News and Updates

Community Updates - External Link
Posted on December 10, 2013 - 2:09pm, by SeaPlan

After overseeing the development of the National Ocean Policy Implementation Plan for the past two years, the architect of the 2009 Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan has joined the independent nonprofit ocean science and policy group SeaPlan. As a Senior Partner, Mr. Babb-Brott will play a central role in facilitating public-private partnerships and supporting the development of ocean planning and management approaches that promote coastal and ocean ecosystem resilience and marine economies. 

In the News
Posted on December 9, 2013 - 11:20am, by nwehner

Dear Friends & Colleagues,

Today we announce the release of the redesigned Reef Resilience Toolkit:, including the new Coral Reef Module. The Coral Reef Module provides a comprehensive suite of training and knowledge-sharing resources, including the latest coral reef science and management methods, making relevant science accessible to managers, and highlighting challenges and solutions for coral reef managers. Our online Toolkit offers a webinar series on hot topics in coral reef management, relevant summaries of recent publications, case studies, and a bi-monthly newsletter.

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Posted on December 9, 2013 - 11:12am, by JGardner

By Julie Gardner, Dovetail Consulting, jgardner [at]

I was on a long-awaited hiking trip to the national parks in southern Utah last month – the exact week they were closed. Utah’s not traditionally a national park-loving state, but after a few days of furor resulting from the federal government shutdown, the governor anted up enough funds to pay for re-opening the parks. That was quite the unintentional experiment: it revealed the true economic value of protected areas, as income to businesses and communities in the vicinity of the parks had plummeted.

Here in Canada the Harper Government (thus branded by the Prime Minister) has been steadily axing the budget of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), as if to see how far he can go before impacts are so obvious that funding has to be restored. This follows on a history of diminishing federal support for delivering programs critical to marine resources.

Community Updates - External Link
Posted on December 5, 2013 - 1:14pm, by nwehner

Via The New York Times

"On the face of it, the value of a marine reserve — the equivalent of a national park or wildlife preserve on land — seems obvious. The oceans are in trouble, and setting aside regions of biodiversity, where fishing is strictly limited, if not prohibited, is one of the few effective means of protecting many species at once. But politically, there is nothing simple about creating marine reserves in international waters. Recently, China and Russia succeeded in blocking, yet again, the creation of a large marine reserve in Antarctica."

Community Updates - External Link
Posted on December 2, 2013 - 2:35pm, by nwehner

Via National Geographic

"By Shaunna McCovey

The Tolowa Dee-ni’ of the Smith River Rancheria in California have always been the caretakers of the ocean and coast. During the summer months, Tolowa families set up camps to fish for smelt on the local beaches. Caught smelt are elaborately arranged on the sand to dry while Tolowa fishermen and women watch carefully as their shiny skins turns opaque in the sun."

Community Updates - External Link
Posted on December 2, 2013 - 10:53am, by nwehner

Via the World Resources Institute

"This is the first installment of WRI’s new blog series, Adaptation and the Private Sector. Each post will explore ways to engage the private sector in helping vulnerable communities adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Adapting to the impacts of climate change—like heat waves, increased floods, and natural disasters—is an enormous challenge. It’s also one that comes with an enormous price tag. Although it’s difficult to calculate the extent of the costs, the World Bank estimates that developing countries need $70 to $100 billion USD per year through 2050 to meet their current and future climate adaptation needs."

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Posted on November 26, 2013 - 2:39pm, by scosgrove

By Sean Cosgrove, Conservation Law Foundation, SCosgrove [at]

The 113th Congress can honestly be considered the “Real Do Nothing Congress.” To date their most significant act has been to shut down the federal government and narrowly avoid a default on the Nation’s debt. With that as a record there’s no place to go but up. Right now, however, the US Congress has three specific opportunities to close out the year and possibly retrieve some manner of holiday redemption in the form of genuine ocean achievements.

The Senate and the House of Representatives have both passed separate versions of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) and the bill is now in the conference committee. The WRDA bill authorizes the US Army Corps of Engineers to build and otherwise carry out water resources projects and allows the expenditure of considerable amounts of taxpayer dollars to do so.

Community Updates - External Link
Posted on November 26, 2013 - 11:35am, by nwehner

Via Talking Fish

"The other day I had one of those subtle thoughts, that as they arrive on your conscious mind, seem to bring their own sense of profundity as to ones relationship to others in this world. That thought was, that as a fisherman, I go back and forth from home to job, as many do, but in doing that I traverse between land and its normal surroundings of houses, streets and towns etc., into what many would consider the “other worldly” realm of the ocean. To me this is a seamless transition of little note, much the everyday affair. The rest of the population, however, often show signs of either; holding the ocean in awe, almost lost in its natural wonders or “Blueness”; or as others are, tragically, all too willing to disregard the ocean’s importance to us altogether."

Community Updates - External Link
Posted on November 26, 2013 - 10:30am, by nwehner

Roundtable debate on the use of the ecosystem-based approach in maritime spatial planning and integrated coastal management

Lunch will be provided
Date: 4 December
Location: European Parliament, Room ASP 7 F 387
Time: 12.00 - 14.00