Ocean Currents » The News Aquatic http://blog.oceanconservancy.org News, opinions, photos and facts from Ocean Conservancy Tue, 25 Apr 2017 13:47:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 “Easy to Love” http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2016/11/01/easy-to-love/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2016/11/01/easy-to-love/#comments Tue, 01 Nov 2016 13:30:06 +0000 Ronald Morales http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=13274

I recently joined Ocean Conservancy, and I found myself learning more about many sea animals. While doing so, I found one particular sea animal “easy to love”.

I started really appreciating manatees! I know–perhaps you were expecting a cute turtle or dolphin, but I started falling for manatees and found them to be “easy to love” for various reasons.

First, they are very gentle. If you ever encounter one, they’re probably eating, resting or traveling to a warm water environment–the life. Imagine living that lifestyle! I thought about it too, and after making some calculations, I realized it was too early to retire.

Another reason why I find them so lovable is because they are frequent nappers! Because they are mammals and need to breathe air, manatees can only stay under water for a short period of time. When they are under water, that’s when they are sometimes found napping. They typically nap for a short period of time, then swim up to the surface for air. This is common for them–especially after a long, energetic day.

Manatees do not have any enemies and tend to mind their own business. Though they don’t have many predators, they sometimes get hurt by watercrafts. They are slow-moving animals, so dodging boats is tough for them; although they can swim 20 miles per hour, when needed. Reminds me of gym class when I wanted extra credit.

Lastly, they’re adorable! How can you not be charmed by these sweet gentle giants? What’s even more endearing is that they’re closely related to elephants, which is one of my favorite animals. I can kind of see the resemblance between the greyish skin tone and small eyes.

Maybe one day I’ll have the chance to swim with these “easy to love” sea animals. Until then, I’ll keep figuring out how I can have their lifestyle.





http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2016/11/01/easy-to-love/feed/ 1
Revolutionary Marine Life Data Released in the Mid-Atlantic http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2016/10/04/revolutionary-marine-life-data-released-in-the-mid-atlantic/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2016/10/04/revolutionary-marine-life-data-released-in-the-mid-atlantic/#comments Tue, 04 Oct 2016 16:15:42 +0000 Katie Morgan http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=13055

Do you remember how excited we were in June when a revolutionary set of maps depicting where marine mammals, fish, and birds are distributed in New England was released? Well, let’s just say, we were pretty excited. You can only imagine our excitement when the Mid-Atlantic released a similar set of maps this month, characterizing the spatial and temporal distributions for over 100 species in the region.  This is a big deal.

Off the coast of the Mid-Atlantic lies a beautiful and complex ocean ecosystem, from shallow coastal bays to deep offshore canyons. This ecosystem is home to an array of species, many of which move in and out of the region at certain times of the year. In an effort to better understand how species are distributed throughout the region across space and time, a group of scientists undertook one of the largest known efforts to gather and synthesize species data. The draft products were just added to the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal, substantially increasing our knowledge base of marine life for ocean managers, stakeholder, and the public.  While they are draft versions and therefore still subject to review and changes, this is a huge step forward for our understanding of marine life in the region.

Click on the photos below to view gallery

Marine Mammal - Senstivity to Low Frequency Sounds - Core Abundance - MidA Scale surface plungers core abundance area mida scale blog-Avian-Species---High-Collision-Sensitivity-to-Infrastructure---Core-Abundance---Mid-Atlantic-Scale





Interested in knowing marine mammals that are sensitive to high frequency sound are likely to be found? Want to know where endangered bird species are likely to be distributed? What about where the core biomass of forage fish is found? There is now a map for all of that.

Head on over to the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal to explore these data, and more!

http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2016/10/04/revolutionary-marine-life-data-released-in-the-mid-atlantic/feed/ 0
Celebrating International Women’s Day http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2016/03/08/celebrating-international-womens-day/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2016/03/08/celebrating-international-womens-day/#comments Tue, 08 Mar 2016 17:30:03 +0000 Jackie Yeary http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=11587

I consider myself lucky to work at Ocean Conservancy for many reasons—not the least of which is the incredible, passionate group of female colleagues who inspire me to work my hardest every day, and have served as an amazing set of mentors in my professional life.

In honor of International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating the important work done by Ocean Conservancy’s women in conservation. They’ve answered some questions about their professional experience, and offered their advice for anyone who may be looking to enter the field of conservation themselves!

Who or what inspires you to continue the work you do?

