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First Ever Eco-Audit Finds More Effort Needed to Protect Mesoamerican Reef

Belize/Guatamala/Honduras/Mexico In the first Eco-Audit of the Mesoamerican Reef, it has been determined that although progress is being made, more must be done to protect this fragile ecosystem, which is also one of Dr. Earle’s Hope Spots.  In the summer of 2011, Dr. Earle and her team mounted an expedition to the Swan Islands of Honduras, bringing increased focus to the region. The Mesoamerican reef runs over 600 miles from Mexico south to Honduras, and is a vital support system for this beautiful corner of our ocean planet. Dr. Sylvia Earle Explores a coral reef at Swan Island, (c) Kip Evans Photography The evaluation was carried out by The Healthy Reefs Initiative (HRI), in collaboration with the World Resources Institute (WRI), and nearly 40 local organizations, government agencies and companies. …
Posted in Dr. Sylvia Earle, Healthy Reefs Initiative, hope spots, marine protected areas, Mesoamerican Reef, World Resources Institute |

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California’s Sea Change: A Network of Hope Spots

California, USA Photo: Gilliane Shayman “California has taken the lead in understanding that the ocean really matters,” says Dr. Earle. “We know how to take from the ocean. California is giving back by establishing a network of protected areas.” California’s four National Marine Sanctuaries (Channel Islands, Cordell Bank, Gulf of the Farallones, and Monterey Bay) cover almost 9,500 square miles of Pacific Ocean. In addition to these, more State Marine Protected Areas are added under the regulation of the California Department of Fish and Game. The Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) of 1999 directed the state to redesign it’s system of marine protected areas to function as a network in order to increase effectiveness in protecting coastal marine life, habitats and marine ecosystems.…
Posted in California, Dr. Sylvia Earle, Google Earth, marine protected areas |

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Whale Marine Protected Areas Google Earth Tour Goes Live

For the first time, you can meet sperm whales, humpback whales and blue whales in the special places where they live. This Google Earth Tour is narrated by Dan Laffoley, Marine Vice Chair of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’s World Commission on Protected Areas, and follows the migrations of whales above and below the surface, visiting some of the key marine protected areas and sanctuaries for whales around the world. This animated Google Earth Tour was first presented as part of a keynote lecture by Dan Laffoley at the opening of the 2nd International Conference on Marine Mammal Protected Areas (ICMMPA) on 7 November 2011 in Fort-de-France, Martinique. It was prepared with the help of Jenifer Austin Foulkes (Google), Charlotte Vick (Sylvia Earle Alliance/Mission Blue) and Erich Hoyt (Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society/IUCN) and features a segment on the Arctic Ocean with Dr.…
Posted in Charlotte Vick, Dan Laffoley, Dr. Sylvia Earle, Erich Hoyt, Google Earth, Google Ocean, Jenifer Austin Foulkes, marine mammals, marine protected areas |

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Dr. Earle’s Adventures Down Under

As Patron of the Coral Sea initiative to protect a large area east of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, I am in Australia — sponsored by the Australian Grantmakers Association and the Pew Environment Group. In Sydney, I appeared on ABC radio and ABC television and had several interviews concerning Australia’s plans to develop a network of new marine protected areas around the entire coastline, with special reference to the Coral Sea and Southwestern Australia. Australian Nature Conservancy Chairman Robert McLean and Dr. Earle arrive at SIMS The day of my arrival I gave a talk at a donor dinner at the new Sydney Institute of Marine Sciences (SIMS) and was surprised to be the recipient of SIMS first Emerald Environment Award.…
Posted in Coral Sea, Coral Sea Initiative, Dr. Sylvia Earle, Great Barrier Reef, marine protected areas, Robert McLean, Tony Burke |

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National Framework for Canada’s Network of Marine Protected Areas Approved

Fisheries and Oceans Canada has announced that the National Framework for Canada’s Network of Marine Protected Areas was approved in principle on September 1st by the federal-provincial-territorial Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers. The National Framework document provides strategic direction for the design of a national network of MPAs, including the overarching vision and goals; design properties; eligibility criteria for inclusion in the network; network governance structure; and guidance for promoting national consistency in bioregional network planning. Canada will now move ahead with National Framework implementation, including marine protected area network planning at the bioregional level. The entire National Framework document is available at this link.…
Posted in Canada, marine protected areas |

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Sargasso Sea: Code Blue by Bryan Walsh, Bermuda

Photo: Shari Sant Plummer The Sargasso Sea has no shores. The 2 million-sq.-mi. body of water in the middle of the Atlantic is defined by two features: the ocean currents forming the North Atlantic subtropical gyre, which cycles around the sea, and sargassum, the free-floating golden-brown seaweed. The sargassum can be found scattered throughout the sea, sometimes entwined in vast waterborne mats. When Christopher Columbus encountered the sargassum while crossing the Atlantic, he ordered his men to fathom the depths, believing he had struck land. The oceanographer Sylvia Earle, though she prefers not to think in land-based Click here to read the full article by Bryan Walsh Click here to read more about “Saving Our Oceans” in Time Magazine online…
Posted in Bermuda, marine protected areas, Sargasso Sea, sylvia earle |

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Mission Blue Voyage A Success!

Orca by TED/James Duncan Davidson After an amazing four days of dreaming, learning, envisioning and committing to a better future for the ocean, the Mission Blue Voyagers are home–and a sea change is already underway. Eight definitive initiatives were launched, and $15+ million was pledged by many of the individuals on board the National Geographic Endeavor. Here’s a summary: $1 million to help improve the protection of the waters around the Galapagos Islands $500,000 to establish a network of marine protected areas in the Arctic, including a high seas science reserve  $3.25 million to initiate a public affairs campaign to end fishing subsidies  $350,000 to create educational programs to teach students about the ocean issues  $1.1 million to launch a plan to support efforts underway by the government of Bermuda to protect the Sargasso Sea and commitments to raise a further $2.5 million to support the long-term efforts  Initiative to bring together a pan-Pacific alliance to link seascapes across the Pacific  $8 million to create a new partnership to fund longer-term oceans projects  Campaign to promote the development and use of new technologies for ocean exploration and research  Guests out on the water TED/James Duncan Davidson The Mission Blue Voyage comprised 100 leaders, thinkers, visionaries, conservationists, and no small number of celebrities—all of whom demonstrated their care for our planet’s Blue Heart.…
Posted in Galapagos, hope spots, jean-michel cousteau, marine protected areas, mission blue, sylvia earle, TED |

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