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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.
The proposed sanctuary in the Chesapeake Bay is expected to be finalized by the end of 2019 and will be the first designated in 19 years.
The Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary would cover 18 square miles contains a unique and rich legacy that spans American history, from Native American culture to Revolutionary and Civil War era activity to industrial era steamboat transports and historic commercial fishing operations.
Its most prominent feature is the “Ghost Fleet,” or the remains of more than 200 shipwrecks, including more than 100 wooden steamships built as part of America’s engagement in World War I that are oftentimes emergent above the waterline.
Why This Matters: This Saturday is World Ocean Day, and it is often a time when areas like this are set aside for protection. It is more important than ever to preserve ocean habitat for biodiversity and cultural treasures for future generation. This bi-partisan action, that is a partnership between federal, state and local government agencies, is a great success and final designation will be a win for everyone involved.
by Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer In Cispatá on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, scientists have calculated just how much carbon a mangrove forest stores. Up until now, that number has treated mangroves like trees on land — missing more than half of their carbon store in the soil under trees. The calculation in Cispatá estimates the […]
Over the last decade, nearly 91% of the sunflower sea star population has been wiped out, landing the species a “critically endangered” categorization last year. The sea stars, which have 24 arms, are an important part of the underwater food web: they keep kelp forests healthy by feeding on sea urchins.
Why This Matters: Between rising temperatures, overfishing, ocean acidification, among other harms, people have thrown the U.S. West Coast marine ecosystem off the balance.
Video gaming experts say that game design is now shifting towards specific environmental issues. Since games are designed by young people, it is not surprising that eco-based storylines like climate change and ocean exploration are coming into vogue. For example, the BBC Blue Planet II nature documentary inspired a video game called Beyond Blue, in which […]
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