Sustainability as a "Grand Strategy" for the nation

December 18, 2016 by  
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Mark “Puck” Mykleby, a former Marine and the Co-Director at the Strategic innovation Lab, spoke at VERGE Hawaii 2016 about and his recent book The New Grand Strategy: Restoring America’s Prosperity,

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Sustainability as a "Grand Strategy" for the nation

Thousands of mysterious gelatinous creatures washed up in California

December 7, 2016 by  
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Locals strolling Huntington Beach recently in Southern California came across a weird sight: thousands of gelatinous pink sea creatures had appeared on the sand. People described the creatures as squishy, almost like jellyfish , and bewildered National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists, according to NBC Los Angeles . The appearance of the unusual creatures sparked social media speculation. Ryan Rustan, a local, posted that the creatures were like little water balloons that popped underfoot. Beachgoer Don Coursey posted on the Huntington Beach Community Forum on Facebook that the creatures burrowed in the sand. Related: Octopuses are taking over the oceans, and no one knows why Huntington Beach Marine Safety Lieutenant Claude Panis said the creatures might have washed up due to El Niño , and that there were also more stingrays closer to the shore than normal at this point in the year. He told The Orange County Register, “There’s all kinds of weird things happening. It’s just strange.” Huntington Beach Marine Safety Lieutenant Eric Dieterman said people had seen the creatures in the past, but there hadn’t been so many before. So, what are they? California State University, Long Beach professor Christopher G. Lowe told KTLA the university’s expert on invertebrates said the creatures are sea cucumbers. University of California, Irvine associate professor Matt Bracken said the creatures are pelagic tunicates, also known as sea salps. He told The Orange County Register, “These marine invertebrates look sort of like jellyfish, but they are actually more closely related to vertebrates (e.g., humans) than to other invertebrates. They occasionally bloom off the California coast.” Via the Los Angeles Times and The Orange County Register Images via Don Coursey on Facebook and Ryan Rustan on Facebook

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Thousands of mysterious gelatinous creatures washed up in California

America’s first urban ‘agrihood’ feeds 2,000 households for free

December 7, 2016 by  
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When you think of Detroit , ‘ sustainable ‘ and ‘ agriculture ‘ may not be the first two words that come to mind. But a new urban agrihood debuted by The Michigan Urban Farming Initiative (MUFI) might change your mind. The three-acre development boasts a two-acre garden , a fruit orchard with 200 trees, and a sensory garden for kids. If you need a refresher on the definition of agrihood, MUFI describes it as an alternative neighborhood growth model. An agrihood centers around urban agriculture, and MUFI offers fresh, local produce to around 2,000 households for free. Related: Amazing farm-to-table, eco friendly housing development in California is a locavore’s paradise In a statement, MUFI co-founder and president Tyson Gersh said, “Over the last four years, we’ve grown from an urban garden that provides fresh produce for our residents to a diverse, agricultural campus that has helped sustain the neighborhood, attracted new residents and area investment.” Through urban agriculture , MUFI aims to solve problems Detroit residents face such as nutritional illiteracy and food insecurity. Now in the works at the agrihood is a 3,200 square foot Community Resource Center . Once a vacant building, the center will become a colorful headquarters and education center. As MUFI is a non-profit operated by volunteers, they’ll receive a little help to restore the building from chemistry company BASF and global community Sustainable Brands . Near the center, a health food cafe will sprout on empty land. MUFI describes the agrihood as America’s first sustainable urban agrihood. There are other agrihoods around the United States, such as this one Inhabitat covered earlier in 2016 in Davis, California. But the California agrihood is expensive; many people couldn’t afford to live there. The Michigan agrihood is far more accessible. MUFI isn’t stopping with the community center. They’re also working on a shipping container home, and plan to restore another vacant home to house interns. A fire-damaged house near the agrihood will be deconstructed, but the basement will be turned into a water harvesting cistern to irrigate the farm. + The Michigan Urban Farming Initiative Images via The Michigan Urban Farming Initiative ( 1 , 2 )

