National Geographic: Newly discovered mass mortality in sea creatures along California coast — Body parts falling off, animals ‘wasting away’ — Researchers fear sea star epidemic has spread (PHOTOS)

Published: April 7th, 2015 at 9:18 am ET
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Smithsonian, Apr 6, 2015: [M]illions of sea stars along North America’s Pacific coast met a grisly end when a virus rotted their bodies into lumps of white goo… scientists fear that greater consequences of this “wasting disease” are already at play. And the sickness may be spreading even further… ecologists worry that the sea urchins could now be catching the same ailment.

Tweet from National Geographic, Apr 1, 2015: Now urchins are wasting away off California, in addition to sea stars… as the fallout from sea star disease ripples along the California coast.

National Geographic, Apr. 1, 2015 (emphasis added): [I]n southern California, urchins are losing their spines and dying… [T]he mass mortalities… are newly discovered phenomena that appear to be connected to a die-off of sea stars… Santa Barbara to Baja California, urchins’ spines are falling out, leaving a circular patch that loses more spines and enlarges with time… “We think that there’s a wasting event going on with urchins,” says Peter Raimondi, an ecology professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz. “It is by no means as rapid as the sea star wasting… But we do see it in multiple sites. And when we do see it, we see it in a lot of animals.”… [S]cientists revealed a virus… had suddenly flourished [in sea stars], although no one at this point understands why… biologists have suggested that the virus may have evolved, becoming an extra-potent slayer… “There are particular signs that point to this being a wasting event, the way the animals are dying,” Raimondi says. The most common kinds of California urchins—purple, red, and white—are losing their spines… markers indicate that sea urchins in southern California are now in a wasting event, Raimondi says… Researchers fear that sea star wasting disease has spread to urchins.

Are urchins only dying in So. California as National Geographic reports?

Not according to another recent National Geographic report: “Urchins… seemed to have escaped the ill effects of the virus until now. But in recent weeks, reports have started to come in that they too are dying along beaches in the Pacific Northwest… [Cornell microbiologist Ian Hewson is] studying the urchins… that are already dying to see if the same killer is responsible.”

Friday Harbor Laboratories (Univ. of Washington), Amy Henry’s Lab Notebook, July 29, 2012: “Lime Kiln State Park… It appeared to have patchy dark lesions all over its body- areas where spines had fallen off and were replaced with goopy purple epidermis or potentially microbial colonies. There was a white margin to the presumptively infected patches, with darker purple or red centers. The urchin was still alive… His tube feet are lethargic.”

Jeff Marliave, Vancouver Aquarium, Jan 2014 (at 48:00 in): “Divers reported that all the red urchins have lost their spines… When we see a huge abundance of green urchins and then suddenly they’re gone, I’ve always tended to think, ‘What ate them? What ate them?… What killed them off?’ It could have been a bug.”

In early 2015, we reported on a similar phenomenon observed in Hawaii: Gov’t: Sick urchins have patchy loss of their spines and lesions

Published: April 7th, 2015 at 9:18 am ET
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  1. Scientists reveal details of unprecedented mass mortality on West Coast that began summer 2011 — “Many millions” of deaths before sea star wasting syndrome — Multiple species wiped out in days — Mortality rate of 99.99% over large region — “No documented event has been so severe” June 4, 2015
  2. Epidemic causing mass die-off along California coast — “Nasty, cheese-like lesions” prevent birds from eating, breathing — Newly discovered parasite being blamed — Experts: “Surprising… Very concerning… Sudden increase is disturbing” (GRAPHIC PHOTOS) February 21, 2015
  3. Lead Researcher: Fukushima pollution may be causing sea star epidemic on West Coast — Sea urchins, sea cucumbers also affected — “Something’s making them susceptible”… “It’s unlike anything we’ve seen”… “Populations go locally extinct overnight” December 30, 2013
  4. West Coast Scientists: Many animals on sea floor looking sick or dead — “Everything’s dying… Dead, dead, dead, and dead” — Experts investigate what’s killing sea urchins and cucumbers in Pacific Northwest — “Seeing things never previously observed” (PHOTOS) November 18, 2014
  5. “One of largest mass die-offs of seabirds ever recorded” now underway on West Coast — Gov’t: “I’ve never seen anything like this, ever” — Experts: “Just massive, massive, unprecedented” … “Strong possibility of it escalating to affect other species” — “Significant uptick in mass-mortality events in marine world” January 23, 2015

