News and Updates

Community Updates - External Link
Posted on August 4, 2014 - 11:31am, by nwehner

Via Practical Boat Owner

"The Scottish branch of the Royal Yachting Association has thrown its support behind the 30 new Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), saying they are not anticipated to cause any problems for recreational boaters.

Instead the MPAs should serve to help protect the beautiful waters of Scotland that so many sailors enjoy.

RYA Scotland has worked closely with Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and other marine recreation organisations in the Scottish Boating Alliance, with the associated cross-party Recreational Boating and Marine Tourism group to make sure that recreational boating is given due consideration."

Community Updates - External Link
Posted on August 4, 2014 - 11:24am, by nwehner

Via Alaska Business Monthly

"Leading into the August Congressional work period, Alaskan Congressman Don Young continued his legislative push to defend Alaskans from federal policies that would hurt our local economies and negatively impact our communities [citation needed!]. To ensure Alaskan waters are not unilaterally closed off to vital economic activities like fishing, natural resource development and marine commerce, today Congressman Young introduced legislation to prohibit the Secretary of Commerce from designating new marine sanctuary areas under the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, without first seeking Congressional approval. 

The legislation comes following a June 10, 2014 announcement by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that it would reform its nomination process for new national marine sanctuaries, which could unnecessarily impact areas stretching 200 miles from Alaska’s coast, known as the exclusive economic zone (EEZ)."

Community Updates - External Link
Posted on August 4, 2014 - 11:21am, by nwehner

Via Newport News Times

"Just in case a National Marine Sanctuary is ever nominated to be established off the southern Oregon coast, Lincoln County’s Board of Commissioners are on the record as opposing it.

The board agreed Wednesday that it opposes “nomination, designation and creation of a proposed federally protected marine sanctuary,” and would vote on a revised resolution at its Aug. 6 meeting."

In the News
Posted on August 4, 2014 - 10:34am, by nwehner

The governors of Washington, Oregon, and California have submitted a joint public comment to BOEM's 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program.

The governors agree that the risk of potential oil spills are too great to their local economies and the natural environment. They also suggest utilizing low-carbon energy sources as a preferred method for future energy needs.

MPA News

In April 2014, the technology company Google hosted a unique meeting at its headquarters in California. Involving several dozen scientists, technology engineers, conservationists, and politicians, it was a two-day discussion on the future of ocean surveillance. Presentations covered such technologies as drones and satellite-tracking systems for vessels, and included occasional nods to Google's own enterprises. The latter included futuristic concepts like Project Loon, Google's proposed global network of high-altitude balloons for collecting and relaying data.

MPA News

At its annual meeting in June 2014, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee decided to delay a decision on whether to add the Great Barrier Reef to its list of World Heritage in Danger, opting instead to have Australia submit an updated report on the state of the site's conservation by February 2015.

MPA News

On 17 June, US President Barack Obama proposed a significant expansion of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, which currently covers 225,000 km2 around multiple US-governed islands and atolls in the south-central Pacific (Howland, Baker, and Jarvis Islands; Johnston, Wake, and Palmyra Atolls; and Kingman Reef).

MPA News

The TerraMar Project, a US-based NGO, is on a mission to build an engaged, global community in favor of high seas conservation - a "voice for the high seas." Founder and President Ghislaine Maxwell notes that the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea grants shared ownership of the global marine commons to all humankind. TerraMar's programs - including social media friendly initiatives to "claim" a favorite ocean parcel or to publicly pledge one's love for the ocean, among other initiatives - are designed to help spread the word about this shared ownership to the general public.

MPA News

Scotland designates 30 new MPAs

In July, Scotland announced its designation of 30 new marine protected areas. The spate of designations is aimed at protecting a range of habitats and species while allowing sustainable use of the sea where possible, including fishing. All together, the new MPAs cover 12% of Scotland's waters, and include seamounts, cold water coral reefs, and other habitats.

Community Updates - External Link
Posted on July 31, 2014 - 11:08am, by nwehner

The Online Ocean Symposium is having an interactive streaming video discussion on Discovery's SharkWeek with shark experts, science reporters and even partners of Discovery. 

Shark Week is a week-long phenomenon where it seems all eyes are on sharks. First broadcasting in 1987, Discovery’s Shark-centric programming has been making a huge splash ever since. Throughout the years, there have been examples of both really jawsome (jawesome) programming, and some real disappointments that were downright miseducational. Groups like Upwell have found that this week notes an explosion of interest in these marine animals and have taught “sharkinars” on how scientists and conservation groups can harness this frenzy.

This hangout will be bringing together different voices form the Shark Community, and even some of those participating in Discovery’s work, to chat about this year’s programming, events and lessons from the past. Come dive into #SharkWeek !

Wed, Aug 6, 3:00 PM - 3:45 PM US Eastern Time