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America’s first urban ‘agrihood’ feeds 2,000 households for free

Cedar Rapids turns tragedy into triumph with new LEED Platinum public library

December 7, 2016 by  
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Tragedy struck Cedar Rapids, Iowa in June 2008, when a devastating flood swept the city and destroyed hundreds of homes, businesses, and several prominent public structures, including the public library. In the wake of the unprecedented natural disaster, the community and local studio OPN Architects joined together to rebuild the library. The new Cedar Rapids Public Library was reborn as a vibrant, multipurpose center that’s earned numerous architecture awards and LEED Platinum certification. Completed in 2003, the new Cedar Rapids Public Library is located a couple blocks from the original site and overlooks Greene Square Park. OPN’s meetings with the community guided the 95,000-square-foot library design, which, according to the architects, was “driven by the desire to embrace openness, transparency and foster public engagement with and within the space.” The building features large expanses of floor-to-ceiling glass to engage the streetscape and to overlook views of the park and cityscape. Large windows and a two-story central atrium allow natural light to penetrate deep into the building and reduce dependence on artificial lighting. The library spaces are organized around the central atrium in a hub-and-spoke system in which the cafe and coffee shop are located in the Service Core Zone, while the children’s, young adult, and adult fiction areas branch out from the hub. Clear sight lines and open vertical circulation help users navigate their way to their destinations. The second floor includes adult non-fiction collections, a conference space, offices, and a 200-seat auditorium facing the park that spans both the second and third floors. A breakout lobby for the auditorium sits on the third floor, which provides access to the 24,000-square-foot green roof . Related: Boxy new library by Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects designed to regenerate Halifax The Cedar Rapids Public Library achieved LEED Platinum certification thanks to its lowered energy footprint, which exceeds the Iowa Energy Code by 55% and uses energy at a rate of 37 ktbu per square foot—a significant savings compared to the pre-flood library’s rate of 100 kbtu per square foot. The exterior glazing that covers over a third of the building envelope is insulating with low-E coating. The building also includes a pump & re-inject geothermal HVAC system, daylight sensors, LEDs, and thermally broken aluminum framing. The accessible green roof harvests rainwater for irrigation, and combined with pervious paving, helps retain 90% of normal annual rainfall and 100% of all rainfall up to one inch in a 24-hour period on site. + OPN Architects Via ArchDaily Images via OPN Architects , by Main Street Studio – Wayne Johnson

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Cedar Rapids turns tragedy into triumph with new LEED Platinum public library

Greenpeace identifies brands that are still polluting oceans with microbeads

July 24, 2016 by  
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Microbeads are wrecking havoc on our oceans. Commonly used as an exfoliant in facial scrubs and shower gel, these tiny pieces of plastic get washed down the drain and often end up in the bellies of fish and other marine life. Despite widespread outcry against the use of microbeads, many brands that allegedly pledged to uphold a microbead ban have fallen disappointedly short, Greenpeace reports in a recent study. Click through to learn which brands are still polluting oceans with the tiny pieces of plastic.

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Greenpeace identifies brands that are still polluting oceans with microbeads

