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Saint Agnes, United Kingdom

Oliver D.M.,University of Stirling | Hanley N.D.,University of St. Andrews | van Niekerk M.,University of Stirling | Kay D.,Aberystwyth University | And 23 more authors.
Ambio | Year: 2016

The use of molecular tools, principally qPCR, versus traditional culture-based methods for quantifying microbial parameters (e.g., Fecal Indicator Organisms) in bathing waters generates considerable ongoing debate at the science–policy interface. Advances in science have allowed the development and application of molecular biological methods for rapid (~2 h) quantification of microbial pollution in bathing and recreational waters. In contrast, culture-based methods can take between 18 and 96 h for sample processing. Thus, molecular tools offer an opportunity to provide a more meaningful statement of microbial risk to water-users by providing near-real-time information enabling potentially more informed decision-making with regard to water-based activities. However, complementary studies concerning the potential costs and benefits of adopting rapid methods as a regulatory tool are in short supply. We report on findings from an international Working Group that examined the breadth of social impacts, challenges, and research opportunities associated with the application of molecular tools to bathing water regulations. © 2015, The Author(s). Source

Mills B.,Enterprise and IT | Cummins A.,Surfers Against Sewage
Tourism in Marine Environments | Year: 2015

The academic community's interest in surf tourism continues to grow with important contributions being made to our understanding of culture, economic behavior, and impact at specific sites. However, there was little understood about the impact surfers and surf tourism have on the overall economy of the UK. Given the estimated 500,000 surfers in the UK in 2007 by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and given unique access to a comprehensive database of UK surfers it has been possible to go some way toward correcting this data shortage. By analyzing 2,159 questionnaire responses, and after taking account of economic multipliers, a total contribution to the UK economy by domestic surfers of £4.95 billion with an average direct spend of £2,980 per year on surfing-related expenditure may be estimated making surfing an important contributor to UK tourism and the UK economy. © 2015 Cognizant, LLC. Source

News Article
Site: http://news.yahoo.com/energy/

Pollution-free, renewable energy for some 300,000 homes could arrive on the California coast in the next decade if a new wind farm plan can navigate the contentious climate that thus far has derailed all offshore power projects in the state since 1969. Offshore wind development firm Trident Winds wants to put 100 floating wind turbines—tethered to the seafloor with a system of cables—15 miles off the coast from Morro Bay. The array would dwarf the only other offshore wind project in the United States—a five-turbine venture off the coast of Rhode Island, currently under construction. In October, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law that compels the state’s utilities to generate half of its electricity from renewables by 2030, and Trident Winds is hopeful the 600-foot-tall turbines could be part of the new energy mix, spinning off Morro Bay by 2025. The ambitious clean energy goals likely mean more offshore wind and wave energy proposals will be on the table for state agencies to consider. If past is prologue though, the road ahead won’t be a breeze. “One hundred turbines covering 40,000 acres is a massive footprint and I know of no other similar proposals offshore,” said Susan Jordan of the California Coastal Protection Network. “Investors see the California coast as a bonanza, but it’s really like no other, and that’s because of the strict laws we have to protect it. We need a statewide policy and guidance to ensure that projects like these move forward in a coherent manner.” In recent years, a handful of small offshore wave energy projects for the Northern California coast have failed to materialize for a variety of reasons—from funding shortfalls, to impact on habitat. Tom Luster, an energy specialist with the California Coastal Commission, says a proposal for a small offshore energy research facility in the California Central Coast is currently wending its way through the approval and funding process. He believes a surge of offshore energy proposals could soon find his desk. “The Coastal Act is built so that it’s pretty flexible,” said Luster. “As projects come up, we might not have specific policies to wind or wave energy, but the main questions are the same: how will projects affect marine life or public access to the shoreline.” RELATED: Wave Power Could Supply Half the U.S. With Cheap Electricity—Here’s Why It Doesn't Eric Markell, one of Trident Wind’s partners, says the proposed site is attractive because of reliable wind resources and existing onshore infrastructure—an existing decommissioned power plant, one of the most recognizable features of the Morro Bay landscape. “The cost of the project is to be determined,” Markell told KQED radio. “Economies of scale will drive down costs—both for the floating infrastructure and the turbines.” The proposed Morro Bay site would float in waters between the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. But The Sierra Club and local tribe leaders have been working on an initiative to create the Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary—a 140-mile stretch of coastline that includes the proposed Trident site. Andrew Christie of the Sierra Club sees no reason why renewable offshore energy projects couldn’t coexist with protected waters. “NOAA’s approach is similar to ours—we will evaluate the formal project proposal once it’s submitted … and determine if the project’s potential impacts have been adequately analyzed and mitigated or avoided,” he said. “If the Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary has been designated for the area at that time, we’ll also consult with NOAA to assure that harm to sanctuary resources will be avoided.” Globally, offshore wind power is still finding its sea legs. Take England, for example. After five years of public consultation and review, the 76-square-mile Navitus Bay wind farm that would have floated more than 100 turbines off the southern English coast was killed in September. Andy Cummins, Campaigns Director with Surfers Against Sewage, a UK-based nonprofit environmental watchdog agency, worked closely with the Navitus Bay developers to ensure they mitigate any impact on the local recreational resources. Cummins hoped it could have been a precedent-setting case study for offshore wind power. “Ideally, it would have gone in and we could have congratulated them for putting in a responsible renewables program,” said Cummins. “With wind farms more than any other renewables, it comes down to visual impact. This was bordering a wealthy community and a world heritage site. Honestly, as much noise as the engagement of recreational water users made, the thing that stopped it was the visual impact.”

