Pacific Swell | Southern California environment news and trends

Morning greens: Local man saves an injured great white shark at Venice Pier

Sharks populate our Thursday morning greens with a rescue in Venice and attack in South Africa. Meanwhile, officials approve a sludge composting plant near Hinkley, California, despite residents' protests.

A Venice man has rescued an injured great white shark near Venice Pier. A baby great white washed ashore in Venice on Sunday with a fisherman’s hook in its mouth. As fishermen screamed, a local man named Willy rushed to the animal. As one bystander describes his action via CBS LA, “He didn’t say a word to anybody, and he just started digging to get the hook out of the shark’s mouth. I don’t know how he didn’t get bit, quite frankly. You could see the rows of teeth.” Willy and several surfers then dragged the shark back to the ocean, where it disappeared safely into the water.

Meanwhile, in Cape Town, South Africa, a 42-year-old man lost both his legs to a great white shark after ignoring beach warnings of the animal’s presence. The man entered the water at Fish Hoek beach despite a flag flying that a shark had been spotted. Before shark spotters could warn the man, he was attacked. He was the only person in the water at the time.

A sludge composting plant near Hinkley, California, has won approval from San Bernardino County. “The company [Nursery Products] wants to process about 1,000 tons of biosolids a day at an open-air facility about eight miles from central Hinkley,” reports KPCC. Hinkley is the town made famous by Erin Brockovich. Biosolids are the residual waste of processed sewage which gets baked into compost. Residents are concerned that dust from the biosolids will pollute their town. They plan to continue protesting the plant.

The death toll in the deadliest food outbreak in over a decade has risen. As many as 16 people have died from listeria illnesses linked to Colorado cantaloupes. ABC 7 reports that 72 illnesses have been traced to the fruit that was grown at Jensen Farms in Colorado. “The new death toll numbers include newly confirmed deaths in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Texas,” reports ABC 7. At present, authorities don’t know why the contamination happened in the first place.

The Los Angeles City Council has unanimously decided to approve an ordinance that would tighten storm water regulations. KCET reports that the regulations would integrate Low Impact Development (LID) strategies to existing regulations concerning storm water pollution control. The LID strategies would use design modifications like porous concrete and rain barrels to collect runoff.

Image: hermanusbackpackers/Flickr

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