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The Blog Aquatic

News, opinions, photos and facts from Ocean Conservancy

Happy Father’s Day!

Posted On June 14, 2014 by

Today is dedicated to celebrating all the amazing dads in the world. However, human dads aren’t the only spectacular paternal figures in nature. Here are some examples of great ocean dads who might be as incredible as your dad.

Emperor Penguins

After traveling over 60 miles inland on Antarctica and laying her egg, the female emperor penguin makes the long journey back to the ocean to hunt for food. This leaves the male emperor penguin to care for the egg for two months. Trying to breed in the Antarctic winter was the easy part for these dads. The male will carefully keep his egg covered by his feathered skin, called a brood pouch, to protect it from the extreme Antarctic cold of June and July. While caring for the egg, this penguin dad will forgo eating to ensure his baby’s safety. By the time mom comes back two months later, the male emperor penguin may have lost nearly half of his body weight. Since fat is the main way that emperor penguins stay warm, it’s a testament to these dads’ devotion to their young that they’re able to endure the Antarctic cold on half their body weight. Once reunited, penguin parents share the responsibility of taking care of their chick by taking turns feeding it and keeping it warm.

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The World is Ready For the Our Ocean Conference, and the Conference is Ready For You

Posted On June 12, 2014 by

Photo: Alexis Valauri-Orton

On June 16-17th, Secretary of State John Kerry and the Department of State will bring together scientists, stakeholders and leaders from around the world for the Our Ocean Conference. This international event will focus on three pressing ocean issues: sustainable fisheries, marine pollution, and ocean acidification. I am honored to be speaking on the ocean acidification panel at this conference.

I will be sharing stories I gathered from my year-long Watson Fellowship, studying how ocean acidification might affect human communities around the world. Over that year, I saw just how far-reaching ocean acidification’s impacts could be. We already know, from our experience in the US, that it hurts shellfish growers and the communities that depend on them. But around the world, there are whole countries and communities that depend on threatened species, such as coral for tourism, and fish for food and livelihoods. The stories I heard convinced me that we need to raise awareness and take action against ocean acidification at the international level. Here are some of those stories:

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Announcing Ocean Conservancy’s Summer Marine Wildlife and Seascape Photo Contest

Posted On June 11, 2014 by

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.

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EPA Helps Address Ocean Acidification

Posted On June 2, 2014 by

Photo: Misti Weathersby

Today, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy announced that the agency is proposing new rules to dramatically reduce carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. The new rules, which the EPA is calling their “Clean Power Plan,” would reduce carbon emission from existing power plants by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, an amount equal to the pollution emitted by more than 150 million cars. But what does all of this mean for the ocean? Many people may not realize it, but by proposing the Clean Power Plan, the United States took a significant step towards addressing ocean acidification. Reducing carbon pollution from power plants means there will be less carbon pollution in the atmosphere. And less carbon pollution in the atmosphere means less carbon pollution that is absorbed by the ocean, turning it more acidic.

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An Ocean of Thanks to Mothers

Posted On May 9, 2014 by

Sunday is a very special day that we dedicate to celebrating mothers. Don’t worry Fathers, we haven’t forgotten about you; we have a special blog planned for you on Father’s Day. We know that your mom is amazing, but today we’d like to pay special tribute to a few magnificent ‘moms of the sea’ who astound us with how well they take care of their young.

If you thought taking care of one baby was tough (it is!), a female polar bear typically gives birth to two cubs! A mother polar bear takes care of her cubs for a little over two years before they have all the necessary skills to survive on their own in one of Earth’s harshest environments, the Arctic. Some of a mother polar bear’s biggest challenges are to keep her cubs warm and safe. She digs a den in the deep snow drifts to create a safe haven from the elements. Using her body heat and warm milk, she keeps her cubs warm. During the first two years of life, she teaches her cubs how to hunt, avoid danger, maneuver on sea ice and use their keen sense of smell.

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Don’t Forget the Ocean on Earth Day

Posted On April 22, 2014 by

As you celebrate Earth Day, don’t forget that over 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is under the ocean—it makes up 99 percent of the living space on our planet, and is home to half of all species on Earth! More than 2.6 billion people depend on the ocean as their primary source for protein.

Even if your home is landlocked and you don’t eat fish, the ocean is a key part of your life. Did you know that half of all the oxygen in the atmosphere comes from the ocean? The ocean is so important to us; please join me in celebrating it today. And share the ocean love by sending an Earth Day ecard to your friends!

With serious threats from plastic pollution to ocean acidification facing this vital resource, Earth Day is also a great time to take action to protect the ocean!

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