Oliver D.M.,University of Stirling | van Niekerk M.,University of Stirling | Kay D.,Aberystwyth University | Heathwaite A.L.,Lancaster University | And 18 more authors.
Environment International | Year: 2014

The debate over the suitability of molecular biological methods for the enumeration of regulatory microbial parameters (e.g. Faecal Indicator Organisms [FIOs]) in bathing waters versus the use of traditional culture-based methods is of current interest to regulators and the science community. Culture-based methods require a 24-48. hour turn-around time from receipt at the laboratory to reporting, whilst quantitative molecular tools provide a more rapid assay (approximately 2-3. h). Traditional culturing methods are therefore often viewed as slow and 'out-dated', although they still deliver an internationally 'accepted' evidence-base. In contrast, molecular tools have the potential for rapid analysis and their operational utility and associated limitations and uncertainties should be assessed in light of their use for regulatory monitoring. Here we report on the recommendations from a series of international workshops, chaired by a UK Working Group (WG) comprised of scientists, regulators, policy makers and other stakeholders, which explored and interrogated both molecular (principally quantitative polymerase chain reaction [qPCR]) and culture-based tools for FIO monitoring under the European Bathing Water Directive. Through detailed analysis of policy implications, regulatory barriers, stakeholder engagement, and the needs of the end-user, the WG identified a series of key concerns that require critical appraisal before a potential shift from culture-based approaches to the employment of molecular biological methods for bathing water regulation could be justified. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Nelsenf C.,Surfrider Foundation | Cummins A.,Surfers Against Sewage | Tagholm H.,Surfers Against Sewage
Journal of Coastal Research | Year: 2013

Ocean waves are an integral part of the marine system, providing recreation and economic values to coastal communities around the world. Worldwide, the importance of surfing is consistently undervalued. As a result, there are numerous examples around the world where surfing waves are currently under threat from inappropriate development. Many more surfing waves have already destroyed by development. There are numerous discreet threats to surfing waves around the UK coastline. UK-based Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) is promoting the value of waves with the Waves Are Resources (WAR) Report and the Protect Our Waves (POW) petition calling for specific legislation to better protect surfing waves around the UK. Internationally, the Surfrider Foundation successfully stopped a proposed six-lane toll road that would have destroyed a popular state park and degraded a world famous surfing area called Trestles. The project was opposed by thousands of water users, supported by a surf economics report. Surfers visiting Trestles contribute to San Clemente's local economy by spending money when they visit and contribute between $8 and $13 million a year to the local economy. This paper presents an overview of the importance of surfing to coastal communities, provides an overview of threats to surfing around the globe and cases studies on successful efforts to protect surfing through coastal management, planning and legislation. The findings demonstrate the significant economic, social and environmental importance of surfing amenity to specific locales and support the need for appropriate consideration of impacts to surfing that may occur as a result of coastal management decisions. © Coastal Education & Research Foundation 2013. Source

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