Ocean Stories

 

New Hope Spot in the Baltic Sea Calls for Widespread Ocean Education

GOTLAND, SWEDEN (July 6th, 2020) Gotland, a limestone island that sits between southeast Sweden and Latvia surrounded by The Baltic Sea provides a marine environment unique in many aspects.  It is the largest brackish body of water in the world and is quite young – it’s approximately just 3,000 years old. Perhaps one of its most distinguishing characteristics is its salinity gradient which allows its waters to house both saltwater and freshwater species.     Mission Blue, ocean conservation nonprofit, has named Gotland a Hope Spot in support of the Hope Spot Champions’ goals of bringing ocean awareness to the general public through hands-on and digital educational programs for children and youth. On the island of Gotland, the Swedish mainland and the countries surrounding the Baltic Sea, there are many projects targeting the health of the sea and the marine habitat.…
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“Art For the Oceans” Inspiring the Next Generation to Advocate for a Plastic – Free Coral Triangle

By: The Coral Triangle Center The epicenter of marine biodiversity, the Coral Triangle is home for the most diverse coral reefs ecosystem is the world. Over 76% of the planet’s coral species live in this region as well as more than 2,000 species of reef fish. The Coral Triangle benefits millions of people living in coastal communities not only in the six Coral Triangle countries namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste but also across the world.     To celebrate the region’s unique marine biodiversity and the benefits it provides to the global community, Coral Triangle Day is celebrated every June 9, in conjunction with World Ocean’s Day, which is celebrated every June 8. Unlike previous celebrations, this year’s Coral Triangle Day activities were all held online, giving us a unique opportunity to connect with more people across the region through social media, art, and storytelling.…
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International Recognition of Timor-Leste’s Oceans of ‘Blue Hope’

Timor-Leste (June 8th, 2020, World Oceans Day) The small island nation of Timor-Leste has been internationally recognized for its exceptional marine life and its commitment to ocean conservation and marine ecotourism. Mission Blue, international marine conservation non-profit, has recognized the northern waters of Timor-Leste in the newly designated Ombai-Wetar Strait Hope Spot. Hope Spots are special places critical to the health of the ocean that recognize, empower and support local communities and governments around the world in their efforts to protect the ocean.     Dr. Sylvia Earle, Founder of Mission Blue, said the Ombai-Wetar Strait Hope Spot recognizes the global significance of Timor-Leste’s oceans, particularly its coral reefs and marine wildlife – and the island’s potential for sustainable marine ecotourism development.…
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Little Cayman Hope Spot: Celebrating a Brilliant Example of Successful Marine Conservation

Cayman Islands (June 6th , 2020) The smallest of the Cayman Islands is home to fewer than 200 people – and yet at roughly 10 miles long by one mile wide, Little Cayman has become known as a magnificent oasis in the Caribbean. Small but mighty, the island shines as a flourishing example of what protection for marine ecosystems can look like when conservation is prioritized. The island’s colorful reefs are considered some of the healthiest in the Caribbean and support a rich ecosystem bursting with creatures like sea turtles, sharks, stingrays and a rainbow of corals. Behind the scenes of the conservation of Little Cayman’s brilliant marine life is Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI). Their resilience, restoration and assisted evolution research efforts examine the features that enable corals to persist through time, despite changing conditions.…
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Exploring the Galápagos Islands with Dr. Sylvia Earle

By Elisa Cassiani   As a 17-year-old living in Napa, CA, my experience with the natural world was pretty conventional – dogs, cats, deer, squirrels. Although I have traveled to beautiful destinations in the past, they were generally established civilizations where wildlife wasn’t at the forefront. When my mom told me that I might be able to accompany her on an expedition to the Galápagos, I lunged at the opportunity. The trip was only a week away, but we managed to pull it together and get me ready for the experience of a lifetime. Within the first hour of arriving, I got my first glimpse into the Galápagos, which is a Mission Blue Hope Spot. My mom works for Mission Blue, Dr.…
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Dive into the Mysterious Deep-Sea Ecosystems of the Galápagos

