U.S. Waters Polluted by 10 Million Tons of Dog Poop


U.S. Waters Polluted by 10 Million Tons of Dog Poop

The 78 million dogs living in the United States create 10 million tons of feces annually, polluting waterways and posing a threat to public health, according to a pet waste removal service asking Americans to pledge to scoop the poop this Earth Day.

Dog Waste Threatens Public Health

“Dog waste is an environmental pollutant. In 1991, it was placed in the same health category as oil and toxic chemicals by the Environmental Protection Agency,” explains Virginia-based pet waste removal company Doody Calls in a press release. “The longer dog waste stays on the ground, the greater a contamination becomes. Bacteria, worms and other parasites thrive in waste until it’s washed away into the water supply.”

USAToday reports that 40% of dog owners do not pick up their dog’s waste at all and all that waste pollutes waterways. Because scientists are able to track the origin of the fecal bacteria to the species that excreted it, we even know how much. One study showed as much as 90% of the fecal coliform in urban stormwater was of non-human origin, mostly dog.

In just a couple of days, 100 dogs can deposit enough bacteria to temporarily close a bay, and all  watershed areas within 20 miles of it,                     to swimming  and fishing. Officials in Seattle consider waste from the city’s million dogs to be a major pollution source of Puget Sound. Dogs have also been shown to be a major source of water contamination in Clearwater, FL; Arlington, VA; and Boise, ID.

So What’s a Responsible Dog Owner to Do?

If you live in Cambridge, MA, you can drop your dog’s leavings into methane digesters to power the lights in some parks. If you live in Jefferson County, CO, you can join the poop patrol to remind your neighbors that there is no dog poo fairy (seriously). For the rest of us, the Natural Resources Defense Council has the following recommendations:

  • First, you definitely should not let your dog’s droppings lay near water ways, curbs, or even in your yard. What you should do is . . .
  • Wrap it in a plastic bag (biodegradable, corn-derived, or regular) and put it in the trash (though not all municipalities allow this).
  • Flush it. Dog waste can be managed by most sewage treatment systems and some septic tanks. (Do not flush cat waste because the parasite Toxoplasma gondii can survive sewage treatment plants.)
  • Install an underground pet waste digester. Basically a septic tank just for your pet.
  • Bury it in your yard. Keep pet waste away from vegetable gardens, the water table, and streams and buried at least 5 inches deep. Always cover fresh waste with with dirt.
  • Hire a poop collection service. Services will patrol your yard for poop on a weekly or bi-weekly schedule.  What a service does with the waste will vary, but you won’t have to handle it yourself.

Related Reading

The Cool Way To Clean Up After Your Dog [Video]

Lights Powered by Dog Poop! (VIDEO)

NRDC Study Finds U.S. Beaches More Polluted Than Ever

FISH … Wild or Farmed …do you know what to look for?


How to

Identify

Sustainable Seafood

Know the label to look for when shopping for fish.

by Virginia Sole-Smith

This international nonprofit organization uses independent certifying agencies to make sure fisheries are catching their fish in the most environmentally friendly way possible. The label now appears on more than 180 frozen, fresh, and smoked-fish products sold in grocery stores across the country, including Whole Foods and Target,Wal-Mart has committed to buying all its store-brand fish products from MSC-certified fisheries within the next two to four years. For more information, visit  eng.msc.org  

Please ask your grocer if they buy and sell certified Sustainable fish … Nativegrl77

 facts about MSC

 

       Our vision is of the world’s oceans teeming with life, and seafood supplies safeguarded for this and future generations

Our mission is to use our ecolabel and fishery certification program to contribute to the health of the world’s oceans by recognising and rewarding sustainable fishing practises, influencing the choices people make when buying seafood, and working with our partners to transform the seafood market to a sustainable basis.
MSC vision and mission

  1. The MSC is a global program with fisheries participating from all the world’s oceans

    We have a staff of 100 spread across the HQ in London and regional offices in the Netherlands, USA, Australia, Baltic region, France, Germany, Japan, South Africa, and Spain, where our multilingual staff can be contacted to answer questions.
    MSC offices and staff

