One Blue Thing: More Flower Garden In the Gulf of Mexico

Map: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

One of our nation’s best-kept secrets is that we have national parks in the ocean — not right offshore — but out in the blue.  And yesterday, one of them was tripled in size after years of work by non-profits, the Texas and Tennessee Aquariums, and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, that supports these blue parks.  The park — known as a “marine sanctuary” — is called Flower Garden Banks and it sits approximately 100 miles off the coast of Texas and Louisiana and will now be approximately 60 square miles in size and its wildlife wonders include 14 additional pristine coral reefs, whale sharks, sea turtles, mollusks, crustaceans, birds, manta rays, and hundreds of species of fish.

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Japan Announces Plan To Release Treated Water From Fukushima Plant Into the Ocean

Ten years after the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster, the Japanese government announced that it will release treated radioactive water from the destroyed plant into the ocean beginning in 2023. The decision to dump more than 1 million metric tons of contaminated water into the Pacific ocean has upset local fishers and surrounding countries. 

Why This Matters: A decade after a 9.0 earthquake and resulting tsunami led to a meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the decision to release water into the ocean is just one part of the prolonged decommissioning of the plant.

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Ocean Activists Planning to “Flood” the Nation’s Capital Next Week

Ocean Activists Planning to “Flood” the Nation’s Capital Next Week

Hundreds of citizens will fan out across the nation’s capital next week to meet with lawmakers in what’s projected to be the largest ocean lobby effort in US history.  On Tuesday and Wednesday, they will meet with Biden administration officials, federal agencies, and members of Congress for a nonpartisan Ocean Climate Action Hill Day.

Why It Matters:  As the Biden administration and the Congress begin to debate what’s infrastructure and therefore within the American Jobs Plan, the blue economy needs to be front and center in it.

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Suez Canal Jam Will Take Months to Sort, Many Live Animals Likely Perished on Ships

Suez Canal Jam Will Take Months to Sort, Many Live Animals Likely Perished on Ships

The Evergiven is no longer stuck in the Suez Canal, but world shipping is hardly back to normal. In just six days, the massive container ship held up almost $60 billion in global trade.  Supply chains across the world are delayed and off schedule, and the incident has economists and maritime experts across the globe reevaluating the efficacy of the current shipping economy.  

Why this Matters: The pandemic has rocketed demand for goods (and vaccines) to all-time highs, but bottlenecks at many major ports and slow shipping speed could slow the global economy just as it begins to recover from COVID-19.

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