Time filter

Source Type

News Article | August 7, 2016
Site: www.theguardian.com

Researchers in Massachusetts this week captured footage of a great white shark feasting on a minke whale carcass, off the coast of Cape Cod. The sighting led to the temporary and precautionary closure of three popular tourist beaches. The shark’s appearance was part of a resurgence for the species along the north-eastern US Atlantic coast. Researchers attribute this to a rebound in the population of gray seals, a favorite great white shark food when dead whales are not on the menu. James Sulikowski, a professor of marine science at the University of New England in Portland, Maine, said: “They’ve been congregating in areas like the Cape because there’s a lot of food there, and they like that food. It’s a source for them, and they don’t have to work too hard for it.” In a statement, the Center for Coastal Studies (CCS) said that by Thursday the 11ft whale carcass was in “radically different condition” from its discovery the day before. “At least two white sharks were attending the whale,” it said, “and had removed the tongue, internal organs and most of the muscle. The carcass was still floating but was essentially little more than the spinal column and skull.” Beaches at Noons Landing, Cold Storage and Beach Point were subsequently closed to swimmers. Sulikowski is based approximately four hours north of Truro, where the white sharks were spotted eating the minke carcass. Since a slate of new conservation measures went into effect in the 1990s, he said, white sharks have also appeared near his patch of coast. “It would only make sense to see more and more sharks up our way, which honestly is a really good thing,” he said. “Everybody thinks there are these crazy sharks out to be raging predators, but they focus on the dead, the sick, the dying. They actually strengthen and cull older populations of seals.” In late July, a possible great white sighting off Duxbury beach, near Cape Cod, prompted a warning that beachgoers swam at their own risk. This week, another unconfirmed sighting placed a great white in Wellfleet harbor, while swimmers were whistled out of the water off Martha’s Vineyard. According to the Shark Research Foundation, however, only seven shark attacks on humans have been documented in Massachusetts since 1830. Three were fatal, all of them before 1936. Two were off Cape Cod. Great white sharks were portrayed as rare in the 1975 blockbuster Jaws, which was filmed on Martha’s Vineyard. Researchers now believe substantial populations congregate around the long hook of Cape Cod in summer before heading to Florida in winter. In the north, whale carcasses are a vital food source. In the 1980s, studies of shark populations indicated precipitous decline, by as much as 79% in the white shark’s case. Data from recent studies shows some populations have rebounded, especially around Massachusetts. In a 2014 study published in Plos One, researchers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association wrote: “The recovery of north-west Atlantic gray seal populations over the last decade and their increasing concentrations at specific sites along Cape Cod, Massachusetts, appears to be producing new localized summer feeding aggregations for white sharks.” Sulikowski said: “It’s not the doom and gloom, like it used to be. We’ve made great strides to protect those species. You can see they’re rebounding, which is good.” However, many tournaments still encourage shark fishing, especially along the north-east US coast. According to fishermen the Guardian spoke to last month at a tournament in Rhode Island, many such contests are difficult to police. “You’re always going to have species that need extra protection, just because of their past history,” said Sulikowski of the great white sharks. “We just need to make sure we reach out to other countries and continue this effect.”


News Article | June 28, 2016
Site: www.techtimes.com

Ticked Off! Here's What You Need To Know About Lyme Disease Five months after rehabilitation, a New England green sea turtle once rescued by a Newfoundland dog has been released back into the waters of Assateague State Park in Maryland. In early January, an observant 2-year-old dog named Veda spotted a stranded loggerhead turtle while strolling with her owners on a nearby beach. After being treated at the New England Aquarium's sea turtle hospital, the green sea turtle — named Newfie after the breed of its hero — was among nine sea turtles brought to Maryland for safe release. Officials from the New England Aquarium said a strong storm in January had washed debris onto Ellisville Beach. Among the pile carried on the shore was Newfie the 40-pound loggerhead turtle. Had Veda not spotted the turtle while inspecting seaweed, aquarium officials say the marine animal would not have survived for more than a few hours because of further exposure to the sub 20-degree temperatures at the beach. As it turns out, Veda accidentally sat at the pile of seaweed and then saw the turtle. The 120-pound dog alerted her owners, Leah and Brad Bares, to the creature's presence by lying down near the water. Newfoundland dogs like Veda have become known for rescuing fishermen, but saving a sea turtle may be a first, experts say. The Bares couple asked the help of William Gray, a volunteer for Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, to carry the green sea turtle to the New England Aquarium's sea turtle hospital. Newfie the sea turtle had hypothermia and required several months of intense care and rehabilitation. The animal's temperature steadily increased after four days at the sea turtle hospital. Meanwhile, Newfie was not the only sea turtle released back into the wild after treatment. In Marineland, Florida, a juvenile green sea turtle named Cisco Kid was carried into the Atlantic Ocean after months of laser treatment. The green sea turtle suffered from anemia and had to undergo a series of laser surgeries to remove large tumors that it developed. It was the first green sea turtle ever released by the staff at the University of Florida's Whitney Laboratory Sea Turtle Hospital. According to Brooke Burkhalte, Cisco Kid's veterinarian who carried the turtle to the shore, the marine animal frantically paddled long before it paddled the waves. And then it was free. Jessica Long, a spokesperson for Whitney Laboratory, hopes that Cisco Kid will stay healthy and well because although science has helped it escape a serious disease, the rest is up to nature. "It could come back," says Long. "If the immune system of the turtle is compromised, it could come back again." © 2016 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