Obama might create the world’s largest marine reserve in Hawaii

June 17, 2016 by  
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Ten years ago, the newly-designated Papah?naumoku?kea Marine National Monument was the biggest marine reserve in the world. Since then, this uninhabited area of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands has been overshadowed by nine even larger protected areas . That could change, however, if environmental groups in Hawaii have their way and President Obama decides to expand Papah?naumoku?kea from its current 140,000 square miles to 625,507 square miles –an area four times the size of California. The expansion would add much-needed protections to important ecosystems near the islands – from open ocean waters to deep-sea habitats. More than 7,000 marine species make this area their homes, and scientists continue to discover new species of fish, invertebrates, and algae on a regular basis. Many, like black coral , the world’s oldest living organism, are found nowhere else on Earth. The expansion would even protect animals that live above the water, like the tropical sea birds that nest on islands and atolls in the proposed preserve. The call to expand Papah?naumoku?kea first came from an online petition started by surfer and photographer Mike Coots , which now boasts 40,000 signatures. These online activists have been joined by marine scientists, conservationists, fishermen, local politicians, and lawmakers, all urging Obama to taken action. One of the supporters of the proposal is Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii , who outlined a detailed plan in a letter submitted to the president on Thursday. His plan calls for the protection of only 582,578 square miles, with certain areas carved out of the preserve to allow recreational and subsistence fishing in certain areas. However, marine biologists have pointed out that this plan could allow fishing fleets to “pick off” fish migrating from protected to unprotected areas. Related: Marine scientists in Hawaii unearth an ancient minivan-sized sea sponge Whether or not President Obama ends up making provisions for fishing vessels, a decision on the expansion is likely to come soon. Under the 1906 Antiquities Act, Obama has the power to unilaterally alter the borders of the refuge. He has been holding listening sessions with local government leaders, Native Hawaiians, fisherman, scientists, and environmental groups in order to develop a full picture of how the expansion might affect the area. While no final decision has yet been made, sources close to the President told the Washington Post that the President is poised to make the new designation in the coming months. + Papah?naumoku?kea Marine National Monument Via The Washington Post Images via Kris Krug and NOAA’s National Ocean Service

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Obama might create the world’s largest marine reserve in Hawaii

SeaWorld admits to spying on activists

March 4, 2016 by  
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Something is fishy at SeaWorld , and it’s not the marine animals. After growing suspicions that the company was sending employees to infiltrate anti-SeaWorld protests, CEO Joel Manby finally admitted this Thursday that the decision was not only deliberate, but that it came from the aquarium’s management. Read the rest of SeaWorld admits to spying on activists

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SeaWorld admits to spying on activists

Japan is building a 250-mile concrete sea wall to keep tsunamis at bay

March 25, 2015 by  
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It’s an age-old philosophy: if you want to keep something out, just build a big wall. That’s exactly how Japan is approaching future tsunamis in the wake of the 2011 disaster that wiped out much of its northeastern coast and incited the Fukushima meltdown. The country is in the process of building a roughly 250-mile-long chain of cement sea walls along its coastline—some of which are five stories high in places—with the aim of keeping future giant waves at bay. Read the rest of Japan is building a 250-mile concrete sea wall to keep tsunamis at bay Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 2011 tsunami , barrier , BUILD , concrete , concrete sea walls , concrete seawalls , construct , Fukushima , Fukushima disaster , Japan , Japan concrete sea walls , Japan concrete tsunami barrier , japan tsunami , Japanese sea walls , marine , ocean , sea life , sea wall , Seawall , seawalls for tsunamis , stopping tsunamis , tsunami , tsunami barriers , tsunami evacuation , tsunamis

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Japan is building a 250-mile concrete sea wall to keep tsunamis at bay

Climate Change Blamed for Alarming Increases in Ocean Acidity

October 10, 2014 by  
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The effects of climate change seems to know no bounds: new research shows carbon emissions have dramatically increased the acidity of our oceans to the point where our entire food web is at risk of collapsing. In a recent report to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), scientists said the ocean’s acidity level has gone up 26 percent in the past 200 years, since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution . According to Phys.org , that increase in acidity directly mirrors the proportion of carbon dioxide oceans have been absorbing ever since humans started burning massive amounts of fossil fuels for energy. Read the rest of Climate Change Blamed for Alarming Increases in Ocean Acidity Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: acidity levels , biodiveristy , carbon , cbd , Climate Change , convention , emissions , food supply , Life , marine , ocean , United Nations

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VERGE SF 2013: One Marine’s grand mission to refine America’s DNA

October 17, 2013 by  
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Sustainability will drive America's future economy. Mark 'Puck' Mykeby aims to push this vision all the way to the White House.

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VERGE SF 2013: One Marine’s grand mission to refine America’s DNA

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