October 4, 2019
Outdoor recreation: $427 billion a year
Bureau of Economic Analysis
McGraw photo by Alex Garcia
The U.S. outdoor recreation economy accounted for 2.2 percent ($427.2 billion) of current-dollar gross domestic product in 2017. The Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account also shows that inflation-adjusted (real) GDP for the outdoor recreation economy grew by 3.9 percent in 2017, faster than the 2.4 percent growth of the overall U.S. economy. Real gross output, compensation, and employment all grew faster in outdoor recreation than for the economy as a whole.

Coastal restoration agreement in Louisiana
By The New York Times
Photo by Katie Barnes/flickr
Coastal Louisiana parishes announced on Thursday that they had reached a deal with a mining company over claims that its aggressive drilling for oil damaged the state’s vanishing coast, a settlement that could lead to other agreements with energy giants as the state scrambles to stop its  disastrous land loss .

In a  tentative agreement with 12 coastal parishes , the company, Freeport-McMoRan, said it would pay up to $100 million toward restoring the coast, much of which it could recoup through environmental credits.

Freeport-McMoRan is just one of 98 companies that have been sued in 46 lawsuits over coastal damage, according to John Carmouche, a lawyer representing eight of the 12 parishes that are part of the tentative agreement. But the deal is likely to blaze a trail for future negotiations between the parishes and industry leaders like ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP and Shell.

Firm exceeds fishing limit, keeps going
Photo by Chesapeake Bay Program/flickr
Recreational fishermen are demanding that the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission intervene after industrial harvesting giant Omega Protein failed to comply with the Commission’s menhaden catch limits in the Chesapeake Bay.

Omega previously made a commitment to comply with the limit, but recently the foreign-owned corporation said it would exceed the cap in the Chesapeake Bay.

“While recreational fishermen face lower limits on striped bass, Omega is scooping up 70 percent of the coastwide catch of the striper’s primary food source,” said Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership . “Omega is willfully violating the Commission’s menhaden management plan, and this behavior is unacceptable. We urge the Commission and the Department of Commerce to bring this foreign fishing operation in line.”

Research suggests localized depletion of menhaden in Chesapeake Bay  could be responsible  for as much as a  30 percent decline in striped bass

A few reasons to actually admire the sea gull
By James Gorman/The New York Times
Photo by Timo Newtown-Sims/flickr
Here are three good things about gulls:

They are devoted parents.

Males share child care equally with females. That includes sitting on the eggs during incubation.

And they have figured out a way — actually many ways — to survive in a harsh and unforgiving world. Some eat clams, some eat fish, some are attracted to landfills.

Of course, a few will divebomb you at the beach or boardwalk to steal a French fry, or the cheese on your cracker, or an entire slice of pizza.

The surprisingly social life of manta rays
By Brandon Keim/Anthropocene
Photo by Elias Levy/flickr
The more scientists learn about the social lives of animals, the easier it is for people to relate to them. A species might be particularly beautiful, or have an unusual life history or extraordinary physiology—but it’s the bonds between individuals, the relationships and community, that most warm our hearts.

Those social insights have tended to involve charismatic creatures: orca and elephant families guided by their matriarchs, young crows staying home to help their parents raise newly-hatched siblings, loyal wolf packs. As for fish, however, they’re not usually considered social in meaningful ways. They might swim in schools, but that doesn’t necessarily imply a deep individual connection

Might manta rays help flip this script?

“Mankind must conserve the resources of Nature, or the world will, at no distant day, become as barren as a sucked orange.”

- John F. Lacey
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