The Sargasso Sea in the North Atlantic Ocean
One of Sylvia Earle’s Hope Spots is the Sargasso Sea. This area in the central North Atlantic Ocean is a clockwise circulating gyre which accumulates material from both sides of the North Atlantic. Maps and charts from the 1730s to 1840s show extensive areas of Sargassum, the free-floating brown macroalgae (Phaeophyte) Sylvia Earle refers to as “the golden rain forest of the sea.” The “floating reefs” of Sargassum give the Sargasso Sea its’ name. For many years Scientists and ocean advocates have been meeting to establish a marine protected area within the Sargasso Sea because of its unique biodiversity.
The endangered Bermuda Petrel
An update on progress toward protecting the Sargasso Sea was provided in an IMCC talk by Sheila McKenna of the SEAlliance (McKenna and Hemphill, 2011).…