“As an advocate, environmental attorney, and working mom, I am inspired by all the women who have done it before me. It’s great to see that the tide really is turning—having kids no longer has to derail your career.  My professional life is filled with ladies who kick ass on all fronts.”—Ivy Fredrickson, Staff Attorney, Conservation Programs

“Two things: nature and people. Seeing the beauty of the ocean and its denizens, and knowing how much people love and rely on the ocean for everything from sports to relaxation to food to water, air, and life itself.” —Anna Zivian, Senior Research Fellow

“This is cheesy, but my mom volunteered a ton when I was a kid. When I grew up and had to pick a career and find a job, I don’t think I realized there was anything else to do except work that strives to improve the world around you. Environmental conservation is my passion, but it definitely grew out of that sense of civic duty that came from spending so much time on volunteer efforts in my community growing up.” —Addie Haughey, Senior Manager, Government Relations

“The people I work with inspire me. Their passion, commitment and drive to create a better world make me excited to come to work every day.” —Amy Fonville, Director, Membership

“Making the world a better place! My work in Development allows me help Ocean Conservancy members fulfill their wishes of leaving a legacy in protecting our ocean for future generations.” —Kisbel De La Rosa, Planned Giving Officer

“The ocean is such an amazing and important system that we know relatively nothing about. How crazy is that?! Every day I learn something new. Every day! I hope it stays that way forever.” —Sage Melcer, Research Assistant

“My earliest inspirations came from my grandparents, who had a deep love for the environment; I have lovely memories of playing in the rivers where I grew up.  I am always inspired by my creative friends and the world around me. I was also lucky to have a graduate advisor, Dr. Amy Rosemond, who is a constant champion for women in science.” —Amy Trice, Policy Analyst, Ocean Planning

What advice would you give to young women looking for a career in your field?

“First, be fearless! Second, think about your skill set and what you enjoy doing day to day and how that can intersect what you enjoy learning about. There are so many multi-disciplinary fields these days like environmental journalism, environmental health and toxicology, environmental law, business and environmental sustainability, even accounting for a non-profit in a field you love. You don’t have to be a PhD research scientist to be in the field of conservation… but you sure can if you want!” —Tracy Parsons, Director, Program Development

“Don’t be afraid to go off-script and make up your own path. Your career may never look like anyone else’s, and that’s fine! At the end of the day, if you made a difference, you’ve succeeded.” —Sarah Cooley, Science Outreach Manager

“You don’t have to take “no” for an answer. When I wanted to apply for my first research grant, a professor told me that I wasn’t qualified and should get more experience first. I applied anyway and got the grant. Had I let him shake my confidence, I wouldn’t be doing the research I am today. “ —Erin Spencer, Digital Coordinator

“Don’t let stereotypes of what you are or are not—in my case ‘scientists are not good communicators’— become a crutch for not improving yourself or enhancing your skillset.” —Alexis Baldera, Conservation Biologist

“Never underestimate the contribution you can make in preserving our precious ocean.  Take your best skills and explore with your mentors how you can apply those talents in a way that benefits ocean and marine wildlife conservation.  That’s what I did and it has made all the difference.” —Charlotte Meyer, Director, Planned Giving

“Find a mentor! If you see a woman you admire, ask her to coffee and pick her brain! And support women leaders in your workplace—there still aren’t that many women at the top of the conservation field, and that needs to change.” —Bethany Carl Kraft, Director, Gulf Restoration

“Consider extended travel or studying abroad. Marine science is as much about how people and cultures interact with the ocean and its resources as it is about uncovering the lives of the creature themselves. Considering these motivations from different perspectives will help you solve problems wherever you land.” —Elizabeth Fetherston, Marine Restoration Strategist

Want to share your story? Join the conversation on Twitter by following  @OurOcean! We’ll be sharing questions throughout the day about what it’s like to be a woman in the field, and sharing profiles of some of our own inspiring staff members using #WomenInConservation.

http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2016/03/08/celebrating-international-womens-day/feed/ 0
Ode to Oysters (or, Happy National Oyster Day!) http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2015/08/05/ode-to-oysters-or-happy-national-oyster-day/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2015/08/05/ode-to-oysters-or-happy-national-oyster-day/#comments Wed, 05 Aug 2015 19:57:42 +0000 Julia Roberson http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=10639

© Rick Freidman / Ocean Conservancy

Oysters – my all-time favorite seafood, and often my favorite food, period. I can be sitting in an oyster bar, miles from the ocean, and when I eat one I can practically feel sand between my toes and smell the salt in the air. I would eat oysters every day of the week if I could. But I understand that they’re not everyone’s cup of tea. A quick poll among my colleagues revealed that people seem to fall into two camps – rabid oyster lovers, or those that think they taste like salty sea snot (I’m looking at you, George Leonard). But love them or hate them, oysters are a major part of the ocean and coasts we know and love, and National Oyster Day is the perfect time to learn a little more about these animals:

