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Ocean Currents

News, opinions, photos and facts from Ocean Conservancy

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Action After Tragedy: The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill

Posted On March 22, 2017 by

This is one anniversary that I don’t like celebrating.

Friday will be the twenty-eighth anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska. Nearly 11 million gallons of oil spewed into the ocean over the course of three days. Even today, there are still some places in Prince William Sound where you can find oil that is as toxic as it was 28 years ago.

But, I’m optimistic that we can learn from the mistakes of the past and work together to make sure another Exxon Valdez doesn’t occur off the coast of Alaska. We saw first-hand what happens when we don’t take preparedness seriously.

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Why We Can’t Let Congress Dismantle the Endangered Species Act

Posted On March 20, 2017 by

One of my favorite conservation success stories happened in the ocean.

In my home state of California—southern sea otters were hunted to near extinction for their fur coats in the early 1900’s. But miraculously, a small population of fifty animals survived, hidden from hunters on the Big Sur Coast. They were placed on the Endangered Species list in 1977, and this small population has made an unbelievable comeback.

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A Commitment to an Arctic Free of Heavy Fuel Oil

Posted On February 6, 2017 by

In a time of uncertainty for people and the environment, I am happy to write that a positive step towards a more sustainable Arctic took place last week at the Arctic Frontiers conference in Tromsø, Norway.

Hurtigruten, a world-leading expedition cruise ship operator, joined international environmental organizations to launch the Arctic Commitment.

The Arctic Commitment asks businesses and organizations to step forward and call for a phase-out of polluting heavy fuel oil (HFO) from Arctic shipping. The Arctic Commitment makes a clear challenge to businesses and organizations to spearhead the protection of Arctic communities and ecosystems from the risks posed by the use of HFO to power ships.

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Victory for New York Waters

Posted On December 8, 2016 by

This piece was written by Mike Martinsen, Co-founder and Co-president of Montauk Shellfish Company Inc.

For forty years, I have worked as a bayman in New York’s rich waters. You could find me bullraking hard clams, sail dredging oysters, dredging bay scallops and potting lobster. I have earned a living from these waters my whole life. Declines—and the occasional full crash—in  shellfish stocks, however, have forced me to look at other occupations.

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5 Things You Didn’t Already Know About Polar Bears

Posted On October 30, 2016 by

Polar bears are the best. And if you’re reading this, chances are you’re already a fan. Regardless of your affinity for these incredible animals, there’s always more to learn.

Today marks the beginning of Polar Bear Week, and to celebrate the occasion we’ve tracked down five new facts about Ursus maritimus. Ready to brush up on some trivia?

1.      Polar bears wag their heads when it’s time to play

Polar bears communicate through body language, and will often wag their heads from side to side to signal that it’s time to play. Playtime is ritualistic of mock fighting, and the perfect opportunity for polar bears to brush up on their best moves. To initiate play, polar bears will stand up on their hind legs with their front paws at their sides and chins lowered to their chest.

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5 Tricks for a Fin-tastic Underwater Halloween

Posted On October 25, 2016 by

Ocean Sunset
It’s that time of year again: jack-o-lanterns are stacking front porches, you’re craving candy a little more than usual and cobwebs are finally fashionable. It’s Halloween.

This year, we’re sharing some inspiration to transform your Halloween into a Pinterest-perfect ocean event. From costumes, to party treats and décor, here are five ideas to get you started. (And be sure to follow us on Pinterest for even more!)

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