News Article | December 22, 2015
Site: www.techtimes.com

Volunteers in Massachusetts have rescued around 120 "cold-stunned" sea turtles from shores on Cape Cod Bay after they were pushed ashore by strong winds. Turtles thrive around Cape Cod during summer months, wildlife experts explain, but must migrate south to warmer waters in winter to avoid hypothermia or "cold stunning." In a period of just 12 hours, volunteers with the Massachusetts Audubon Society pulled 120 turtles from the beaches of Brewster, Eastham, Truro and Wellfleet. Experts said it was an unusually large stranding for so late in the year; normally the greatest numbers of turtles get stuck on local beaches around Thanksgiving during the heaviest period of southerly migration. Strong winds helped push the turtles onto beaches, and scientists noted the season's warmer than usual weather kept them alive this late into the year. "It's normally way less than that at this time of year," said Bob Prescott, a spokesman with society's Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. Most of the turtles found stranded were Kemp's ridley sea turtles, a rare and critically endangered species of sea turtle found along the Atlantic seaboard and the Gulf of Mexico. They are among the smallest of the world's sea turtle species, never exceeding about 28 inches long as adults. They feed on crabs, jellyfish and mollusks. As the annual southern migration begins, young turtles are particularly at risk of being trapped by the "hook" of Cape Cod and suffering hypothermia as ocean temperatures drop, experts explained. The surviving rescued turtles, each in a cardboard box with a blanket, were transported to Quincy, Mass., to the New England Aquarium's animal care facility. There, researchers will spend several days bringing the turtles' bodies temperatures back up slowly so as to avoid further shock. Eventually they will be transported to Florida for release, aquarium officials said. Last year was a record year for turtle strandings on Cape Cod, with 1,200 stranded turtles reported.


Trademark
Wellfleet | Date: 2016-09-07

Sea salt and sea salt blends.


