North Carolina Fines Duke Energy over Coal Ash Spill

Written by charlie   
Wednesday, 11 March 2015 11:18
North Carolina's Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDNR) fined Duke energy $25.1 million for spilling millions of gallons of toxic coal ash near its Sutton Plant facility just outside Wilmington, North Carolina. The fine is the largest the state has levied, after receiving much criticism that Gov. Pat McCrory's close ties to Duke Energy, insulated it from regulations and enforcement. Prior coal ash violations were largely ignored by NCDNR and given only minimal fines and no requirement to clean up. The EPA has also filed criminal charges against the company for multiple Clean Water Act violations, which could lead to fines up to three times the size of civil penalties, plus the threat of criminal conviction. More info here:

List of Ramsar Scientific Studies

Written by charlie   
Friday, 06 March 2015 19:27
irectly from a recent post on the Ramsar mailing list:

The Institute for Biodiversity Law and Policy at Stetson University College of Law just announced on the Ramsar mailing list that they will compile monthly a list of recently published articles discussing the Ramsar Convention and/or Ramsar Sites.

The Institute has created this list in order to facilitate research and provide timely, relevant article updates to the Forum members. The list includes online links to the articles, where available, and the Institute plans to update this list monthly.

To access the list in its entirety, join the Ramsar Forum mailing list here, I've already found a few interesting studies worth reading.

New Species of Leopard Frog identified in Mid Atlantic Region

Written by charlie   
Thursday, 05 March 2015 14:57
A new species of Leopard Frog was positively identified this year after it was discovered in 1937 by Carl Kauffeld. Not found in a remote rain forest, it was discovered in a Staten Island marsh! The "new" Leopard Frog is believed to range between North Carolina and Connecticut, overlapping both the habitats of the Northern Leopard Frog and Southern Leopard Frog.

Kauffeld was considered an expert on amphibians and had worked as the Director of the Staten Island Zoo and at the American Museum of Natural History. He passed away in 1974 at age 64.

Kauffeld's discovery was never verified, and it sat largely forgotten until 2008, when a Rutgers University PhD candidate, Jeremy Feinberg furthered the research by leading a diverse team of scientists, who not only compared it's DNA and calls and croaks to other leopard frogs, but also mapped the range of its habitat.

In a nod to Kauffield, the frog was named Rana kauffeldi in his honor. More info here:

">New Frog Discovered Inhabiting I-95 Corridor from Connecticut to North Carolina Leopard Frog

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