Los Angeles City Council to approve lifesaving wildlife corridor

Would this wildlife overpass at Banff, Alberta, Canada be the model for the new Liberty Canyon/ 101 Wildlife Corridor overpass through L.A.?

Wildlife in and around one of the countries biggest metropolises is about to get a lifesaving reprieve.

On Tuesday, Los Angeles’s City Council Planning unanimously voted to approve a Regional Wildlife Linking Zone in the hillsides of Los Angeles between I-5 and I-405, which will be added to the City’s municipal code. This will establish a zone to protect open space connectivity in any new building permits.

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Ancient forests of Ireland helped by planting cloned saplings

Ireland - green hillsThoughts of Ireland bring to mind green lush hills, fairies and leprechauns, sunshine and blue seas. But throughout this magical country there are few trees or forests.

The ancient wild forests that stood for 9,000 years were cleared long ago. Since the Norman invasions, Ireland’s wild forests cover only 0.02 percent of the country. But remnants of these legendary forests exist and, with help from some innovative Americans, they could be flourishing again in years to come.

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Toyota learns to let Nature take its course

Retention pond at Toyota's Mississippi plant  retention pond - now certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council as a Wildlife at Work program

Retention pond at Toyota’s Mississippi plant retention pond – now certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council as a Wildlife at Work program

Humans are wise to learn from Nature. Rather than insist on creating a picture perfect habitat, environmental specialists learned that letting Nature “win” has many rewards for wildlife.

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Bats are helping to balance our ecosystem

Bats - Mexican Free-tail

Humans have an innate fear of bats. But there’s little reason behind this and much to be learned about these small winged creatures.

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UniversalGiving – helping to eliminate poverty around the world

UniversalGiving helps eliminate poverty around the globe

Focused on raising money for international charities and matching volunteers for make-a-difference global projects, the non-profit UniversalGiving has been making a big impact around the world this year. Their biggest task is working to eliminate poverty in its many forms.

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California creates the first marine protected parks

northern-ca-coast-1California’s Fish & Game Commission has approved the nation’s first state marine protected areas (MPA’s). Ocean habitats between Santa Cruz and Mendocino County in northern California will now be considered underwater state parks.

This new plan, which goes into effect in February 2010:

  • Creates twenty four MPAs

  • Protects about 86 square miles of north central coast ocean waters

  • Leaves almost 90 percent of the coast open to fishing

  • Leaves all the ocean open to diving, surfing, kayaking and other recreational uses

“We all worked really hard to create this plan,” said Fred Smith of the Environmental Action Committee of West Marin, a member of the stakeholder advisory group. “People may look back at this time, and think we were crazy for thinking protecting 10 percent of our ocean was too much.”

Point Reyes National Seashore - now part of California's new Marine Protected Areas

Point Reyes National Seashore - now part of California's new Marine Protected Areas

The new North Central Coast marine protected areas will protect the waters around the Farallon Islands, Point Reyes Headlands and Stewarts Point, some of northern California’s most beautiful natural treasures.

“California is a leader in creating the nation’s first statewide network of marine protected areas,” said Karen Garrison of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and a member of the stakeholder advisory group. “Like national parks on land, these areas are the Yosemites of the sea, places where wildlife can thrive.”

Tuna Companies pledge Conservation of Sea Turtles

sea-turtlesThree of the top U.S. tuna companies have pledged more than $100,000 annually to help protect sea turtles in longline tuna fisheries. These funds will be run through the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF).

ISSF founding members Chicken of the Sea, StarKist and Bumble Bee are studying a variety of projects from protecting turtle nesting habitats to providing circle hooks to funding research into turtle bycatch mitigation.

“Industry must take a lead role in the stewardship of our oceans,” said Chris Lischewski, President and CEO of Bumble Bee Foods LLC who also serves as chair of ISSF.

All seven species of sea turtles are endangered or threatened throughout U.S. waters. Pollution is shrinking natural habitats while sea turtles are often accidentally ensnared in fishing nets.

“There is a science-based need to protect sea turtles,” Lischewski said. “We respect the delicate balance in marine ecosystems and part of industry’s role must be to support conservation initiatives that can help maintain that balance or rebuild where it’s been weakened.”

The International Seafood Sustainability Foundation is a global partnership among scientists, the tuna industry and WWF, the global conservation organization.