The Pacific Fleet is under new command after a handover ceremony last week at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii. Adm. John Aquilino succeeds Adm. Scott Swift, who said in his parting remarks that "to finish my career here, in the Pacific Fleet, the only fleet I have ever sailed in, headquartered in the city I was born in, in the harbor of my father's first command, doing what I love is something dreams are made of."
Construction has been halted on Virginia's Mountain Valley Pipeline due to erosion problems. A heavy rainstorm washed away soil uncovered as crews cleared land for the structure, leading to the muddy closure of a nearby road.
The rains released by Hurricane Harvey have brought substantial changes to Texas' Trinity River, eroding the river's banks and depositing tons of sand and silt to create underwater hazards. This is decreasing the volume of water in the river, while also affecting life along its banks.
A Washington, D.C., study examines advanced rainwater harvesting as a means to control overflows in urban combined sewer systems. It concluded that such systems could be valuable on a wide scale, with data indicating 95% effectiveness mitigating wet weather discharges.
Wisconsin's Dane County is taking new steps to ensure that water in its five principal lakes is clean. It recently acquired more than 100 acres of marshland, which acts as a natural filtering sponge against pollutants from nearby cropland.
Alaska's Department of Environmental Conservation has flagged the Kenai River as falling short of turbidity standards, and further measurements are now scheduled for summer. However, the documented problem has appeared only on certain days and may be linked to motorboat traffic.
Chesapeake Bay will be getting further relief from sewage pollution as the Hampton Roads Sanitation District begins pumping the stuff deep underground after treatment. The project aims to slash the amount of nitrogen and phosphorous reaching the lower bay from the district's plants by nearly 90% to comply with tougher federal environmental laws.
The potential for developing saturated conditions at various digital elevations is commonly determined by the topographic wetness index. A new study, however, suggests that a modified TWI is better when applied to depression-dominated areas.
The wetlands that underlie the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo once protected the area from flooding. Flash flooding is now frequent in the built-up city, but the wetlands may yet provide a solution.
An almost instantaneous and highly accurate method can detect pollutants in air down to as little as 1 part per billion. The technique, developed by University of Central Florida professor Konstantin Vodopyanov and his team, uses an infrared laser to gather 350,000 data points over a broad spectral range in about 7 milliseconds to simultaneously document the various molecules in an air sample.