Ocean
A Florida Seagrass Success Story — For Now

A Florida Seagrass Success Story — For Now

By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer Last summer, Florida created its first aquatic preserve in over 30 years. The Nature Coast Aquatic Preserve protects about 400,000 acres of seagrass just north of Tampa on Florida’s Gulf coast.  These are part of the Gulf of Mexico’s largest seagrass bed and borders other existing preserves, creating a […]

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Scientists Could Use Whale Songs to Map Ocean Floor click button

Scientists Could Use Whale Songs to Map Ocean Floor

A new study has found that whale songs can be a powerful tool for mapping the ocean floor. Seismic testing done by humans can harm whales and other marine life, but by using whale songs instead, scientists believe the practice can be adapted to be much less harmful to marine populations.

Why This Matters: For years, the fossil fuel industry has hauled “seismic guns” behind large boats, blasting loud, harmful bursts of sound that disturb sea life and impair the sonar of animals like whales and dolphins.

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The Presidential Power of Marine National Monuments

The Presidential Power of Marine National Monuments

Much as our national parks on land are some of our greatest natural treasures, marine national monuments safeguard precious ecosystems and protect them now and for future generations. The National Marine Sanctuary System encompasses more than 600,000 square miles of marine and Great Lakes waters, and contains amazing cultural and historical resources, as well as […]

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Shellfish Can’t Stand Climate Crisis

Shellfish Can’t Stand Climate Crisis

New England’s iconic lobster roll and summer clam bake are at risk: ocean acidification caused by climate change makes it difficult for their outer shells to form. With no action, crustacean shells in the Gulf of Maine will begin to dissolve in the next 40 years, according to a new report looking specifically at the impact of ocean acidification in Massachusetts. 

Why this Matters: For marine life, the impacts of acidification will alter the ocean ecosystem.

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New Study Finds It’s Noisy in the Deep

New Study Finds It’s Noisy in the Deep

New scientific research sheds light on a growing problem — ocean noise pollution — but the good news is that this one is solvable.  The problem is that much of ocean life depends on sound for survival and when anthropogenic noise increases, it drowns out the soundscapes that guide ocean life, The New York Times reports.

Why This Matters:  Impacts of noise had been documented on marine mammals like dolphins, but now it is clear it impacts a wide variety of marine life, including zooplankton and jellyfish.

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New Report Provides Roadmap for Fully Protected Oceans 

New Report Provides Roadmap for Fully Protected Oceans 

Each year, the ocean removes almost a third of all global CO2 emissions. But as the ocean warms, it’s becoming less effective as a carbon sink and could release billions of tons of carbon back into the atmosphere.  A new report from Environment America Research & Policy Center provides some guidance on effective ocean protections and highlights six successfully protected ocean sites to serve as role models.

Why This Matters:  Recently, with the support of 450 elected officials, President Biden signed an executive order to protect 30% of all U.S. land and waters by 2030.

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