in the U.S. are on the decline. The report, Status and Trends of Wetlands
in the Coastal Watersheds of the Conterminous United States 2004 to 2009,
concluded that on average more than 32,375 ha (80,000 ac) of wetlands are being
lost each year, according to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service news release.
examined wetlands on the Pacific, Atlantic, and Gulf coasts, and Great Lakes
shores. Losses along the Gulf Coast, amounting 104,066 ha (257,150 ac),
accounted for 71% of the total loss during the study’s period. But Great Lakes
watersheds experienced a net gain in wetlands by an estimated 5508 ha (13,610
ac), the news release says.
Wetland loss was
attributed to coastal storms, urban and rural development, forestry practices,
and rising ocean levels, the news release says. But conservation programs have
helped ameliorate wetland losses in the Great Lakes and agricultural portions
of other coastal watersheds, the news release says.
Read the report at
oyster habitat in the gulf
soon may be restored in the Half Moon Reef off the Texas Gulf Coast. A project
led by the Nature Conservancy (Arlington, Va.) will provide new habitat in
effort to rebuild oyster populations in the heart of Matagorda Bay, according
to a Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi news release.
freshwater inflow, rerouting of the Intracoastal Waterway, and effects from
Hurricane Carla in 1961 have harmed the reef. Restoration will help restore
oyster and other marine species, protect the shoreline from storms, and serve
as a foundation for a healthy ecosystem, the news release says.
For the first
phase of the project, 84,981 Mg (93,600 ton) of limestone was used to build a
16-ha (40-ac) complex structure for oysters. In the second phase, the U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers will aid in restoration by adding 5 ha (12 ac) to the reef
structure, the news release says.
coordinator of the university’s Fisheries and Mariculture Program, and her team
will monitor the abundance and diversity of marine species in the reef and how
salinity levels in the bay affect the marine residents during the next 5 years.
Success of the project will be measured by comparing to the historic oyster
reef populations, the news release says.
Fish-protein producer conserves
and reclaims water
Corp. (Houston), producer of omega-fish oil and specialty protein products, has
instituted processes that conserve approximately 68,130 m3 (18
million gal) of water annually, according to a company news release.
Omega’s Health and Science Center installed a 757 m3/d
(200,000 gal/d) dissolved air filtration system to treat its soap-stock waste
stream. Soap stock is recovered and sold, while treated water is recycled for
use in the facility. This enables the company to reduce groundwater use by 52%.
To produce fish
meal and fish oil, menhaden fish are cooked, pressed, and dried. A processing
technique separates the liquid released from the fish into two parts, fish oil
and an organic, protein-filled water solution. This solution is evaporated to a
35% to 40% concentration called fish solubles. Solubles can be sold either as
organic plant fertilizer or added back to the fish meal to create a higher
protein product, the news release says.
resulting from the evaporative process becomes a waste stream that must be
treated, the news release says. The company installed ammonia strippers to
treat the condensate. The strippers remove approximately 90% of the ammonia
before discharge. The treated water now is captured and used in the plant for
various uses including wash-up water and vacuum-seal pump water, the news
release says. Using this water enables the company to reduce groundwater use by
approximately 757 m3/d (200,000 gal/d), the news release says.
beads hold the key to cleaner laundry
Polymer beads can
reduce the amount of water and detergent used for washing laundry.
Burkinshaw, University of Leeds (England) professor, has researched how to
improve anchoring dye onto fabrics. After recognizing the similarities between
dyes and stains, he began examining how to remove stains from fabrics,
according to a university news release.
In examining how
to use fabric polymers to remove stains, Burkinshaw and his research team found
nylon polymers become highly absorbent in humid conditions as well as highly
resilient and able to be reused, the news release says.
have an inherent polarity that attracts stains. In humid conditions, the
polymer changes and dirt is not just attracted to the polymer but absorbed into
its center. When nylon beads are tumbled gently with damp garmets, stains are
absorbed into the polymers.
In February 2007,
Xeros Ltd. (Rotherham, England) was established to promote this technology. In
2009, the company partnered with GreenEarth Cleaning (Kansas City, Mo.), which
became the exclusive licensor of the Xeros technology to retail dry cleaners in
North America. Now, Xeros is preparing to launch the technology in the
commercial laundry market, the news release says.