Deep-Sea Corals Gain Protection in the Gulf of Mexico

Deep-Sea Corals Gain Protection in the Gulf of Mexico

Last week the federal government approved protections for 500 square miles of deep-sea coral habitats in the Gulf of Mexico, NOLA.com reported. The rules, approved by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), prohibit fishing with bottom tending nets and other fishing tools that rip apart fragile corals.

Why This Matters: Deep-sea corals live at depths up to 10,000 feet and protect a diverse array of marine life including shrimp, crab, and other fish caught and sold for consumption around the world.

Continue Reading 555 words
This Year’s Hurricane Season Is Off The Charts – And Not Over Yet

This Year’s Hurricane Season Is Off The Charts – And Not Over Yet

This year has seen many bad records broken when it comes to climate-driven severe weather. We are now several letters into the Greek alphabet for storm names having reached this point (23 so far) for only the second time since storm names began.

Why This Matters:  The number of storms is not just a fun fact — it is devastating for tens of thousands of people.

Continue Reading 583 words
Blue Economy Is Worth $373B to US Economy, Largely Tied to Tourism and Recreation

Blue Economy Is Worth $373B to US Economy, Largely Tied to Tourism and Recreation

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) calculated for the first time the value of commercial activities dependent on the nation’s oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes and found that they “floated” $373B of GDP in 2018 and that their growth was stronger than overall GDP growth that year. 

Why This Matters:  Ocean health matters but its impact on the economy is one of the biggest reasons – and now more than ever as we rebuild it.

Continue Reading 568 words
Beach Battles Loom in CA and FL As Temps Rise, So Does Dust From CA’s Salton Sea

Beach Battles Loom in CA and FL As Temps Rise, So Does Dust From CA’s Salton Sea

Unusually high heat has struck Florida and the Gulf Coast just as cities across the state are struggling to keep their beaches from becoming overcrowded due to the summertime temps, and the Governor weights opening up the state again In California, record heat over the weekend, with temperatures pushing 100 degrees and many lacking proper air conditioning. 

Why This Matters:  The hot summer-like temps in SoCal and Florida are not making it easy for local officials trying to keep people safe during the shelter in place orders.

 

 

Continue Reading 542 words
Ten Years Later, Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Still A Threat To Gulf Natural Resources

Ten Years Later, Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Still A Threat To Gulf Natural Resources

Numerous organizations (Oceana, National Wildlife Federation, and Skytruth among others) have looked back at the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on the Gulf of Mexico in the ten years since — and sadly, the impacts of the worst oil spill in history are still being felt on Gulf resources — dolphins, turtles, whales, birds among others — and the risks of another catastrophic spill are still high.

Why This Matters:  I (Monica) was involved from day one of the response to the spill and through the early restoration work for two years after it ended, and we tried mightily to minimize the damage and begin restoration immediately

Continue Reading 572 words
Severe Weather and Coronavirus: A Bad Combo

Severe Weather and Coronavirus: A Bad Combo

This year’s warm winter through most of the Lower 48 states has been great, right? Yes, but, but, but — the warm weather in the southeast was caused by the fact that the waters of the Gulf of Mexico are about 3 degrees warmer than usual, and that also increases the prospect for a very active spring tornado season and summer hurricane season.

Why This Matters:  It was less than a month ago that a deadly cluster of severe tornadoes hit Nashville.  What if the city had been battling the surge of the virus at the time?

Continue Reading 444 words

Want the planet in your inbox?

Subscribe to the email that top lawmakers, renowned scientists, and thousands of concerned citizens turn to each morning for the latest environmental news and analysis.