Swept up in a Turtle-nado

By Ben Scheelk, Program Associate, The Ocean Foundation
Volunteering with SEE Turtles in Costa Rica – Part II

If only there was a turtle week. Granted, sea turtles may not inspire the same potent mix of fear and wonder as their razor-toothed elasmobranch neighbors, and the thought of a waterspout sweeping up a bale of jellyfish-slurping, sea grass munching turtles may not be a compelling reason for mounting a chainsaw-defense worthy of the cheesiest B-movie, these ancient reptiles are among the most awe-inspiring creatures to inhabit the sea and certainly worthy of a week of prime-time TV. But, despite that sea turtles were around to witness the rise and fall of the dinosaurs, and they have shown an incredible ability to adapt to a changing ocean, the precipitous decline of sea turtles in the 20th century put their ongoing survival into serious question. Continue reading

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In Conservation We Trust

By: Ben Scheelk, Program Associate, The Ocean Foundation

In July 2014, Ben Scheelk of The Ocean Foundation, spent two weeks in Costa Rica volunteering on a trip coordinated by SEE Turtles, a project of The Ocean Foundation, to see firsthand some of the conservation efforts taking place throughout the country. This is the first entry in a four-part series on the experience.

Volunteering with SEE Turtles in Costa Rica: Part I Continue reading

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Ocean Acidification from Domestic to International

By Mark J. Spalding, President, The Ocean Foundation
A version of this blog originally appeared on National Geographic’s Ocean Views

The other week was bookended by talking about ocean acidification. I was in Minneapolis for the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators, and a few days later, I was at the Foreign Service Institute of the US Department of State. Continue reading

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A Wake-Up Call in Alaska’s Waters

This editorial is drawn from a study published July 29 in the science journal, Progress in Oceanography. It originally appeared in the Alaska Daily Dispatch.

A new study shows, for the first time, that ocean acidification is driving changes in waters vital to Alaska’s commercial fisheries and traditional subsistence way of life.    Continue reading

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Looking Back: Blue Learning and Green Living

By: Alexandra Kirby, Communications Intern, The Ocean Foundation

Photo by Alexandra Kirby

Photo by Alexandra Kirby

When I left for Shoals Marine Laboratory on June 29th, 2014, I did not know what I was getting myself into. I am from upstate New York, I am majoring in communication at Cornell University, and I can honestly say that, in my life, seeing open fields with grazing cows is more common than seeing marine life by the ocean. Nevertheless, I found myself headed to Appledore Island, the largest of the nine islands in the Isles of Shoals archipelago, six miles off the coast of the Maine, to learn about marine mammals. Continue reading

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On the CREST of Sustainable Coastal Tourism: Part 4

By Mark J. Spalding, President, The Ocean Foundation

The CTO/CREST 3rd Symposium for Innovators in Coastal Tourism I wrote about several days ago ended with a series of impassioned speeches that began with Grenada’s Ambassador to the US, Angus Friday, asking all of the delegates in attendance to redouble their efforts to share knowledge about sustainable tourism practices and opportunities, implement those practices, and expand the scope of the practices already undertaken.  Continue reading

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On the CREST of Sustainable Coastal Tourism: Part 3

By Mark J. Spalding, President, The Ocean Foundation

For the past several days, I have been writing about the 3rd Symposium for Innovators in Coastal Tourism, which was held in Grenada from July 8th to the 11th.   The Ocean Foundation helped sponsor the Symposium because it brings together an array of dedicated people who want to ensure that the world’s fastest growing industry—travel and tourism—is pushed towards better practices that will help communities and travelers alike benefit from this phenomenon.  Continue reading

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On the CREST of Sustainable Coastal Tourism: Part 2

By Mark J. Spalding, President, The Ocean Foundation

The CTO/CREST 3rd Symposium for Innovators in Coastal Tourism I wrote about several days ago opened with a ceremony that included the formal presentation of all of the flags of participating nations and territories of the Caribbean Tourism Organization solemnly carried one at a time by the members of a Grenadian youth organization.  It also included speeches that laid out the breadth and depth of the region’s dependence on tourism, economically, and the corollary environmental effects that needed to be mitigated in order to help nations make the most of their natural resources.  Continue reading

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The Ocean Solution

By Richard Salas

With the decline of the big-fish species in the last 50-60 years our ocean’s food web is out of balance, which spells trouble for us all.  The ocean is responsible for over 50% of our oxygen and regulates our climate. We need to take swift action to protect, preserve and restore our oceans or we stand to lose everything. The ocean covers 71 percent of our planet’s surface, and holds 97 percent of its water. I believe that as a species we need to focus more of our conservation attention on this, the largest piece of the planetary survival puzzle. Continue reading

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On the CREST of Sustainable Coastal Tourism

By Mark J. Spalding, President, The Ocean Foundation

Many of us who support ocean conservation do so by supporting and advising those who are actually getting their hands wet in the work, or those who champion the protection of endangered species at global and national ocean governance gatherings.  It is rare that I get to spend a little time in or even near the ocean.  Continue reading

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