The Trump administration has proposed opening much of the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans off the U.S. coast to offshore oil and gas drilling. The environmental dangers posed by offshore oil spills, such as the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico, are well known. The damage to the environment, communities and public health from the onshore infrastructure needed to support offshore drilling is less well known, but no less real.
An analysis of bacteria sampling data from beaches in 29 coastal and Great Lakes states and Puerto Rico reveals that 2,580 beach sites – more than half of all sites tested – were potentially unsafe for swimming on at least one day in 2018, and 546 sites were potentially unsafe at least 25 percent of the days that sampling took place.
In the lifespan of the black coral, which can live for 500 years or more, two years is nothing. Yet, for the black coral that live 150 miles to the Southeast of Cape Cod, these last two years have been monumental--that is, they have marked the first years in which the black coral have enjoyed full protections from then-President Obama’s designation of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument.
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