Great Lakes Pact, Urban Algae, Isaac Aftermath, Laughing Environmentalists, and Singing Orcas

We're swimming in Nooze today! First from John Flesher with the AP, transboundary renewal:

U.S., Canada sign Great Lakes water quality pact

TRAVERSE CITY — The U.S. and Canada renewed a 40-year-old Great Lakes environmental pact Friday, pledging stepped-up efforts to reduce pollution, cleanse contaminated sites and prevent exotic species invasions.

The updated Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement binds both nations to continue a cleanup and restoration initiative begun when the freshwater seas were a symbol of ecological decay. Many of their beaches were littered with foul algae blooms and dead fish. The Cuyahoga River, which flows into Lake Erie in Cleveland, was so choked with oil and chemicals that flames erupted on its surface in 1969... Read more. __________________________________________________

Part two of Karen Schaefer's report on Great Lakes algae on ideastream (see Part I here):

Algae Crisis Part II: The Urban Factor

Next week Cleveland will host hundreds of scientists, environmental advocates, and public officials gathering to discuss new and ongoing threats to the Great Lakes – from Asian carp to toxic hotspots. Great Lakes Week also will focus on blue-green algae that can kill fish, make people sick, and wreak havoc for tourism. Yesterday, independent producer Karen Schaefer reported on what scientists agree is the main source of the algae problem – farms. Today she examines another major source – cities... Read and hear more. _____________________________________________________

Mark Schleifstein with The Times-Picayune in New Orleans discusses aftermath:

Oil, chemical, coal releases during Hurricane Isaac could have been avoided, environmental groups say

At least 93 pollution incidents related to Hurricane Isaac should have been prevented by proper precautions by oil and gas, chemical and coal-handling facilities, representatives of three environmental groups said Thursday. "Its completely shameful and irresponsible and inexcusable that seven years after Katrina and Rita, the lessons of those storms, the lessons we were taught by the BP oil disaster, that we have industry's continued business-as-usual approach to showcase the fact that their inaction and their ill preparedness has proven to be dangerous and deadly and unacceptable to the health of our communities, our families and our workers," said Jill Mastrototero, Gulf Coast Campaign director for the Sierra Club... Read more. ____________________________________________________

Cassandra Profita with Oregon Public Broadcasting's Ecotrope blog reports that environmentalists need to lighten up:

Nature Writers Say Environmentalists Need a Good Laugh

Portland author Cheryl Strayed struggles to dig a pit toilet for herself in the desert, where the ground is “like a granite countertop.” Writer Brian Doyle watches a toddler put a live caterpillar into her mouth, “savoring the interior wriggle of her guest.” At the launch of the fall issue of Orion Magazine at the Ecotrust building in Portland Thursday, a new brand of nature writers made the case for laughing about the environment – not just lamenting and lecturing about it. Orion Editor in Chief H. Emerson “Chip” Blake said he sees too much “we should and we must” and not enough humor in the magazine’s submissions... Read more.

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And because we can't seem to go a week without posting something from EarthFix (maybe because they're awesome), here's a podcast from Ashley Ahearn and the rest of the EarthFix crew, talking about Puget Sound and gillnetting, and most importantly, listening to orcas:

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