  2. The MSC program assesses wild capture fisheries only

    The MSC assessment program is used to certify wild capture freshwater and marine species. Our program does not assess fish farming (aquaculture), although some forms of enhanced fishery may be eligible for assessment.
    Why MSC doesn’t certify aquaculture fisheries

  3. We do not certify fisheries, we set standards

    To maintain impartiality, the MSC operates a ‘third-party’ certification program. This means that MSC itself does not assess fisheries or decide if they are sustainable. Instead certificates are issued by certifiers who are independently accredited to be able to perform assessments of fisheries and decide if they meet the MSC’s standards.
    Third party certification

  4. The market for certified sustainable seafood creates an incentive for fishery improvements

    Most fisheries say MSC certification helps them retain existing markets and gain access to new ones. For example the Germany North Sea saithe fishery used to rely entirely on fresh fish sales, but is now winning contracts for frozen fillets because its customers are requesting MSC certified products. This presents a powerful incentive for other fisheries to demonstrate their sustainability or to make improvements so that they can be eligible for certification too.
    Benefits of MSC certification (PDF, 8.2 mb)

  5. Fisheries in the MSC program can influence fishery policies

    An example from the South Africa hake fishery illustrates how fisheries in the MSC program can influence government policy. The fishery introduced tori lines (streamers flown from boats to keep birds away) in response to one MSC condition. These are now mandatory on all trawling vessels in South Africa.
    Net benefits report (PDF, 8.2 mb)

  6. The MSC program has delivered environmental improvements in fishery management

    For example the MSC assessment process for the Ekofish Group plaice fishery led to a voluntary agreement with NGOs to close certain sensitive areas for this bottom-trawl fishery, and to take part in scientific research on the impact fishing gear has on habitats and the seabed.
    Find out about other environmental benefits resulting from the MSC program

  7. The MSC program uses the best available science

    MSC certification is a robust scientific process, which draws on scientific expertise from marine scientists worldwide as well as contributing to improving scientific understanding through the fishery assessment process.
    MSC standards and methodologies

  8. Every MSC certified fishery has demonstrated that it maintains sustainable fish stocks, minimises environmental impacts and is effectively managed

    These are the three MSC environmental principles that every fishery in the program must prove it meets. Measurable environmental benefits that have occurred in MSC certified fisheries include the recovery of the New Zealand hoki fishery‘s historically low stock levels, due to a raft of management measures including a stock rebuilding plan.

  9. The MSC program is transparent

    Information from each step of the assessment process is available on the MSC website to make it easier for stakeholders to contribute. We also invite stakeholders to participate in key improvement projects and publish progress online.
    Consultations

  10. We work collaboratively with stakeholders around the world

    The input that stakeholders provide during a fishery’s assessment is key to ensuring a thorough assessment and a credible outcome. For this reason, certifiers are required to carefully consider all comments received, and justify and document their responses. The MSC also has an objections procedure which provides a mechanism for any disagreement with the assessment of the fishery to be reviewed and resolved. The MSC is continually improving its program, and stakeholders are invited to contribute to its development through regular meetings of the Stakeholder Council and public consultations.
    Have your say

  11. We work with fisheries in developing countries to ensure there is equal access to the benefits of certification

    The MSC program is open to all fisheries regardless of size, scale, location and intensity. To promote equal accessibility to its ecolabelling program, the MSC works with stakeholders and fisheries from all over the world. Through the MSC’s Developing World Program, the MSC seeks to promote increased participation of developing country fisheries in certification.
    Developing World Program

  12. We are a non-profit organisation

    The MSC is a registered charity and non-profit (501c3) and to a great extent relies on financial support from donors with an interest in protecting sustainable fishing. The majority of this income is received in the form of grants from private foundations, as well as some more limited support from governments, companies, other NGOs and individual supporters. Additional revenue is also generated from MSC International (the trading arm of the MSC) which administers a fee structure for use of the MSC eco-label, helping the MSC to become more financially independent and reduce its dependence on charitable donations.
    Make a donation

