Re: BINGO! BONGO! Don't be a Boob-o Steve-O

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Posted by SteveK on May 04, 2003 at 07:04:02:

In Reply to: Re: BINGO! BONGO! Don't be a Boob-o Steve-O posted by Papa Do Run Run on May 03, 2003 at 11:05:30:

"You really work hard at being a babbling ass. You are quite successfull."

Maybe it's the way I paraphrased some of the material I've cited that has you confused. I was hoping for a more positive reaction so here is the text from one site which talks about all kinds of pollution but pay particular attention to boat pollution, as some of this material doesn't apply to boaters, and the negative effect on fish spawning habitats along with recommendations of how we can help. Make some copies and pass them around.

You have a rather strange email address (itasadeadmansparty@oingoboingo.orgo). Why not drop my a email direct and let me know what 's on your mind, just remove the nospam. Here is the text I promised.

"Polluted Runoff"

What is Polluted Runoff?

"Runoff" is the term used to describe rainwater and melting snow that travel over impervious surfaces such as roads and walkways and empty into streams and coastal waters. Polluted runoff occurs when this water picks up fertilizers, lawn chemicals, herbicides, salt from roadways, oil and gasoline leaked from automobiles, and untreated sewage from boats, pets, and failing septic systems. Because this type of pollution comes from many sources and not from a single point -- such as a pipe -- it is also called "nonpoint source pollution" and "runoff pollution".

Why is polluted runoff a problem for the coast?

Polluted runoff eventually finds its way into the streams and rivers that empty into estuaries and coastal waters. creating serious problems for coastal resources. Some examples follow:

Beach Closings - losses in revenue for coastal tourism

* During 1998, at least 7,236 days of closings and advisories were reported for the U.S. coasts, Great Lakes, bays and freshwater beaches. There were 41 extended (6-12 weeks) closings and advisories, and 36 permanent (over 12 weeks) ones. Altogether, more than 10,000 "user-days" were affected (Natural Resources Defense Council, July 1999).
* Polluted runoff and stormwater were listed as the cause of more than 1,541 of these closings/advisories, plus 8 extended and 10 permanent closures (NRDC, July 1999).

Fisheries/Shellfish Bed Closures: Losses for commercial and recreational fishers

* In 1995, 3.5 billion acres, or nearly one in every seven acres of classified shellfish beds, were not approved for harvest due to poor water quality. In 14 of the 21 coastal states included in the 1995 National Shellfish Register (NOAA 1996), more than 95 percent of the areas closed to shellfishing were impaired by nonpoint sources.
* As a result of the Pfiesteria outbreak in 1997, the Maryland Sea Grant Program estimated a loss of $43 million in seafood revenues.

Destroyed Habitat: losses in fish spawning areas and impacts on valuable coastal species

* The impacts of nonpoint source pollution on coastal habitats are widespread, resulting in degradation of coral reefs, the low-oxygen dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico, and the loss of valuable salmon spawning areas in the Pacific Northwest.
* Pacific salmon have disappeared from about 40% of their historical breeding ranges in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and California over the last century, and many of the remaining populations are severely decimated. (National Academy Press, 1996)

What causes Polluted Runoff?

Because polluted runoff comes from a combination of the many things that people do on the land, everyone is part of the problem. In coastal areas, polluted runoff is generated by several major human activities. Descriptions of them follow.

Urban Sources
Car fluids such as oil and antifreeze, salt used on our roads during winter storms, and excess fertilizers from our gardens and lawns all wash into storm drains. Developing new areas for houses and businesses results in clearing and grading the land, which exposes the soil to erosion. Building roads, highways and bridges can also cause soil to erode, washing the particles downstream into bays and the ocean. Human waste from failing septic systems leaches into groundwater that feeds streams and rivers, which eventually flow into coastal bays and the ocean.

Agricultural Sources
Fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals and the waste from farm animals can run into streams, creating problems for the plants and fish in downstream rivers and bays. Grazing animals may also harm areas near streams and rivers, creating erosion problems and other impacts on fish habitat.

Forest Harvesting
Trees absorb the excess nutrients that would otherwise run downstream and pollute our waterways. Their roots also hold the soil in place. Harvesting forests without proper management can severely damage watersheds, resulting in large loads of sediment washing downstream.

Marinas and Boating Activities
The improper storage, servicing and operation of boats can lead to runoff pollution. Fuel spills, inadequate facilities for handling onboard sewage, and boat cleaning and maintenance all have the potential to lead to direct pollution of coastal waters. Proper siting and design of marinas is also important for protecting coastal resources.

