New York using oysters to clean waters. New York -- On a summer morning, marine biologist Ray Grizzle reaches into the waters of the Bronx River estuary and pulls up an oyster.
The 2-year-old female is "good and healthy. " He grabs another handful and gets more good news. "This is a really dynamic area: live oysters, reproducing! " the University of New Hampshire scientist says. Grizzle holds up a glistening mollusk. Marine scientists like him, planners and government officials say millions of mollusks planted in waters off New York and other cities could go a long way toward cleaning up America's polluted urban environment. Landscape architect Kate Orff has a name for the work she does as part of the Oyster Restoration Research Project: oyster-tecture. "My new hero is the oyster, with its biological power," Orff says. Oyster-tecture is a 21st century approach to creating waterfront landscapes by regenerating long-gone shellfish. Researchers see dramatic decline of endangered white abalone. Scientists from NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service report a significant decline of endangered white abalone off the coast of Southern California in the journal Biological Conservation.
"Since 2002, we have been surveying white abalone off San Diego using an underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV)," said Kevin Stierhoff, research fisheries biologist at NOAA's Southwest Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla, and lead author of the journal article. "In the absence of fishing, we hoped to see the population stabilize or increase. However, our latest assessment using data collected in 2008 and 2010 indicates that the white abalone population has continued to decline by approximately 78 percent over the last ten years.
" These results confirm predictions made by scientists in 2001 suggesting that wild populations had dwindled to levels that were too low to support successful reproduction, and that as animals died of natural causes, a new generation would not emerge to replace them. NOAA designates critical habitat for black abalone. NOAA's Fisheries Service today filed with the Federal Register a final rule that identifies black abalone critical habitat along the California coast.
In February 2009, black abalone was listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act, and the Act requires critical habitat be designated, to the maximum extent prudent and determinable, whenever a species is listed for protection. Once areas are designated as critical habitat, federal projects or permits and projects with federal funding are required to ensure their actions do not adversely modify the animal's habitat.
Designating critical habitat does not affect citizens engaged in activities on private land that do not involve a federal agency. Endangered gourmet sea snail could be doomed by increasing ocean acidity. Increasing levels of ocean acidity could spell doom for British Columbia's already beleaguered northern abalone, according to the first study to provide direct experimental evidence that changing sea water chemistry is negatively affecting an endangered species.
The northern abalone--prized as a gourmet delicacy--has a range that extents along the North American west coast from Baja California to Alaska. Even though British Columbia's northern abalone commercial fisheries where closed in 1990 to protect dwindling populations, the species has continued to struggle, largely due to poaching. To better understand the impact climate change — and specifically, increasing ocean acidity — has on this endangered species, UBC researchers exposed northern abalone larvae to water containing increased levels of CO2. Increases from 400 to 1,800 parts per million killed 40 per cent of larvae, decreased the size of larvae that did survive, and increased the rate of shell abnormalities. Who What Why: Are British slugs under threat? 3 July 2012Last updated at 21:06 ET The Spanish stealth slug can grow to 10cm A "super breed" of slugs has arrived from Spain, but are they a threat to the UK's native slugs?
The wet weather has resulted in myriad problems for people around the country and now there is another - it has helped a "super breed" of slug from Spain flourish in the UK. Numbers of the creature commonly known as the Spanish stealth slug, Arion flagellu, are growing fast in the UK - helped by the wet weather - and threatening native molluscs, say experts in the field. Another Spanish slug, Arion vulgaris, has already become a huge problem in Norway, attacking farms and gardens. Why the Spanish stealth slug poses such a problem is its aggressive breeding cycle. "It is a real concern," says Dr Les Noble, a slug expert from Aberdeen University. Their aggressive breeding cycle mean they lay around 400 eggs in a year, compared to the 100 or so laid by native species, says Dr Noble. Delaware River Basin Mussels: Freshwater Species of the Week. A freshwater mussel filters the water from the bottom of a stream.
Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast I am writing this post from a bus that is cruising through Delaware. A little while ago we went over a high bridge, and I got a spectacular view of an orange sunset over the mighty Delaware River. It was a postcard-quality scene, until I looked out the opposite window, and saw a sprawling chemical plant perched on the opposite bank. According to the World Wildlife Fund’s ninth Living Planet Report (released this week), freshwater ecosystems are home to about 10% of all known animal species, although they comprise only about 1% of the Earth’s surface.