There’s no such thing as too many volunteers…

…unless the cause is toxic. I came across this image on Facebook and it really hit close to home. It was posted by one of my BFF’s from high school (hi Michelle!). A BFF whom I’d spent a week on this very coast during Spring Break ’84 in Panama City! I wish I could share fond memories from that trip, but all I remember is eating the worm. And driving Sabrina’s Oldsmobile because she was too sunburned…. Continue reading

The whales are saved!?

From commercial whaling at least, for now…

From the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society:

WDCS Press Statement:

Moratorium remains intact: Pro-whaling advocates fail to get commercial whaling condoned

Agadir 23rd June 2010 – After two days of closed-door discussions delegates to the International Whaling Commission (IWC) were unable to reach consensus on a proposal (the ‘deal’) that would see the legitimization of commercial whaling. Continue reading

Jeremy Jackson: How we wrecked the ocean

I’m an ecologist, mostly a coral reef ecologist. I started out in Chesapeake Bay and went diving in the winter and became a tropical ecologist overnight. And it was really a lot of fun for about 10 years. I mean, somebody pays you to go around and travel and look at some of the most beautiful places on the planet. And that was what I did.
Continue reading

Oil Spill Proves Deadly for Sea Turtles

Green sea turtle, Chelonia mydasDeepwater Horizon Oil Spill Proves Deadly for Sea Turtles in Gulf of Mexico

Oceana Releases New Report about Impacts of Oil on Sea Turtles and Threats to Populations

June 10, 2010
Washington, D.C.
Contact: Dustin Cranor (dcranor@oceana.org)

Oceana, the world’s largest international ocean conservation organization, released a new report today that finds the Deepwater Horizon oil spill extremely dangerous for sea turtles inhabiting the Gulf of Mexico. Specifically, sea turtles can become coated in oil or inhale volatile chemicals when they surface to breathe, swallow oil or contaminated prey, and swim through oil or come in contact with it on nesting beaches. Continue reading

A Message From Sylvia Earle

Coral reefs off Florida
Editor’s note: Oceanographer Sylvia Earle believes we can save our seas and ourselves with an intelligent attitude to the Earth’s blue life-support system. Here she expresses her opinion for CNN.

(CNN) — Since I began exploring the ocean as a marine scientist 50 years ago, more has been learned about the ocean than during all preceding history.

At the same time, more has been lost.

Two weeks ago I testified before U.S. Congress on the ecological impact of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. I did so with perspective gained while sloshing around oiled beaches and marshes among dead and dying animals, diving under sheets of oily water and for years — as a founder and executive of engineering companies — of working with those in the oil industry responsible for developing and operating sophisticated equipment in the sea. Continue reading

Save the Great Whites too!

Expedition Great White: Feeding Frenzy

Sunday, June 6, 2010, at 9 p.m. ET/PT (Special Series Premiere)

“…what I really want … is to understand the entire life cycle of white sharks.… Once we learn that, we could help put together a comprehensive management plan to protect white sharks year round.” – Dr. Michael Domeier

A hundred sixty miles off the coast of Baja California, a team of world-class anglers will land one of the most challenging fish imaginable: the great white shark. Continue reading

Watch the Story of “Jenny”

MarineBio’s Director of Marine Mammals, Erich Hoyt, urges you to watch this powerful video then make your voice heard to stop the IWC.

With a decision on a proposal that will lift the ban on commercial whaling for the next ten years only a few weeks away, and the members of the European Union still struggling to find a common position concerning a practice which is strictly prohibited by law within European Union waters, leading European actor, Mario Adorf has added his voice to the anti-whaling movement by narrating a moving campaign film on behalf of the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS). Continue reading

Oil slick enters Gulf loop current

From the Orlando Independent Examiner:

NASA satellite imagery on Monday shows that the rapidly expanding oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico has entered a powerful current known as the Loop Current, which flows through the straits of Florida and along the eastern seaboard as far north as North Carolina before heading out into the Atlantic. The entrance of the oil slick into the Gulf Loop Current is what officials fear will be a catastrophic event. Continue reading

Low on gas… BP or Exxon?

Photograph by Carlos Barria, Reuters

Neither. Both companies were grossly negligent in my opinion. I’ll take my chances and keep driving until I find a gas station whose logo doesn’t make my stomach turn. All this finger-pointing blame game by BP makes me ill. And I’m not the only one. Obama said today:

Referring to a congressional hearing Tuesday in which industry executives were grilled about what caused the spill, the president said he “did not appreciate what I considered to be a ridiculous spectacle during the congressional hearings into this matter. You had executives of B.P. and Transocean and Halliburton falling over each other to point the finger of blame at somebody else.” “The American people could not have been impressed with that display, and I certainly wasn’t,” Mr. Obama said. Continue reading

Impact of the Gulf tragedy on marine life?

I can’t tear myself away from the coverage of the Gulf oil tragedy. It seems the solution to stopping the flow is days if not weeks away. I wonder why oil tankers aren’t being used to contain the oil from the spill?

The loss of human lives was tragic. The impact on  human lives will be tragic. What will be the impact on marine life?  This couldn’t have happened at a worse time for some of the most fragile, and important, ecosystems and breeding grounds for Gulf species that are in the midst of spawning season. It’s spring in the Gulf. Spawning, migrating, incubating, hatching. It’s all happening now. I keep hearing about how this is going to impact seafood production for a decade. OK. Well, this is going to impact the very survival of some species forever. Including Homo sapiens.

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2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill

William Colgin / EPA / April 30, 2010

The Gulf, particularly on the Florida panhandle, is where I grew up on the ocean—as often as possible from Atlanta, Georgia. It’s where my love of the ocean began and where my commitment to marine conservation began. This spill might be a small problem compared to some of the issues the ocean is facing, but it’s heartbreaking nevertheless. Why? I think Carl Safina of the Blue Ocean Institute says it far better and with far more knowledge than I can: Continue reading

Interview with Dr. Sylvia Earle

Today I spent 15 minutes, 31 seconds (but who’s counting?) on the phone with Dr. Sylvia Earle. Wow. What a huge honor. And for me, a dream come true. As you know from my previous post — she’s a hero to me and more importantly, to the ocean. Without further waxing poetic… here’s what we talked about. Read it — then go see disneynature oceans posterOCEANS as soon as possible — and spread the word!

MarineBio (MB): How would you describe the changes in the oceans since you first began your career as a scientist and explorer? Continue reading

The impact of heroes… Dr. Sylvia Earle

You know that question “if you could choose 3 people, alive or dead, to have dinner with, who would you choose?” For me, the person who always springs to mind first is Dr. Sylvia Earle. She became one of my “dinner heroes” when I read her book Sea Change: A Message of the Oceans. Never judge a book by its cover? Well, I did — and it changed my life. The bright blue cover and the fish caught my eye as I passed a table at Barnes & Noble and I bought the book on impulse. I read it on vacation in the Florida panhandle and couldn’t put it down. I remember sitting on the beach in Destin reading until the sun went down absolutely shell-shocked (pun purely intentional) by the state of the ocean described by Dr. Earle. Continue reading