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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Anthropocene – The Age of Man’s Alteration of the Environment

Anthropocene (æn’ thrō pō seen)  A new, if informal, term for the current epoch of geohistory, describing the past 250 years in which mankind’s actions have begun having a significant impact on the earth and its environment. A NEW AGE   The epochs of the Tertiary and Quatenary Periods combine the root word “cenes” (from the Greek for “recent”) with other terms. Thus we have the Tertiary Period’s Paleocene (“old-recent”), Miocene (“less-recent”) and Pliocene Epochs (“more-recent”).

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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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Doing Things About Reef Health Helps Scientists Cope with Losses

DOING SOMETHING IS THE BEST REMEDY for marine biologists dealing with the continual cascade of depressing news about the fate of coral reefs, according to a recent article in The Atlantic magazine. “Everyone I spoke to talked about becoming very good at compartmentalizing—at acknowledging the scale of the tragedy, but also putting it aside to focus on their work,” wrote science writer Ed Yong in “How Coral Researchers Are Coping With the Death of Reefs.”

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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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In the Mangrove Grove

THREE THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT MANGROVE FORESTS: 1) They aren’t swamps. They grow in shallow ocean waters along tropical coasts, surviving tidal fluctuations and thriving on the edge between land and sea.  2) Mangrove trees generate the freshwater they need for survival by using a variety of mechanisms to filter the salt out of the ocean water.  3) They’re essential parts of reef systems, key to the reef life. ABOVE AND BELOW    Above water,

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Anthropocene – The Age of Man’s Alteration of the Environment

ANTHROPOCENE (æn’ thrō pō seen)  A new, if informal, term for the current epoch of geohistory, describing the past 250 years in which mankind’s actions have begun having a significant impact on the earth and its environment. MAKING THE CENE   The epochs of the Tertiary and Quatenary Periods combine the root word “cenes” (from the Greek for “recent”) with other terms. Thus we have the Tertiary Period’s Paleocene (“old-recent”), Miocene (“less-recent”) and Pliocene Epochs

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