News Article | February 5, 2016
Site: news.mit.edu

Nations worldwide are increasingly embracing solar power as an alternative electricity source for homes, buildings, and even the grid. Since 2008, installed solar capacity in the United States alone has grown 17-fold, from 1.2 to 20 gigawatts (GW), according to the U.S. Department of Energy. But do costs outweigh the benefits of installing photovoltaic (PV) systems in every building? MIT spinout Mapdwell is answering that question by mapping solar potential for entire cities and providing a cost-benefit analysis for each rooftop. On Mapdwell’s satellite-map website, people can click on an individual roof to receive information about installation price, energy and financial savings, and environmental impact. The idea is to “empower businesses and homeowners with information they need to go solar,” according to the Mapdwell website. So far, Mapdwell has mapped eight cities across the U.S., including New York, San Francisco, and three in Massachusetts — Boston, Cambridge, and Wellfleet — as well as a few cities in Chile. Mapdwell is currently expanding to include all major metropolitan areas in the U.S. by year’s end. Results from mapped cities indicate that, in general, solar panel installation is a “good investment” for long-term homeowners, says co-founder and technology co-inventor Christoph Reinhart, an associate professor of architecture and head of the MIT Sustainable Design Lab. “In Cambridge, for example, a good roof will get you your money back within seven years,” he says. Of course, that’s if you have a “good roof,” Reinhart adds, which depends on a number of factors that Mapdwell takes into consideration. North-facing roofs get less sunlight that those facing other directions, especially south. But the main culprits for lowering efficiencies, Reinhart says, are trees and other sources of shading. “In the summer you want trees to lessen your air-conditional loads. But if your roof is heavily shaded, that’s obviously not good for solar,” he says. Mapdwell also provides city-level statistics on “high yield” potential solar capacity and other metrics, giving municipalities a clearer picture of the costs and savings of promoting solar power. For example, Mapdwell estimates Boston has about 1.5 GW of untapped solar capacity, Washington D.C. has 2 GW, and San Francisco has roughly 3 GW. New York City, on the other hand, has a whopping 11 GW solar potential. If that capacity were met, the solar panels would offset carbon emissions equivalent to planting 185 million trees, according to Mapdwell. To map cities, Mapdwell collects data from LiDAR-equipped planes — which survey urban topography using reflections from lasers to map the terrain — along with geographical and weather data. Additional analysis provides a detailed 3-D model of every rooftop layout. Data is fed into Solar System, Mapdwell’s online mapping platform, which was developed at MIT and provides a higher resolution and greater accuracy than other mapping services, Reinhart says. On Mapdwell’s website, each rooftop is covered with many color-coded dots that represent open areas for solar-panel installation. They range in color from bright yellow — representing the highest yields — to orange, to brown, which represents decreasing solar efficiency. Users can outline areas where they may want to install panels, or use a default mode that automatically highlights the most “high-yield” areas. They’ll get specific numbers for the costs of installing a system, the payback time in years, the average monthly and annual revenue, and any tax credits earned. Also displayed are the energy savings equivalent to trees planted, offset carbon, homes powered, and metrics such as energy output, panel efficiency, and more. “It becomes very specific in telling you where to place the systems and what the local payback times are,” Reinhart says. If interested, users can print or share comprehensive reports and contact installers directly through Solar System’s interface. Reinhart started working on Mapdwell’s core technology in 2011, when he became aware of solar-mapping tools that were cropping up for places such as Boston and New York City. “But when you looked in detail at the maps online, you saw funny things happening,” he says. In other words, the algorithms were working solar radiation calculations that were outdated, inaccurate, or wrong. At the time, Reinhart’s group had been mapping individual buildings for solar potential. Securing funding from the National Science Foundation, they built out this technology to assess solar potential for entire cities, focusing initially on Cambridge — “to be a good neighbor,” Reinhart says. They presented results to the government, estimating that fitting the city’s 17,000 rooftops with solar panels could generate roughly 30 percent of the city’s electricity. This Cambridge study opened up Reinhart’s eyes to the commercial potential of displaying solar rooftop data for home and business owners — and the importance of software design. “If we showed people what we were using, no one would get it,” Reinhart says, laughing. Reinhart partnered with co-founder and current CEO Eduardo Berlin, a former colleague at Harvard University whose research centered around information-driven models for sustainability in the real estate market. Berlin worked on the company’s plan and the platform’s concept and design, including the popular color-coded dots. “You get real dollar amounts, which adds to the value of the system, but people process graphical information better than numbers,” Reinhart says. “That color scheme is incredibly important and seductive.” Their platform landed them unprecedented results in a 2014 case study for Wellfleet’s Solarize Campaign. Within four months, 10 percent of Wellfleet’s households had commissioned a PV system, “which is seven times higher than comparable solarize program results in other Massachusetts communities at the same time, under identical pricing and framework,” according to Berlin. Using the platform for initial screening, installers presented quotes for 94 percent of sites visited. More than half of these proposals became contracts. That’s the benefit of having detailed information about photovoltaic installations, Reinhart says: “You come to a site, only to be very sure that the site’s good. Then half the time the owner says yes because they already know from Mapdwell how much it’s going to cost.” Mapdwell is currently scaling to cover large U.S. metropolitan areas in the next few months. Additionally, Mapdwell has developed tools based on its data to lower customer-acquisition costs for solar-power stakeholders “and ignite a market that is ready and eager for much faster growth,” Berlin says. Back at MIT, Reinhart and the Sustainable Design Lab are now using similar tools for their newest project: a building-energy model of Boston, which estimates the citywide hourly energy demand loads down to the individual building level. “This is where we want to go forward in cities,” Reinhart says.


News Article | November 3, 2016
Site: www.prnewswire.com

GREENWICH, Conn., Nov. 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Wellfleet Credit Partners ("Wellfleet") announced today the closing of a $406.1 million collateralized loan obligation ("CLO"), referred to as "Wellfleet CLO 2016-2." Wellfleet CLO 2016-2 represents the third CLO issuance for Wellfleet, the...


