Every year around Mother’s Day I’m reminded of how lucky I am to have both a mother and grandmother who have been there to guide me during the challenging times in life. Recently, this got me thinking that there are probably tons of examples of great mothers in the ocean who are similarly there for their children over the years. So whether you’re a mother yourself or you completely forgot it was that time of year and you need to rush to the store today, take a minute to celebrate Mother’s Day with us and read on to find out more about some awesome ocean mothers:
Manatee mothers show a tremendous dedication to their offspring that starts with nursing within a few hours of giving birth. Their calves are usually weaned within a year, but these mothers typically stick around for up to two years, and are often found right alongside their calves. Mother manatees actively block predators by swimming in between the calf and any potential threat. Furthermore, manatee mothers not only provide their children with nutrition, but also teach them about feeding areas and preferred travel routes.
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When you think of the Arctic, you probably think of a pristine area largely untouched by human hands. But even though few people get a chance to see the Arctic firsthand, that’s not stopping our trash from making the journey.
Plastic in the water is the last thing the Arctic needs right now. This past summer, Arctic sea ice melted to its smallest size in the history of satellite measurement. Each year, the amount of Arctic ice (or lack thereof) during summer months stirs up conversations about the health of Arctic ecosystems and potential implications for our global ocean. But Arctic ice is not the only barometer of ecosystem health; instead, we must also take a critical look at what’s below the icy water’s surface.
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Credit: Alaska FWS
Unlike some of my Ocean Conservancy colleagues, I’ve never traveled to the Arctic, never felt awe in the presence of marine animals like polar bears while working to protect them and their frozen haunts.
But I’ve read plenty of riveting accounts, and see spectacular photos and videos of polar bears languishing on the ice, or plunging into frigid seas to swim incredible distances. I’ve been drawn to the irresistible antics of their cuddly cubs, and awed by the terrible, beautiful power of one male charging another that dares move in on his mate.
I don’t need to visit the Arctic to support my conviction: The world needs polar bears. To me, it’s just a matter of faith. The planet would be bereft without these majestic icons. But we may be facing a world without them. What can we do? Continue reading »
To the Arctic follows a polar bear mother and her two cubs through a changing world. Image from MacGillivray Freeman Films.
Arctic drilling may not seem like something that affects most of us. After all, when was the last time you had a chance to dive into icy Arctic waters with walruses or follow polar bears across vast stretches of sea ice? But now, you can experience the Arctic from the comfort of a theater seat with “To the Arctic,” a new IMAX® movie by MacGillivray Freeman.
The film, narrated by Meryl Streep, follows a polar bear and her two cubs as they make their way through the rugged Arctic landscape. Along the way, you’ll see amazing images of our rapidly changing world, including stunning footage of wildlife, sweeping stretches of tundra, ghostly northern lights, and sculpted icebergs dotting the ocean.
But there are some things you shouldn’t see in the Arctic—like offshore drilling rigs. This summer, Shell is planning to drill for oil in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas off the north and west coasts of Alaska. Continue reading »