Cuba Marine Research & Conservation Program at The Ocean Foundation

Because of the decades-old U.S. economic embargo of Cuba, scientific collaboration between U.S. and Cuban scientists has been exceedingly difficult. Even though research is a permitted activity and U.S. scientists are allowed to travel to Cuba, the harsh logistical and political realities have prevented all but a few U.S. institutions from successful collaborative projects in Cuba.

The Cuba Marine Research and Conservation Program has been based at The Ocean Foundation (TOF) since 2008 and is built on more than 12 years of work in Cuba by TOF Senior Fellow, Dr. David E. Guggenheim, who directs the program, and TOF Research Associate, Fernando Bretos. The program is a regional effort to study and conserve the shared marine resources of the Gulf of Mexico and Western Caribbean.

The Ocean Foundation Annual Report 2011

The Ocean Foundation Annual Report 2011The Ocean Foundation now hosts more than 50 ocean-related projects, including all of the work we do, including our Cuba Marine Research and Conservation Program, The Ocean Doctor’s “50 Years – 50 States – 50 Speeches” Expedition, and The Ocean Doctor Radio Show. You can browse or download The Ocean Foundation’s Annual Report 2011 below.

The Ocean Foundation has continued its work to support, strengthen, and promote those organizations dedicated to reversing the trend of destruction of ocean environments around the world. We work with donors who care about our coasts and oceans to add value to marine conservation initiatives by providing conservation grants, hosting projects and funds, and collaborating with important campaigns and opinion leaders. As the community foundation for the oceans, we are fostering best-in-class projects and promoting solutions for healthy oceans and the people who depend upon them. We have been able to adapt to a changing economic climate while maintaining our integrity as honest brokers for marine conservation philanthropy

Dr. David E. Guggenheim — the “Ocean Doctor” — serves as Senior Fellow of The Ocean Foundation and Director of its Cuba Marine Research and Conservation Program.

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Big Day in European Shark Conservation

Silky Shark (c) 2011 David E GuggenheimBig news in shark conservation from our sister organization, Shark Advocates International: EU Officials Sign UN Migratory Shark Initiative, Propose Stronger Finning Ban

Bergen, Norway. November 21, 2011. The European Union (EU) today became a signatory to the United Nations Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Sharks, just as the European Commission announced a proposal to strengthen the EU ban on shark “finning” (slicing off a shark’s fins and discarding the body at sea). An EU representative signed the Shark MoU at a ceremony at the 10th Conference of the CMS Parties which opened today in Bergen while the announcement on the finning proposal came from Commission headquarters in Brussels. [Read more...]

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...]

Jean-Michel Cousteau on the Gulf, His Father and Our Oceans’ Future

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January 31, 2011: Our special guest this week is Jean-Michel Cousteau, who leads Ocean Futures Society, a nonprofit marine conservation organization which he founded in 1999 to honor his father’s legacy to carry on his pioneering work in exploring, filming and protecting the oceans.? Jean-Michel has produced over 80 films, received the Emmy and the Peabody Award among others. He was honored with the Environmental Hero Award by the White House. In February 2002, he became the first person to represent the Environment in the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. Jean-Michel led the effort to return Keiko, the captive killer whale of “Free Willy” film fame, to the wild. With his team, Jean-Michel has been working for months to document the impact of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster. Also: Our in-depth coverage of the National? Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill continues.

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.

Follow The Ocean Doctor on TwitterBecome a Fan on Facebook!

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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Saving Our Seas with an eBay Guitar: The Arts and Ocean Literacy

The Ocean Doctor on WebTalkRadio.net

January 24, 2011: Like it or not, our kids are going to inherit an oiled Gulf and a troubled ocean, and their generation will ultimately have to deal with problems we’ve created. But how do we ensure they’re up to the challenge? If you listen to multimedia artist and conservationist Mark Holmes, reaching our kids through the arts is a powerful approach and that’s exactly what he’s doing with the newly-formed Institute for Ocean Literacy. Mark formerly worked at National Geographic where he launched the NationalGeographic.com web site and designed and art directed National Geographic Magazine. His music, graphic novels, and passion are helping to inspire our next generation. Also: Our in-depth coverage of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling continues as the Ocean Doctor guides you through the highlights of its final report.

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.

Follow The Ocean Doctor on TwitterBecome a Fan on Facebook!

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...]

Oceans ’11: The BP Oil Spill Commission Speaks – Ocean Issues to Watch

The Ocean Doctor on WebTalkRadio.net

January 17, 2011: The National? Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling has released its final report. What does it say and what are the lessons from this tragedy? The Ocean Doctor guides you through the highlights. Also: From The Ocean Foundation’s headquarters in Washington, DC, our panel of experts discusses other key ocean issues we should pay attention to this year.

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.

Follow The Ocean Doctor on TwitterBecome a Fan on Facebook!

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...]

The Ocean Foundation Annual Report 2010

Dear Friends of The Ocean Foundation,

Once again, it is time to thank all of our donors and partners who have helped make The Ocean Foundation a success.

The past year has been a time of great growth for The Ocean Foundation as we continue our work to support, strengthen, and promote those organizations dedicated to reversing the trend of destruction of ocean environments around the world. We work with donors who care about our coasts and oceans to add value to marine conservation initiatives. We do this by providing conservation grants, hosting projects and funds, and collaborating with important campaigns and opinion leaders. As the community foundation for the oceans, we are fostering best-in-class projects and promoting solutions for healthy oceans and the people who depend upon them. We have been able to adapt to a changing economic climate while maintaining our integrity as honest brokers for marine conservation philanthropy.


The Ocean Foundation is our fiscal sponsor where Dr. David E. Guggenheim — the “Ocean Doctor” — serves as senior fellow.


Download The Ocean Foundation Annual Report 2010 (PDF)Download The Ocean Foundation’s Annual Report 2010 or view online 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...]

Do We Dare Drill Beneath Arctic Seas?

The Ocean Doctor on WebTalkRadio.net

November 29, 2010: Walter Parker, who has accumulated an incredible 55 years of leadership and experience in Alaska’s environmental issues, particularly as a watchdog of Alaska’s oil industry, joins us to share his unique perspectives on Alaska’s experience with the oil industry and whether we’ve yet learned our lessons. The stakes are high: The push is on to drill beneath the ice in Arctic waters. This week we hear from many of you as we give thanks to Mother Ocean!

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...]