Monthly Archives: April 2019

New Hope Spot in San Francisco Bay Highlights Need for Comprehensive Ocean Conservation Action

SAN FRANCISCO BAY, CALIFORNIA (APRIL 28TH, 2019) With 8 million people living in its watershed San Francisco Bay is the most urbanized estuary in the U.S. and development has taken a toll on its local marine life. But on April 28, the Bay will become the newest Mission Blue Hope Spot, injecting new life into conservation efforts. San Francisco Bay is a hotspot for marine biodiversity, with more than 500 species of fish and wildlife, including migratory salmon, herring and anchovies. Since the 1960s, billions of dollars and many volunteer hours have been invested to restore the Bay’s ecological health. These efforts have started to pay off: Water quality has greatly improved, watersheds are healthier, tidal wetland restoration is underway and many marine animals are returning to the Bay.…
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Gumdrop and Pioneer Seamounts – Offshore Seabird Havens

By Samuel Georgian, Marine Biogeographer at Marine Conservation Institute   Gumdrop and Pioneer Seamounts Gumdrop and Pioneer are neighboring seamounts located approximately 45 miles off the coast of California, close to San Francisco. The summit of Pioneer Seamount sits approximately half a mile (2,690 feet) below the surface, while Gumdrop Seamount is even deeper – 3,960 feet down. The seamounts are largely made up of various forms of basalt – a common volcanic rock type that forms when iron-rich lava cools quickly. Unlike many seamounts, which often form at the tumultuous intersection of two or more tectonic plates, they are both examples of intraplate volcanoes. Along with neighboring seamounts including Davidson, Guide, and Rodriguez, these types of volcanoes form within a single tectonic plate due to plumes of extremely hot mantle forcing its way through weaknesses in the Earth’s crust – in this case, likely due to the occurrence of an ancient spreading center.…
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Ocean Conservation Front and Center in Australia with Sydney Coast Hope Spot

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA As you read this, guests are gathering at Bondi Beach on Sydney’s brilliant coast to celebrate the launch of the Sydney Coast Hope Spot. The new Hope Spot is championed by the Ocean Lovers Festival in conjunction with Underwater Earth at an action-packed, 4-day event featuring on-shore live entertainment, art, photography presentations and practical workshops centered around the themes of conservation and sustainability. Starting today, April 11th through April 14th, attendees of the Ocean Lovers Festival will also enjoy a film festival, including a special screening of Mission Blue. “It is a dream come true not just for our festival, but for all our Sydney Ocean Lovers to have the support of Mission Blue to recognize Sydney’s cherished coastline on the international stage with a Hope Spot,” said Festival founder Anita Kolni.…
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Kep Archipelago Hope Spot Declared in Recognition of Protecting Cambodia’s Endangered Marine Ecosystems

KEP ARCHIPELAGO, CAMBODIA, (April 5th, 2019) The islands that make up the Kep Archipelago off the coast of Cambodia are known for their tranquil waters and at one time, some of the most exquisite seagrass meadows in Southeast Asia. The waters of Kep Archipelago act as important feeding grounds and provide migratory routes for numerous threatened species including Irrawaddy dolphins, dugongs, giant clams and Cambodia’s largest concentration of seahorses. Unfortunately, the area has faced considerable damage from illegal fishing and destructive bottom trawling practices that have ruined parts of the seafloor, creating an underwater desert. However, the work of organization Marine Conservation Cambodia (MCC), through their research, direct conservation practices and local activism has greatly helped to restore Kep Archipelago’s precious ecosystems and species, including the endangered and iconic Irrawaddy dolphin.…
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Gorda and Mendocino Ridges – California’s Test Cases for Deep-Sea Mining

By: Samuel Georgian, Marine Biogeographer at Marine Conservation Institute.   The Gorda and Mendocino Ridges are a complex series of oceanic ridges just off the coast of northern California and are home to unique deep-sea ecosystems including hydrothermal vents and cold seeps. Unfortunately, these areas may be at risk from future deep-sea mining efforts. It is critical that we enact protection for these diverse habitats before they are irrevocably damaged by commercial activities. Hydrothermal Vents Only discovered in 1977, hydrothermal vents are incredible deep-sea ecosystems that form due to the venting of extremely hot and mineral-rich fluids into the water column. Hydrothermal vents occur when fractures in the seafloor allow seawater and magma to meet, resulting in the venting of extremely hot (750°F and higher) fluids into the water column.…
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