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In a small, nondescript building, local Port Clyde, Maine fishermen are bringing back a way of life that disappeared when overfishing depleted groundfish stocks. Now, by using more sustainable fishing methods and cutting out the middlemen -- local fishermen are once more supplying fish to their own community.

"We've created a lot of jobs and there's potential to create more," said fisherman and co-op president Glen Libby. "There's a lot of demand for seafood."

America's National Forests, like most public lands, have long been used to generate private sector profit.  Logging, mining, oil and gas, and livestock grazing generate cash for companies and individuals, usually at the expense of wildlife habitat, clean water and low-impact recreation.

The ski industry also feeds at the public trough.  More than 100 ski areas are located on National Forest land, running the gamut from small family operations to the mega-resort corporations like Vail Resorts and Intrawest. 

This afternoon (7/29), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) smacked down climate deniers in the most diplomatic and thoughtful way possible.

After careful re-review of decades of research and scientific findings by the world's foremost academic and government scientists, the EPA told 10 groups who challenged its scientific finding that greenhouse gases contribute to global warming and endanger human health and welfare (in much gentler words):

<Update (7/30): At least 40 percent of oil spilled by BP into the Gulf is unaccounted for, but that doesn't mean it's gone, warns a USA Today article. It's still out there, hidden and toxic.>

<Update (7/30): The New York Times, in a special report, provides strong evidence that dispersants have driven BP's spilled oil out of sight - but it still exists throughout the Gulf's water columns and remains lethal:

Scientists warn the oil's ecological impacts are shifting, not ebbing, thanks to massive volumes of dispersants that have kept the crude beneath the waves.>

After BP's undersea well was capped two weeks ago, oil from it started getting hard to see on the surface - so much so that even top government officials have publicly scratched their heads over what happened to it.

Could it have been blasted into nothingness by all those millions of gallons of dispersants? Did microbes simply gobble it up? Could the hot sun and warm waters of the Gulf just evaporate it? All those scenarios were suggested in the last few days by officials who sounded more perplexed than convinced.

But, no one is less perplexed and more convinced than an angry Mother Jones reporter who used a phone to find locals in Louisiana who are seeing thick mats and globs of oil coming ashore. Could it be that Plaquemines Parish President Bill Nungusser was right last month when he insisted that all the oil was being dispersed into the depths, where it coats the Gulf bottom, killing oysters, shrimp and fish before eventually washing ashore? 

Nungusser may be on to something. At least he's in the right ballpark when he starts wondering what all those dispersants are accomplishing.

 

 

As the U.S. intensifies its efforts to permanently cap the Gulf oil spill, there has been heated debate about the role of fossil fuels in our energy future.

President Obama used the spill to highlight the need to diversify our energy sources and invest more heavily in clean renewable energy, while Republicans have warned that any attempts to curb activities such as off-shore oil drilling will have dire economic consequences on an already battered economy.

As managing attorney for the Earthjustice office in Tallahassee, David Guest has been knee-deep in Florida's water pollution and protection issues for more than 20 years. It's not surprising considering that Florida itself is mostly water, with more than 1,000 miles of coastline, almost 20,000 streams and rivers and the second biggest freshwater lake in U.S., Lake Okeechobee. Recently we sat down with David to talk about his latest water case, the BP oil spill in the Gulf. Read the full Q & A here.

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About the Earthjustice Blog

unEARTHED is a forum for the voices and stories of the people behind Earthjustice's work. The views and opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent the opinion or position of Earthjustice or its board, clients, or funders. Learn more about Earthjustice.