Oceans

Smart Phones Improve Both Fisheries Management And Consumer Choices

Several U.S. environmental organizations with the support of large philanthropic organizations are working to help countries around the world achieve better fisheries management, and increasingly they are using smartphones and technological innovations to empower fishers to decide where and when to fish in order to get the best price.

Why This Matters:   Here, with the help of technology and the support of U.S. NGOs, fishermen and consumers are benefitted by technology that is now readily available on smartphones.

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Ocean Acidification Will Cause Big Economic Losses in the U.S.

Ocean Acidification Will Cause Big Economic Losses in the U.S.

A new report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released last week as part of a Congressionally-mandated review of ocean acidification, states that increasing acidity in the U.S. ocean waters could cause “billions of dollars in damage to the U.S. economy,” with detrimental impacts on Alaskan fisheries and tourism due to degraded coral reefs in Florida and the Caribbean.

Why This Matters:  Climate impacts are costing our economy already due to severe weather events such as wildfires and hurricanes.  Even though increasing ocean acidification may not be visible to the eye, its costs are just as devastating.

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Northeast (NE) Canyons and Seamounts Monument Designation Stands

Northeast (NE) Canyons and Seamounts Monument Designation Stands

At the end of December, an appeals court in Washington, D.C. upheld the designation by President Obama of the first national “monument” in the Atlantic Ocean, the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Monument off the coast of Cape Cod, an area teeming with unique and endangered wildlife (such as North Atlantic Right Whales) and due to its topography of deep canyons and extinct volcanic peaks. 

Why This Matters:  This is a clear win for the conservation of natural resources.  The area covered by the monument is full of ocean wonders and is as deserving of protection as similarly precious places on land — like Yellowstone or Yosemite.

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Top Stories of 2019: The Ocean Is On the Rise

Top Stories of 2019: The Ocean Is On the Rise

In 2019, the ocean finally got its due — from a growing public determination to end ocean plastic pollution (think straw bans) and the increasing scientific recognition that the ocean has taken the brunt of climate emissions and now is rapidly changing in ways that are impacting people all around the world today (like sea-level rise and historic/chronic flooding jeopardizing places from Houston to Venice), the ocean as an environmental cause finally got the attention it deserves.  

Why This Matters:  The ocean connects everyone on the planet, and globally there is tremendous support for protecting it — we are called the “blue planet” for a reason.

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Ocean Acidification Happening Twice As Fast in California

Ocean Acidification Happening Twice As Fast in California

According to a new study published in the journal Nature Geoscience this week, the waters off California are acidifying twice as rapidly as elsewhere on Earth. As NBC News reported, Oceans play an important role in the planet’s delicate carbon cycle, acting as a crucial reservoir that absorbs and stores carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. […]

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One Weird Thing:  Thousands of “Penis Fish” Stranded on CA Beach

One Weird Thing: Thousands of “Penis Fish” Stranded on CA Beach

  They are actually called Innkeeper Worms and live several layers down in “U-shaped” burrows under the sand in the inter-tidal area of the coast.  A strong “bombogenesis” storm brought strong winds and heavy surf the weekend after Thanksgiving which washed out several feet of sand along the coast, exposing them, so to speak.  There […]

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Elizabeth Warren Releases “Blue New Deal”

Elizabeth Warren Releases “Blue New Deal”

The UN climate meeting currently underway in Madrid, Spain, known as COP25, is being called the Blue COP, to highlight its focus on oceans and the climate. Oceans play an outsized role in regulating our climate and 2020 presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren took the opportunity to release a Blue New Deal–her plan to address ocean […]

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Our Oceans Are Suffocating

Our Oceans Are Suffocating

The largest study of its kind has concluded that oxygen levels in the world’s oceans declined by roughly 2 percent between 1960 and 2010. Sixty-seven scientific experts from 51 institutes in 17 countries, came together for the largest peer-reviewed study conducted so far on ocean deoxygenation for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). […]

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A New Venture Fund Raises $100M From Plastic Makers/Users to Stop Ocean Trash

A New Venture Fund Raises $100M From Plastic Makers/Users to Stop Ocean Trash

An investment firm called Closed Loop Ventures (they’re the folks behind the NextGen Cup challenge for Starbucks and McDonalds) has raised $100m USD for a fund to make early-stage equity investments into sustainable consumer goods companies, advanced recycling technologies, and services related to eliminating ocean plastic pollution, Bloomberg News reports.  Rob Kaplan, the Fund’s Founder […]

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Fisheries In Crisis Bringing Hardship to Coastal Towns In the Developing World

Fisheries In Crisis Bringing Hardship to Coastal Towns In the Developing World

The Washington Post’s excellent series entitled “2 Degrees: Beyond the Limit” by Max Bearak and Chris Mooney with amazing photos by Carolyn Van Houten has highlighted the many ways that the climate crisis is already causing great hardship around the globe.  The most recent installment tells the story of Tombwa, Angola — a small fishing village of […]

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Loudspeakers Helping Restore Coral Reefs

Loudspeakers Helping Restore Coral Reefs

Scientists have scrambled to find solutions to help reverse damage to coral reefs and a new study suggests that loudspeakers may serve as an important remedy.

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Washington Post Live Shines a Light on the Ocean

Washington Post Live Shines a Light on the Ocean


Yesterday, The Washington Post Live held an incredible program about the Ocean in Crisis.  You can watch it in its entirety here.  The program included a great discussion with actresses Jane Fonda about her Fire Drill Fridays protests and Diane Lane about her work with FOP Oceana on shark conservation.  In addition, Explorer-in-Residence and FOP […]

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