Judge Approves $880 Million Everglades Restoration

Everglades National Park

The Everglades (Photo: slack12 via Flickr)

The Environmental News Network (ENN) reports that a federal judge has approved an $880 million plan to restore the Everglades, a decision that could result in the settlement of numerous lawsuits spanning 25 years. In addition, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visited Kissimmee, Florida to announce an infusino of an additional $80 million from the federal government to support farmers and ranchers who voluntarily conserve wetlands on agricultural land in the northern portion of the Everglades Ecosystem. [Read more...]

Florida divers capture 312 invasive lionfish during derby. (UnderwaterTimes.com)

Florida divers capture 312 invasive lionfish during derby. (UnderwaterTimes.com)

Ocean Today

Note: Newswire stories are provided as a courtesy of OceanDoctor.org. Content of these articles is provided by external sources.

Cuba Offshore Oil Drilling: Why We’re Not Ready

The 53,000-ton the Italian-owned, Chinese-built Scarabeo 9 is a state-of-the-art, semi-submersible ultra-deepwater drilling platform capable of working in up to 12,000 feet of water depth with a 50,000 foot (9.5 miles) drilling depth capacity. The platform has accommodations for full-time support of up to 200 workers. (Source: ?Background on Scarabeo 9? in CubaStandard.com by Jorge Pi?on,)

The 53,000-ton the Italian-owned, Chinese-built Scarabeo 9 is a state-of-the-art, semi-submersible ultra-deepwater drilling platform capable of working in up to 12,000 feet of water depth with a 50,000 foot (9.5 miles) drilling depth capacity. The platform has accommodations for full-time support of up to 200 workers. (Source: “Background on Scarabeo 9″ in CubaStandard.com by Jorge Pinon,)

As I write this, a massive offshore oil platform makes its way around the southern tip of the African continent on its journey from Singapore to its final destination within 50 miles of some of our nation’s most environmentally sensitive waters. By year’s end, it will be in operation to drill the first exploratory well more than a mile deep in Cuban waters.

Shortly after Cuba’s discovery of offshore oil more than six years ago, I met with my colleagues at the University of Havana who had just been briefed by the state-run oil company, Cupet (Cubapetroleo). Models predicted that 90 percent of oil from a blowout would be transported northward to the Keys and up along Florida’s East Coast, impacting Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and beyond. The question is, of course, are we ready to deal with such a catastrophe? [Read more...]

NOAA and Partners Assist Entangled Right Whale off East Coast of Florida

A team of state and federal biologists assisted a severely entangled North Atlantic right whale off the coast of Daytona, Fla., on Dec. 30, 2010. The team successfully removed more than 150 feet of ropes wrapped around the whale’s head and fins, and cut portions of entangling ropes that remain on the animal.
NOAA News Releases

Note: Newswire stories are provided as a courtesy of OceanDoctor.org. Content of these articles is provided by external sources.

New Report Outlines Restoration Activities to Speed Seagrass Recovery in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

Results of a five-year monitoring effort to repair seagrass damaged in a boat grounding incident suggest that restoration techniques such as replanting seagrass can speed recovery time. The finding is included in a new report released today by NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.

Read the NOAA News Release.

I Hereby Reclaim This Land for Nature!

The Ocean Doctor on WebTalkRadio.net

December 13, 2010: Mangroves are critically important to our coastlines, to fish, manatees and other ocean wildlife we love. But in South Florida many acres of mangroves were destroyed to make way for waterfront real estate, and around the world, mangroves face a myriad of threats. Enter the Reclamation Project, a unique art, education and restoration project hosted at Miami Science Museum. Mangrove seedlings in cups are displayed as art in galleries, retail stores and schools throughout the region, and once large enough, they are replanted along the shoreline. Along the way comes lots of new awareness about the incredible wetlands residents may be only vaguely aware of, and deep appreciation for the beauty of nature. Our guests: Reclamation Project Founder and artist, Xavier Cortada and Executive Director, Fernando Bretos. Also: Attacked by the Giant Squid’s cousins and a silky shark with an appetite for video cameras.

The Ocean Doctor airs weekly on WebTalkRadio.net. Want to listen on your iPod, iPhone or mp3 player? Download the mp3 file or subscribe on iTunes and don’t miss a single episode. See the complete list of episodes.

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Submit a question and I’ll try to answer it on the air. Even better, record your question or comment on our special message line and I might play it on the air. Call: (805) 619-9194. You can also leave questions and comments for this episode below.

