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U.S. Fisheries Killing Thousands of Protected and Endangered Species

fisheris kill endangered speciesA new report by Oceana exposes nine U.S. fisheries that throw away half of what they catch, and kill dolphins, sea turtles, whales, and more in the process.  These fisheries are even fishier than they smell.

A new study released this week called Wasted Catch: Unsolved Bycatch Problems in U.S. Fisheries reveals the nine dirtiest fisheries in the United States. It’s a dirty bunch indeed, the waste between them accounting for nearly half a billion wasted seafood meals in the U.S. alone.

Culled by Oceana, the largest international organization for ocean conservation, the fisheries are ranked based on bycatch—the amount of unwanted creatures caught while commercial fishing. Combined, they’re responsible for 50 percent of reported bycatch nationwide.

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Crews mopping up oil spill in Texas' Galveston Bay

texas oil spillCleanup efforts have begun after a barge carrying nearly a million gallons of thick, sticky oil collided with a ship in Galveston Bay.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Andy Kendrick said Sunday morning that skimmers are recovering the oil that spilled in Saturday's collision and a boom is in place to protect environmentally sensitive areas.

Kendrick said the remaining oil is being moved off of the damaged barge.

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While America Spars Over Keystone XL, A Vast Network Of Pipelines Is Quietly Being Approved

pipelinesAfter countless marches, arrests, Congressional votes, and editorials, the five-and-a-half year battle over the controversial Keystone XL pipeline is nearing its end. If a recent ruling in Nebraska doesn’t delay the decision further, America could find out as soon as this spring whether or not the pipeline, which has become a focal point in America’s environmental movement, will be built.

But while critics and proponents of Keystone XL have sparred over the last few years, numerous pipelines — many of them slated to carry the same Canadian tar sands crude as Keystone — have been proposed, permitted, and even seen construction begin in the U.S. and Canada. Some rival Keystone XL in size and capacity; others, when linked up with existing and planned pipelines, would carry more oil than the 1,179-mile pipeline.

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Earth's climate notches record carbon dioxide benchmark

CO2 levels at all time highA new atmospheric record was recently broken, but don't pull out the champagne. Looking for property along higher latitude lines might be a wiser idea, as scientists say carbon dioxide levels in Earth's atmosphere have reached levels higher than ever before.

Instruments measuring atmospheric CO2 at Hawaii's Mauna Loa observatory recently calculated the presence of the colorless, odorless gas blamed for global warming at over 401 parts per million. Ralph Keeling from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego confirmed that readings in Southern California touched 401.6, the new record.

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Hiland Crude Pipeline Spills Oil Near Alexander, ND

hiland crudeCleanup workers have contained about 34,000 gallons of crude that spewed from a broken oil pipeline in northwestern North Dakota, a state health official said Friday.

North Dakota Water Quality Director Dennis Fewless said the breach occurred Thursday morning on Hiland Crude LLC's pipeline about 6 miles northeast of Alexander. A gasket on the above-ground pipeline appears to have failed near a compressor station, spewing about 800 barrels of crude, Fewless said. A barrel holds 42 gallons.

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North Carolina to withdraw Duke Energy settlement over coal ash spill

Duke Energy spillNorth Carolina regulators say they have asked a judge to withdraw a proposed settlement that would have allowed Duke Energy to resolve environmental violations by paying a $99,000 fine with no requirement that the $50bn company clean up its pollution.

The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources said in a statement on Friday that it would scuttle the proposed consent order to settle violations for groundwater contamination leeching from coal ash dumps near Charlotte and Asheville.

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While the seas rise in the Outer Banks and elsewhere in NC, science treads water

sea level risingThere’s not much dispute these days, up and down the coast, about whether the ocean is rising. The question is: How high will it go here, and how fast?

North Carolinians must wait until 2016 for an official answer. That’s the law.

After promoters of coastal development attacked a science panel’s prediction that the sea would rise 39 inches higher in North Carolina by the end of this century, the General Assembly passed a law in 2012 to put a four-year moratorium on any state rules, plans or policies based on expected changes in the sea level. The law sets guidelines under which the Coastal Resources Commission, a development policy board for the 20 coastal counties, will formulate a new sea-level prediction to serve as the official basis for state planners and regulators.

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