News Article | November 3, 2016
Site: www.businesswire.com

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fitch Ratings has assigned the following rating and Rating Outlook to Wellfleet CLO 2016-2, Ltd./LLC: --$260,000,000 class A-1 notes 'AAAsf'; Outlook Stable. Fitch does not rate the class A-2, B, C-1, C-2 or D notes or the subordinated notes. TRANSACTION SUMMARY Wellfleet CLO 2016-2, Ltd. (issuer) and Wellfleet CLO 2016-2, LLC (co-issuer) together comprise an arbitrage cash flow collateralized loan obligation (CLO) managed by Wellfleet Credit Partners, LLC. Net proceed


But do costs outweigh the benefits of installing photovoltaic (PV) systems in every building? MIT spinout Mapdwell is answering that question by mapping solar potential for entire cities and providing a cost-benefit analysis for each rooftop. On Mapdwell's satellite-map website, people can click on an individual roof to receive information about installation price, energy and financial savings, and environmental impact. The idea is to "empower businesses and homeowners with information they need to go solar," according to the Mapdwell website. So far, Mapdwell has mapped eight cities across the U.S., including New York, San Francisco, and three in Massachusetts—Boston, Cambridge, and Wellfleet—as well as a few cities in Chile. Mapdwell is currently expanding to include all major metropolitan areas in the U.S. by year's end. Results from mapped cities indicate that, in general, solar panel installation is a "good investment" for long-term homeowners, says co-founder and technology co-inventor Christoph Reinhart, an associate professor of architecture and head of the MIT Sustainable Design Lab. "In Cambridge, for example, a good roof will get you your money back within seven years," he says. Of course, that's if you have a "good roof," Reinhart adds, which depends on a number of factors that Mapdwell takes into consideration. North-facing roofs get less sunlight that those facing other directions, especially south. But the main culprits for lowering efficiencies, Reinhart says, are trees and other sources of shading. "In the summer you want trees to lessen your air-conditional loads. But if your roof is heavily shaded, that's obviously not good for solar," he says. Mapdwell also provides city-level statistics on "high yield" potential solar capacity and other metrics, giving municipalities a clearer picture of the costs and savings of promoting solar power. For example, Mapdwell estimates Boston has about 1.5 GW of untapped solar capacity, Washington D.C. has 2 GW, and San Francisco has roughly 3 GW. New York City, on the other hand, has a whopping 11 GW solar potential. If that capacity were met, the solar panels would offset carbon emissions equivalent to planting 185 million trees, according to Mapdwell. To map cities, Mapdwell collects data from LiDAR-equipped planes—which survey urban topography using reflections from lasers to map the terrain—along with geographical and weather data. Additional analysis provides a detailed 3-D model of every rooftop layout. Data is fed into Solar System, Mapdwell's online mapping platform, which was developed at MIT and provides a higher resolution and greater accuracy than other mapping services, Reinhart says. On Mapdwell's website, each rooftop is covered with many color-coded dots that represent open areas for solar-panel installation. They range in color from bright yellow—representing the highest yields—to orange, to brown, which represents decreasing solar efficiency. Users can outline areas where they may want to install panels, or use a default mode that automatically highlights the most "high-yield" areas. They'll get specific numbers for the costs of installing a system, the payback time in years, the average monthly and annual revenue, and any tax credits earned. Also displayed are the energy savings equivalent to trees planted, offset carbon, homes powered, and metrics such as energy output, panel efficiency, and more. "It becomes very specific in telling you where to place the systems and what the local payback times are," Reinhart says. If interested, users can print or share comprehensive reports and contact installers directly through Solar System's interface. Reinhart started working on Mapdwell's core technology in 2011, when he became aware of solar-mapping tools that were cropping up for places such as Boston and New York City. "But when you looked in detail at the maps online, you saw funny things happening," he says. In other words, the algorithms were working solar radiation calculations that were outdated, inaccurate, or wrong. At the time, Reinhart's group had been mapping individual buildings for solar potential. Securing funding from the National Science Foundation, they built out this technology to assess solar potential for entire cities, focusing initially on Cambridge—"to be a good neighbor," Reinhart says. They presented results to the government, estimating that fitting the city's 17,000 rooftops with solar panels could generate roughly 30 percent of the city's electricity. This Cambridge study opened up Reinhart's eyes to the commercial potential of displaying solar rooftop data for home and business owners—and the importance of software design. "If we showed people what we were using, no one would get it," Reinhart says, laughing. Reinhart partnered with co-founder and current CEO Eduardo Berlin, a former colleague at Harvard University whose research centered around information-driven models for sustainability in the real estate market. Berlin worked on the company's plan and the platform's concept and design, including the popular color-coded dots. "You get real dollar amounts, which adds to the value of the system, but people process graphical information better than numbers," Reinhart says. "That color scheme is incredibly important and seductive." Their platform landed them unprecedented results in a 2014 case study for Wellfleet's Solarize Campaign. Within four months, 10 percent of Wellfleet's households had commissioned a PV system, "which is seven times higher than comparable solarize program results in other Massachusetts communities at the same time, under identical pricing and framework," according to Berlin. Using the platform for initial screening, installers presented quotes for 94 percent of sites visited. More than half of these proposals became contracts. That's the benefit of having detailed information about photovoltaic installations, Reinhart says: "You come to a site, only to be very sure that the site's good. Then half the time the owner says yes because they already know from Mapdwell how much it's going to cost." Mapdwell is currently scaling to cover large U.S. metropolitan areas in the next few months. Additionally, Mapdwell has developed tools based on its data to lower customer-acquisition costs for solar-power stakeholders "and ignite a market that is ready and eager for much faster growth," Berlin says. Back at MIT, Reinhart and the Sustainable Design Lab are now using similar tools for their newest project: a building-energy model of Boston, which estimates the citywide hourly energy demand loads down to the individual building level. "This is where we want to go forward in cities," Reinhart says. Explore further: Google can tell you if solar roof panels will pay off


