SCIENCE NEWS: After long absence, endangered winter-run Chinook salmon return to restored Battle Creek; Estuaries may experience accelerated impacts of human-caused CO2; Geologists learn studying past holds key to future in visit to Red Rock Canyon; and more …

Iraq’s Ga’ara Depression

After long absence, endangered winter-run Chinook salmon return to restored Battle Creek:  “Robert Barker, a fish culturist at the Coleman National Fish Hatchery, had just helped complete something historic and he knew it, spontaneously raising his arms in touchdown-like fashion.  “I was thinking “yeaaaa! We did it!” Barker said.  Barker’s enthusiasm was shared by many. He was directing the release hoses that had just helped reintroduce 29,000 Sacramento River endangered winter-run Chinook salmon into a restored section of the Battle Creek tributary on the upper Sacramento River for the first time since the 1990s. ... ”  Read more from the US FWS here:  After long absence, endangered winter-run Chinook salmon return to restored Battle Creek

Estuaries may experience accelerated impacts of human-caused CO2: “Rising anthropogenic, or human-caused, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere may have up to twice the impact on coastal estuaries as it does in the oceans because the human-caused CO2 lowers the ecosystem’s ability to absorb natural fluctuations of the greenhouse gas, a new study suggests.  Researchers from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Oregon State University found that there was significant daily variability when it comes to harmful indices of CO2 for many marine organisms in estuaries. At night, for example, water in the estuary had higher carbon dioxide, lower pH levels, and a lower saturation state from the collective “exhale” of the ecosystem. … ”  Read more from Science Daily here:  Estuaries may experience accelerated impacts of human-caused CO2

Call for abstracts for the 2018 Bay Delta Science Conference:  “The Biennial Bay-Delta Science Conference is a forum for presenting technical analyses and results relevant to the Delta Science Program’s mission to provide the best possible, unbiased, science-based information for water and environmental decision-making in the Bay-Delta system. The goal of the conference is to offer new information and syntheses to the broad community of scientists, engineers, resource managers, and stakeholders working on Bay-Delta issues. The organizers of this 10th Science Conference are seeking oral and poster presentations that support this goal.  The abstracts will be due April 23, 2018.” Click here for more information.

Geologists learn studying past holds key to future in visit to Red Rock Canyon:  “Spread out across more than 195,000 acres of the Mojave Desert, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is a geologist’s playground.  With its picturesque canyons displaying an array of colors, rock formations and unique features molded over more than 600 million years, to preserved archeological discoveries, like pictographs and petroglyphs etched and drawn on canyon walls from cultures long ago, the secrets Red Rock Canyon holds can tell scientists a story that may save lives in the future.  For about 30 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ geologists and technicians, a March 15 visit to Red Rock Canyon provided the perfect setting to study ancient earthquakes and floods in hopes of preparing critical infrastructure, like dams and levees, for potential future flooding and seismic events. ... ”  Read more from the Army Corps here:  Geologists learn studying past holds key to future in visit to Red Rock Canyon

Public willing to pay to improve ecosystem water quality:  “In the wake of the recent water crisis in Flint, Michigan, in which studies confirmed lead contamination in the city’s drinking supply, awareness of the importance of protecting watersheds has increased. User-financed ecosystem service programs can compensate landowners to voluntarily participate in environmental improvement efforts. Now, researchers from the University of Missouri have found in a nationwide survey that members of the public are more willing to pay for improved water quality than other ecosystem services such as flood control or protecting wildlife habitats. … ”  Read more from Science Daily here:  Public willing to pay to improve ecosystem water quality

Mudsnails providing a picture of water quality over time:  “Scientists have successfully enlisted a tiny gastropod with a long life in the fight for cleaner water. Tritia obsoleta, more commonly known as the eastern mudsnail, lives in coastal regions as far south as Georgia ranging north to Nova Scotia. This mudsnail’s shell grows no larger than about one inch, but some specimens live for more than 50 years.  The coastal range of the eastern mudsnail includes many regions dense with human activity, and for surface waterways and coastal habitats that often means large amounts of nitrogen. … ”  Read more from the Environmental Monitor here: Mudsnails providing a picture of water quality over time

Heavy metal: The new toxic danger posed by ocean plastic trash:  “We know that plastic waste is overwhelming the ocean, sea life is dying from ingesting it and some even ends up in seafood. But scientists also now worry that plastic trash is coming with a side helping of toxic metals that latch onto plastic surfaces and enter the marine environment and food chain – and eventually, what people eat.  Metals, such as cadmium and lead, are often used in manufacturing plastic and over time can enter coastal waters. Once floating in the ocean or discarded on a beach and washed by the tides, plastics can also attract and concentrate a variety of metals already present in the environment that attach themselves, or “sorb,” to the surface.  … ”  Read more from Oceans Deeply here:  Heavy metal: The new toxic danger posed by ocean plastic trash

Maven’s XKCD Comic Pick of the Week …

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About Science News and Reports: This weekly feature, posted every Thursday, is a collection of the latest scientific research and reports with a focus on relevant issues to the Delta and to California water, although other issues such as climate change are sometimes included. Do you have an item to be included here? Submissions of relevant research and other materials is welcome. Email Maven

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