A Florida Seagrass Success Story — For Now

A Florida Seagrass Success Story — For Now

By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer Last summer, Florida created its first aquatic preserve in over 30 years. The Nature Coast Aquatic Preserve protects about 400,000 acres of seagrass just north of Tampa on Florida’s Gulf coast.  These are part of the Gulf of Mexico’s largest seagrass bed and borders other existing preserves, creating a […]

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Renewing a Fundamental Commitment To Save America’s Whale on World Whale Day

Renewing a Fundamental Commitment To Save America’s Whale on World Whale Day

By CT Harry To unearth a solution to a problem, it is often said that one must start from the truth—and then work your way from there. This is as true of the resolution of problems within the realm of nature as it is of those within human society. Even though our legislative successes as […]

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President Biden Stands Up for the Ocean

President Biden Stands Up for the Ocean

By Priscilla Brooks Common sense and science appear to have returned to United States environmental policy. In a flurry of executive orders during his first weeks in office, President Biden has committed to pausing oil and gas leasing on federal lands and offshore areas, rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, reviewing the Trump Administration’s efforts to […]

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Illegal Fishing Getting Tougher As Japan and Russia Crack Down

Illegal Fishing Getting Tougher As Japan and Russia Crack Down

Illegal, Unregulated, and Unreported (“IUU”) fishing operations will now have two fewer countries to dump their fish inJapan now requires a “certificate of legal catch” from a foreign government if a company from that country wants to sell its fish in Japan. And the Russian government ratified a treaty that allows them to inspect fish at the dock and refuse to block entry to fishing vessels known to be involved in illegal fishing.

Why This Matters:  Japan’s market is one of the largest in the world and its new law is seen as pivotal in fighting illegal fishing.  Russia’s ratification of the treaty on blocking illegal fish is good news because Russia was one of the few industrial fishing nations that had not signed on to the treaty.

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37% of UNESCO Heritage Sites Damaged by Climate Change

37% of UNESCO Heritage Sites Damaged by Climate Change

Many of the world’s most well-known treasures are UNESCO heritage sites, from the Great Barrier Reef to the Taj Mahal. Yet dozens of these sites are under threat from climate change. Flooding, droughts, fires, and the bleaching of coral reefs have marred 83 of the 252 World Heritage Sites.

Why this Matters: UNESCO World Heritage sites are incredibly important ecosystems and cultural symbols, and it would be a tragedy to lose them.

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NOAA Extends Protections for Endangered Right Whales 

NOAA Extends Protections for Endangered Right Whales 

AA announced this week that it is extending its ship speed protections for the endangered North Atlantic Right Whale until Nov. 15 in waters off of southern New England and east of Long Island, New York.  

Why this Matters: Earlier this year, even before the updated population count, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List downlisted North Atlantic Right Whales to “critically endangered,” just one step away from extinction.

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