Monday, August 2, 2021

Play

Hundreds of thousands of Medi-Cal recipients are paying monthly premiums when they donít have to: Dr. Fauci predicts the pandemic will get worse.

Play

The Texas voting rights fight gets star power; lawmakers stage a sit-in as the eviction moratorium expires; and Senators work overtime on infrastructure.

New Protections for Deep-Sea Coral Hotspots in Gulf

Play

Wednesday, October 21, 2020   

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The federal government has approved new protections for fragile coral hotspots in the Gulf of Mexico. It's a long-awaited victory for environmental groups.

Now, damaging fishing gear - like trawls, traps, anchors and longlines - can't be used in nearly 500 miles of scattered reef and canyon sites from Florida to Texas.

Holly Binns, program director for Conserving Marine Life in the U.S. at The Pew Charitable Trusts, said the added protections will preserve ecosystems that provide food, shelter, and breeding grounds for sea life sought after by recreational and commercial fishers.

"These areas that are really unique," said Binns. "These rich and abundant coral communities on the deep ocean floor where there is no light, but they are an incredibly important habitat for a full variety of marine wildlife, and that's important to support fishing communities as well."

The approval by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration includes 21 protected areas off the coasts of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi as well.

The research and management of deep-water coral sites is being funded through a $20 billion settlement with BP, the oil company responsible for the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion in 2010 that dumped around 130 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

The restoration plan includes development of better maps to locate coral reefs and other ecosystems. Tom Frazer, chair of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, said that's important, because there's a lot that's unknown about the deepest parts of the ocean well beyond Florida's coasts.

"Again, it's just the fact that there's a spotlight that's being shined on these particular habitats, bringing recognition to a bigger problem around the world in regard to coral reef degradation," said Frazer.

Deep-sea corals live in cold depths of up to 10,000 feet. Frazer said corals also are natural disease fighters, with some being tested on treatments for medical conditions, like cancer.

Environmental groups are encouraging the management council to consider expanding protections to other areas beyond to newly approved 484 miles of what are known as "Habitat Areas of Particular Concern."

Support for this reporting was provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts.


get more stories like this via email

Some tenants' advocates would like Virginia's new budget proposal for American Rescue Plan funding to include money for low-income renters to hire lawyers for eviction cases. (Adobe stock)

Social Issues

RICHMOND, Va. - Virginia's General Assembly Special Session begins today to budget more than $4 billion in federal COVID relief funds, and advocates …


Social Issues

ROSLINDALE, Mass. - A new report finds Massachusetts residents would rather repair electronic devices than send them to landfills, but manufacturers …

Social Issues

DENVER-During the COVID health emergency, the federal government made school meals available for free to all students, regardless of their financial …


The Blackfeet Reservation is one of seven tribal reservations in Montana. (Kushnirov Avraham/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

HELENA, Mont. - COVID-19 is underscoring the importance of ensuring that people's estates are in order, but estate planning can be be tricky for …

Social Issues

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Pandemic fallout still has U.S. states clawing their way back to normalcy, and New Mexico believes its decision to provide more …

In a new poll, 64% of New Hampshire voters said they think capital gains should be taxed at the same rate as income from wages; 56% support increasing the corporate tax rate to 28%. (Vitalii Vodolazskyi/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

CONCORD, N.H. - New polling finds many New Hampshire voters think it's important that wealthy individuals and corporations pay what's described as …

Social Issues

AMARILLO, Texas - The American Farm Bureau Federation hosts more than 100 college level chapters across 35 states, but this is the first time its …

Social Issues

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. - As activists mark more than 100 days of protest since the April 21 death of Andrew Brown Junior - killed outside his Elizabeth …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021