May Excursions

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May 20
Willamette River, Buena Vista to Independence – Class A – 12 miles
The Rogue Ales tasting room is always a popular stop, on this well-liked run. It’s a longer trip, so come prepared.
Jim Bradley
jim.cascadepaddlers@gmail.com

June 3
Luckiamute River, Luckiamute Landing to Buena Vista – Class A – length 3± miles
Hopefully, the mud has abated to a reasonable extent. Explore the Luckiamute while you can keep your sandals! It’s a short, but slow trip, so bring adequate resources.
Jim Bradley
jim.cascadepaddlers@gmail.com

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Paddlesports, Outdoors and Wildlife

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Ancient First Nation Canoe Routes Traced 
Researchers are recreating ancient Wabanaki canoe routes in New Brunswick. An amalgam of disciplines, from computer modeling of water levels to linguistics, is allowing the modern-day retracing of these native highways, as the Smithsonian details: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/researchers-mapping-first-nations-ancient-canoe-routes-new-brunswick-180968678/

Summer Solstice Illuminata Regatta 
The Christmastime Illuminata Regatta has become a Salem staple. Launching from the downtown’s Riverfront Park, canoeists and kayaker take to the slough, boats bedecked with lights, to the delight of spectators. This year will see a summertime complement to winter event, starting with launching the boats at 9:00 pm, on June 22.

Detroit Is Full, For Now 
As you may have heard, Detroit Reservoir has filled, and recreation prospects at the lake look good for the season. Our snow pack is low however, (as I write, it has slipped below 60% of normal), and a burst of warm temperatures early could put river flows in jeopardy by later in the season. Best not to tarry in getting out there, this year. Remember, you have to get in the flow before you can go with it.

Nature and the Environment

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America’s Most Endangered Rivers Named for 2018
The conservation organization, American Rivers, has come out with its annual list of America’s ten most endangered rivers. Closest to us is the South Fork Salmon River, in Idaho, a river popular with whitewater adventurers. The list can be found at: https://www.americanrivers.org/2018/04/announcing-americas-most-endangered-rivers-of-2018/

Freshwater Plastic Load Coming Into Focus 
While much attention has been paid to the masses of plastics to be found in ocean waters, research on the problem in freshwater bodies has lagged. Now, it is becoming clear the amount of plastics in our lakes and rivers is astronomical and their effects dire. The BBC describes the situation: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20180426-why-plastics-are-not-just-an-ocean-problem

Is Wood Burning Really Carbon Neutral? 
The EPA recently asserted that using wood as a fuel is a carbon-neutral proposition. Many feel that assessment is fatally specious. The Smithsonian tries to sort out fact from fallacy: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/epa-declares-burning-wood-carbon-neutral-180968880/

Mississippi Floods: What Man Hath Wrought 
An analysis of 500 years of Mississippi flood data has brought researchers to the conclusion that human efforts have only made matters worse. In trying to control the river, engineering has resulted in the river becoming more destructive. Ars Technica has the details: https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/04/mississippi-floods-have-gotten-worse-study-assigns-blame-to-us/

 

Health, Fitness and Safety

Picturing Healthy Meals 
Dietitian Paula Norris has developed an intriguing way to let healthy, low-calorie meals speak for themselves; by displaying photos with a healthy meal on one side, and similar fare, heavy in calories, opposite. Norris uses the photos to illustrate her points on how to construct appetizing, satisfying, healthy meals, as Business Insider explains: http://www.businessinsider.com/same-dishes-with-less-calories-photos-2018-4

Medicare Tells Hospitals to Put Prices On Line 
In an effort to boost transparency in health care, Medicare has stated the intent to require hospitals to publish, on the web, the prices charged for procedures and services. PBS has the story: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/medicare-to-require-hospitals-to-post-prices-online

 