By Salome Buglass Featured image: Salome Buglass and Dr. Sylvia Earle hold up kelp samples during a dive near Isabela Island, Galapagos National Park (c) Kip Evans, Mission Blue. The Spanish version can be read below. For almost three years now, as part of the Seamount Research Project at the Charles Darwin Foundation and working in collaboration with the Galápagos National Park Directorate, we have been investigating deep-sea ecosystems in the Galápagos Archipelago. It’s been an immense privilege, as our research group is among the first to explore and describe life in the deep, dark and remote spaces of the Galápagos Marine Reserve. It is also very exciting work, as we are constantly discovering new marine species for the Galápagos as well as for science.…
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Working with the Largest Fish in the Ocean to Protect Migratory Species in the Eastern Pacific Seascape Hope Spot

The Spanish version can be read below. The distinctive, rattling noise of an underwater noisemaker grabs the attention of the divers, and they quickly scan for the source of the sound: Dr. Alex Hearn. He is easy to spot, not only for his yellow tank but the exaggerated pointing. Before long the source of Dr. Hearn’s excitement is revealed. It’s a whale shark, about 12 meters (~40ft) in length cruising along above the reef off Darwin Island, one of the most remote, and recently protected islands in the Galápagos archipelago.  Like nearly all the whale sharks that pass through the Galápagos Islands, this whale shark is an adult female and she will only stay for a few days before continuing her migration through the Eastern Pacific Seascape Hope Spot.…
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A Hope Spot Expedition Heads to the Tropical Eastern Pacific’s Enchanted Galápagos Islands

The Spanish version can be read below. In the equatorial Eastern Pacific, 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, lies an active volcanic archipelago that is like nowhere else on earth. Early Spanish sailors called these islands the Enchanted Isles because of the strong currents that pulled ships off course and heavy mist that caused the islands to “disappear”. Though the name was not initially intended to be a compliment, “enchanted” is still an apt description for this seemingly-magical geological and biological hotspot, now called the Galápagos Islands. The 19 islands and dozens of islets that make up the Galápagos archipelago were all formed by volcanic activity, a hot spot where intense heat from the Earth’s mantle forced the crust of the Nazca Plate, an oceanic tectonic plate, upward.…
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Mission Blue announces it is joining the Humboldt Alliance

Renowned oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle heads the organization that aims to protect unique marine ecosystems such as the Humboldt Archipelago, which is being threatened by megaprojects Dominga and Cruz Grande. Santiago (May 19, 2020)  Mission Blue’s incorporation into the Humboldt Alliance was described as a great step toward the definitive protection of the Humboldt Archipelago. The Humboldt Alliance is a network of national and international organizations that came together over a year ago to ensure the conservation of this marine ecosystem which is currently being threatened by port mining project Dominga and port project Cruz Grande.     Mission Blue, whose international renown is based on its work to preserve marine ecosystems that are important to the health of oceans, had already recognized the unique characteristics of the Humboldt Archipelago, designating it as a Hope Spot in April 2018.…
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A Triumph for the Sea: The Nusa Penida Marine Protected Area Declared New Mission Blue Hope Spot

NUSA PENIDA, INDONESIA (May 22, 2020) The rugged islands and magnificent underwater landscapes of the Nusa Penida Marine Protected Area (MPA) are a reef lover’s paradise, brimming with creatures like manta rays, sunfish and turtles. Located just a short trip from Bali, the Nusa Penida MPA covers an area of 20,057 hectares surrounding Nusa Penida and two smaller neighboring islands, Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Lembongan. For centuries, the people of the Penida Islands have lived in harmony with these waters. In 2008, the area was identified as a site with a high livelihood dependency on marine resources and was recognized as a critical area for marine biodiversity through a rapid ecological assessment. This report translates to reality for many of the 48,000 members of traditional villages who, on a day-to-day basis, rely on the sea for their livelihoods.…
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