Ocean
Capitol Hill Ocean Week Continues with Talks on Food Security, Environmental Justice

Capitol Hill Ocean Week Continues with Talks on Food Security, Environmental Justice

by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer Capitol Hill Ocean Week is in full swing, and panelists from the government, private sector, and nonprofits are bringing their expertise to discuss significant issues facing our oceans and coastal communities. Yesterday, food security and justice were on the table, and panelists dove into incorporating traditional fisheries management strategies […]

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Chile Proposes Unprecedented High Seas Protections in the Pacific

Chile Proposes Unprecedented High Seas Protections in the Pacific

Chile has been making significant headway in ocean protections, establishing marine protected areas (MPAs) in 43% of its national waters. Now, the country is making waves with an ambitious new proposal to establish an MPA that would stretch over 2,900 kilometers wide in international waters, or the high seas, in the southeastern Pacific. 

Why This Matters: About 60% of our oceans lie outside of any one nation’s control and are colloquially referred to as the “high seas.” These waters contain vast ecosystems rich in biodiversity, but only one percent has been officially protected. 

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“Sea Snot” Outbreak Covers Coast of Turkey’s Sea of Marmara

“Sea Snot” Outbreak Covers Coast of Turkey’s Sea of Marmara

An invasion of “sea snot” has literally slimed the coast of the Sea of Marmara in Turkey. Like the name suggests, “sea snot,” or marine mucilage, is a snot-like film that floats on the surface of seawater, and stinks. This influx of “sea snot,” is the largest in history, and could threaten marine life and fishing.  

Why this Matters:  Marine mucilage forms when nutrient-rich waters remain stagnant during long stints of hot weather, which then allows phytoplankton to propagate and spread uncontrollably, oozing a mucus that contains protein, carbohydrates, and fat.

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U.S. Joins Global Effort to Advance Ocean Protected Areas click button

U.S. Joins Global Effort to Advance Ocean Protected Areas

The U.S. has joined the U.K., Chile, Costa Rica, and France in a coalition aiming to increase the amount of ocean area under legal protection as a solution to mitigate climate change.  Together these five countries last week launched the International Partnership on Marine Protected Areas, Biodiversity and Climate Change.

Why This Matters:  Tomorrow is World Ocean Day.  Special Envoy Kerry put it quite well when he has said, in essence, there are no ocean solutions without climate solutions and no climate solutions without ocean solutions.

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Container Ship Burns, Sinks, Unleashing Plastic and Oil on Sri Lankan Shores

Container Ship Burns, Sinks, Unleashing Plastic and Oil on Sri Lankan Shores

A container ship off the coast of Sri Lanka that has been burning for 13 days has now begun to sink. Officials say that this could be the worst ecological disaster in the nation’s history, as plastic “snow” pellets wash up on beaches and oil spills into the ocean. 

Why This Matters: Experts worry that pollutants from the burning ship, including dangerous chemicals, oil, and microplastics, could have wide-reaching impacts beyond the immediately affected zone.

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As Biden Suspends ANWR Leases, Advocates Push for Arctic Shipping Noise Restrictions

As Biden Suspends ANWR Leases, Advocates Push for Arctic Shipping Noise Restrictions

As the Biden administration moves to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil and gas drilling, advocates are also urging officials to tighten restrictions on Arctic shipping because the number of ships and distance traveled in the Arctic has grown dramatically. A new report by the Arctic Council found that underwater noise pollution from shipping in parts of the Arctic ocean doubled in just six years.

Why This Matters: The Arctic is warming at rates two to three times faster than the rest of the world, creating ripple effects like changing ocean temperatures, storm patterns, and increased coastal permafrost erosion.

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