  1. They’re some of the hardest working animals in the ocean. An adult oyster is capable of filtering 25-50 gallons of water a day! Check out this time lapse from Florida Oceanographic Institute of a tank of oysters cleaning water. The entire Chesapeake Bay could be filtered in just five days before oysters were reduced to just 1% of their historic population. Speaking of the Chesapeake, it’s an Algonquin Native American word that means “Great Shellfish Bay.”
  2. They don’t just filter water– oyster reefs shelter fish and crabs, and with filtered water comes more seagrass, which is a feeding and breeding ground for other species that we love to eat – like rockfish and blue crabs.
  3. Oysters take on the flavor of the water where they’re grown. One of my favorite oyster businesses on the East Coast, Rappahannock River Company, has a fantastic little restaurant in Topping, Virginia, called Merrior. Owner Travis Croxton put a twist on the term ‘terrior,’ used to describe the environment in which a particular wine is produced, to describe the marine environment where their oysters are grown. East Coast oysters tend to be saltier and brinier while West Coast oysters tend to be a little sweeter.
  4. Oysters and oyster growers are vulnerable to ocean acidification. As carbon emissions are absorbed by the ocean, the sea water becomes more acidic, and oysters have trouble building their shells. In 2006 to 2008, some oyster growers in the Pacific Northwest nearly declared bankruptcy because they lost more than 80% of the baby oysters (or oyster larvae). The good news is that states like Washington, Oregon, California, Maine, and Maryland – where coastal communities depend on a healthy ocean to grow and harvest oysters, clams, mussels, lobsters – are taking action to tackle acidification. These actions include funding for research on commercially important species – like salmon or lobster – that may be impacted by acidification, and exploring ways to reduce pollution from land (like stormwater runoff and other types of coastal pollution) that makes acidification worse. And just last week Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Washington) introduced a bill that would improve the monitoring of ocean acidification and direct federal agencies to examine how coastal communities would be impacted.
  5. The recently released Clean Power Plan is good for the ocean, and therefore oysters. While states across the country are doing what they can to address ocean acidification, to truly solve this problem we need to reduce the amount of carbon pollution being absorbed by the ocean. The Clean Power Plan announced earlier this week aims to reduce emissions from power plants – the biggest sources of carbon pollution – by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. As an oyster lover I’m thrilled that we are now facing a future of cleaner air and cleaner water.

Now if you’ll excuse me, all this talk of oysters is making me very hungry. Guess what I’ll be having for lunch today? And if you’re eating oysters today, don’t forget to take a #shellfie and tag Ocean Conservancy on Instagram or twitter – we’ll share it. Happy National Oyster Day!

http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2015/08/05/ode-to-oysters-or-happy-national-oyster-day/feed/ 11
Announcing the Winners of the 2015 Marine Wildlife and Seascape Photo Contest http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2015/08/05/announcing-the-winners-of-the-2015-marine-wildlife-and-seascape-photo-contest/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2015/08/05/announcing-the-winners-of-the-2015-marine-wildlife-and-seascape-photo-contest/#comments Wed, 05 Aug 2015 18:12:37 +0000 Jackie Yeary http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=10616 "Survival" by Ben Hicks "Lunge Feeding" by Emma Levy "Bald Eagle on Ice" by Elaine Hester "Burmese Leg Rower" by Jane Saull "Porcelain Crab in Anemone" by Kathy Krucker "Sealed In" by Jim Ingraham "Great Blue Heron at Dusk" by Bill Camarota


This summer, we asked all of you to submit your best photos to our 2015 Marine Wildlife and Seascape Photo Contest. We were amazed by all of the beautiful images that you submitted and incredibly grateful for those of you who voted. After weeks of deliberation, our judges have spoken! Here are the winners from this year’s photo contest!

A hearty congratulations to Emma Levy and Ben Hicks for claiming the top two prizes!

“Survival,” the photo by Ben Hicks, shows a baby loggerhead turtle swimming beneath some Sargassum seaweed in Boca Raton, Florida. Judges loved the expression Ben captured on the the little turtle’s face, as well as the colors of the Sargassum against the water, earning him the “Judges’ Choice” award. Ben was also a runner-up in our Winter 2014 Marine Wildlife and Seascape Photo Contest.

