Ocean
Mallows Bay-Potomac River Proposed New Marine Sanctuary One Step Closer To Designation

Mallows Bay-Potomac River Proposed New Marine Sanctuary One Step Closer To Designation

The first new National Marine Sanctuary in many years, which will be the closest one to the nation’s Capitol, took another important step toward final approval last Friday when the final Environmental Impact Statement for the sanctuary was published in the Federal Register. 

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Shipwreck Accidentally Discovered When Testing New Equipment

Shipwreck Accidentally Discovered When Testing New Equipment

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) ocean exploration ship the Okeanos Explorer made an exciting discovery on May 16 — while conducting an “engineering dive” in the Gulf of Mexico to test new remotely operated vehicle (ROV) equipment, they found the wreck of what is likely a mid-19th-century wooden sailing vessel.

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Ocean Warming Causing Fish Migrations and Strife

Ocean Warming Causing Fish Migrations and Strife

Warming ocean temperatures are causing fish populations to migrate north, complicating fisheries management and fishing businesses that are not able to keep up because the fishery-specific regulations and catch quotas are regional and they no longer align with where the fish are being found.  

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New Report Shows China Is Taking Up Coral Reef Destruction Again

New Report Shows China Is Taking Up Coral Reef Destruction Again

According to a new report from the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), new satellite images make it clear that China’ most destructive fishing vessels — their clam harvesting fleet – has returned to the South China Sea in force over the last six months and are again destroying pristine coral reefs and harming important fish habitat.

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Wetlands Provide Better Defense to Coastal Flooding

Wetlands Provide Better Defense to Coastal Flooding

As the U.S. must contend with more flooding events in areas like Houston and Miami, there is increasing evidence that wetlands and marshes are far more effective at protecting homes and other structures from flooding than concrete barriers.  Most recently, according to Scientific American, researchers studying the impact of 2011’s Hurricane Irene on the North Carolina coast where the storm had a 10-foot surge that destroyed roads and more than 1100 homes on the Outer Banks, a popular vacation spot. 

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Whale Watching On the Rise in Japan and Iceland

Whale Watching On the Rise in Japan and Iceland

Whale watching is one of the fastest growing tourist activities in Japan, which is a marked shift in the way the Japanese people think of whales — as something to observe in the water rather than on a dinner plate.  The International Fund for Animal Welfare (ifaw), has been keeping track and found that from 2008-2015, the last year for which ifaw had statistics, the number of whale watchers in Japan each year increased by more than 40,000, and most of these tourists are from Japan rather than foreigners who are visiting. 

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