Saturday is National Trails Day, a nationwide series of events hosted by local trail clubs, individuals, and organizations dedicated to keeping the United States Trail System in good working order. Throughout the country, events will be held encouraging people to get outside and hit the trail. Although National Trails Day is organized by the American Hiking Society, mountain biking, paddling, bird watching, trail running, and anything else that involves a trail are all supported by the program. Not only is this a celebration of our trail system and a chance to get more people outside and on the trail, it is also a chance to recognize the thousands of volunteers who spend their time keeping the 200,000 miles of U.S. trails in good working order. They are the ones out there on weekends and evenings doing the manual labor and maintenance it takes to make the trails passable and beautiful.To that end, this weekend give a little something back and volunteer to help clear or cut a trail on public lands this Saturday. There are numerous opportunities to do so in North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee with all the national park and national forest land and you can find a map of official National Trails Day clean up events on their website. We recommend heading for Ducktown, Tenn. and volunteering with the Tennessee Wild Helping Hands to clear up the eastern end of the John Muir Trail. The John Muir Trail is a National Recreation Trail, but is in need of rebuilding, reshaping, and other basic trail repairs. No previous trail maintenance experience is necessary and all tools and safety gear will be provided. Just bring your work boots, lunch, and enthusiasm – long pants would probably be a good idea also.Give back to the trails that have given so much to you and make this Saturday a day of service. You’ll feel good, get some exercise, and set the tone for future generations of trail users.View Larger Map
James Fisher Subsea Excavation (JFSE) said it has provided 200 days of operational expertise in the region to date in 2019.The projects have included several work scopes for Woen Jinn Harbor Engineering (WJH) at offshore windfarm sites in Taiwan.JFSE’s Twin R2000 spread has been mobilised for more than 300 days in the past two years, supporting WJH’s efforts on major Taiwanese energy projects.Bruce Lee, director at WJH, said: “JFSE has become a trusted partner in our work. We have a very collaborative relationship developing solutions which streamline the excavation element of our projects.”These projects have included trenching and deburying cables at Formosa 1, near Miaoli on the west coast of Taiwan – a 130MW windfarm that is the country’s first commercial-scale offshore wind project.Elsewhere in the Asia Pacific region, JFSE’s SP6000 and LARS system has provided trench maintenance and remedial post trenching services at a remote site in Papua, Indonesia as part of a major project to increase the total capacity at a gas liquefaction plant. The team recently returned to the site and is currently providing operational supporting to assist the client with another work scope.JFSE’s T8000 is preparing three areas of seabed for jacket leg installation in Malaysia and will soon be mobilising to assist with a pipeline repair project elsewhere in the region.More than 200 operational days in Asia Pacific are already contracted for the remainder of 2019 across a number of project sites.Richard Beattie, regional director at JFSE said:“The Asia Pacific market is enjoying a strong period with the extension of oil and gas sites and the growth of the renewables industry. We have been working in this region for many years and have tools based in multiple strategic locations so are well-placed to respond to the needs of new and existing clients.”
It’s not easy being a sea otter mom. Mothers exert twice as much energy as females without offspring, according to a study published online today in The Journal of Experimental Biology. Ecologists began studying the animals when they noticed more and more mama otters dying and in bad shape with thinner bodies. After observing young southern sea otters in their natural habitat and in aquariums, the team calculated the daily energy invested between birth and 6 months, when weaning begins. The researchers found that as Enhydra lutris nereis (pictured above), an otter that lives off the coast of central California, grow more and more, exertion on mom’s part increases—by the end of lactation, daily energy usage skyrockets by 96% from prepregnancy levels. Weary moms often can’t eat enough to meet the demand, leading to substantial weight loss, weak immune systems, and even death. The findings suggest that southern sea otters may be faced with some tough decisions when raising their young, like whether to abandon pups early on to save energy (and their own lives).