A federal judge has ruled that the aging Highway 601 bridge over the Congaree River in South Carolina can be replaced without correcting environmentally harmful features of the causeway-like bridge approach built on a floodplain now within Congaree National Park.
Threats to the Parks
As Japan reeled from the shock of a magnitude 8.9 earthquake that triggered horrifically destructive tsunamis there, 20 countries prepared to absorb tsunami impacts on their own coasts. Here in America, coastal national parks in Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and northern California are in the bullseye.
Plans to replace a defective bridge on the Congaree River call for rebuilding a causeway system crossing a flood plain in Congaree National Park. The plan's critics insist that modifications are needed to minimize environmental impacts and improve recreational access.
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch Brings Blight to the Beach at Hawaii's Kalaupapa National Historical Park
Debris from an enormous trash-laden vortex in the North Pacific is delivered to Hawaiian Archipelago shorelines, making beach cleanups a never-ending task at Kalaupapa National Historical Park.
At Biscayne National Park, Proposed Boat Anchoring Restrictions Trigger Protests and Send Management Back to the Drawing Board
After Miami area boaters complained that a proposed Mooring Buoy & Marker Plan for Biscayne National Park excessively curtailed boat anchoring practices they rely on, the park decided to redraft the plan.
At South Carolina's Ninety Six National Historic Site, where Americans fought and died in two Revolutionary War battles, the Park Service has been locked in a different sort of struggle. Although critical preservation and interpretation issues must be resolved, the resources available allow for little more than a holding action. It's awfully difficult to serve steak on a mac-and-cheese budget.
NOAA's hurricane forecast for the Atlantic Basin calls for an "active to extremely active" season that might very well yield a dozen or so hurricanes. One thing we'll be watching with apprehension is the effects these storms will have on the massive Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
The Kemp's ridley may be little as sea turtles go, but it's got big problems. It was already the world's most endangered marine turtle before the mammoth Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico threatened to wreak havoc on its vital habitat.
National Park Mystery Plant 6 Revealed: This Freshwater Aquatic Plant is One that You Either Love or Hatebootstrap
The recent spell of unusually cold weather in South Florida triggered widespread fish kills due to cold water. Biologists are studying the impacts on Everglades National Park. One thing they already know is that the rotting fish are going to stink for a while.