  13. We meet best practice for ecolabels and setting social and environmental standards

    The MSC has the only seafood ecolabel in the world that is consistent with the ISEAL Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation’s guidelines for ecolabelling of fish products.
    How we meet best practice

  14. MSC certification helps to safeguard livelihoods and sustain communities

    Encouraging responsible fisheries management improves security for the livelihoods of communities who depend on them, especially for smaller scale artisanal fisheries. In the Net Benefits report there are many examples, such as in the American Albacore Fishing Association Pacific tuna fishery which in 2005 had unstable incomes and lack of resources to invest in repairing vessels. After certification, the fishery found new buyers in Switzerland, Germany, France and the United Kingdom – and, confident of a market, was able to set its own price for the first time in its history. Now fishing is a reliable industry for the future of the community.
    Net benefits report
    (PDF, 8.2 mb)

  15. Buying MSC labelled fish makes a difference

    To remain MSC certified, fisheries must continually meet requirements for maintaining fish populations, so your favourite fish can still be enjoyed in years to come.
    Where to buy sustainable seafood

  16. You can be sure that all fish with the MSC ecolabel can be traced back to a certified sustainable fishery

    MSC-labelled seafood is traceable through the whole supply chain. When a product is sold with the MSC ecolabel, each business in the chain must have a Chain of Custody certificate, proving they have demonstrated to independent auditors that MSC certified fish comes from a certified supplier and is kept separate from non MSC-certified fish.
    MSC chain of custody certification

  17. 23% of shoppers across markets around the world recognise the MSC ecolabel

    2010 research carried out in the USA, Canada, UK, Germany, France, and Japan shows that across these regions, 23% of the adult population is now aware of the MSC ecolabel – up from 9% in 2008.
    Find out more about the research

  18. Consumers respond positively to the promotion of certified sustainable seafood

    When promoted as part of a campaign called ‘Les Jours Bleus’ (Blue Days), the MSC ecolabel helped increase sales for MSC Partners. Findus increased their market share for breaded fish in Carrefour stores by 30% in volume. Sales of Connétable products were multiplied by 10 compared to their average annual sales throughout the year.
    Les Jours Bleus campaign

  19. Our ‘Fish & Kids’ project teaches the next generation why seafood matters

    By working with education caterers, schools and children, the MSC is bringing sustainable seafood to over 4000 (roughly 20%) of primary schools in the UK. The project teaches children about sustainable seafood issues and helps schools source MSC fish for school meals. In 2010 the project was also launched in 60 schools in Sweden.
    Fish & Kids website

  20. The MSC is widely recognised as the leader in the sustainable seafood labelling field

    Independent comparisons of seafood labelling programs routinely place the MSC at the top of the list and recognise the MSC as having the most robust and scientific standards of all seafood ecolabelling programs.
    MSC standards and methodologies

Visit certified sustainable fisheries on the map and find out more about them.

Fisheries on the map

Support our work

Financial support is critical to our success. Find out how you can help.

Donate now

A Roadmap For Inclusive Prosperity


By

Global Commission Offers Bold Prescriptions To Address Inequality and Grow Middle Class

For the last 18 months, a group of 17 international experts from 5 countries has met to discuss the transnational trends of globalization, technology and declining worker power. These trends—all exacerbated by the financial crisis—have placed downward pressure on wages and incomes, and exacerbated economic inequality. This group, called the Inclusive Prosperity Commission, or IPC, and convened by the Center for American Progress, today released a robust report aimed at establishing sustainable and inclusive prosperity over the long term in developed economies, with a specific focus on raising wages, expanding job growth, and ensuring broadly shared economic growth.