Modifying channels by straightening waterways and using concrete to convey stormwater can lead to changes in natural streamflows, including higher volumes after heavy rains and lower volumes of water during drought periods. Dams and eroding shorelines create other changes in hydrology that can result in higher water temperature, and poor water quality.

How is NOAA's National Ocean Service (NOS) addressing polluted runoff?

NOAA has undertaken a number of activities to address the effects of nonpoint source pollution on our Nation's coasts, including the crippling economic impacts of beach closures. Descriptions of these activities follow.

Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Control Program
Under the Section 6217 of the Coastal Zone Act Reauthorization Amendments of 1990, the Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management administers the coastal nonpoint pollution control program. This joint program between NOAA and the US EPA ensures that coastal states have the tools to address polluted runoff. Specifically, the program:

* Establishes a consistent set of management measures for states to use in controlling polluted runoff. These management measures are designed to prevent and control polluted runoff resulting from a variety of sources, including urban runoff.
* Encourages states to have in place the authorities necessary to ensure implementation of management measures to control polluted runoff.
* Focuses on pollution prevention, rather than just dealing with existing water quality problems.
* Encourages management measures at the local level that improve coastal water quality.

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Water Quality Protection Program (WQPP)
NOAA manages the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, which encompasses more than 5000 square miles, stretches along 300 miles of coast, and is vulnerable to runoff from the 11 watersheds that drain into the sanctuary. Federal, state, and local agencies recognized that water quality was the key to protecting Sanctuary resources, and signed an agreement to work together to develop a Water Quality Protection Program. In partnership with the Coastal Commission, the program developed the Model Urban Runoff Program, which is essentially a "how-to" guide for local governments to develop programs to control urban runoff. Cities throughout California and elsewhere have expressed a great deal of interest in the program, and work is under way to expand it.

The Water Quality Protection Program also has a citizen-monitoring component. In the City of Monterey, citizen's monitoring efforts revealed that local restaurants were releasing excessive levels of detergents into the city storm drains. For the past two years, trained volunteers have encouraged restaurants to adopt "best management practices", and detergent levels have decreased significantly.

National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS)

* The System-Wide Monitoring Program provides critically needed standardized information on national estuarine environmental trends, while allowing flexibility to assess coastal management issues of regional or local concern. Presently, the program monitors physical and chemical parameters to assess the water quality impacts of weather. Subsequent activities will include mapping changes in habitat, monitoring environmental stresses, and assessing watershed land-use changes.
* To share what it has learned from on polluted runoff issues, the reserve system has produced a report titled "Polluted Runoff: Lessons Learned from the National Estuarine Research Reserve System." The report describes sources and impacts of runoff pollution as well as the system's restoration, remediation and management efforts. It also describes the NERR Coastal Decision-maker Workshops and other educational programs.

National Status and Trends Program
* Chemical measurements are taken at more than 300 "Mussel Watch" sites located along the entire U.S. coastline. These measurements are then analyzed to determine the spatial distribution and temporal trends of coastal contamination, and to help differentiate between natural influences and the effects of human activity and natural influences. The data show that levels of DDT, PCBs and other contaminants have declined during the past two decades, indicating progress in the control of coastal pollutants.

Harmful Algal Blooms and Eutrophication
* Nonpoint source pollution is a prime suspect as the cause of harmful algal blooms that affect coastal waters around the nation. In a recent study, NOAA found that the overproduction of algae was highly affected by human-related sources of pollution, including urban and agricultural runoff. NOAA published a 1999 report entitled the "National Estuarine Eutrophication Assessment (8 M PDF) that documented for the first time the scale, scope, and characteristics of this problem in U.S. estuaries. Harmful algal blooms have been reported in every U.S. coastal state, with a cumulative economic cost exceeding $1 billion. In May 1998, a harmful algal bloom in California killed more than 400 sea lions and sickened many others.

* To address harmful algal blooms before they become a problem, NOAA's National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) is developing forecasting technologies for harmful algal blooms, which will provide valuable information to local and state decision makers. NOS is also working to predict links between land use and coastal ecosystems by examining the relationship between polluted runoff and accelerated algal growth.

How Can People Help?

Solving the problem of polluted runoff will require all Americans to make small changes in their everyday lives. The following common-sense tips can make a big impact on the environment:
* Use farm, lawn and garden chemicals sparingly and wisely
* Avoid applying farm, lawn, and garden chemicals just before a heavy rainstorm
* Dispose of boating wastes at marine pumpout stations
* Repair automobile and boat leaks promptly
* Return used oil and fluids to a service station or recycling center
* Don't dump waste down storm drains
* Properly dispose of pet and farm animal wastes
* Preserve and plant trees and other vegetation along rivers and streams to absorb runoff before it reaches the water
* Don't litter: reduce, reuse and recycle instead.

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