The Blog Aquatic » Jackie Yeary http://blog.oceanconservancy.org News, opinions, photos and facts from Ocean Conservancy Wed, 22 Oct 2014 12:00:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 42 Years of the Marine Mammal Protection Act http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2014/10/21/42-years-of-the-marine-mammal-protection-act/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2014/10/21/42-years-of-the-marine-mammal-protection-act/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 13:10:37 +0000 Jackie Yeary http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=9358

Marine mammals are some of the most beloved animals in our ocean. Whether you have a soft spot for majestic whales, playful seals or adorable sea otters, you have reason to celebrate. Today marks the 42nd anniversary of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, an important piece of legislation that protects all marine mammal species found in U.S. waters.

The Act protects whales, dolphins, polar bears, walruses and many other marine mammals (approximately 125 species). This Act “prohibits, with certain exceptions, the ‘take’ of marine mammals in U.S. waters and by U.S. citizens on the high seas, and the importation of marine mammals and marine mammal products into the US.” This means any attempt to harass, hunt, capture or kill marine mammals is illegal without special permits.

Some threats faced by marine mammals face come from boaters and tourists. You can reduce these threats by following the guidelines developed by NOAA for responsible marine wildlife viewing. The guidelines may differ slightly by region or species, but there are also general rules to follow if you encounter a marine mammal in the wild—such as keep a respectful distance, and never attempt to touch or feed the animal.

The Marine Mammal Protection Act has given threatened and endangered species a chance to rebound. Hopefully, with increased awareness and continued protection, the marine mammals we love will continue to thrive in our ocean, and people will enjoy these amazing animals for generations to come.

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Two Days Until the International Coastal Cleanup http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2014/09/18/two-more-days-until-the-international-coastal-cleanup/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2014/09/18/two-more-days-until-the-international-coastal-cleanup/#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 15:31:37 +0000 Jackie Yeary http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=9242

The International Coastal Cleanup is only two days away! We can’t wait to see all of you at your local beaches and waterways this weekend! You can check out our map to find the cleanup location nearest you, if you haven’t already.

If you’re planning on coming to the cleanup, we recommend that you wear closed-toe shoes, sunscreen and a hat. If you have work gloves or a bucket, feel free to bring them along, but our Cleanup Coordinators will provide any other supplies you may need.

If you’re on Instagram or Twitter, be sure to tag your posts with #2014Cleanup so we can see all of the great work you’re doing! And if you find anything cool or unusual, send us a photo tagged #WeirdFind. We’ll be sharing some of our favorites on our social media channels!

We’re so grateful that you’ll be joining us for the 29th annual International Coastal Cleanup! It’s an important part of solving our ocean trash problem. Thank you again for signing up– and we’ll see you at the beach on Saturday!

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Sharks are Jawesome http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2014/08/10/sharks-are-jawesome/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2014/08/10/sharks-are-jawesome/#comments Sun, 10 Aug 2014 12:00:22 +0000 Jackie Yeary http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=8971

Photo: Cheryl Black

It’s that time of year again—Shark Week!

We love Shark Week because it’s an entire week dedicated to one of the ocean’s coolest animals. With more than 500 species, there are a lot of reasons to love sharks! Here are some of our favorite shark facts.

  • Sharks belong to a class of animals called Elasmobranchs, which also includes rays and skates. The animals in this group have “bones” made up of cartilage—the same stuff that’s found in your nose and ears.
  • Sharks come in all shapes and sizes! The smallest species of shark, the dwarf lanternshark, is only 8 inches long! That’s about the size of a pencil! On the other hand, the whale shark is the biggest fish in the sea! It can be over 40 feet long and weigh 20 tons!
  • Sharks have lots of amazing adaptations to make them perfectly suited to live in their environments. The Goblin shark has a set of protusive jaws, which project from its mouth to catch prey. When you live in the depths of the ocean, it’s important never to miss a meal! And the bull shark?  It’s not just restricted to saltwater—it can swim in freshwater and brackish water to search for prey!

  • Sharks have electroreceptors on the sides of their body. This allows them to sense magnetic fields underwater. Scientists believe these highly sensitive receptors allow sharks to detect the muscular movements of their prey, as well as navigate during long journeys.
  • Speaking of long journeys—sharks travel far! They swim hundreds of miles across the ocean. One shark, nicknamed Lydia, recently became the first known shark to cross the mid-Atlantic ridge, an underwater mountain range separating the Eurasian and North American  tectonic plates.
  • Sharks eat just about anything. Fish, sea lions, and even other sharks. Tiger Sharks (who are sometimes called the “garbage disposals” of the ocean) have been found with tires, liscense plates and other trash in their stomachs.
  • Sharks have a lot more to fear from people, than people do from sharks. An estimated 100 million sharks are killed by humans every year. And a recent report from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) estimates that a quarter of sharks and rays are threatened with extinction.

