Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Loose Feathers #7

Bird-control programs are not popular with everyone:

  • The Humane Society of the United States objects to the altered regulations that give communities more leeway in how they control abundant animals like the Canada goose.
  • In the Great Lakes region, culling double-crested cormorants is a hot-button issue. The issue appears to have split local environmental organizations. The cormorant culls are motivated by declining fish populations in the Great Lakes. As with other cull situatations, the decline is probably rooted more in human-introduced problems of overfishing and invasive species.
  • Milford, MA, is has been using a spray that makes birds sick to repel pigeons from public buildings, and now plans to use it to keep Canada geese out of parks.
Some further news on the Chesapeake Bay:
  • The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is planting trees along tributaries of the Potomac River in West Virginia to improve the situation downstream. The only example cited here is of 600 trees being planted where a beef cattle farm runs along a stream.
  • Another issue facing the Chesapeake region is rising sea levels. A new book documents some of the islands and coastline that have been lost to the water in the last 150 years.
  • Governor Warner of Virginia announced increases in state funding for clean-water initiatives and also that the Water Control Board imposed new regulations for nutrient pollution of waterways. The regulations set limits on the release of nitrogen and phosphorus from water treatment facilities, while the funding is meant to encourage improvements there. It is hard to tell how much is really new here since the report does not give much detail, and Warner proposed the same regulations in 2003. (Why did it take so long to have them implemented?)