The IPC identifies five key policy areas that can deliver more inclusive prosperity on a global scale: rewarding and encouraging work; promoting educational opportunity for all; improved measures to support innovation and regional clusters; a move toward greater long-termism in the private sector; and international cooperation on global demand, trade, financial stability, and corporate tax avoidance. Beyond that, the report details a number of policy proposals to achieve inclusive prosperity in the United States. Below are some of the highlights, and click here to read the whole report.

Increasing workers’ share of the economic pie, raise wages and incomes

  • Create tax incentives for companies to share profits with their workers.
  • Modernize employment laws around overtime pay, workers’ compensation, unemployment compensation, and other protections to recognize the changing nature of work and to provide basic economic security to workers.
  • Raise the minimum wage to a level that is at least high enough to prevent full-time workers from living in poverty, and index the minimum wage to the consumer price index in order to reduce the share of workers trapped in low-wage work.

Eliminating financial barriers to higher education

  • Guarantee financial support for a college education at a public four-year college or community college so that every high school graduate and their family know that they can afford college.

Structuring tax policy to promote fairness and support aggregate demand

  • Provide middle-class tax relief—until income stagnation is overcome—by crafting a tax credit that provides relief for Americans who do not benefit from the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC.
  • Make the tax code more progressive and fairer over the long term by eliminating the decades-long accumulation of tax exemptions, deductions, and exclusions that have helped reduce effective tax rates on high-income households and corporations.

Increasing labor-force participation and growth

  • Use family-friendly labor-market policies to increase female labor-force participation and income by enacting policies including paid parental leave, paid caregiving leave, paid sick days, paid vacation, protections for part-time workers, and workplace flexibility.

Targeting public investment to create jobs and raise long-run economic potential

  • Expand infrastructure investment by $100 billion annually over 10 years to bring our infrastructure to a competitive level and sustain demand.

This list has just some of many recommendations included in the bold, comprehensive report. But even though the list is long, there is also momentum in some areas. Today, President Obama announced that he will sign a memorandum ensuring federal employees get at least six weeks of paid sick leave for the arrival of a new child and proposed that Congress pass legislation to give them six weeks of paid administrative leave (the United States is the only developed country that doesn’t have a national requirement that workers get access to paid sick leave). Also today, a new poll was released showing that 75 percent of 2016 voters support raising the minimum wage to $12.50 by 2020.

BOTTOM LINE: Despite the economic recovery, global trends are creating a toxic combination to suppress incomes and wages for middle-class families. Change won’t come with more trickle-down economics. But fatalism is not an option–the future of industrial democracies depend the growth of middle class living standards. Today’s report from progressive leaders across the globe is an important roadmap containing new, innovative ideas to spur quality job growth and tackle increasing economic inequality head on.

Jonathan Deeds, Ph.D., is working to assure that U.S. seafood is both safe and accurately labeled


 

WordPressWhatFishIsThat
04/21/2014 01:00 PM EDT
Using some of the technology used in mapping the human genome, FDA scientists are working to create DNA barcodes for fish.
The high-tech effort is aimed to preventing fraud, including the substitution of a cheap fish for an expensive one, and preventing illness.

 


FDA Logo

Slicks Seep on in the Amazon


In Pictures: Slicks Seep on in the Amazon

“This isn’t just about this spill, or the last one, or the next one that will happen when the pipe breaks again because it will as it always does,” said Tania Ines looking out over a reflective Marañón River from the open thatched-roof house where she, her husband and their four children live in the center of San Pedro, a Kukama indigenous community deep in Peru’s northern Amazon. She crossed the room with a pace indicating endless time, collecting a crying baby at the other side and returning to sit at the edge of weathered steps. She looked as though she were waiting.

“The water is ruined – we’re all getting sick from it,” Ines turned the fussing baby from one hand to the other. She told me he had been suffering from diarrhea, likely due to the contamination of one thing or another, as everything seemed to have been touched. “I gave him a bath in the river water and he’s had stomach problems since. It’s the same with this one,” she pointed to the infant’s sister peeking out from behind Mama’s legs. “…with all the children really.”

READ THE REST ON EYE ON THE AMAZON