Want more shark facts? We’ll be sharing lots of shark content all week long! Tune into our Twitter account every night to see our live tweets of Shark Week’s programs.

We’re also hosting a Fin-tastic Google Hangout on Thursday, August 14th at 11:00 a.m. EST. We have several great panelists, including David Shiffman, Juliet Elperin, and Dr. Joe Quattro. You can submit your questions on Twitter using the hashtag #SharkWeekOC.

We’re looking forward to a great Shark Week, and we hope you are, too!

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And the Winners Are… http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2014/07/28/and-the-winners-are/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2014/07/28/and-the-winners-are/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 19:42:01 +0000 Jackie Yeary http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=8844

Congratulations to the winners of Ocean Conservancy’s Summer 2014 Marine Wildlife and Seascape Photo Contest! With more than 1,200 entries, we were amazed at the beautiful images that all of you submitted.

The top two prizes were awarded to Ian Lindsey and Christian Martinez, whose photographs received Judges’ Choice and People’s Choice. Ian’s photo “Honu Gathering” depicts a group of sea turtles gathered on a Hawaiian beach at sunset, while Christian’s image “Ocean, Waves and Nature” perfectly captures the beauty of a Puerto Rican beach.

This summer’s contest also included winners from five different categories: Arctic, Our Ocean, Fish, Gulf of Mexico and Human Impact. The winners for these categories are:

Be sure to check out their beautiful images in the gallery below.

Judges' Choice: Ian Lindsey, "Honu Gathering" People's Choice: Christian Martinez, "Ocean, Waves and Nature" Arctic: Bill Boswell, "Puffin With Sand Eels" Our Ocean: Albert Oll Callau, "Pink Fluid" Fish: Erik Olsen, "Catch At Dawn" Gulf of Mexico: William Camarota, "Colorful Caspersen Sunset" Human Impact: Veronika Kinga Havas, "Baby Born"

 

Congratulations again to all of our winners!  To see more of our staff favorites, be sure to check out our Instagram. If you submitted a photo to our contest, don’t forget to look for it in our 2016 Ocean Wildlife Calendar.

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Announcing Ocean Conservancy’s Summer Marine Wildlife and Seascape Photo Contest http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2014/06/11/announcing-ocean-conservancys-summer-marine-wildlife-and-seascape-photo-contest/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2014/06/11/announcing-ocean-conservancys-summer-marine-wildlife-and-seascape-photo-contest/#comments Wed, 11 Jun 2014 13:23:14 +0000 Jackie Yeary http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=8485 Today is the launch of Ocean Conservancy’s Marine Wildlife and Seascape Photo Contest!

Does your photography celebrate the ocean? We’d love to see it! This contest is designed for you to share beautiful imagery of our ocean, waterways and coasts.

Enter your photos today to help celebrate the ocean, raise money for ocean conservation, and win great prizes! We have moved our photo contest from the winter to the summer and are expecting this change to bring in even more amazing photos.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Upload your favorite ocean-themed photos by July 8. Only photos that you have taken are eligible for submission.
  2. Enter your photo into one of five categories: Human Impact, Fish, Arctic, Gulf of Mexico, Our Ocean.
  3. Tell your friends about your photos and ask them to vote for you! For each dollar they donate, you will receive one vote. Not only will they be supporting your work, but they will also be supporting ocean conservation and helping wildlife. The photo that receives the most eligible votes will be crowned People’s Choice. You can vote at any time!

We also have a professional panel of judges that will select the Grand Prize Winner and the five category winners based on the quality of the entries—no votes necessary.

Your photo could be featured in Ocean Conservancy’s 2016 Ocean Wildlife Calendar—even on the cover!

Click here to learn more about our photo contest and enter your photos today.

We look forward to seeing the amazing places your passion for the ocean has taken you!

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Honoring the Women Who Fight for Our Ocean (Part 2) http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2014/03/27/honoring-the-women-who-fight-for-our-ocean-part-2/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2014/03/27/honoring-the-women-who-fight-for-our-ocean-part-2/#comments Thu, 27 Mar 2014 12:47:41 +0000 Jackie Yeary http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=7931 In honor of Women’s History Month, Ocean Conservancy will be publishing a three-part blog series highlighting some of the amazing female scientists who study and protect our ocean.