News Article | January 4, 2017
Site: www.techtimes.com

Animal conservationists in Massachusetts have rescued 10 Risso's dolphins that got stranded in a local harbor at the beginning of the year. Members of the nonprofit group International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) responded to reports on Sunday, Jan. 1, about dolphins having been spotted in Wellfleet Harbor. At first, residents reported that there were three dolphins swimming in the harbor, but by the time the rescuers arrived, they discovered that there were actually more of the marine mammals. IFAW spokeswoman Kerry Branon said the animals may have been trying to catch some prey, leading them to get closer to the shore. According to Branon, rescuers tried to herd the dolphins using boats so that they could lead the animals back to open waters. When the tide went out, however, the dolphins suddenly found themselves stuck in a portion of the harbor. The rescuers then decided to enter the cold, muddy water, so that they could safely move the animals out of their predicament. Each one of the dolphins was placed on a stretcher then transported on trucks using special carts. Some of the Risso's dolphins were so large that it took 15 rescuers just to move them from the harbor and into the vehicles. "They are pretty big, and really quite heavy," Branon said. "It's a massive undertaking, 10 dolphins." Branon added that this was the largest stranding of dolphins that they have responded to. Before this, the IFAW had rescued another group of dolphins that became stranded in a cove close to Chequessett Neck Road in September. After securing the Risso's dolphins on the transport trucks, they were then taken to Corn Hill Beach in Truro, where they were set free in the ocean. The rescuers believe the favorable winds in the area will help the animals find their way back into open waters. Branon said the rescue teams received much helped from residents and local authorities in saving the stranded dolphins. Some even handed out mugs of hot cocoa to the rescuers so that they could make it through the cold winter day. Risso's dolphins took their name after Niçard naturalist Giuseppe Antonio Risso. Risso was the first to provide a description of the animals to the public. While some people also refer to the dolphins as grampus, this name is more often associated with their fellow marine mammals, the orcas. Male and female Risso's are known to reach lengths of up to 8.5 feet to 13 feet (2.6 to 4 meters) and weigh between 660 to 1,100 pounds (300 to 500 kilograms). These dolphins have a bulbous head with a vertical crease, and a beak that isn't easily distinguishable. They also have a long, sickle-shaped dorsal fin found in the middle of their backs. Adult Risso's can be differentiated from other dolphin species through their pale gray skin and the heavy scarring on their bodies. These dolphins often end up in tussles with others of their kind and with lampreys and cookie-cutter sharks, which serve as their prey. Despite not being considered an endangered species, Risso's dolphins are still protected through the Marine Mammal Protection Act. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Loading Wellfleet collaborators
Loading Wellfleet collaborators