Each blue whale has a unique pattern of spots of its back, like a fingerprint or a nametag. These spots allow researchers to identify each whale as either a newcomer, or an old friend.
The Mingan Island Cetacean Study (MICS) is a non-profit research organization located on the Gulf of St Lawrence's northern shore and they were the first group to begin long term study of marine mammals in the Gulf. Since their founding in 1979, this group has followed blue whale populations in eastern Canada, the Sea of Cortez and in the waters of Iceland.
MICS has discovered something troubling in the northwest Atlantic blue whale population. Of the 475 individual whales they've identified since their genesis in 1979, only 22 have been calves. This suggests a frighteningly low calving rate for a population already swimming on the brink.
The long awaited report from the US Army Corps of Engineers on how to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes has finally been released. The report evaluates the many waterways connecting the Mississippi River to Lake Michigan –all potential avenues to allow several species of Asian carp into the Great Lakes. The 5 year report costing $20M is titled Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study (GLMRIS).
Silver and bighead carp already make up about 95% of the biomass in rivers downstream of the Chicago River. Over a century ago Chicago built a canal to reverse the flow of the Chicago River to divert their sewage and stormwater south into the Mississippi rather than their waterfront beaches. The “reversed” Chicago River flow has been supported by two US Supreme Court decisions.
Rouge Park has been getting a lot of press coverage recently. The proposed federal legislation for Rouge Park is not good enough, and the remarkable ecological values of the park deserve more protection. A letter signed by 7 environmental groups outlining the objections to the legislation for establishing the future urban park can be found here.
On Saturday, September 27th, at 2pm, a walk will be held to grow the Greenbelt as recommended by a motion of the City of Thorold Council. Walkers and cyclists will assemble at the outside the Indian Flame Bar and Grill, at 1300 Lundy’s Lane near the Allanburg Bridge. The route will take an hour and a half by walking and participants are encouraged to meet informally at the Indian Flame afterwards. In case of any extreme weather, the event will be held at 2pm on Sunday, September 28th at the same location.