Monday, February 6, 2023

Play

Fare-free public transit benefits Kansas City residents and businesses; farmers prioritize food, not feed in the 2023 Farm Bill; and a new survey: students want a more diverse inclusive curriculum.

Play

The Democratic National Committee votes to shake up the presidential primary calendar, President Biden gets a better than expected jobs report before his second State of the Union, and lawmakers from both parties question the response to a Chinese data gathering balloon.

Play

Is bird flu, inflation or price gouging to blame for astronomical egg prices? Pregnancy can be life-changing or life-ending depending on where you live, and nine tribal schools are transforming their outdoor spaces into community gathering areas.

Settlement Funds from Oil Spill to Help Restore FL Oyster Reefs

Play

Monday, November 22, 2021   

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Storm damage, pollution and other factors - some related to climate change - are reducing the oyster population. But settlement funds from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill are now available to restore oyster reefs in the Gulf of Mexico.

Experts estimate the Gulf lost between four and eight billion oysters to the massive oil spill and saw a loss of reproduction in the ensuing years.

However, research scientist Ryan Gandy with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission said oysters are not just living creatures, they're also habitat. So bringing them back also brings back an entire ecosystem.

"By focusing up in the Suwannee Sound area," said Gandy, "we're looking at potential building back of some of the bars or some of the oysters in the area providing resiliency to those oysters."

The oyster work is part of a nearly $100 million payout to also help restore sea turtles, marine mammals and birds. This is the first in a series of oil-spill recovery plans for the Gulf region.

Chad Hanson, science officer with The Pew Charitable Trusts, said most people appreciate oysters on the half shell at their local seafood restaurant, but don't realize the small mollusks filter up to 50 gallons of water a day - improving water quality by removing pollutants, sediment and other particles.

"So, an oyster creates a reef," said Hanson. "It's almost like a coral reef in its ecological importance. Oysters are habitat engineers, and that reef creates habitat and that habitat has a bunch of ecosystem services."

However, Hanson said the sad news is, oysters have been in massive decline over the past couple decades. Around 80 to 90 percent of oyster reefs have been lost worldwide.

But he said he hopes the almost $40 million federal and state officials have earmarked for new or improved reefs to help the shellfish reproduce and thrive, will help turn their ecosystems around.

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



Disclosure: The Pew Charitable Trusts - Environmental Group contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Climate Change/Air Quality, Consumer Issues, Endangered Species & Wildlife, Energy Policy, Environment, Health Issues, Public Lands/Wilderness, Salmon Recovery. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
Michigan environmental activists have begun to focus on environmental justice issues in low-income communities that bear the brunt of industrial pollution and political indifference. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

By Tom Perkins for Planet Detroit.Broadcast version by Mark Richardson for Michigan News Connection with support from the Solutions Journalism Network…


Environment

By Jared Brey for Governing.Broadcast version by Deborah Van Fleet for Missouri News Service reporting for the Solutions Journalism Network-Public New…

Social Issues

South Dakota is once again locked in a debate over a bill concerning transgender youth. It seeks to ban gender-affirming care, with supporters …


Voters in Pittsburgh-area districts 32, 34 and 35 will head to the polls Tuesday to fill three vacancies in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. (MoiraM/AdobeStock)

Social Issues

While the Pennsylvania House is still out of session and won't resume until late February, the public and advocacy groups are voicing their concerns…

Social Issues

Better health and educational outcomes are being touted as the potential benefits as Minnesota lawmakers discuss whether to provide free school meals …

Sixty schools piloted College Board's new AP African American Studies course, which is set to appear in over 200 schools starting in the 2024-2025 school year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

CORRECTION: YouthTruth surveyed more than 28,000 high school seniors from the class of 2022 and the class of 2019 in 19 states, including New York…

Social Issues

For more than two decades, a workforce development program in El Paso has invested in the economically disadvantaged to help them attain the …

Health and Wellness

Nebraska's long-term care facilities face staffing shortages and other factors that could lead to more closures if state funding isn't increased…

 

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