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Study: Dredging Near Reefs Increases Coral Disease

Dredging activity near reefs can more than double the frequency of diseases affecting corals by impacting the light and food they need to survive, a study showed Thursday.

While scientists have known for decades that dredging can smother corals, researchers said this was the first time it has been linked to diseases.

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Great White Shark Choked by Sea Lion

A great white shark that washed up on an Australian beach this week had a sea lion stuck in its throat which likely caused its death, fisheries officials said Thursday.

The four-meter (13-foot) white pointer was filmed thrashing around just off Coronation Beach, 430 kilometers (270 miles) north of Perth, and was later found on the sand.

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UAE to Create Space Agency, Send Unmanned Probe to Mars

Oil-rich United Arab Emirates announced Wednesday it will create a space agency with the aim of sending the first Arab unmanned probe to Mars by 2021.

"The UAE has entered the space race with a project to send an unmanned probe to Mars by 2021 in the Arab world's first mission to another planet," said an Emirati government statement.

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Orbital Cargo Ship Nears Arrival at Space Station

An unmanned cargo ship that was rocketed into space this weekend by Orbital Sciences Corporation is nearing the International Space Station where it plans to dock on Wednesday.

Loaded with meals for astronauts, equipment and science experiments, the Cygnus cargo carrier is scheduled to be grabbed with the space station's robotic arm at 6:39 am (1039 GMT).

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Court KOs New Jersey Bid to Block Ocean Blasting

A federal appeals court on Monday cleared the path for seismic testing off the coast of New Jersey that will blast the floor of the Atlantic Ocean with loud noises as part of a climate change research project.

The 3rd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals rejected New Jersey's request to block the testing off Long Beach Island, which aims to use acoustic research to examine sediment dating back tens of millions of years. The barrier island stretches along the central New Jersey coast for about 18 miles.

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SpaceX Launches Cluster of Commercial Satellites

The SpaceX company has launched a rocket packed with communication satellites.

The Falcon rocket blasted off Monday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. On board were six advanced satellites for the New Jersey-based Orbcomm. Eleven more of these satellites are to be launched in the coming year.

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Activists: Italy Cruise Ship Toxins Threaten Wildlife

It's nursing season in Europe's biggest marine sanctuary and schools of whales have brought their young to Italian shores -- but environmentalists warn they are at risk from toxins leaked by the wrecked Costa Concordia cruise ship.

The luxury liner crashed off the Tuscan island of Giglio in 2012, killing 32 people and sparking an unprecedented salvage operation set to conclude this month with the floated wreck being towed more than 200 nautical miles north to the port of Genoa to be scrapped.

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Mary Robinson Named U.N. Special Climate Change Envoy

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Monday named former Irish president Mary Robinson as his special envoy for climate change, ahead of a summit set for September.

Robinson will seek to "mobilize political will and action" ahead of the special summit of heads of state and government, called by Ban, to be held in New York on September 23, the U.N. said.

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Water Everywhere for DR Congo City Yet Scarcely a Drop to Drink

Goma, a city in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, sits by one of the world's largest freshwater reservoirs and has some of Africa's heaviest annual rainfall, yet it is a thirsty place.

Most of the city's one million residents, living close to the shores of Lake Kivu, have to struggle every day to fetch water home.

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Italy Cruise Wreck Salvage: Facts and Figures

The operation to refloat the wreck of Italy's Costa Concordia cruise ship due to begin on Monday is the biggest salvage project of its kind ever attempted.

Here are some facts and figures about the 114,500-ton hulk and how salvage workers are planning to float it:

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