OpenChannels Overviews

OC Overview
Posted on December 20, 2018 - 3:42pm, by abrown

Created in 2003 and managed by NOAA’s National MPA Center, the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee (MPAFAC) provides actionable recommendations and policy guidance to the Secretaries of Commerce and Interior, and to their state, tribal and local counterparts, on timely issues facing MPAs throughout the coastal, marine and Great Lakes waters of the United States.  The committee’s 20 members represent diverse perspectives about marine protected areas (MPAs) and ocean management, and work together to craft consensus-based solutions to today’s important challenges.

OC Overview
Posted on December 11, 2018 - 9:07am, by raye

Drones help map sea level rise

Scientists can now get precise measurements of coastal zones through a combination of drone use and photogrammetry, which measures depth through pictures. This low-cost method could aid in protecting coastal species and towns threatened through sea-level rise. (via phys.org)

Vessel exhaust’s impact on Southern resident killer whales

Washington State scientists are collecting scat to assess if the Southern Resident pods are ingesting harmful chemicals. Analysis of the fecal matter found Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, or PAH, a seriously harmful toxin found in oil and gas. As year-long residents, the whales are constantly exposed PAH. (via The Journal of the San Juans)

Argentina Establishes 2 Marine Protected Areas in the Patagonian Sea 

Argentina has increased its MPA coverage to 126,000 square kilometers through the creation of two new MPAs - the Yaganes, which is south of Tierra del Fuego, and the Namuncurá-Burdwood Bank II in the South Atlantic. (via National Geographic)

Warming in Arctic Raises Fears of a ‘Rapid Unraveling’ of the Region

The Arctic continues to melt at an unnerving rate. As more and more ice is loss, a looping event happens where heat rises from the now exposed water causing more ice to melt and so the story goes. Because of these events, we are all more likely to see unusual extreme weather patterns. (via NY Times)

OC Overview
Posted on December 3, 2018 - 10:26am, by raye

Celebrating 20 years of Indigenous protected areas, a good news story in a week of turmoil

Recently, members of the Australian government and Indigenous Rangers went to a barbecue. The event celebrated Indigenous Protected Areas (IPAs) and the people who live in and manage them. Created 20 years ago, IPAs continue to serve as land and water conservation zones. This barbecue is to celebrate the stewardship of the Rangers and the land itself. (via The Guardian)

OC Overview
Posted on November 26, 2018 - 7:58am, by raye

Could California’s ocean ranches solve a global food shortage and fix the seafood trade deficit?

The Catalina Sea Ranch is a 100 acre plot of ocean located six miles off the coast of Huntington Beach, California. At the ranch farmer Phil Cruver grows mussels. However he dreams a larger dream. Mr. Cruver plans to expand the ranch to 3,000 acres splitting it evenly between mussel, seaweed, and cage cultures. (via The Washington Post)

OC Overview
Posted on November 14, 2018 - 1:47pm, by raye

Scientists acknowledge key errors in study of how fast the oceans are warming

A recent Nature study found that the ocean absorbed 60% more heat per year than previously believed. In recent post-review, inaccuracies were discovered within the margin of error causing the percentage of heat in the ocean to be higher. (via The Washington Post)

OC Overview
Posted on November 5, 2018 - 10:35am, by raye

Suspending whale-watching tours, breaching dams recommended to save orcas

Washington State Governor Jay Inslee's Southern Resident Killer Whale Task Force has compiled a list of thirty-six recommendations to strengthen the future outlook for this threatened population. These goals will focus on increasing numbers of chinook salmon, decreasing water contamination, and lessening vessel noise. (via KOMO News)

OC Overview
Posted on October 29, 2018 - 12:54pm, by raye

Startling new research finds large buildup of heat in the oceans, suggesting a faster rate of global warming

The ocean is discovered to yearly intake 60% more heat than previously known. In previous news, the IPCC warned that the earth can only warm 1.5 degrees celsius more before serious damage occurs. Having already warmed 1 degree celsius, the ability to keep our warming to less than .5 is going to be even more difficult. If these results can be retested and are found to be reliable, it would mean that much greater action is needed to help our planet (via The Washington Post)

OC Overview
Posted on October 23, 2018 - 9:52am, by raye

A 14-year-long oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico verges on becoming one of the worst in U.S. history

In another case of “are you serious, how has this been happening??” Taylor Energy, an oil company,  is reported to have failed in informing both the public and government officials about a consistent oil spill, and has since being found continuing to lie as to the amount of oil being dispersed. This comes at the same time that President Trump approves a controversial plan for oil drilling along Alaskan federal waters, hiring a somewhat less than reputable oil company. (via Washington Post)

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