Travel and Photography

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World’s Only Floating National Park 
India’s Loktak Lake is a unique environment, home to singular species and uncommon lifestyles, (all endangered, of course). BBC Travel has the story, along with lavish photos: http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20180411-the-worlds-only-floating-national-park

Mesmerizing Model of Snowflake Melt 
Computers have facilitated the mathematical modelling of many complex, natural systems in recent years. The latest modelling challenge to be overcome is the one of how a snowflake melts. The Smithsonian provides the story, with a fascinating, short video: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/nasa-has-produced-first-3d-model-melting-snowflake-180968663/

 

Paddlesports, Outdoors and Wildlife

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Kayaking Manhattan 
While probably not the first paddling destination that springs to mind, it appears the waters around the island do offer a compelling experience, at least according to the author of this Washington Post article (forwarded by George Robertson): https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/travel/circumnavigating-the-isle-of-manhattan-in-a-kayak–a-paddlers-perspective/2017/09/07/f7b68bc6-7bb8-11e7-a669-b400c5c7e1cc_story.html?utm_term=.4bb75660e1f0

 

Nature and the Environment

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Microplastics Found to Litter Riverbeds 
It should come as little surprise to hear that researchers are finding heavy loads of microplastics in stream beds. Although this BBC article focuses on the UK, you can be sure the problem isn’t limited to Europe, or even the developed world. http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-43363545

Climate Science and Spin Hit the Courts 
The cities of San Francisco and Oakland are seeking damages from oil companies for costs expected to result from sea level rise. The premise is, that by actively campaigning to delay action on human inputs to climate change, the companies perpetrated consequential damages to the municipalities. While proceedings are just getting under way in federal court, Ars Technica has a brief look at how the arguments are shaping up. https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/03/in-court-oil-companies-accept-climate-science-but-rewrite-its-history/

Renewable Energy Pushes on Fossil Fuels 
While some still debate the merits of renewable energy, it continues to overtake more traditional sources. In other words, despite whatever the rhetoric, the market has decided: renewable is the future. Ars Technica provides some insight into the developments: https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/03/renewables-conservation-start-pushing-fossil-fuels-off-the-us-grid/

Native Bees Take Hit From Feral Honeybees 
At the same time that neonicotinoid pesticides and habitat loss due to intensive farming techniques assail them, native bees are being hammered by an invasive species: feral European honeybees. The invaders decimate the food supplies the natives depend on, impacting their foraging success and their numbers. In Defense of Plants has the details of a study in California that illuminates the problem: http://www.indefenseofplants.com/blog/2018/2/13/california-bumblebee-decline-linked-to-feral-honeybees

 

Health, Fitness and Safety

Evidence Lead Even Worse Than Thought 
While lead has long been known to be toxic, it appears that it is much worse than even most current estimations would gauge. A recent paper in The Lancet, which has been lauded by experts in the field, paints a grim picture of lead’s effects on public health: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpub/article/PIIS2468-2667(18)30043-4/fulltext

Artificial Sweeteners: Increasing Obesity? 
Artificial sweeteners have been sold as a way to limit calorie intake, essentially cost-free. Increasingly, research is showing that is not the case. An example of such research comes from George Washington University, and it strongly suggests high consumption of artificial sweeteners can trigger metabolic changes, increasing the chances of developing obesity: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/artificial-sweeteners-may-make-you-fat-180968552/

Exercise Prevents Immune System Decline 
While it is already clear that exercise helps prevent or mitigate many of the effects of aging, another study has shown the benefits of exercise extend to the immune system. Indeed, individuals in the study, some in their 70s and 80s, had T-cell production levels to rival 20-year-olds. The BBC reports: http://www.bbc.com/news/health-43308729

 

Paddlesports, Outdoors and Wildlife

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Aleutian-Crafted Kayak Replicas 
Historical scale models of Aleutian kayaks, themselves built by concurrent native builders, is the subject of this article in Hakai Magazine: https://www.hakaimagazine.com/article-short/little-boats-made-driftwood-and-sealskin/