Yearly Archives: 2010

SEA-News: Subs for Science

by Kip Evans,SEAlliance Director of Expeditions and Photography Deep Worker (c) Kip Evans In 1977, Alvin, the first untethered manned submersible, was used to confirm theories of seafloor spreading along the Mid-Atlantic ridge. Much to the amazement of scientists, the area was home to a thriving community of organisms living in extremely hot, sulfuric rich water. This discovery, along with hundreds of others, has made Alvin and other manned submersibles, one of the most valid oceanographic tools in the world. During the past 30 years there has been a lot of debate about the need for using manned submersibles. After all, we have high-tech remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) capable of probing the ocean depths without depositing a single person in the water.…
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SEA-News: Why Hope Spots are Important for Sustaining Marine Biodiversity

by Brendan Tougher,SEAlliance Contributor SEAlliance Hope Spots, Google Earth Although 71% of the earth is made of water, currently less then 1% of the global marine environment is protected. As humans continue polluting and overfishing the ocean, it becomes increasingly evident that protected areas must be established. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) or Hope Spots as the Sylvia Earle Alliance (SEAlliance) calls them (http://www.thesealliance.org/hopespots) are gradually being established to partially compensate for destructive human activities. SEAlliance has identified 18 Hope Spots across the globe that are unique places critical to the health of the ocean. By focusing their efforts to impart protection through MPAs, the SEAlliance hopes to help increase awareness towards the need for protected areas in the ocean. This action will provide an environment in which marine life can thrive.…
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SEA-News: The Demise of Phytoplankton; Earths ultimate Producer

by Jake SultanSEAlliance Contributor Plankton Rich Water, Purple Striped Jelly (c) Kip Evans Phytoplankton are the oceans major consumer of carbon dioxide, a primary producer of atmospheric oxygen, and the base to any marine food web. In general, these tiny organisms that are often only visible through a microscope, make up the majority of plant-like material in the ocean. Tiny as they may be, these organisms are one of the most important living things on Earth, as they account for over half of the global primary production (the organic compounds that are built up by photosynthesis over time). Unfortunately phytoplankton abundance and diversity is reducing at a significant rate. Studies conducted by Canadian scientists revealed that over the past century there has been a consistent decrease in the number and diversity of marine phytoplankton, while the greatest loss continues to occur in the open ocean where phytoplankton primary production is highest.…
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SEA-News: Google Ocean 2010 Highlights

by Charlotte Vick,SEAlliance Interactive Partnership Coordinator Google Ocean’s 2010 has been a year of outreach, new ideas and solidifying partnerships. We are very pleased that hundreds of new stories have been added to the Explore the Ocean layer in Google Earth this year. Through mid-December, we have now trained nearly 1,500 people to add stories to that layer. Our original posting partners continue to find time to volunteer their content and new contributors hold the promise of even more.  In addition to our continued recruitment and training via email, telephone and social media, we reached out through personal appearances at a wide variety of venues including educational institutions, dive shows, conferences, environmental and ocean meetings introducing audiences of all ages to the Ocean in Google Earth.…
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SEA-News: Expeditions Recap for 2010

by Kip Evans,SEAlliance Director of Expeditions and Photography Whale Shark / Holbox  (c) Kip Evans Looking back on our expedition travels of 2009 and 2010, we made considerable progress towards elevating the case for both species and habitat protection. We laid the groundwork for future partnerships in Cuba, Belize, and Mexico. Our efforts saw measurable results in Holbox, Mexico, which is part of the Mesoamerican Reef Hope Spot and the site of our first “Mini expedition” and documentary film. Our short film – Isla Holbox-Whale Shark Island, won “best non-broadcast documentary” at the Blue Ocean Film Festival this past August. This film is now being used by both the Department of Tourism in Cancun and by scientists on Holbox Island to educate tourists, whale shark guides, and boat operators about the importance of protecting whale sharks.…
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SEA-News: A Message from Sylvia Earle

