A Synthesis of Microplastic Sources and Pathways to Urban Runoff

SFEI — What do clothes dryers and car tires have in common? Both release microplastic pollution into the environment, according to a new investigation by scientists at the San Francisco Estuary Institute. Building on SFEI’s major finding that storm-driven runoff from cities is a major pathway for microplastics to enter California’s aquatic ecosystems, this new report synthesizes Read More…

Forests could be key to estuarine fish conservation

Mirage News — Joint release by Kyoto University and Hokkaido University. The diversity of threatened fish in estuaries increases when surrounded by forest cover, whereas estuaries surrounded by farmland show the opposite effect. Estuaries – areas where rivers meet the sea – are one of the most vulnerable ecosystems. They face anthropogenic threats, including biodiversity loss and the Read More…

Whales are more important ecosystems engineers than previously thought

ScienceDaily — From 1910 to 1970, humans killed an estimated 1.5 million baleen whales in the frigid water encircling Antarctica. They were hunted for their blubber, baleen -- the filtering fringe they have in place of teeth -- and meat. One might assume that from the perspective of krill -- the tiny shrimp-like creatures the whales feast on -- this would be a boon. But new research published Read More…

This Fish Loses 20 Teeth Each Day, Then Grows Them All Back

New York Times — If there is one place you don’t want to stick your finger, it’s the mouth of a Pacific lingcod. These fearsome fish, which can grow up to five feet in length and weigh 80 pounds, have around 500 needlelike teeth sticking out of jaws that are strong enough to crush crustaceans. Having so many sharp chompers allows these ambush predators to subdue everything from slippery Read More…

A spatio-temporal assessment of health in Hanford Reach Chinook…

Nord University — Abstract A nuclear weapons production plant in Washington state, USA created substantial chemical and toxic waste between the 1940s and 1980s. With radioactive half-lives of up to 4.5 billion years, the waste has not been neutralized or safely stored, some potentially becoming more toxic to the environment as time passes. Laboratory-based estimates of pollution Read More…

California salmon with rare, late-migration strategy able to survive…

Courthouse News Service — A new study reveals that some California salmon with an unusual tendency to migrate late in the season have a better shot at surviving drought conditions than their on-time brethren. As the effects of climate change continue to put the pressure on threatened wildlife and their habitats, experts from across the world have been scrambling to understand which Read More…

What really makes fish become sexually active

PhysOrg — Discounting anthropogenic-induced changes, the seasonally oscillating environments where long-lived fish hatch and grow remain more or less the same throughout the course of their lives. This means that the common explanation that states that fish become sexually active—or spawn for the first time—after experiencing certain environmental stimuli does not properly explain this Read More…

Fish are being increasingly exposed to endocrine disrupters

PhysOrg — Microplastics, owing to their chemical properties, can carry micropollutants into a fish's digestive system where they are subsequently released through the action of its gastric and intestinal fluids. EPFL scientists, working in association with other research institutes, have studied this process by looking specifically at progesterone—often pointed to as an endocrine Read More…

Toxic fracking waste is leaking into California groundwater

Grist — Chevron has long dominated oil production in Lost Hills, a massive fossil fuel reserve in Central California that was accidentally discovered by water drillers more than a century ago. The company routinely pumps hundreds of thousands of gallons of water mixed with a special concoction of chemicals into the ground at high pressure to shake up shale deposits and release oil and gas. Read More…