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The 10 Most Contaminated Beaches

Filed under: HealthBeach

Avalon beach Los Angeles

It's summertime and that means BEACH TIME! Yay!

Unfortunately, that also could mean exposure to contaminated water! Ewww!

Testing the Waters: A Guide to Water Quality at Vacation Beaches, a report released on Thursday, gathered data from 3,200 beaches across the country and found that beach closings had occurred 24,901 times in 2010 with 70% of those closings related to bacterial contamination in the water!

Yuck!

Contaminated water poses all sorts of risks including rashes, vomiting, bowel issues and serious infections.

Before you head to your favorite beach this summer, make sure it isn't on the “Top 10 Repeat Offenders” list for having dangerous water.

Check out the top ten most polluted beaches in America below!

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Our Noise Kills Giant Squids

Filed under: Sad SadScience!Sea Creatures

live_giant_squid_first_image.jpg

So sad.

When giant squid washed up ashore along Spain's Asturias province in the early 2000s, the events occurred suspiciously close to when ships had used air guns to conduct low-frequency sound-pulse exercises in the region, Ocean Leadership reports.

While the noises were a possible cause for the squids' deaths, it was not confirmed until a recent study completed by a marine bioacoustician at Barcelona's Technical University of Catalonia and his team.

We have known for some time that whales and other marine mammals which rely on sound for communication and navigation have been harmed by the noise pollution in the ocean — either by not being able to hear, and therefore find, one another, or by being so blasted by loud sounds that they beach themselves or are killed by the trauma caused inside their skulls.

The study showed that among specimens of two species of squid, one species of octopus and one species of cuttelfish exposed to low-frequency sound for two hours, all showed signs of damage to their statocyst tissue, with the damage becoming worse the longer after exposure the animals lived.

[Image via wikipedia.]

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25 Most Polluted Cities Have Cleaner Air Than Last Year!

Filed under: Environment

Los Angeles Smog

Good news! The U.S. Clean Air Act is working!

The "State of the Air 2011" report from the American Lung Association concluded that the air in the nation's 25 smoggiest cities has improved over the last year.

Lung Association President, Charles Connor, said in a statement:

"The progress the nation has made cleaning up coal-fired power plants, diesel emissions and other pollution sources has drastically cut dangerous pollution from the air we breathe."

While it looks like the air is getting cleaner, the report unfortunately still found 154.4 million people (over half the nation's population) live in areas where the air is filled with dangerous levels of ozone and particle pollution.

Yikes! That's not good!

The two cleanest cities were found to be Honolulu, Hawaii and Santa Fe, New Mexico. The most polluted was, you guessed it, El Lay, baby! Ha!

Darn.

[Image via AP Images.]

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Gordon Ramsay And Jamie Oliver Eel-liminate Eel From The Menu

Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay

Top TV chefs Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver took their fight to end overfishing home with them and have removed the endangered European eel off of their restaurant menus.

Their decision to remove the slithering sea creature came after they were under fire for being fish hypocrites for featuring the eel, while campaigning to raise awareness for overfishing.

Better late than never!

There is some controversy as to whether the European eel is actually endangered though. Although the species was declared endangered in 2008 by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, the company that supplied both chefs with eel does not feel the eel is in danger at this time.

The Dutch Eel company uses farmed fish and other sustainable means of procuring its eels, so maybe the chefs were just being fed misleading information.

Either way, we're glad both put their money where their mouth was and took the endangered animal off of the menu, even if it took some reminding.

Greenpeace has said the population the European eel has declined dramatically and is in danger due to pollution in the water.

Ramsay recently appeared on an English television program Gordon Ramsay: Shark Bait, which features him campaigning against the shark fishing industry, which is a disgusting industry which kills sharks for a silly delicacy.

[Image via WENN.]

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Even More Dead Fish And Birds!

Filed under: Scary!BirdsFishWildlife

More dead fish and birds found across the globe.

Remember how we said it wasn't a biblical plague after all? We might be eating our words soon.

Millions of dead fish surfaced in Maryland's Chesapeake Bay on Tuesday, while similar unexplained mass fish deaths occurred across the world in Brazil and New Zealand.

We don't want to cause mass hysteria, but this is some scary stuff.

100 tons of sardines, croaker and catfish have washed up in Brazilian fishing towns since last Thursday and hundreds of dead snapper fish washed up on beaches in New Zealand with their eyes missing.

The cause of these deaths is unknown for now and believed to be unrelated, but officials in each country have their suspicions set on chemical pollution, an imbalance in the environment, or starvation due to weather conditions.

A spokesperson for the Maryland Department of the Environment says "cold-water stress" is believed to be the culprit for those fish in the Chesapeake Bay and said similar large winter fish deaths were documented in 1976 and 1980.

The world didn't end then, so we might be okay, but birds are still dropping too!

On Wednesday, 50 birds were found dead on a street in Sweden!

Officials are saying fireworks likely caused the Arkansas and Sweden bird deaths, while power lines may be to blame for the death of the birds in Louisiana.

Let's HOPE that fireworks were the cause and cross our fingers that we don't hear any more news about mass animal deaths for the rest of 2011!

[Image via AP Images.]

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Plastic Killing Adriatic Sea Turtles

Filed under: Sad SadSea Creatures

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While studying the impact of debris on marine life, researchers discovered that one in three loggerhead turtles in the Adriatic Sea has plastic in its intestine.

The sea floor is extremely shallow and serve as important feeding grounds for the turtles, but the area is also one of the most polluted in Europe.

It was discovered that turtles ingested plastic bags, wrapping foils, ropes, polystyrene foam and fishing line. The debris can weaken the animals because it takes up space in their stomach where they would digest food.

Reseacher Dr. Romana Gracan said:

"It is important to know more about the Adriatic Sea in order to help loggerhead turtles across the whole Mediterranean. The water temperature here suits them and because it is shallow they have the opportunity to feed on benthic [sea-floor] animals.

Loggerheads are opportunistic feeders which will eat almost anything that is in front of them and plastic stays around for a very long time in the sea. In the future we must think more carefully what we put in the sea."

So true.

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Winds Slowing World Wide

Filed under: DiscoveryAmazing

Wind dying down

Wahoo!

Don't worry, this isn't a bad thing - at least not this time! According to a new study by scientists, winds around the globe are starting to die down.

Why you ask? Not because of new buildings…but because of new forests!

This is great news for the planet! While we still are cutting down massive amounts of forest each year, more and more are sprouting up around the globe!

In a nutshell, this means that slowly, we may be reversing all the damage we have caused by deforestation.

Along with the winds dying, this means air pollution is less likely to travel - isolating itself to one area - AKA smog over LA might not turn into marine layer anymore!

This is all still being studied, but at the current moment, it seems as if this is a positive find!

There is still a lot of the picture to be discovered, but lets hope it will only get better!

[Image via AP Images.]

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