Sylvia Earle (c) Kip Evans 2011 is a few hours old . . .a good time to reflect on the all that has happened concerning the ocean since our shared Mission Blue days in the Galapagos — some of you in person, some in spirit. 2010 marked setbacks for blue fin tuna, sharks, the Gulf of Mexico, and plankton globally, but magnificent gains for the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, the waters aroundSal y Gomez in the eastern Pacific, and the Charlie Gibbs Fracture Zone in the North Atlantic. The amount of blue with some form of protection now exceeds one percent, although thearea where fish have true safe havens remains minuscule. The culmination of ten years of assessing the ocean by 2700 scientists working with the Census of Marinelife and the launch of Galatee’s film, Oceans, sparked global awareness of the magnificence— and vulnerability — of life in the sea, and its relevance to all of us.…
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Sylvia Earle is TreeHugger’s Person of the Year!

Photo by Kip Evans The SEAlliance is proud to announce that Dr. Sylvia Earle has been honored as TreeHugger’s Person of the Year for 2010!  As posted on Treehugger.com “When TreeHugger compiled a short list of contenders for the title of “Person of the Year” in 2010, we knew it would be difficult to choose a single winner. Everyone on the shortlist, we agreed, deserved some recognition.” “In the end, however, it became clear that if a Person of the Year was going to be named, he or she would be honored not only for a history of contributions to environmentalism but also for significant and specific accomplishments in 2010. This person, whose strong legacy was punctuated by recent notable achievements, is none other than “Her Deepness,” Sylvia Earle.” “Earle’s accomplishments range from diving records— she led the first team of femaleaquanauts, set a human depth record of 1250 feet in a JIM suit, and holds the women’s record of 3,280 feet for a solo dive in a deep submersible—to ocean engineering innovations, scientific discoveries to administrative leadership.” Click here to read the full article…
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Oceanographer Earle to Receive Mystic Seaport Award

Photo by Kip Evans World-renowned oceanographer, marine biologist, deep-sea explorer and author Sylvia A. Earle will be honored with Mystic Seaport’s America and the Sea Award at a gala held in her honor at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City on Wednesday, November 3. The award honors and celebrates those who embrace the scholarship, exploration, adventure, aesthetics, competition and freedom the sea inspires. Previous winners include pre-eminent yacht designer Olin J. Stephens II, author and historian David McCullough, President and CEO of Crowley Maritime Corporation Thomas B. Crowley, Jr. and philanthropist William I. Koch. Read the full article here.…
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Sylvia Earle: The Planet Is ‘In Serious Trouble’

In this video from CNN, Dr. Sylvia Earle recounts highlights from her history in oceanography. She talks about the 1969 program that was simultaneously working to put women under the sea while also putting men on the moon. Earle stresses the importance of protecting our oceans, saying that we need to “try to inspire an awareness of what the problems are, and to inspire those who have the capacity to solve problems to do just that.” She tells CNN that these next ten years may be the most important out of the next 10,000 “to secure for us an enduring future on this little blue planet that is already in serious trouble.” Click here to read the full article in the Huffington Post…
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Who is Mission Blue?

Mission Blue operates as an innovative, multi-year global alliance with multi-sector participation. Players from government, for-profit, media, education, conservation and other sectors coalesce on an ongoing basis with the goal of building collaborations and taking actions to increase global awareness about the urgent ocean crisis and reverse the decline of the ocean’s health…. Mission Blue is looking to accelerate the sharing of new ideas and knowledge, implement working solutions, and develop relationships—like those highlighted in the interview with Lorenzo—before time runs out…. Lorenzo Rosenzweig talks about the changing nature of collaboration in marine conservation and how FMCN and MAR Leadership are playing their part. Find out more about what FMCN is doing to contribute to Marine Conservation at www.marleaders.org and www.fmcn.org.Click here to read the full article on the MAR Leadership Site.Photo Credit: Riley Clark…
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