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Jacques Cousteau, Fidel Castro and Cuba’s Undying Passion for the Sea

The Ocean Doctor on WebTalkRadio.net

December 6, 2010: Join The Ocean Doctor, along with Ocean Foundation Research Fellow, Fernando Bretos, on a field trip to Havana to visit with Cuba’s next-generation of marine scientists at the University of Havana’s Center for Marine Research (Centro de Investigaciones Marinas). We visit with the Center’s new director, Dr. Jorge A. Angulo Vald’s. We also visit with Dr. Julia Azanza Ricardo who directs the Center’s unique sea turtle research and conservation program in the wilds of Guanahacabibes Biosphere Reserve on Cuba’s western tip. For these two and their colleagues, their passion for the sea runs deep, thanks in large part to two influential people in their lives: Jacques Cousteau and Fidel Castro.

The Ocean Doctor airs weekly on WebTalkRadio.net. Want to listen on your iPod, iPhone or mp3 player? Download the mp3 file or subscribe on iTunes and don’t miss a single episode. See the complete list of episodes.

Submit a question and I’ll try to answer it on the air. Even better, record your question or comment on our special message line and I might play it on the air. Call: (805) 619-9194. You can also leave questions and comments for this episode below.

Like the show? Learn how to become a sponsor. [Read more...]

Cuba and the U.S. Find Friendship and Hope in the Gulf of Mexico

The Ocean Doctor on WebTalkRadio.net

October 18, 2010: After 50 years without formal diplomatic relations and no end to the last vestiges of the Cold War in sight, marine scientists and conservationists have taken matters into their own hands to form the Trinational Initiative for Marine Science and Conservation in the Gulf of Mexico and Western Caribbean, a unique partnership of Cuba, Mexico and the United States that is working past political barriers to make a difference for the waters we share and forging new friendships along the way. The Trinational Initiative recently held its fourth meeting in Sarasota, Florida and after nearly a decade of the Administration denying visas, more than 20 Cubans received their visas and participated in the meeting. The Ocean Doctor leads the meeting and shares its successes.

The Ocean Doctor airs weekly on WebTalkRadio.net. Want to listen on your iPod, iPhone or mp3 player? Download the mp3 file or subscribe on iTunes and don’t miss a single episode. See the complete list of episodes.

Submit a question and I’ll try to answer it on the air. Even better, record your question or comment on our special message line and I might play it on the air. Call: (805) 619-9194. You can also leave questions and comments for this episode below.

Like the show? Learn how to become a sponsor. [Read more...]

Seacamp: 45 Years of Immersive Education That Works

The Ocean Doctor on WebTalkRadio.net

October 4, 2010: The Ocean Doctor attends the 45th anniversary celebration of Seacamp, a unique marine science summer camp in the Florida Keys that has reached more than 200,000 young hearts and minds through its summer program and its Newfound Harbor Marine Institute program during the rest of the year. We visit old friends, and chat with Irene Hooper, the original director who remains very involved, continuing to impart her leadership and vision to ensure the next generation grows up with a special place in its heart for the oceans. David tells his most famous Seacamp story about a canoe and two mischievous dolphins. And we hear the latest from the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The Ocean Doctor airs weekly on WebTalkRadio.net. Want to listen on your iPod, iPhone or mp3 player? Download the mp3 file or subscribe on iTunes and don’t miss a single episode. See the complete list of episodes.

Submit a question and I’ll try to answer it on the air. Even better, record your question or comment on our special message line and I might play it on the air. Call: (805) 619-9194. You can also leave questions and comments for this episode below.

Like the show? Learn how to become a sponsor. [Read more...]

Waiting for the Oil?

Seven Mile Bridge in the Florida Keys

On July 18, 1975, the tanker Garbis spilled 1,500 to 3,000 barrels of crude oil into the warm, turquoise, coral-rich waters roughly 26 miles south-southwest of the Marquesas Keys, Florida. The oil was blown ashore along a 30-mile stretch of the Florida Keys, east of Key West. I was 16 and enjoying my second summer at Seacamp, a marine science camp on Big Pine Key. Rumors of the spill raced throughout the campus until finally, instructor James Smithson decided to find out for himself what menace might be approaching. He took a small away team aboard his 21-foot Mako, “Isurus,” and made haste south toward the reef tract. We waited impatiently for word back as the sun fell to the horizon and scattered its tranquil orange glow across the water. What I saw next filled me with dread. The Isurus entered the harbor, its white hull stained with enormous swaths of dark brown oil. In that moment the menace was no longer abstract, and to my young mind, everything we treasured — the corals, the mangroves, the fish, the turtles –was on the brink of extermination. [Read more...]

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