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NGT rejects 2017 plea challenging environment clearance for Shivaji Memorial | Latest News India



Damodar Tandel, the former head of the Akhil Maharashtra Macchimaar Kruti Samiti (AMMKS), had challenged the environment clearance for Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Memorial in the NGT on grounds that the project would damage the environment and impact marine biodiversity

ByPrayag Arora-Desai, Mumbai

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) this week quashed a 2017 petition by a now-deceased Koli community leader challenging the environment clearance (EC) granted by the Union environment ministry to the Public Works Department (PWD) for the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Memorial. A copy of the Tribunal’s order dated May 11 has been reviewed by the HT.

Damodar Tandel, the former head of the Akhil Maharashtra Macchimaar Kruti Samiti (AMMKS), had challenged the EC on grounds that the project would damage the environment and impact marine biodiversity and consequently the livelihood of fishermen operating near the site, which is 1.2 km southwest of Raj Bhavan and 3.6 km southwest of the Girgaon jetty.

Dismissing the appeal, a Special NGT bench headed by chairperson Adarsh Kumar Goel said, “We find that the project is preceded by scientific studies and all environmental safety measures and mitigation measures have been taken based on expert studies.”

Damodar passed away in December 2020 and was succeeded by his son, Devendra Tandel, who is since then serving as the president of the AMMKS.

“Except bald contention about the adverse impact on biodiversity and environment… no meaningful argument has been addressed to point out any infirmity in the process for grant of EC,” the bench said, dubbing the petitioner’s concerns as “ill-founded”.

Speaking to HT, Devendra Tandel said he was unaware of the NGT order passed on May 11. “It is a bit suspicious that the court has not put my father’s death on record. I will have to consult with the lawyer first. As far as our stance on the project is concerned, we are opposed to it. We have seen in the case of Coastal Road project, which also apparently had all environment safeguards in place, that fishermen have been badly affected.”

The construction activities for the memorial were halted in January 2019 after the Supreme Court ordered a stay in response to a petition filed by environmentalists.

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According To Study, Monarch Butterflies Might Become Disoriented as a Result of Light Pollution



Biologists say nighttime light pollution can interfere with the remarkable navigational abilities of monarchs, which travel as far as Canada to Mexico and back during their multi-generational migration.

Researchers found that butterflies roosting at night near artificial illumination such as a porch or streetlight can become disoriented the next day because the light interferes with their circadian rhythms.

Artificial light can impede the molecular processes responsible for the butterfly’s remarkable navigational ability and trigger the butterfly to take wing when it should be resting.

Light pollution affects monarch butterflies

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According to biologists, evening light pollution can interfere with monarchs’ extraordinary navigational abilities, which allow them to travel as far as Canada to Mexico and back throughout their multigenerational trips.

Researchers discovered that butterflies roosting at night near artificial lightings, such as a porch or streetlight, can get disoriented the next day because the light disrupts their circadian cycles.

Artificial light can disrupt the chemical mechanisms that allow the butterfly to navigate so well and cause it to take flight when it should be resting.

With their unpredictable, meandering motions sweeping them over your lawn, it’s difficult to envision monarch butterflies adhering to a strict flight plan. However, some monarch populations migrate thousands of kilometers to the same woods in Mexico where they spend the winter.

Researchers are now investigating if light pollution is hampering this incredible cross-country journey.

“It’s an essential subject since many migrants travel through cities,” said co-author and UC master’s graduate Samuel Stratton, as per ScienceDaily.

“Getting some ecological data would be extremely beneficial in determining the effects of light pollution on orientation and migratory outcomes.”

Monarch butterflies rely on the darkness of night to digest proteins that are essential to their internal compass.

Millions of monarch butterflies migrate east across the Rocky Mountains from their summer breeding areas in southern Canada and the northern United States, covering distances of up to 2,500 miles (4,000 kilometers) to overwintering grounds in Mexico.

Monarch butterflies may carry up to five generations across the continent and return. They utilize an internal clock to inform them where to orient themselves concerning the shifting position of the sun in the sky as they travel.

However, monarchs subjected to nocturnal light pollution, such as a street lamp above their preferred roost in a cedar tree, may undergo a phase shift, causing their body to believe it is either sooner or later than it is. According to UC researchers, this can throw off their perception of time.

Read more: Artificial Light Pollution: What is It and How Does it Affect our Environment?

Light pollution

Humans and their creations are responsible for the majority of environmental damage on Earth. Consider the vehicle or that marvelous man-made substance, plastic, as per National Geographic.

Automobile emissions are now a major source of air pollution that contributes to climate change, and plastics pollute our oceans, posing a substantial health risk to marine wildlife.

Electric light may be a lovely thing, leading us home as the sun sets, keeping us secure, and making our houses comfortable and cheerful.

However, like with carbon dioxide emissions and plastic, too much of a good thing has begun to harm the ecosystem.

Light pollution, or the excessive or inappropriate use of artificial light in the outdoors, has an impact on human health, wildlife behavior, and our ability to see stars and other celestial objects.

Light pollution is a worldwide problem. The World Atlas of Night Sky Brightness, a computer-generated atlas based on hundreds of satellite photographs, made this very clear in 2016.

