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The Blog Aquatic

News, opinions, photos and facts from Ocean Conservancy

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This Spring, Create an Ocean-Friendly Organic Garden (Part 1)

Posted On March 19, 2013 by

With spring quickly approaching, it’s time to think about your gardening plans. If you’d like help going organic or starting from scratch, we’ve created a guide with the help of an industry pro. This topic will be split into two segments, with the first dedicated to a how-to and the second geared toward a few reasons that might (read: should) make you change your mind about greening your garden.

I interviewed my friend, Melissa Kuzoian, who works at the Brooklyn Grange in New York City, for some tips. The Brooklyn Grange boasts the largest rooftop soil farm in the world–and it’s all organic! They own two separate lots in the city and harvest over 40,000 pounds of produce annually, grown on a total of about 2.5 acres.

That’s not all the Brooklyn Grange has to offer, though; you can do anything here from taking a general tour, to hosting a corporate retreat, a cocktail reception and even tying the knot! For New Yorkers especially, this is the perfect place to get closer to the earth while in the middle of it all.

In 2010, the Brooklyn Grange crew started a process that “took six days of craning 3,000lb soil sacks seven stories up to the roof.” Today, they’ve created a harvest haven in New York. There are always events going on at the Brooklyn Grange, so if you’re in the area I encourage to stop by and show this amazing farm some love. Want to try some of their homegrown produce for yourself? Stop by one of the restaurants or markets they partner with!

So what can you do to create your own little garden paradise?

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Casting a Wider Net for Fisheries Data: Ocean Solutions from Anglers

Posted On February 22, 2013 by

A friend emailed me a link the other day to an article in the Hispanic Business News entitled “App for Anglers also Helps Fisheries Management”. He asked me, “is this legit?” Yes, it is!

The article describes this cool new smart phone app, called iAngler. IAngler is a smart phone app developed through collaboration between research scientists and anglers. At its heart, iAngler is an effort to engage fishermen into fisheries management. The creation of iAngler was largely driven by the Snook and Gamefish Foundation (SGF), who partnered with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) for scientific guidance. SGF has developed a fast and easy way for fishermen to make their catch and their fishing experience count. The partnership is already paying off. Information from the program has already been used in FWC’s recent assessment of snook.

As Rick Roberts, Executive Director of SGF says, “we want to promote anglers to keep score of their catch on the water, much like a golfer on the course.” Whether anglers accomplish this via an app for iPhone and android phones or use a simple data card and log the information online from their desktop after a recent fishing trip, the information counts by providing data on angler habits, as well as their catch (or lack thereof), to researchers evaluating stock assessments of a fish.

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Innovation at the Miami Boat Show

Posted On February 18, 2013 by

 

Being a waterman who has owned boats ranging from catamarans to skiffs throughout my life, I always look forward to the Miami Boat Show — a premier event each year for those of us who love the salt life.   Thanks to the generosity of the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), Ocean Conservancy was granted a complimentary booth at the show to share our GoodMate “Charting a Course to Clean Water” program made possible by the Brunswick Foundation.

It was inspiring to see the advancements and mindset of the boating and salt life community toward conservation  on display throughout the show.

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Five Tips for a Low-Trash Super Bowl Tailgate

Posted On February 2, 2013 by

Fans at a football game

Image adapted from mattradickal flickr stream

Heading to a tailgate for Super Bowl XLVII? Here are a few quick tips to reduce your trash impact and keep our planet healthy while cheering on your team.

Make your own food: Opt for delicious homemade salsa, grilled meats and salads over store-bought or take out options. You’ll eat (a little) healthier, be able to buy in bulk and can use your own reusable containers to bring everything in.

Cloth beats paper: If cloth were an option in rock, paper, scissors, it would totally beat all three. Bring cloth napkins and towels for clean up and you’ll not only eliminate fly-away possibilities, but you’ll also greatly reduce the trash produced. Make them from cloth in your team’s colors and show some extra team spirit to boot!

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Green Your Groceries

Posted On February 1, 2013 by

So you already bring your reusable grocery bags every time you go shopping. Did you know that there are more opportunities to cut back on plastic consumption at the grocery store – without giving up any of your favorite products?

Fresh fruit, vegetables, and bulk items, like nuts and grains, are often stocked alongside single-use plastic bag dispensers. While most shoppers instinctively tear away bag after bag as they move down the aisles, many grocery stores give you the option to use your own bags and jars. When you do, you reduce the number of plastic bags entering the waste stream – and you’re making a difference for the ocean.

How It Works: Tare weight

Your re-usable jars and bags are heavier than single-use plastic bags, and it’s easy to account for this weight. Before you shop, talk to the customer service staff at your grocery store about finding the “tare weight” of your jars and bags – that’s simply how much they weigh when they’re empty.

Mark the tare weight of your jars and bags on a tag or sticker, and then go shop! When you weigh your purchases for pricing, subtract the tare weight from the total. The difference is the weight of your goods, and you’re ready for check-out.

Bulk Bins: Nuts, Grains, Dried Fruit, Beans, and more

Bring your own jars or bags to the bulk bins. You can reduce your use of plastic bags and bottles by scooping everything from oatmeal to peanut butter straight into your jars. Bonus: they look nice in your kitchen cupboard, too!

Produce: Fruit and Vegetables

Use mesh produce bags to carry your fruit and vegetables. They’re re-usable and compact, and they’ll help you cut back on the number of plastic bags you bring home from the grocery.

Saving the Ocean, One Tip at a Time

Posted On January 31, 2013 by

Credit: Hash Milhan via Flickr

Even though we won’t know if winter will last another six weeks until Punxsutawney Phil makes headway on Saturday, I’m sure that some of you are hungry for starting up a few DIY projects at home as the weather slowly turns the corner to the long-awaited Springtime. Since we’ve all heard our fair share of stories about when DIY goes wrong, we here at Ocean Conservancy figured providing a few tips on the subject could prove helpful. With ocean health in mind, we published a recent blog post, “Re-Energize Your Home to Save Money, Energy and the Ocean.”

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Re-Energize Your Home to Save Money, Energy and the Ocean

Posted On January 28, 2013 by

CFL lightbulb

Photo: derekGavey via Flickr

Whether you live on the beach or many miles from it, you can bring the ocean home by taking small steps to reduce your impact around the house. These tips to save energy, reduce waste and cut water usage will help keep the ocean healthy and may even save you money.

Here are four ways to re-energize your home:

  1. Use CFLs. When your old incandescent lightbulbs burn out, replace them with compact fluorescent lamps (or CFLs), which use less power and last longer. These bulbs will also save you money over the long term by reducing your electricity bills. And don’t forget to recycle your old lightbulbs so they don’t end up in a landfill—or in the ocean.
  2. Slow the flow. Showers account for about 17 percent of in-home water usage. Install low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators to keep water pressure up while cutting usage up to 70 percent and saving you money on your water bill.
  3. Use it, then defuse it. Did you know that some electronics continue to sap energy even when they’re not in use? Electronics like computers, printers, DVD players and even your microwave are common culprits—consuming power even in standby mode. You can save energy by unplugging these electronics when you’re done with them or when you’ll be away for an extended period of time. Installing a power strip is a great way to switch off multiple appliances at once.
  4. Tap it. Plastic beverage bottles are among the top three items found during beach cleanups around the world. You can help reduce that number by filling a reusable bottle instead. Use a filter to purify your tap water and save money in the process.