Our Sea Turtle Community

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The Green Sea Turtle is the only species to come ashore regularly to bask.

Some years back, I was at a conference in far northern Malaysia not far from the Thai border.  One of the highlights of that trip was our night visit to the Ma’Daerah Turtle Sanctuary where a release of Green Sea Turtles was happening.  It was great to have the opportunity to meet the people who are devoted to protecting the turtles and the places they depend on.  I have had the good fortune to visit sea turtle nesting sites in many different countries.  I have witnessed both the arrival of females to dig their nests and lay their eggs, and the hatching of tiny sea turtles, weighing less than half a pound.  I have marveled at their determined journey to the water’s edge, through the surf, and out to the open sea.  They never cease to amaze. Continue reading

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How Lucky to Participate in Protecting a Life So Rare

Guest blog, submitted by Debbie Greenberg
This post originally appeared on Playa Viva’s website. Playa Viva is a Friends of Fund within The Ocean Foundation and is led by David Leventhal. 

One week ago I was fortunate enough to accompany members of the La Tortuga Viva turtle sanctuary on one of their nightly patrols of the beach near Playa Viva and beyond. They search for sea turtle nests in order to protect the eggs from poachers and predators by moving them to their nursery for safekeeping until they hatch and are released.

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The Thermoregulating Ectotherm

By Jake Zadik, a former communications intern with The Ocean Foundation who is now studying in Cuba.

So, you ask, what is a thermoregulating ectotherm? The word “ectotherm” refers to animals that generally have a body temperature comparable to their surrounding environment. They cannot internally regulate their body temperature. People often refer to them as “cold-blooded”, but this term tends to misdirect people more often than not. Ectotherms include reptiles, amphibians, and fish.  These animals tend to thrive in warmer environments. Continue reading

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More, Bigger, Better Marine Conservation

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

Late last year I attended a meeting to talk about how to make sure we did more, bigger, better marine conservation.  One of my peers referred to this as addressing the problem of how to take marine protection to scale.  Covering nearly 70% of the planet and home to thousands of species of plants and animals, the ocean certainly represents a huge management problem.  Continue reading

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Fishing for Seagrass

By Sarah Martin, Communications Associate, The Ocean Foundation and Antonio Pena, Stern Fishing

Recreational fishers may understand the importance of seagrass better than most people. Without healthy seagrass habitats there wouldn’t be as many fish in the sea, or fish big enough to take out of the sea. But we who fish, guide fishing trips and depend on the recreational fishing industry can also cause damage to seagrass if we aren’t careful about raising our propellers, or trying to power out (or even getting towed out) after getting high centered by low tide.  While some prop scars and some blow holes re-colonize and re-heal themselves, others can be a lasting harm that grows with erosion. Continue reading

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Seagrass: the Renaissance Meadow of the Ocean

By Sarah Martin, Communications Associate, The Ocean Foundation
This article originally appeared on CDN

In March 2007 former Florida Governor Charlie Christ designated the month as Seagrass Awareness month in the state. One may ask why this measure was taken, what seagrass is and why we are writing about it now. Continue reading

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Ocean Connectors’ Students Bring Good “Whale Luck!”

By Frances Kinney, Director, Ocean Connectors

Ocean Connectors students are getting a reputation for being good-luck aboard the Marrietta.  In partnership with Flagship Cruises and Events, Ocean Connectors brings 400 children whale watching for free aboard the Marrietta each year.  For the past month Ocean Connectors students from National City, California have been observing migrating gray whales as they swim along the coast of Southern California en route to Mexico.  The Eastern Pacific population of gray whales has been steadily increasing in recent years, leading to some extraordinary whale sightings for children who have never been on a boat before, despite living just miles from the Pacific coastline. Continue reading

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2/3 of Nothing: What We Really Know About the Conservation of Marine Mammals

Photo courtesy of Alana Yurkanin/Marine Photobank

Photo courtesy of Alana Yurkanin/Marine Photobank

By: Jacob Zadik, Communications Intern, The Ocean Foundation

Marine mammals represent some of the most interesting and remarkable creatures on the face of this earth. Though not vast in their number of species compared to other clades of animals, they are the front-runners in many extreme and exaggerated characteristics. The blue whale is the largest animal to have ever lived on earth. The sperm whale has the largest brain size of any animal. The bottlenose dolphin has the longest recorded memory, ousting the previous memory champ the elephant. These are only some examples. Continue reading

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Southern California Marine Mammal Workshop

By Mark J. Spalding, President, The Ocean Foundation

The room was alive with greetings and chatter as the participants gather for the first session.  We were in the conference facility at Pacific Life for the 5th annual Southern California Marine Mammal Workshop.  For many of the researchers, veterinarians, and policy specialists, this is the first time they had seen each other since last year.  And others were new to the workshop, but not to the field, and they too found old friends.  The workshop reached its maximum capacity of 175 participants, after starting with just 77 the first year.   Continue reading

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True Blue Giving

By Emily Franc, Grants and Research Associate, and Sarah Martin, Communications Associate, The Ocean Foundation

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When you envision your vacation do you picture yourself sitting next to litter or swimming with debris?  Probably not… We all want the fantasy we see in advertisements for resorts of pristine beaches, clear water and vibrant coral reefs. JetBlue and The Ocean Foundation are working together to help bring that dream a little closer to reality. Continue reading

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