Showing posts from June 8, 2014

Chile Scraps Huge Patagonia Dam Project

Chile Scraps Huge Patagonia Dam Project After Years of Controversy

By Brian Clark Howard

Chile's government canceled a controversial plan for five dams on two of Patagonia's wildest rivers Tuesday, after an eight-year battle between environmentalists and developers.

Chile's Committee of Ministers overturned the environmental permits for the HidroAysén project, which would have put dams on the Baker and Pascua Rivers, flooding 5,900 hectares of land in order to generate hydroelectric power.

The committee had previously approved the permits in 2011, but has faced strong public opposition to the plan inside Chile and from the international environmental community. (See related blog post: "A Battle Over the Quest to Tap Patagonia's Rivers for Energy.")

"Patagonia's rugged and varied wilderness is truly an environmental treasure," Amanda Maxwell, Latin America project director at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a statement.


Deadly Starfish Disease Explodes On Oregon Coast/With Addition

Northern rainbow star afflicted with sea star wasting disease. This species had virtually disappeared from central California kelp forests as of February 2014. Photo: Steve Lonhart / NOAA MBNMS

Deadly starfish disease explodes on Oregon coast



A mysterious disease that causes sea stars to disintegrate is exploding on the Oregon Coast.

Oregon State University marine ecologist Kristen Milligan said Wednesday that Oregon was largely spared last year as the disease known as sea star wasting syndrome spread in California, Washington, British Columbia and Alaska.

But monitoring of tide pools along much of the coast shows the number of sea stars affected has jumped from just 1 percent in April to as high as 50 percent. The greatest concentration is at Fogarty Creek north of Depoe Bay. One was found as far north as Seaside.

"This is an unprecedented event," Bruce Menge, a professor of marine biology at OSU, said in a statement. "It's ve…