The atlas, which is viewable online, depicts how and where our planet is illuminated at night.

Large portions of North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia are illuminated, with only the most distant sections of the planet (Siberia, the Sahara, and the Amazon) completely dark.

Singapore, Qatar, and Kuwait are among the most light-polluted countries on the planet.

Related article: Light Pollution: LED Streetlights Contribute to Moth Decline in England

© 2022 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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Little Falls native opens Environmental Advantage



… tree removal services, Clark started Environmental Advantage in September 2019 and … growth and maximize fruit production. Environmental Advantage does this through deep … healthy environment is to plant trees, which is another service Environmental Advantage …

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Our cities will keep flooding. What if we stopped fighting it and worked with nature instead?



This story is part of Uytae Lee’s Stories About Here, an original series with the CBC Creator Network. You can watch every episode of this series on CBC Gem.

In November 2021, Abbotsford, B.C. was deluged with several days of heavy rain, flooding much of the low-lying valley around the city, wreaking havoc and causing millions of dollars in damage. 

With climate change, that will likely happen a lot more often in cities across Canada, including Calgary, Ottawa, and Montreal.

So what should we do about this?

Dikes and dams

Rivers are not naturally static bodies of water. A river can fluctuate in size and even shift direction depending on the climate, resulting in floods to the land next to it.

Over the years, humans have built dikes and other structures to ensure the river stays in its lane and allow them to build settlements nearby.

But climate change and the floods it brings are proving to be a real threat to structures like these.

That was seen in the Fraser River valley of British Columbia.

Provincial government data projects that by the end of the 21st century, floods we’re used to seeing every 200 to 500 years will start occurring closer to every 50 years, and a survey of dikes in the Fraser Valley conducted by the Fraser Basin Council found that 71 per cent of them could fail during this kind of a flood. Fixing them comes with a huge price tag — up to $10 billion for the Metro Vancouver area alone by some estimates.

There are other solutions: in Calgary, the city is looking to build a $744-million reservoir to temporarily hold water when its river runs high, while in Ontario, the Clairville dam holds back water to help prevent flooding in the Greater Toronto Area. 

Then there’s Winnipeg, where in the 1960s, the city dug out what is effectively a giant ditch to keep from flooding. During heavy rains, it reroutes water from the Red River around the entire city. At the time, it was the second largest earth-moving project in the world after the Panama Canal.

These solutions, however, have on thing in common: the extraordinary cost.

The salmon solution

Fortunately, I found an initiative that has helped me look at the issue a bit differently — one aimed at helping salmon.

The Fraser River is the world’s largest salmon-producing river. Each year, hundreds of thousands to millions of these fish swim up the Fraser to spawn, and their offspring then make their way back toward the Pacific. Along the way, they look for refuge in little streams, marshes or sloughs to rest and grow stronger before they swim out to the ocean. 

But it turns out dikes dotted throughout the Fraser Valley have blocked salmon from accessing these crucial resting areas. According to the Watershed Watch Salmon Society, over 1,500 kilometres of habitat have been blocked by dikes. 

The Fraser is the world’s largest salmon-producing river. Many are advocating for salmon-friendly infrastructure to be integrated to upgrades to dikes. (Stories About Here)

Now, as the need comes for some of these dikes to be upgraded, many are advocating for salmon-friendly infrastructure to be integrated to the changes.

These include gates that open to let fish access the streams behind the dikes, or pump stations that don’t harm fish while water is pumped from the stream to the river. 

These proposals come as salmon returns are on a dangerous decline. Last year, the federal government closed 60 per cent of commercial salmon fisheries because they were on the “verge of collapse.”

They also highlight how building these dikes may not have been the best idea in the first place.

Managed retreats

In the long term, a more responsible response to increased flooding might be to create space for them to happen naturally, and move people safely out of the way. 

In 2006, the Netherlands launched Room for the River, a program that involved buying out homeowners who lived close to rivers and moving their dikes further back to create more space for river floods.

A little closer to home, communities like Grand Forks, B.C. have adopted a “managed retreat” strategy, buying out homeowners whose properties are likely to be destroyed by future flooding.

Abbotsford, B.C. pictured under floodwaters on Nov. 16, 2021. (Stories About Here)

These require difficult conversations with people who are losing their homes. But each restored floodplain comes with new marshes, wetlands and creeks that offer new habitats for wildlife, while also creating critical protections for communities around them.

Our knee-jerk reaction to things like flooding has often been to fight back against our natural environments to preserve human-made landscapes.

But as we see floods become a bigger problem, we’re invited to re-examine our relationship with the natural world — or at the very least, help out some salmon.

See some of the solutions discussed in this story by watching “Stories About Here: What Do We Do About River Floods?

About this series

Stories About Here is an original series with the CBC Creator Network that explores the urban planning challenges that communities across Canada face today. In each episode we dig into the often overlooked issues in our own backyards — whether it’s the shortage of public bathrooms, sewage leaking into the water, or the bureaucratic roots of the housing crisis. Through it all, we hope to inspire people to become better informed and engaged members of their communities.

You can watch every episode of this series on CBC Gem.

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