World Oceans Day! Things You Can Do.

EACH YEAR, JUNE 8TH IS RECOGNIZED AS WORLD OCEANS DAY, with the goal of focusing attention on the state of our oceans and its needs. SO FIRST!  Reflect on the beauty, serenity and meaning we find when we visit the reef. Not to mention the oceans’ role in feeding the world, helping control the climate and giving us great beaches. SECOND: DON’T MESS IT UP! Drawn from a post at the beginning of the year

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Urban Octopuses…..Conservation Challenges in a Changing Climate…..Green Energy from Kelp…..Saving Abalone…..Hope for Reefs….Acidification Threats

Links to environmental news & research. “GIMME SHELTER, SAYS YOUR NEW NEIGHBOR, THE URBAN OCTOPUS”   Anthropocene   With more human-made debris on the sea floor in deep water near human-occupied coasts, octopuses are more common in urban waters than off less developed stretches of shoreline, a study conducted in Puget Sound determined. “DESIGNING MARINE PROTECTED AREAS IN A CHANGING CLIMATE”  Hakai Magazine   With climate change creating so many unknowns for conservation efforts, focusing on biodiversity is

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Five Easy Resolutions for the Reef

IF YOU’RE BUSY MAKING NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS, here are five for the reef that will be easy to keep. Actually, they’ll help the whole planet, above and below water. •  USE LESS PLASTIC: Plastic pollution in our oceans, on our shorelines and everywhere else, is maddening and destructive of the health of people, wildlife and the environment as a whole. To help cut down on the spread of plastic debris: Use refillable water bottle and reject

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Robust Source Reefs Offer Hope for the Great Barrier Reef

NEWS ABOUT AUSTRALIA’S GREAT BARRIER REEF is usually dire, but a team of scientists studying the reef have found a ray of hope: Some GBR sections are resilient segments that are in position to support regeneration of damaged areas. ROBUST SOURCE REEFS   Far from being a monolith, the GBR is composed of more than 3,800 interconnected reefs. About 100 of them are capable of functioning as “robust source reefs” that can produce coral larvae likely

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Spectacular Marine Park Established by Mexico

MEXICO HAS ESTABLISHED THE LARGEST MARINE PARK in North America, a 58,000-square-mile region of the Pacific Ocean several hundred miles off its southwestern coast. “UNIQUELY RICH”  The Revillagigedo Archipelago National Park  surrounds four uninhabited volcanic islands and is described as uniquely rich in marine biodiversity, supporting several species of sea turtles, three dozen species of sharks and rays and more than 360 species of fishes, some of which are  not found anywhere else in the world. COLLIDING

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Warmer Ocean Temperatures Most Likely Mean Smaller Fishes

GLOBAL WARMING IS CAUSING FISH IN THE OCEAN TO SHRINK in body size, say two scientists at the University of British Columbia. If the rise in ocean temperatures continues at the present rate, many fish are likely to decline in size by 20 to 30 percent, they say. Warmer ocean temperatures cause fishes’ bodies to warm up as well, accelerating their metabolisms and oxygen requirements, explains William Cheung, director of science at the Nippon Foundation-UBC

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Shark Fin Trade Ban Before Congress

A BILL BANNING THE SHARK FIN TRADE IN THE UNITED STATES appears likely to be passed by Congress, based on a hearing earlier this month by a House subcommittee. BIPARTISAN SUPPORT With 200 co-sponsors, HR1456, the “Shark Fin Trade Elimination Act,” has strong bipartisan support in the House and a similar bill under consideration in the Senate has 19 co-sponsors. The hearing by a  subgroup of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform was described

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Hope for “Badass Corals”

  HERE’S A GLIMMER OF OPTIMISM FOR A WORLD BESET by seemingly constant pessimistic news about oceans, reefs and marine animal: A TED talk by a coral reef specialist about “Why I Still Have Hope for Coral Reefs.” “We can be incredibly pessimistic on the short term, and mourn what we lost and what we really took for granted,” suggested marine biologist Kristin Marhaver, “but we can still be optimistic on the long term, and we can still

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Saving the Mangroves!

MANGROVES ARE VITAL to our coastlines, reef and planetary health generally. Naturally, they’re endangered by  human activities, among the most threatened habitats in the world, according to the non-profit Mangrove Action Project (MAP). Villains in the picture include shrimp farming, logging, unregulated development and perhaps the fact that many governments have regarded mangrove forests as wastelands and useless swamps. MAP cites shrimp farms as the most significant destroyer of mangrove forest at present. SIGNIFICANT LOSSES

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Seagrasses, Too!

SEAGRASSES ARE THE GRASSY EQUIVALENTS OF MANGROVES, essential to the health of the reefs, the oceans, Mother Earth and humankind. And, again, found in shallow coastal waters worldwide. And, again, threatened. They provide many of the same benefits as mangroves – offering food and shelter to juvenile fishes, small finfishes and to crustaceans, mollusks and other invertebrates. They stabilize coastal areas and sequester carbon carbon dioxide. AND CLEAN, TOO!  A recently published study has identified another way

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