Leading ocean researchers and conservation leaders have issued a joint Consensus Statement calling for the immediate halt of the use of chemical dispersants in the Gulf of Mexico. BP has used nearly two million gallons of Corexit chemical dispersants in the Gulf of Mexico as part of the cleanup effort with support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The massive volume of dispersants and the way they have been applied — both on the surface and one mile below the surface — is unprecedented. Once oil is dispersed in deep water, it cannot be recovered. [Read more...]
For the most up-to-date information on the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill’s potential impacts on Cuba, please visit our special “Cuba at Risk” page.
Since its discovery of oil and natural gas reserves in the Florida straits, Cuba’s preparations for full-scale offshore oil and gas development has raised alarm in the United States, particularly in Florida where it is estimated that much of a catastrophic spill originating in Cuba would be swept by Gulf currents. Ironically, it is now Cuba that faces the threat of a massive oil spill by the United States. The disastrous oil spill from the BP Deepwater Horizon now threatens Cuba, the largest and most biologically diverse island in the Caribbean, due to those same Gulf currents. To make matters worse, the economic embargo imposed upon Cuba by the United States decades ago makes collaboration and coordination exceedingly difficult during this crisis. [Read more...]
Ocean acidification may present one of the gravest threats to our planet’s ecosystems and yet it is also one of the least publicized aspects of the global climate change issue. Acidification is occurring very rapidly, causing unprecedented changes to the chemistry of the oceans. It’s been estimated that roughly half of human-produced CO2 emissions over the past two centuries (since the beginning of the industrial age) have been absorbed by the oceans, leading to a drop in ocean surface pH of nearly 0.1 units (on the logarithmic pH scale).
The ExpeditionCasts podcast is back! The series returns with the video version of the Ocean Doctor’s popular blog post, “Attacked by the Giant Squid’s Cousins.” (You can access the video version below.) That’s big news. But the GINORMOUS news is that ExpeditionCasts returns along with a new version of Google Earth. Version 5.0 of Google Earth allows you to explore the other 70 percent of the planet — the world’s oceans — and access stunning underwater video content from around the world. We have been privileged to be a contributor to this enormous, er, GINORMOUS project, and you’ll find five ExpeditionCasts videos among the others Google Earth 5.0. Look for them in Alaska’s Bering Sea and off the northwestern coast of Cuba.
On May 25, 2008, Roz Savage rowed beneath the Golden Gate Bridge and into the Pacific Ocean, which she is now attempting to cross — rowing solo. She has already completed such a journey across the Atlantic, and is using her adventures to raise awareness of environmental issues and inspire others to rise to their own challenges. Our friends at Blue Frontier Campaign, including its founder, David Helvarg, have been keenly engaged in Roz’s journey and working with Roz to make sure that her journey brings strong awareness about the oceans. (1planet1ocean president David E. Guggenheim is a member of Blue Frontier Campaign’s Advisory Council).
As a courtesy to Roz and her many fans around the world, 1planet1ocean has assembled a special tracking page to help you track and participate in Roz’s incredible journey. You’ll find an interactive Google map, and you can even track her adventures using Google Earth. The map has links to Roz’s photos and to her blog posts, which she is continuing to provide via satellite from sea. For more information, please be sure to visit Roz’s web site.
BERING SEA, Alaska — On August 1, 2007, Kenneth Lowyck took his tiny sub to one of the expedition’s “shallower” dives, to about 700 feet into the Bering Sea’s Pribolof Canyon, where he extended the sub’s manipulator arm and collected rock containing a tiny, unassuming white sponge. Months later, there would be no doubt: This was a new species, named Aaptos kanuux, the word “kanuux” being the Aleut word for “heart,” in honor of the Bering Sea’s canyons, considered to be the heart of the Bering Sea. It was the first time the genus Aaptos has ever been documented in the Bering Sea. The discovery comes on the heels of Earth Day and will likely herald future announcements of new species discovered during last summer’s Greenpeace expedition to the Bering Sea’s two largest canyons. [Read more...]
Click image to enlarge. © 2008 Jim Toomey.
Cartoonist and devout conservationist, Jim Toomey, has dedicated his April 20 “Sherman’s Lagoon” comic strip to protecting sharks. His regular strip has delighted millions, featuring the antics of a variety of sea creatures, especially sharks. Here is what Jim recently wrote about this special edition of his beloved comic strip: “I have devoted my color Sunday Sherman’s Lagoon comic strip to creating awareness and public interest in shark conservation. Recent populations studies done by numerous independent marine biologists confirm that many species of large sharks from great whites to hammerheads to tiger sharks are being overfished to the point that only 10% of their historic populations remain. [Read more...]
Historic Meeting Unites Cuba and the U.S., Taking Collaboration on Ocean Research & Conservation to a New Level
CANCÚN, México — In a historic meeting co-organized and led by the Washington, DC-based Center for International Policy and the Harte Research Institute (HRI) for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, a group of 15 Cubans and 15 Americans met in Cancún, Mexico to develop a plan for taking joint marine research and conservation activities between the U.S. and Cuba to a new level. Collaboration between U.S. and Cuban scientists has been exceedingly difficult because of the decades-old U.S. embargo, even though research is a permitted activity and U.S. scientists are allowed to travel to Cuba. Complicated logistics and ever-changing politics have prevented all but a few U.S. institutions from successful collaborative projects in Cuba. [Read more...]