents that he’s turning Patchogue into “another Queens!” Other villagers beef that there’s no place to park. Anecdotally, current vacancy rates of the new developments may not be meeting expectations, but a spokesperson for one of the major developers, Tritec Real Estate, says the opposite is true, at least at New Village at Patchogue, a $100 million project at the corner of North Ocean Avenue and Main Street, which offers 291 apartments ranging from $1,400 for a studio up to $2,900 for a three-bedroom unit.While some would argue that it’s better to deal with the after-effects of growth as opposed to having none in the first place, a balance still has to be achieved.Patchogue’s turnaround is worth further analysis, but over-enthusiasm about replicating the village’s model elsewhere on Long Island needs to be toned down. Simply put, not every community is Patchogue, so throwing high density at, say, downtown Rocky Point isn’t exactly sound planning.TOD is ideal for burned-out villages, but oftentimes municipalities look to emulate Patchogue’s model disregarding whether the area’s infrastructure  can actually handle it, or even if the demand is there.  It would be great to build a shiny new apartment complex near the LIRR’s Yaphank station, but exactly how many people are going to take the train to work that far east of Manhattan? Even in the Village of Patchogue, if TOD was so successful, why is parking still a problem? Isn’t the point of transit-oriented growth to reduce automobile traffic and increase LIRR ridership?As cited previously, Suffolk County found that around 8 percent of residents in these projects use the train when they live near it, so how do these developments nurture job creation, create affordable units and plug the ever-serious brain drain? Developers will say that they care about the region’s apartment stock, but let’s not forget that single family homes drove developer profits for decades. In some areas, they still do. When land became scarce and permits were suddenly harder to acquire, the development community shifted their focus to multifamily housing and other high-density endeavors, not out of the kindness of their hearts, but out of economic necessity.  Developers will supply whatever gets approved and sold, and since open space is a rare commodity on Long Island these days, the climate has since shifted to these new TOD projects.One could bet that if single family homes were easier to build, they would be built, and if they were cheaper, a millennial would prefer homeownership to an apartment near a train station.As for the regional comparisons, Long Island does need more apartments, but they must go in the appropriate areas. Currently, municipalities are building at higher densities, but aren’t preserving equal amounts of open space elsewhere. Like with Islip’s Heartland, municipal officials argue for walkable downtowns, but are still creating new developments instead of putting their focus on existing downtown areas, and other municipalities are trying to create supposedly “walkable downtowns” out of nowhere. Look at AVR’s The Meadows in Yaphank in the Town of Brookhaven, or WinCoram Commons in Coram. Instead of simply building single-family units, we now have much denser developments cropping up—in unprecedented rates. According to U.S. Census Data, in 1989 Long Island had 52,402 units of multifamily housing. In 2014, that amount grew to 83,986 units. In Suffolk County, the number of multifamily units changed by a whopping 60 percent. Anybody saying that Long Island isn’t building enough apartments just needs to look at the data to see that it is, in fact, being built at a rapid pace.The key to Long Island’s future may not be just multifamily. Yes, the developments are needed, but it is one piece of a much larger, complex and nuanced puzzle. Long Island’s policymakers need to stop throwing developmental density at the problem and focus on jobs. In fact, the Suburban Millennial Institute was on to something by having their event highlight job creation efforts tailored to the next generation of Long Islanders. If the group can focus solely on economic growth, and detach from the developer rhetoric of plugging the Brain Drain and building Smart Growth, the region would be much better off.Like everything else, growth on Long Island is about finding the right balance. Now, the dialogue is too focused on throwing high density housing at the problem, without addressing the next generation’s lack of economic opportunity, or that many residents quite simply don’t want to see more apartments in their backyard. We need to start embracing and maximizing the assets of suburbia, instead of trying to fundamentally change it.last_img read more

December 26

Man United star could join elite group with three legends by scoring against Palace

first_img 3 whoops 3 Latest Premier League Stories Man United transfer news live: Haaland ‘wants a change’, two players off in January huge blow REVEALED tense Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? Martial’s future remains up in the air despite his excellent recent form with Chelsea among those interested in signing him given his deal is set to run out in the summer.Since joining in a shock deal from Monaco in 2015, worth an initial £36million, the youngster has found it tough to keep himself in the club’s first XI, especially as he battles with Marcus Rashford and Alexis Sanchez for a starting spot. Did Mahrez just accidentally reveal Fernandinho is leaving Man City this summer? Ruud van Nistelrooy, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Eric Cantona are the only others to have done so, which would be a formidable clan to become a part of.He will, though, have to keep the run going until December 16 against Liverpool if he wants to equal Dutch striker Van Nistelrooy’s record of 10 consecutive games with goal. Martial’s hot streak could eventually put him in the record books at Old Trafford. gameday cracker Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won deals Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury center_img Martial, still only 22, is currently on a run of scoring in five consecutive league games thanks to goals against Newcastle, Chelsea, Everton, Bournemouth, and Manchester City.And should he net against Palace on Saturday afternoon and make it six matches in a row, he will draw himself level with three Old Trafford heroes. 3 Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT Premier League Team of the Season so far, including Liverpool and Leicester stars REVEALED Manchester United star Anthony Martial could join a group of three club legends should he score against Crystal Palace at the weekend.The Frenchman is on a hot streak at the moment and even earned a recall for his nation before an injury ruled him out. shining Manchester United star Anthony Martial celebrates scoring this season. REAL DEAL no dice Green reveals how he confronted Sarri after Chelsea’s 6-0 defeat at Man City Real Madrid ‘offer’ Isco to Chelsea in bid to ‘make room’ for Tottenham star Ruud van Nistelrooy scored in 10 consecutive league games back in 2003. Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card An impressive 17-goal debut campaign has been followed by eight-goal and 11 goal seasons respectively, and while he’s now on course to better those last two tallies rumours remain he could look to quit Old Trafford in 2019.last_img read more