Kathryn Sullivan

We recently told you about Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, the astronaut-turned-ocean champion who was just confirmed as the head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA aims to provide “science, service and stewardship” to the American people. It works to understand and predict changes in weather, climate, the ocean and coasts, and to conserve and manage marine ecosystems and resources.

If being the first American woman to walk in space isn’t impressive enough for you, she’s also earned her chops as an ocean explorer.

After working as an astronaut for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, she served as an oceanographer in the U.S. Navy Reserve for 18 years, and became chief scientist for NOAA in 1993. She has also served as NOAA’s assistant secretary of commerce for environmental observation and prediction and deputy administrator. Sullivan’s roles have given her experience in a variety of topics, including fisheries biology, climate change and marine biodiversity.

With such a lifelong passion for the ocean, we’re happy to see her leading NOAA. She has proven that she cares about protecting the ocean and the people who depend on it. After being approved as head of NOAA, Sullivan said, “NOAA provides the environmental intelligence that helps citizens, businesses and governments make smart choices. Mission first, people always—this is my commitment to the American people and to the NOAA workforce.”

Sue Moore

Dr. Sue Moore is a NOAA biological oceanographer who studies the ecology, bioacoustics and natural history of whales and dolphins living in the Arctic. She currently serves on a variety of boards and committees for which she uses her scientific expertise to protect marine mammals from the effects of man-made sounds, whaling and other threats.

Moore has served on the U.S. delegation to the International Whaling Commission to push for the use of scientific data in the protection and management of vulnerable whale species. She’s also worked with the National Marine Mammal Laboratory and as an associate professor at the University of Washington.

Recently, some of her research has used acoustic sonobuoys and hydrophones (tools for recording underwater noises made by whales) to determine the number and distribution of whales, seals and other animals in the Arctic while seeing if sounds could be linked to behavioral patterns. As we continue to see changes in the Arctic, marine mammals are canaries in the coal mine. Scientists can gather insight into physical changes in their ecosystem through their behavior and response.

“Marine mammals can act as ecosystem sentinels because they respond to climate change through shifts in distribution, timing of their movements and feeding locations,” Moore said. “These long-lived mammals also reflect changes to the ecosystem in their shifts in diet, body condition and physical health.”

Sarah Cooley

Dr. Sarah Cooley is an earth scientist who currently works as the science outreach manager for Ocean Conservancy’s Ocean Acidification program. She recently joined us from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts where she researched communities affected by ocean acidification.

At Ocean Conservancy, Cooley continues to work with oceanographers, fishery scientists, economists, geographers and policy specialists to collect data on how quickly ocean acidification is occurring, how it affects marine species, how humans use those species and the potential it has to impact society and the economy.

Cooley has already begun a number of projects, including attending the 2014 Ocean Sciences Meeting in Honolulu. She’s also active in the social media sphere, sharing her thoughts on all things related to ocean acidification.

Regarding her passion for developing solutions to ocean acidification, Cooley said, “My hunger for exploring people’s experiences of global change has now lured me into the policy world. I’m excited to distill technical knowledge into lessons that real people can use to plan ahead.”

To view part 1 of the series, please click here.

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Announcing the Winners of the 2014 Marine Wildlife and Seascape Photo Contest http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2014/03/13/announcing-the-winners-of-the-2014-marine-wildlife-and-seascape-photo-contest/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2014/03/13/announcing-the-winners-of-the-2014-marine-wildlife-and-seascape-photo-contest/#comments Thu, 13 Mar 2014 17:30:01 +0000 Jackie Yeary http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=7781 People's Choice: Joseph Zarrella Judge's Choice: Alexia Dunand First runner-up: Aaron Goulding Second runner-up: Ben Hicks Third runner-up: Larissa Roorda Fourth runner-up: Richard Apple

This year’s photo contest was the best one yet! We received more than 1,700 beautiful entries. From dolphins to divers, you wowed our judges with your photographic prowess.

We’d like to offer our congratulations to Joseph Zarrella and Alexia Dunand for winning top prize.

Joseph’s photo, “Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle Playing in the Surf” collected the most public votes and earned the “People’s Choice” award.

Alexia’s photo, also of a green sea turtle, received the “Judges’ Choice” award.

With so many entries, our judges had to make a tough decision. The following photographs were recognized as finalists:

You can also see our staff picks on our Instagram page.

Thank you again to everyone who participated in this year’s photo contest. We look forward to seeing your entries during our next contest!

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