Nesting Loons, Algal Blooms, Tsunami Clean-up, Puget Check-up, and Cropswapping

A whole bunch of Nooze today! Susan Sharon with Maine Public Broadcasting reports on loons for NPR:

Nesting Loons Help Researchers Track Toxins

Scientists have found that the aquatic birds are good indicators of toxins in the environment. That's why researchers have taken to the waters of western Maine for what's believed to be the longest-running loon monitoring study in North America.... Read and hear more or Listen to the Story

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Karen Schaefer talks about algae on ideastream:

Algae Crisis Part 1: From Farm to Lakeshore

Last year, a toxic algae bloom the size of Long Island carpeted Lake Erie and its shoreline from Toledo all the way to Cleveland and beyond. Scientists say it was even worse than the blooms of the 1960s, when Lake Erie was “unofficially” declared dead. Managing algae will be one of the key topics next week when researchers, environmental advocates and officials from several states, plus Canada, gather in Cleveland for a three day conference on the Great Lakes. Independent producer Karen Schaefer sets the stage with this two-part series on algae. She starts her reporting from what researchers say is the main source of the problem…Ohio’s farm fields... Read and hear more.

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Tom Banse with NPR takes a look at how Japan aims to say "thank you" for international help in the wake of the tsunami:

Japan Offers to Contribute to Tsunami Debris Cleanup

For the first time, the Japanese government says it will help to cover some of the cost of cleaning up tsunami debris on American and Canadian shores. Confirmed debris swept to sea by last year's Japanese tsunami began to wash up here this spring.

International law imposes no formal obligation on Japan to help. But now the spin from Tokyo is that the Japanese government wants to make a gesture of appreciation for the overseas support it has received since last year... Read more.

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Ashley Ahearn with KUOW's EarthFix asks those in the know about the health of the Northwest's local waters:

So, How's Puget Sound?

new report brings together data collected from all around the Sound in 2011. It’s got information on river inputs, seawater temperature, salinity, nutrients, dissolved oxygen, ocean acidification, phytoplankton, biotoxins, bacteria, pathogens, shellfish…. Whew…

EarthFix’s Ashley Ahearn turned to Stephanie Moore. She’s a biological oceanographer with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the lead editor of the report... Read and hear more.

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Bellamy Pailthorp with KPLU in Seattle talks about a new way to deal with all those extra zucchinis you're getting out of your garden:

'Cropswap' takes barter between home gardeners online 

What do you do when you’ve got a bumper crop of zucchini or lettuce? Or flower bulbs that have multiplied like rabbits? Many people give their extras away. And in the down economy, more and more hobby gardeners are trading their bounty at swap meets. 

new website from a team in Seattle and Tacoma makes those transactions easier... Read and hear more.