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  • rogerthat

    Assessment of radiocesium contamination in frogs 18 months after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster

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    Scientific Reports 5, Article number: 9712 doi:10.1038/srep09712
    Received 21 October 2014 Accepted 11 March 2015 Published 10 April 2015

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    The Sendai Framework and Lessons from Fukushima

    2015•04•10 Ana Mosneaga United Nations University

    Nuclear accidents and similar hazards were not among the leading topics during the UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR) held in March 2015 in Sendai, Japan. Apart from one session dedicated to the issue of technological hazards, the nuclear accident in Fukushima that shocked Japan and the world four years ago did not receive much attention in the official segment of the conference.

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  • rogerthat

    Could The East Riding Become Nuclear Waste Dumping Ground
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  • rogerthat

    Bush, local leaders push for fees on Zion nuclear waste dumping

    Thursday, 09 April 2015

    ZION — “Cities should have the power to collect an impact fee if a company stores their nuclear waste in their community,” State Senator Bush (D-Grayslake) said.

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    • rogerthat

      the Zion-Benton Township High School District. “Property values have also reached an all-time low. The fact that Zion has become a long-term storage facility for spent fuel, and the inability of Zion to utilize prime lake front real estate for development, have greatly hindered the community’s recovery.”

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      David Knabel, Chief Financial Officer for the City of Zion, said the closure of the facility lowered local property tax revenues by nearly $20 million while the city needed to provide the same level of services to the surrounding community.

      “[A nuclear disposal impact fee] will help to offset the impact to the residents and businesses and help to repair the damage done to the area,” Knabel said in a statement by the city.

      The legislation is Senate Bill 544. It awaits a vote in the Illinois Senate.

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  • rogerthat

    Kildee wants State Dept. involved in nuke waste debate
    Melissa Nann Burke, The Detroit News April 10, 2015

    Washington — U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint, wants President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry to take a more active role in preventing the Canadian government from permanently burying nuclear waste in the province of Ontario, less than a mile from Lake Huron.

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  • rogerthat

    Keep Us Safe from San Onofre Highly Radioactive Nuclear Waste

    Petition to our Elected and Appointed Federal and State Officials

    Southern California Edison wants to bury 1632 tons of highly radioactive nuclear spent fuel on the beach at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in a known earthquake fault, tsunami and firestorm zone, next to the I-5 freeway, Amtrak, just steps from ocean access in an unprotected airspace, and extremely vulnerable to nuclear terrorism.

    10 million people live within the 50 mile evacuation zone

    We, your electorate call upon you to:

    -Demand that any interim dry storage system that Edison purchases be above ground, can easily be inspected and have developed transport casks available.

    -Direct the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Department of Energy work with the Department of Defense and California Legislators to immediately create a California Interim Dry Storage Facility on an existing isolated, guarded military base, that is seismically stable, away from a tsunami zone and be in an enforced no fly zone so that it can be protected against the growing threat of nuclear terrorism.

    Protect the Citizens of Southern California

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  • rogerthat

    Forest Fires Threaten New Fallout From Chernobyl via The New York Times

    On April 26, 1986, the Chernobyl nuclear plant in Ukraine released a plume of radiation that eventually blanketed an estimated 77,000 square miles of Europe and Eurasia. While the worst of the contamination occurred near the plant — an area still closed to human habitation, now referred to as the exclusion zone — the effects are still seen further afield as well. Radioactive wild boars roam German forests, and radioactive mushrooms grow in Bulgaria.

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  • rogerthat

    Now THIS is what I call a righteous rant:

    No Peaceful Nukes
    The Real Nuclear Threats

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