Hiker missing in Hawaii found alive after 17 days

Amanda Eller, 35, a physical therapist and yoga teacher, went missing after heading out on a short hike in Hawaii’s Makawao Forest Reserve on May 8. Her car, keys, wallet and cell phone were found in the parking lot of the reserve but Eller had disappeared. Police ended their search for the missing woman after a week, but friends and family kept looking, staging a massive manhunt while combing through thick forest and jungle in search of Eller.

A helicopter spotted her on Saturday while lying in a creek bed between two waterfalls, suffering from a leg fracture and injured ankles, but otherwise alert and in good condition. Eller says she got turned around after taking a break while walking on the trail and ventured farther and farther into the forest in search of her car. She survived by eating wild berries and guava and drinking clear water.

Despite stormy year, the health of the James River is improving

The latest Chesapeake Bay Report Card, a comprehensive analysis of the health of the Chesapeake Bay, was released last week. The report showed that the score for the James River changed from a B- in 2017 to a C in 2018. The lower score is a result of record precipitation and increased runoff, which resulted in the river receiving a score of F for water clarity. But despite the lower score, advocates say that the health and resiliency of the river is improving over the long term.

Virginia recently released its draft plan for meeting Chesapeake Bay cleanup goals by 2025. The plan acts as a road map to lead the James River to a score of A, meet pollution reduction targets and restore the health of the Chesapeake Bay. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality is accepting comments on the plan through June 7.

It’s raining plastic

An analysis of rain collected at six sites in the Denver-Boulder urban corridor and 2 sites in the Colorado Front Range shows that 90 percent of the water sampled contains plastic. The plastic material consists primarily of fibers in all colors that cannot be seen unless magnified. Plastic beads and shards were also identified under magnification. Plastic showed up more frequently in the rain collected in urban areas than it did in the rain collected from more isolated areas. However, plastic was also identified in washout samples from the isolated Loch Vale site in Rocky Mountain National Park. More research is needed to determine how these plastic materials are accumulating and being assimilated into the environment.