Ocean
One Found Thing: The Wreck of the USS Nevada

One Found Thing: The Wreck of the USS Nevada

At the height of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, one Navy ship, the USS Nevada, tried to escape but did not make it out.  However, the ship was salvaged, repaired, and returned to service in World War II. It saw action on D-Day in 1944 off Normandy and the ship fought at the battles of Iwo […]

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Louisiana Marshes May Be A Goner Due To Expected Sea Level Rise

Louisiana Marshes May Be A Goner Due To Expected Sea Level Rise

A new study in the Journal of Science Advances concludes that the “drowning” of the roughly 15,000 square kilometers of remaining marshland in the Mississippi River Delta of Louisiana is “past the tipping point” and now “probably inevitable,” according to The Washington Post

Why This Matters:  Louisiana has already lost one-fourth of the land in the Delta at the beginning of the last century.

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A Florida Beach Reopened – People Left It Trashed

A Florida Beach Reopened – People Left It Trashed

The people who flocked to Cocoa Beach in Florida last weekend left behind 13,000 pounds of litter, prompting the police to threaten a crackdown.  Local officials believe that as social distancing and stay in place orders are loosened in parts of the state, there has been an influx of day-trippers who show up and leave […]

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Ocean Conservation Heroes: The Community of Niue

Ocean Conservation Heroes: The Community of Niue

Even in the midst of a global pandemic, big conservation wins are possible. Niue is a small island nation in the Pacific but it just made a huge contribution to global ocean health by finalizing this week the creation of an enormous marine protected area comprising 40% of the country’s vast ocean territory.  The new protected […]

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Alaska Confronts COVID: State May Close Salmon Season Just as Energy Projects Lose Funding

Alaska Confronts COVID: State May Close Salmon Season Just as Energy Projects Lose Funding

Alaska’s Bristol Bay is home to the world’s most valuable wild salmon fisheries (and also an infamous mining project – the Pebble Mine) but salmon towns in the region lost 30% of their population to the 1918 Spanish Flu and locals fear it will happen again due to lack of medical capacity to handle the virus, unless the Governor, Republican Mike Dunleavy, shuts down fishing for this summer.

Why This Matters:  Alaska could be hit hard by a double whammy of no fishing this year and the loss of new oil and gas jobs in the future.

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One Cool Thing: SoCal’s Waves Glow 

The coastal waters of Southern California are being lit up by a stunning display of bioluminescence due to an increase of tiny microorganisms known as dinoflagellates. The dinoflagellates are actually producing a red tide that glows at night. Red tides are unpredictable and not all of them produce bioluminescence but this current display has mesmerized the city […]

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Ten Years Ago, An Explosion and the Worst Environmental Disaster In History Ensued

Late on April 20, 2010, the deepest oil well in history at that time (operating at a vertical depth of 35,050 feet) exploded killing 11 people and it began spewing oil.  An estimated 210 million gallons flowed into the ocean over the course of 87 days.

Why This Matters:  It is a faded memory, but for those who lost everything in the spill, it is hauntingly familiar to the current COVID crisis.

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Ten Years Later, Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Still A Threat To Gulf Natural Resources

Ten Years Later, Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Still A Threat To Gulf Natural Resources

Numerous organizations (Oceana, National Wildlife Federation, and Skytruth among others) have looked back at the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on the Gulf of Mexico in the ten years since — and sadly, the impacts of the worst oil spill in history are still being felt on Gulf resources — dolphins, turtles, whales, birds among others — and the risks of another catastrophic spill are still high.

Why This Matters:  I (Monica) was involved from day one of the response to the spill and through the early restoration work for two years after it ended, and we tried mightily to minimize the damage and begin restoration immediately

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US Fishermen Exempt from Monitoring Requirements During Pandemic

US Fishermen Exempt from Monitoring Requirements During Pandemic

NOAA Fisheries granted U.S. fishers an emergency waiver of the requirement for observers onboard their fishing vessels for the next 6 months — effectively eliminating monitoring and enforcement of the fishing industry. 

Why This Matters:  NOAA’s waiver provides only a minimal justification — indeed, concerns over the health and safety of fishers would have them stay home rather than risk infecting an entire crew at sea potentially hundreds or even thousands of miles from shore.

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Scientists Say Oceans Can Be Restored by 2050, With Big Commitments to Conservation

Scientists Say Oceans Can Be Restored by 2050, With Big Commitments to Conservation

A new study published in the journal Nature has revealed that oceans are remarkably resilient and could be restored to health by 2050 if “major pressures—including climate change—are mitigated.” As the BBC reported, the researchers identified nine components that are key to rebuilding the oceans: salt marshes, mangroves, seagrasses, coral reefs, kelp, oyster reefs, fisheries, […]

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Illegal Fishing In Chilean Waters Just Got Harder – And You Can Help Catch The Bad Guys

Illegal Fishing In Chilean Waters Just Got Harder – And You Can Help Catch The Bad Guys

Two weeks ago the government of Chile joined Panama, Peru, and Indonesia by making its vessel tracking data publicly available through Global Fishing Watch (GFW), which pinpoints on the above map (click on the map above) in real-time the movements of commercial fishing* vessels in Chile’s coastal ocean. 

Why This Matters:  Chile is a fishing powerhouse, and by joining the other nations that have made their similar data public, Chile is adding momentum to the movement towards greater transparency in fishing activity, which is the key to improving fisheries management and sustainability in the Pacific, and all eventually everywhere.

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Peru Moves to Greater Transparency and Accountability In Its All-Important Fisheries Sector

Peru Moves to Greater Transparency and Accountability In Its All-Important Fisheries Sector

Peru is the second-largest fishing nation in the world after China, and home to one of the world’s largest single stock fisheries – the anchoveta. In 2018, after a shift to rights-based management, its industrial fishery was one of the first in the world to make its vessel location (VMS) data available to the public in order to root out illegal fishing and improve management.

Why This Matters:  Peru may be a small country, but its fisheries are significant globally and the introduction of greater accountability for both large and small fishing vessels is a sign that better management is possible even as the national government struggles to overcome a series of corruption scandals.

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