The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld vital protections for Steller sea lions when it ruled against representatives of the fishing industry and the State of Alaska, and affirmed that the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is accurately assessing the health of the species. The NMFS had previously found that population declines among Steller sea lions were the result of nutritional stress inflicted by commercial fishing. These findings led the agency to use the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to enforce limits on large-scale fisheries in the Aleutians.
The Latest On: The Wild
A study has been released with data that confirms that Lahaina County wastewater discharge negatively impacted nearshore water quality in Maui, Hawai’i. The study demonstrates that as much as 64 percent of treated wastewater injected into wells at the treatment facility has been discharged at Kahekili Beach, contributing to algal growth and harming the sensitive coral reef ecosystem.
A coalition of native Hawaiians and environmental groups has filed a petition with the State Water Commission calling for the removal of the Waiahulu Dam from Waimea River in West Kauai. Every day, fifty million gallons of water are diverted from the river, which at one time hosted thriving populations of native fish and shrimp, to a retired sugar cane plantation.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has rejected a rule written by Idaho’s Department of Environmental Quality that would have allowed polluters to dump new pollution into the state’s waterways without review. The rule, which exempted activities such as mining from critical oversight, could have produced serious health risks by permitting polluters to discharge toxic chemicals that accumulate in the environment and in food chains.