Pacific Swell | Southern California environment news and trends

Morning greens: Local man arrested for enabling pigeons and possible bird strikes near Burbank airport

Bird strikes are up at Bob Hope Airport, Laguna Beach gets behind the whales, and “bugnados” are attacking the Midwest. Here’s your Monday morning greens.

Police in Burbank have arrested a local man who refused to stop feeding the pigeons. LAist shares the story of 59-year-old Charles Douglas, who despite several warnings and citations continued to leave bird feed in the alleys near Bob Hope Airport. Douglas has been booked with "public nuisance, violation of a court order and feeding of pigeons so as to create a public nuisance." Concerns are that Douglass is encouraging a bird population near a busy airport. Birds can get sucked into airplane engines during flight, causing massive trouble for the airplane. (And we’d imagine it’s not very fun for the bird, either.) Douglass denies the charges. There has been a recent uptick of bird strikes at Bob Hope Airport.   

Laguna Beach will support marine life with nifty new whale decals. The Los Angeles Times reports that “The Laguna Beach City Council unanimously approved Councilwoman Toni Iseman's suggestion to place decals of the new whale tail license plate on the back of city trolleys and buses. The decals will cost less than $2,000 and be installed by city staff.” The decals were paid for by the Water Quality Educational Fund and all money raised in the sale will go to the annual Coastal Cleanup Day, the year-round Adopt-A-Beach program, grants and the Coastal Conservancy beach access and habitat restoration projects. 

Speaking of sea animals in need of protection – Treehugger shares that Winter, a dolphin with a prosthetic tail, is about to have her story come to the big screen. Winter lost her tail when she was just three months old and was brought to Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Florida to receive a new one. As Treehugger writes, “Winter's story is amazing -- amazing enough that she now has her own movie coming out next month starring Harry Connick Jr, Ashley Judd, and Morgan Freeman.” Click here for the trailer and inevitable excuse to bawl shamelessly at your desk.   

Bugnados (tornados of bugs) are sweeping across the Midwest. NPR reports that “Last month, a cloud of insects the size of a tornado swept across flooded corn fields in Iowa.” The bugs, aka aquatic midges, are relatively harmless, though as one expert noted “You don't want to ride your motorcycle down the road through them with your mouth open.” One theory for the abundance of bugs is an excessive amount of rain has caused a birthing boom for the insects. 

Human sewage is killing coral reefs in the Caribbean. KPCC reports that “a bacterium from our guts is now rampaging through coral reefs in the Caribbean.” A white pox has descended on the reefs of the Florida Keys and more, and it looks like the culprit is a pathogen found in human sewage. Voters in Key West recently decided to upgrade their sewage system, so hopes are that the improvements will help the reefs recover. 

Image: anthonymasi/Flickr