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Environmental Health Perspectives
Environmental Health Perspectives
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Post-Tsunami Coral Comeback In December 2004, coral populations were devastated by the deadly tsunami that swept across the Indian Ocean. A new survey by the World Conservation Society found high densities of baby corals in 60 tsunami-ravaged locations in Aceh, Indonesia. The coral comeback is being linked to natural colonization by more resilient coral species along with a decline in drastic fishing practices such as the use of dynamite. In addition, transplanting baby corals from healthy wild coral has proved to be a more effective strategy than direct seeding for restocking coral-depleted areas. Divers transplant corals off Aceh, Indonesia. USDA Announces New Ecosystem Office On 29 December 2008, Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture will, as directed by the 2008 Farm Bill, form a new Office of Ecosystem Services and Markets and create a federal Conservation and Land Management Environmental Services Board. These entities will assist the department in guiding the implementation of market-based approaches to conservation, such as compensating farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners for providing wildlife habitat, carbon storage, and scenic landscapes. The first service to be examined by the new office will be carbon sequestration. Australia Says No Endosulfan Ban Despite concerns by domestic and international groups about the endocrine-disrupting effects and persistence in the environment of endosulfan, Australia will continue to allow the restricted use of this insecticide. This announcement was made in January 2009 by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority. In December 2008 Australia’s closest neighbor, New Zealand, joined 54 other countries in banning endosulfan. The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants will determine in October 2009 whether to do a final assessment on endosulfan, which could result in a global ban by

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