Let’s Make Life Better Down Where It’s Wetter – Under the Sea

By Sarah Martin, Communications Associate, The Ocean Foundation

barrakudaAfter working at The Ocean Foundation for a little over a year,  you would think I would be ready to dive right in…literally. But before I went underwater, I wondered if I had learned too much about the bad and the ugly to focus on all the good there was to see in the ocean. I got my answer quickly as my SCUBA instructor motioned for me to keep swimming instead of just floating enchanted by the marvels around me. My mouth would have been agape, except for you know, the whole breathing underwater thing. Continue reading

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Who are the Marine Mammals?

By Michael Stocker, Founding Director of Ocean Conservation Research, a project of The Ocean Foundation

The sea otter (Enhydra lutris) lives in Pacific coastal areas from Alaska to California, and in Russia. Photo courtesy David Menke, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The sea otter (Enhydra lutris) lives in Pacific coastal areas from Alaska to California, and in Russia. Photo courtesy David Menke, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

When folks in the conservation community think of marine mammals whales typically top the list. But there are quite a few more marine mammals to celebrate this month. The Pinnipeds, or “fin footed” seals and sea lions; the marine Mustelids – otters, the wettest of their kin; the Sirenians which include the dugongs and manatees; and the polar bear, considered a marine mammal because they spend most of their life in or above water.

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The Fish at the Heart of the Food System

This article originally appeared on Limn and was co-written by Alison Fairbrother and David Schleifer

You have never seen a menhaden, but you have eaten one. Although no one sits down to a plate of these silvery, bug-eyed, foot-long fish at a seafood restaurant, menhaden travel through the human food chain mostly undetected in the bodies of other species, hidden in salmon, pork, onions, and many other foods. Continue reading

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Lionfish: beautiful invaders of the Caribbean and East Coast

By Laura Sesana
This article originally appeared on CDN

The Calvert Marine Museum in Solomons, Maryland will be educating museum goers about the dangerously invasive Lionfish that threaten Caribbean waters and reef systems. Lionfish are beautiful and exotic, but as an invasive species that is not native to the Atlantic, their rapid proliferation is could cause major environmental and economic problems. With long venomous spikes and flamboyant appearance, Lionfish are brightly colored and have dramatic fans of projecting venomous spines that make lionfish easily identifiable. Members of the genus Pterois, scientists have identified 10 different species of lionfish. Continue reading

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Part 3: After the Storm – Plastics in the Ocean

By Mark J. Spalding, President, The Ocean Foundation and Caroline Coogan, Foundation Assistant, The Ocean Foundation

At The Ocean Foundation, we have been thinking a lot about consequences.  We are saddened by the tragic human stories of loss in the wake of storms such as the one that struck St. Lucia, Trinidad & Tobago, and other island nations on Christmas Eve.   There has been an outpouring of sympathy and assistance to those affected, just as there should be.  We have been asking ourselves what are the predictable elements of the aftermath of storms and what can we do to prepare for the aftermath?   Continue reading

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How Ocean Philanthropy Can Turn the Tide

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

It’s hard to imagine anyone who has not been changed by an experience of the sea.  Whether it is to walk by her side, swim in her cooling waters, or float on her surface, the vast expanse of our ocean is transformative.  We stand in awe of her majesty.  Continue reading

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Part 2: The Aftermath of the Surge – What the Ocean Carries Home

Angel Braestrup, Chair, Board of Advisors, The Ocean Foundation

All over the world, 2012 and 2013 will be remembered for unusual amounts of rainfall, powerful storm surges, and unprecedented flooding from Bangladesh to Argentina; from Kenya to Australia.  Christmas 2013 brought an unusually intense early winter storm with calamitous flooding and other effects to St. Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago; and other island nations, such as the United Kingdom where additional storms just expanded the damage from early December’s record storm surge.  And it is not just at the ocean’s edge that communities are feeling change.  Continue reading

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Sleeping with the enemy – if we don’t learn to live with climate change we are doomed!

By Nirmal Jivan Shah of Nature Seychelles and TOF Advisory Board Member
This blog originally appeared in the International Coalition of Tourism Partners Member News

It is the biggest story of our lifetime – a tale of epic proportions. The plot up to now: How is climate change affecting us and how do we cope? Continue reading

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Part 1: Storm Surge: When the Ocean Comes Ashore

By Angel Braestrup, Chair, Board of Advisors, The Ocean Foundation

We’ve all seen the pictures and videos.  Some of us have even witnessed it firsthand.  A big storm pushes water ahead of it as it churns its way up the coast, the strong winds making the water pile up on itself until it hits the shore and then it rolls inward, depending on how fast the storm has been moving, how long the strong winds have been pushing the water, and the geography (and geometry) of where and how it hits the coast.  Continue reading

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In Gratitude with Optimism

Every friend of the ocean is important, of course, and so are the donations they make.  And sometimes, we get a donation that is accompanied by a note that makes it clear that some of the gifts we receive are particularly important to the giver.  This past year was no exception—the mailman delivered dozens of heartfelt messages about the ocean and its future from people who took the time to share the why of their giving.  Continue reading

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