Monthly Archives: July 2014

Gills Club Connects Shark Girls and Women Researchers

The Gills Club is proud to be onboard as new partners at Mission Blue! We were founded in January 2014 when folks at The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, a non-profit based on Cape Cod, Massachusetts realized how many young girls were fascinated by sharks, but were lacking strong female role models in the arena.  They saw that by putting these young girls together with women shark scientists, they could be inspired and empowered to act on their interest in sharks by becoming marine biologists, or even take up a different STEM field of their choice.

Each month, The Gills Club publishes a newsletter featuring two female shark biologists, who tell why they’re interested in sharks, what institutions or organizations they’ve found helpful to them personally, and what particular area of shark research they’re working on now.…

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YOU can nominate new national marine sanctuaries!

Last month, the U.S. Government implemented a novel way to establish new national marine sanctuaries – exceptionally valuable areas in the ocean and Great Lakes that are protected as marine parks – and you can get involved! Folks at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which is in charge of designating new sanctuaries, have worked tirelessly over the last few years to come up with a locally-driven nomination process that incorporates ideas from over 18,000 public comments, replacing a now defunct “site evaluation list” that was less community-driven. This innovative new approach allows groups of people across the nation to put together proposals for NOAA to designate their favorite watery regions (within U.S. jurisdiction of course) as official national marine sanctuaries.…

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A Prolific Whaling Ship is Reborn in the Name of Ocean Conservation

The ship on the US commemorative stamp pictured above is the Charles W. Morgan, a whaling vessel that was built in 1841 and sailed the global ocean for 80 years hunting giant cetaceans. The ship is the world’s oldest surviving commercial vessel and had been under restoration for 6 years until it was re-launched in 2013. Only the USS Constitution, the 1797 Navy frigate afloat at Pier 1 in Charlestown, is older.
This past weekend, the Charles W. Morgan sailed around Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary off of Massachusetts — not as a commercial interest to plunder the ocean, but as a beacon of ocean conservation. The ship held a lively crew of historians, scientists, authors and artists who were aboard to draw attention to the sanctuary’s efforts to study, understand and protect endangered whales.…

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The Tides Are Changing!

Can You Feel It? The Tides Are Changing!
National Ocean Month ignited the ocean community with can-do energy and saw many positive developments. We at Mission Blue believe that the tides are changing in favor of the ocean — that this moment is truly the sweet spot in time. How could we conclude otherwise in light of these recent developments?
Secretary of State Kerry unveiled his Ocean Action Plan: end overfishing by 2020; reduce nutrient pollution 20% by 2025; reduce carbon emissions; get at least 10% of the ocean protected by 2020. And, Leonardo DiCaprio knocked our fins off with his generosity, pledging $7 million from his foundation to ocean causes over the next two years. All in all, $2 billion was pledged to ocean projects and causes.…

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Is education the key to saving our oceans?

by Olivia and Carter Ries 
There’s nothing quite as inspiring as young people with a mission, and Olivia and Carter are always in motion – fighting the good fight. So listen up, these kids have some things they want us to know.
First, we’ll hear Olivia’s reflections after having attended John Kerry’s historic ‘Our Ocean 2014’ Conference this month.
As we attended the ‘Our Oceans’ conference at the State Department recently, it became apparent that there are a whole lot of people and countries who care for the future of our oceans.  We heard experts from around the globe way-in on such issues as Ocean Acidification, Overfishing/Illegal Fishing and even about the issue of Marine Debris and Plastic Pollution. 
We were all so excited to see the level of participation from so many countries and the sincere compassion participants demonstrated as they mapped out their plans to help our oceans.  …

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From despair to repair: Dramatic decline of Caribbean corals can be reversed

With only about one-sixth of the original coral cover left, most Caribbean coral reefs may disappear in the next 20 years, primarily due to the loss of grazers in the region, according to the latest report by the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN,) the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP.)
The report, Status and Trends of Caribbean Coral Reefs: 1970-2012, is the most detailed and comprehensive study of its kind published to date – the result of the work of 90 experts over the course of three years. It contains the analysis of more than 35,000 surveys conducted at 90 Caribbean locations since 1970, including studies of corals, seaweeds, grazing sea urchins and fish.…

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