Flooding Likely to Hit Affordable Housing Hardest – Stormwater Report

Flooding Likely to Hit Affordable Housing Hardest – Stormwater Report

Flooding Likely to Hit Affordable Housing Hardest – Stormwater Report

A study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters finds that affordable housing in the U.S. is far more likely to experience coastal flooding from sea-level rise relative to other types of housing. The study, published December 2020, proposes a new metric to assess a building’s vulnerability to coastal flooding. The researchers estimate that the […]

Source: stormwater.wef.org/2021/03/flooding-likely-to-hit-affordable-housing-hardest/

Wetlands: Implications of Climate Change: ERIT: Environmental Resilience Institute Part of the Prepared for Environmental Change Grand Challenge: Indiana University

Wetlands role in Flood Management

Wetlands provide valuable flood storage, buffer storm surge and assist in erosion control. Wetlands function as natural sponges that trap and slowly release surface water, rain, snowmelt, groundwater and flood waters. Trees, root mats and other wetland vegetation also slow the speed of flood waters and distribute them more slowly over the floodplain. This combined water storage and braking action lowers flood heights and reduces erosion.

Wetlands: Implications of Climate Change: ERIT: Environmental Resilience Institute Part of the Prepared for Environmental Change Grand Challenge: Indiana University

Wetlands: Implications of Climate Change: ERIT: Environmental Resilience Institute Part of the Prepared for Environmental Change Grand Challenge: Indiana University

EPA works with local, state and tribal governments to restore and protect wetlands to support natural water resources.

Source: eri.iu.edu/erit/implications/wetlands.html

The Fight To Save Pagan Island From US Bombs

The Fight To Save Pagan Island From US Bombs

SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands — For Sowmangeyong Daniel Kaipat, the question wasn’t whether to enlist in the military after high school. It was what branch of the service to join. “If you think you’re man enough to earn the title of Marine, then come with us,” Kaipat remembers a Marine Corps recruiter telling him. “But …

Source: www.civilbeat.org/2016/12/the-fight-to-save-pagan-island-from-us-bombs/

Maui Sand is Disappearing Fast

Maui Sand is Disappearing Fast

Over 60 years of sand exports are depleting Maui’s finite sand Stocks. Here is a picture of the “sand Barge” that departs to Oahu about twice a week (96 barges per year in 2005). Massive amounts of sand are taken from an inland quarry, and trucked in huge convoys to Kahului harbor, where is is loaded onto a massive Sand Barge and then shipped out fast. It is estimated that we are running out of sand, possibly within 5-7 years. When that happens we will have no local land based sand supply left for beach restoration projects or other needs in the future. The rate of Maui sand exports is accelerating, possibly because these people fear that their permits would be revoked when people discover the magnitude of this problem.

Mr. ROB PARSONS (Environment Coordinator, Maui County) says more than 2 million tons of inland sand is excavated every year, and the majority of it isn’t even used locally, but gets shipped off to Honolulu.

Mr. PARSONS: In fiscal year ’04, the Harbor Master said the sand barge left Kahului for Oahu 61 times. The following year, fiscal year ’05, it left 96 times. To me, that’s a dramatic and even shocking increase.

Maui Sand being Exported to Oahu, on the sand Barge in Kahului Harbor

photograph: “Forest & Kim Starr“.

 

Cattle Introduction into the Hawaiian Islands

Cattle Introduction into the Hawaiian Islands

In addition to causing erosion damage to the land, these animals also affected what foreign plants were brought to the Islands. While native koa, `ohia, uhiuhi, elama (native ebony), kauila, halapepe, `aiea, mamane and `iliahi began to disappear, other non-native species were planted as cattle feed. Ranchers introduced fountain grass, native to North Africa, and mullein. After 1905, they introduced kiawe as another cattle feed, a shallow-rooted, thorny tree that is now ubiquitous.

Trouble in Paradise: Livestock Grazing in Hawaii

Trouble in Paradise: Livestock Grazing in Hawaii

Watersheds Messenger     Spring 2003     Vol. X, No. 1     PDF ISSUE

Early Polynesian settlers had cleared lowland areas on their arrival, but upland areas were by and large untouched until the arrival of the first European ships. Destruction of native forests began then with a vengeance, in a process that continues to this day.

Far more insidious and lasting was the attack by the hooved creatures unknown in the islands before Western contact. Allowed free run of the hills and forests, wild cattle and goats were for much of the l9th century regarded as a source of ready revenue for the kingdom, requiring no care of investment.

Source: www.westernwatersheds.org/watmess/watmess_2003/2003html_spring/article3.htm

Papahānaumokuākea Expands, Now Largest Conservation Area on Earth

Papahānaumokuākea Expands, Now Largest Conservation Area on Earth

Today, President Obama announced that Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, located in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, will expand from 139,818 square miles to 582,578 square miles. That’s bigger than the total land area of the state of Alaska — and makes Papahānaumokuākea larger than any other land or ocean conservation area on Earth.

Source: sanctuaries.noaa.gov/news/aug16/president-announced-expansion-of-papahanaumokuakea-marine-national-monument.html

Coral Reef Ecosystems, Water Quality, and Upland Activities

Coral Reef Ecosystems, Water Quality, and Upland Activities

The health of beaches is closely tied to the health of the coral reef ecosystem, which is itself closely tied to upland land practices. Hence, effective beach management requires a geographically broader approach
known as integrated coastal zone management. Although this report has focused mainly on the shoreline area-the beach, the dunes, and the coastal plain-we have included some recommendations for more effective protection of the coral reef ecosystem and better management of upland land practices.In many cases, improper control of runoff at agricultural lands and construction sites, even those far from the coast, has degraded the water quality of coastal areas. For example, recent construction without adequate erosion control measures for the Maui Ocean Center has led to frequent silt plumes in Ma’alaea Bay and negative impacts on the coral reef. Silt diminishes light penetration and eventually settles out on
the seafloor. This harms coral and other marine organisms (e.g.,
foraminifera, an important component of beach sand) and limits safe and enjoyable ocean recreation. Runoff also transports nutrients, pesticides,
and other pollutants to coastal waters compounding the impacts on water quality. [excerpt from the “Beach Management Plan for Maui”]