Category Archives: Good News

Thanks to Yao Ming, killing sharks for their fins is down 50%

“The number of sharks in our seas has been steadily decreasing for decades. About 100 million sharks a year are killed — 73% of those are targeted for their fins, which are usually cut off before the shark is left to die.

That’s why Yao teamed up with the conservation nonprofit WildAid to spread the word that shark fin soup is bad news bears. Since launching with the slogan ‘When the buying stops, the killing can too,’ a huge shift has occurred. The campaign has been credited with cutting the number of sharks killed for their fins by 50 percent.”

Read the Upworthy article here

Whale Healing Nicely Two Months After Caught in Fishing Line

“The Whale disEntanglement Team (WET) and volunteers from Monterey Bay Marine Life Studies disentangled this humpback whale in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary in May 2014; the whale was re-sighted two months later with its tail wound healing nicely! Unfortunately, reports of whales entangled in lost fishing gear have dramatically increased over the past three years within the sanctuary. Lost crab pots or traps can unintentionally tangle whale flippers and flukes as they forage and travel in the Monterey Bay. If you see a marine mammal in distress, please maintain 100 yards distance, and call the NOAA Response Hotline at 1-877-SOS-WHALe (1-877-767-9425).”

Read the NOAA post here

California Governor Kickstarts Salton Sea Restoration

“Gov. Jerry Brown announced plans Friday for the state to back larger projects to control dust and construct wetlands along the receding shores of the Salton Sea.

In response to recommendations made by the newly formed Salton Sea Task Force, the state plans to restore between 9,000 and 12,000 acres of shoreline habitat by 2020 using already-available state funds.

Starting in 2020, the state will then begin to restore an additional 18,000 to 25,000 acres of exposed shoreline, although an end date for this stage of restoration has yet to be set.”

View The Desert Sun article here

California Law Restricts Use of Antibiotics in Livestock Unless Prescribed by a Vet

“Gov. Jerry Brown, addressing what he called an ‘urgent public health problem,’ signed legislation Saturday restricting the use of antibiotics in livestock unless prescribed by a veterinarian to treat a disease or infection.

Senate Bill 27, by Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, is similar to a bill Brown vetoed last year.

But in a signing message, the Democratic governor said ‘the science is clear that the overuse of antibiotics in livestock has contributed to the spread of antibiotic resistance and the undermining of decades of life-saving advances in medicine.’ ”

View the Sacramento Bee article here

Iowa Farms Move to Sustainable Farming Practices & Support Next Generation Farmers

“SILT [Sustainable Iowa Land Trust] was created to protect Iowa farmland to grow healthy food in perpetuity. This is a radical notion for a state that imports 90 percent of its food. On land we own (all of which will be donated to us except for this special case with Joe), we will provide long-term inheritable leases to farmers, and they will own the house, barn, and business on the land. This is a model we picked up from Equity Trust ( So, instead of pouring millions into interest on a mortgage, newer farmers can put their money into their operation early on when it needs it most. We anticipate charging market rate but reducing the rate for more sustainable practices, especially of the soil needs remediation.”

Read the Seedstock article here

Protecting Wildlife Corridors Is Now California State Policy

The new law “will make it a policy of the state that, whenever a project is proposed in an area defined as a wildlife corridor, that the proponent work with the Department of Fish and Wildlife to ensure the continued functioning of that corridor. Many of these corridors are also habitat strongholds that birds and other wildlife need to survive in an environment altered by climate change.

According to a study released in September 2014 by the National Audubon Society, 170 California bird species will be at risk of extinction in the next several decades due to global warming.”

View the Audubon article here

DuPont Found Liable For Cancer From Teflon Chemical

“A federal jury on Wednesday (Oct. 7) found DuPont liable for causing a West Virginia woman’s kidney cancer by poisoning her drinking water with a chemical used to make Teflon. The jurors ordered the company to pay $1.6 million in damages.

The jury in Columbus, Ohio, held that DuPont was guilty of negligence and infliction of emotional distress for deliberately discharging the chemical – a perfluorinated compound, or PFC, called PFOA – into the Ohio River, landfills and the air, and that the contamination caused the cancer that afflicted Carla Marie Bartlett, 59. Bartlett’s case was the first to go to trial of 3,500 lawsuits against the company for illnesses caused by the pollution of public water systems and private wells near DuPont’s Washington Works plant in Parkersburg, W. Va.”

View the Environmental Working Group article here

Positive Action You Can Take: Call on the President to Protect Fragile Habitat for Wildlife in National Monuments

“It’s an exciting time to live and work on conservation issues in the Mojave Desert. Recently, California Senator Dianne Feinstein publicly asked President Obama to designate three new National Monuments in the California desert totaling more than 1.4 million acres of public land. These lands would be managed for protection of resources including the sensitive plants and animals that live there. Designation of these monuments would protect habitat for the federally threatened desert tortoise, the state sensitive desert bighorn sheep, golden eagle, prairie falcon, bears, mountain lions and many other species. These areas also harbor many rare plant species, three of which are new to science!”

Read the Defenders of Wildlife article and Take Action here

California bans captive breeding of SeaWorld killer whales

“The California Coastal Commission on Thursday approved a $100 million expansion of the tanks SeaWorld uses to hold killer whales in San Diego — but it banned breeding of the captive orcas that would live in them.

Animal rights activists praised the decision as a death blow to the use of killer whales at the California ocean park. . . .

Under the expansion, SeaWorld would demolish portions of a 1995 facility that included a 1.7 m gallon pool and replace it with a 5.2 m gallon tank and 450,000 gallon pool.”

Because SeaWorld can no longer obtain orcas from the wild, the 11 at SeaWorld San Diego will be the last to live in captivity there. At least they will live in a much bigger tank … but many scientists animal activists will continue to fight for their eventual release. SeaWorld has not yet announced whether it will file a legal challenge to the Coastal Commission’s new ruling.

Read The Guardian article here