Transmitting news and information about sustainable endeavors in Coastal Virginia and beyond. Updated Weekly.

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Dolphins are seen swimming through the oil spilling from the Deepwater Horizon oil well at the height of the spill
in 2010. (Credit:NOAA)

Gulf Oil Spill Implicated in Dolphin Die-Off

Since 2010, 1160 cetaceans have stranded in the Northern Gulf of Mexico. A body of evidence indicates that the culprit behind the Unusual Mortality Event is oil released from the BP Macondo blowout.

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Virginia Resistance Riders

5.13.15 - Virginia university students have joined a national movement opposing fossil infrastructure. The group is currently cycling much of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline route through Virginia to amplify the concerns of those in its path. The resistance riders will complete their journey in Norfolk on May 19.

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Ben & Jerry's Save our Swirled Tour

3.25.15 - Dished up with free ice cream, Ben and Jerry's will be delivering a climate message to the masses during a cross country tour that begins April 1. Read More.

New Sources of Seafood Cropping Up:
Aquaculture Ventures from the Mountains to Offshore

3.23.15 - To alleviate pressure on wild stocks and reduce pollution and contamination resulting from intensive coastal farm operations, sustainable aquaculture enterprises are emerging in some surprising places. From the mountains to the open ocean, enterprises like a land based black sea bass farm on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, a Siberian sturgeon/caviar operation in the Blue Ridge mountains and a floating remotely operated pen in the open ocean are explored.

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Hermione - A Heroine of the American Revolution Returns

3.26.15 - A replica of the Hermione, which was instrumental in winning America's freedom during the revolutionary war will be making stops along the East Coast this summer.

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Pictured above is the February 13 Graduating Class of Marines and Sailors of DOE's Reach for the Sun program - Image: SEI

Sunny Days Ahead for Transitioning Vets

2.17.15 - 20 marines just graduated from the first DoD solar training program offered to services members that will soon be transitioning into civilian employment. The "Reach for the Sun" program funded by the Department of Energy's Sunshot Initiative provided free training to applicants at Camp Pendleton in California. The program will also be replicated at Norfolk Naval Station and Fort Carson in Colorado. Continue Reading

NASA, NOAA Find 2014 Warmest Year in Modern Record Image: NASA

With the Support of Pharrell, Climate Action is a Hot Topic

It has been 50 years since the first known presidential warning on CO2 pollution. Smoldering in scientific circles for more than the last half century, the climate threat created by burning fossil fuels has waxed and waned in the public eye. With big price tags connected to more frequent climate disrupting events, concern is mounting. As a result, the topic of climate has been heating up meeting rooms here in Virginia and around the world. Spearheading a campaign to raise climate awareness and drive action is non other than famed pop-icon and Virginia Beach native, Pharrell Williams. Read More.

Cash Crop Gains Ground in the Old Dominion

1.6.15 - The market for industrial hemp is experiencing explosive growth. Not to be confused with its psychoactive cousin, industrial hemp provides the basis for a plethora of legal US products valued in 2013 at $581 million. Due to prohibitions on production, domestic suppliers for the booming health supplement and many emerging industries have relied upon imported materials. With recent loosening of federal regulations on cultivation, a groundswell of support for this sustainable crop is erupting across the country. The Old Dominion is poised to officially join the movement. Continue Reading

Selected Features:

Image: Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Fighting Fishy Activity in the Seafood Industry

Posted 2 February 2015 by Carol Brighton

With Asian crab meat marketed as American, seafood fraud is an issue that hits close to home. Product traceability not only ensures quality and protects the interests of US fishermen, it prevents pirate activity and overfishing. In addition to dredging up complex global fishery concerns, many innovative solutions are explored.

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The Stars Come Out for the Ocean

Posted 1 December 2014 - by Carol Brighton

From Below the Waves to Satellites in Space, From Tiny Islands to Music and Film Giants, Initiatives are Being Launched to Protect our Life Support System, the Ocean.

Music and Oceanographic icons join forces to save the ocean.

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This is No Folk Tale: ELF Sightings in Virginia
| Enchanting Mode of Transport Emerging Everywher

Posted 29 October 2014 - by Carol Brighton

Given the old world charm of historic Williamsburg and the whimsical theme park atmosphere of Busch Gardens, an ELF spotted in the area may not seem all that surprising. While not actually magical, the ELF encountered around town is certainly enchanting. The sprightly solar powered cycle is turning heads and attracting interest at Fall events like William and Mary's Homecoming and the school's Science Day at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.

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The Ocean is Trashed

In a study of zooplankton in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, scientists found that plastics outweighed the amount of plankton by a ratio of 6 to 1. Plastics are now so pervasive that entire ecosystems reliant on ocean pollution have evolved and a new word describing this environment, the 'Plastisphere" has become part of our lexicon. A solar powered trash interceptor in Baltimore Harbor is helping to collect debris before it reaches the sea.

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Nature at Work:
Building Ecological Infrastructure

Integrating vegetation into buildings is a blossoming trend that is gaining widespread acceptance. A recent study completed at Virginia Tech, found that green roofs on average reduce runoff by about half. Vegetated coverings not only reduce stormwater runoff, they provide thermal insulation, reducing heating and cooling demand.

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Alternative Power Prospects Brighten in Virginia

Posted January 1, 2014 - By Carol Brighton

Following a trend well established in much of the country, renewable energy installations are beginning to pick up pace in the Old Dominion. Online in December, the Salem Veteran's Administration photovoltaic array is the second Megawatt (MW) scale project operating in Virginia.

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Adapting to Rising Seas with Aquatecture

Rather than retreating from inundation prone low elevations, the solution, in some situations, may be to look for ways to make accommodations to the built environment. Amphibious or floating architecture or aquatecture is one potential coping strategy.

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