New Zealand local council won’t stop harmful discharge

27 October 2011

Palmerston North City Council claims

it has ”no choice” but to continue pumping harmful wastewater which is killing off aquatic life into the Manawatu River.  Horizons Regional Council served an abatement notice on its city counterpart earlier this month, requiring it to cease any discharge from its sewage treatment plant that was harming the river.  The city council has breached its consent 11 times since 2003, according to Horizons.  Its data shows a ”significant reduction” in the river’s insect life downstream of the plant, as well as increased algae growth, which is reducing the spawning habitats of native fish.

While on legal issues,

five states asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday to hear their plea for quicker federal action to prevent Asian carp and other invasive species from moving between the Great Lakes and Mississippi river watersheds. Large, voracious bighead and silver carp have infested the Mississippi and tributary rivers that are connected by other waterways to Lake Michigan in the Chicago area. If they become established in the lakes, some experts say the Asian invaders could gobble enough plankton to destabilize the food web and damage the region’s $7 billion fishing industry.

The five states are suing the Army Corps and Chicago municipal water district in federal district court over their operation of the waterways. The case has not come to trial. In the meantime, the states requested a court order for interim measures including a faster timetable for the study and installation of block nets in the Little Calumet and Grand Calumet rivers, both of which are linked to the Mississippi drainage basin and flow into Lake Michigan.

Down in Australia,

authorities are warning that blue-green algae has returned to Lake Eppalock.  The dam, east of Bendigo, was contaminated for many months before winter and Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW) says it is again detecting high-level blooms similar to those of last summer.

The Texas Department of State Health Services announced today that

oyster harvesting in all Texas coastal waters is closed due to red tide, an algal bloom of Karenia brevis.

Red tide has been detected along the Texas coastline from Brownsville to Galveston. As a result, all Texas coastal waters are closed to the commercial and recreational harvesting of oysters, clams and mussels until further notice. Normally, the public can harvest oysters from Nov. 1 through April 30.

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Division of Fish and Wildlife, in cooperation with the Kent Conservation District,

started construction last week on five forested wetland restoration projects on four state wildlife areas in Kent County.  The projects include two areas at Blackiston Wildlife Area near Kenton, and one each at the Little Creek Wildlife Area east of Dover, the Fortney-Urban Tracts between Hartly and Marydel, and the Norman G. Wilder Wildlife Area near Viola.

Funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service State Wildlife Grant Program and the Delmarva Chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the projects will restore previously drained and degraded forested wetlands to functional forested wetlands with the placement of water control structures in drainage ditches. Kent Conservation District staff members engineered the projects and are installing water control structures for the five projects, which encompass a total of about eight acres.

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