Emma’s photo, “Lunge Feeding” features two humpback whales feeding anchovies in their summer feeding grounds off of California. It received the highest number of public votes and earned the “People’s Choice” award.

This year’s contest also featured winners in the following categories:

  •  Arctic: “Eagle on Ice” by Elaine Hester
  • Ocean at Work: “Burmese Leg Rower” by Jane Saull
  • Marine Invertebrates: “Porcelain Crab in Anemone” by Kathy Krucker
  • Marine Mammals: “Sealed In” by Jim Ingraham
  • “Our Ocean” (General): “Great Blue Heron at Dusk” by Bill Camarota

Thank you again to everyone who participated in this year’s photo contest, as well as the panel of judges who made this contest possible. We look forward to seeing all of your entries next year!

http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2015/08/05/announcing-the-winners-of-the-2015-marine-wildlife-and-seascape-photo-contest/feed/ 9
Enter the 2015 Marine Wildlife and Seascape Photo Contest http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2015/06/12/enter-the-2015-marine-wildlife-and-seascape-photo-contest/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2015/06/12/enter-the-2015-marine-wildlife-and-seascape-photo-contest/#comments Fri, 12 Jun 2015 17:28:18 +0000 Jackie Yeary http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=10316

That perfect sunrise while you were walking barefoot on the beach. That snorkel trip when a dolphin swam right up to you.

You know the feeling of getting the perfect photo. Now is your chance for everyone else to see it too!

Enter your pictures into the 2015 Marine Wildlife and Seascape Photo Contest now. Don’t wait. The deadline is June 23.

You just might see your photo on the next Ocean Conservancy calendar—that more than 100,000 people (including me) will have hanging on their wall. Plus you could win some wicked cool prizes.

This year’s prize categories include:

  • A gray whale blue bag from our partner Rockflowerpaper
  • A travel softshell cooler from Landshark Lager*
  • An Ocean Conservancy winter hat
  • An Ocean Conservancy plush animal
  • A one-year membership to Ocean Conservancy

After you enter, share the link with your family and friends for your chance to win the People’s Choice Award! Our panel of judges will select the Grand Prize Winner and the five category winners.

Good luck!

*Winners must be 21 or older to receive the Landshark Lager cooler.

http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2015/06/12/enter-the-2015-marine-wildlife-and-seascape-photo-contest/feed/ 0
Diverse Stakeholders Deliver Unified Message to Congress and Administration: Smart Ocean Planning Makes Sense http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2015/03/27/diverse-stakeholders-deliver-unified-message-to-congress-and-administration-smart-ocean-planning-makes-sense/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2015/03/27/diverse-stakeholders-deliver-unified-message-to-congress-and-administration-smart-ocean-planning-makes-sense/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 15:15:04 +0000 Christine Hopper http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=10028

Stakeholders meet with Representative Kuster of New Hampshire (center)

Last month, 42 stakeholders from across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic came to DC to speak with Congress and the Administration about the benefits they are seeing from the regional ocean planning efforts currently underway in these regions.  Representatives from commercial fishing, offshore renewable energy, ports and maritime, shipping, undersea cables, recreational fishing and boating,  as well as research, education and conservation organizations, and more came together to deliver a common message – smart ocean planning makes sense.

These stakeholders met with 57 Senate and House offices, Senate Commerce Committee staff, the National Ocean Council at the White House, U.S. Coast Guard, and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). In each meeting, the stakeholders  voiced their support of a process that gives them a seat at the table with state and federal government agencies to address management of their regional ocean resources and ocean uses.

The message was simple: ocean planning is moving forward and has real benefits to states and industries.  It provides a seat at the decision-making table for ocean users across the region and seeks to proactively identify ocean uses and resolve conflicts before they become problematic.   Anti-National Ocean Policy riders in Congress would undermine the ocean planning work that the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions have already invested in; these riders are motivated by political agendas from outside these regions that have nothing to do with the practical, pragmatic work being done.

These 42 industry, academic, and conservation representatives outlined their individual interests in the regional ocean planning work, stressed the need for further collaboration among the group, and asked Congress and the Administration for their support  in ensuring regional ocean planning work moves forward unimpeded.

Ocean Conservancy supports coordinated ocean management decisions between state and local governments and ocean users to establish a healthier ocean and a thriving coastline.

DSC_9319_edit DSC_9375_edit image RepLarson_MaryAnnHorrigan ]]>
http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2015/03/27/diverse-stakeholders-deliver-unified-message-to-congress-and-administration-smart-ocean-planning-makes-sense/feed/ 0