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Innovative Marine Restoration Front and Center with Pangatalan Island Hope Spot

PANGATALAN ISLAND, PHILIPPINES, (September 19th, 2019) – In 1992, French business developer Fred Tardieu and his wife packed up their belongings and departed from their home, careers and ease of familiarity to pursue what they thought would be a well-earned retirement. Little did they know at the time, their unassuming plunge into adventure would lead them to become trailblazing marine conservationists in the Philippines. Driven by their love for the ocean and eagerness for bettering the world, in 2011 they purchased Pangatalan Island in Palawan and founded Sulubaaï Environmental Foundation, where they work alongside conservation partners and local community members to restore the island’s unique ecosystems that have been damaged from unsustainable practices. Alongside their partners, in 2017, they established a 45-hectare marine protected area (MPA) surrounding the island – with another MPA double its size currently in the works.…
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Mauritius Recognized as New Hope Spot in Support of Unifying Local Marine Conservation Community

(BLACK RIVER DISTRICT, MAURITIUS) The island of Mauritius is a paradise to behold: palm trees and fringing reefs almost completely line the coasts, with waterfalls and white sand beaches defining the rich, dynamic landscape of the small volcanic island. The island’s west side, the Black River District, is known for its exquisite dive spots where a plunge beneath the waves will acquaint you with creatures like octopuses, dolphins, rays and turtles. However, much like the rest of the world, Mauritius experiences threats from pollution (like phosphates that inhibit coral growth and pesticides that kill the animals) and the effects of a changing climate.     In its battle to fight these threats, the country faces unique obstacles including poaching, overfishing, a general disregard of the laws in combination with under-enforcement of the marine protected areas and impending plans for certain projects that will mean disaster for the marine ecosystem.…
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Diving at Guanahacabibes Hope Spot!

By: Asher Warren Hi, I’m Asher Warren and I’m 10 years old. This summer I got PADI dive certified at Mermet Springs, a quarry in Southern Illinois. My instructor and everyone there were so encouraging, kind and helpful. The PADI eLearning portion was easy and fun – especially the diagrams in the review videos. Of the five eLearning sections, my favorite was section one because it talked about the effects of increasing and decreasing air volumes. The pool skills were very exciting because I got to put on the gear and breathe underwater. I had a big fear of equalizing, which is pushing air into your ears and sinuses. My mom helped me work through that and before I knew it, we were going down to the bottom of the pool.…
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Stop the Tribugá Gulf Sea Port: Latest Hope Spot in Colombia Celebrates Wondrous Biodiversity and Need for Official Protection

Tribugá Gulf, COLOMBIA (August 29th, 2019) –  The Tribugá Gulf, or Golfo de Tribugá, is located on the Pacific coast of Colombia in the western side of the “Chocó” province touching the municipality of Nuquí. This region is perhaps the most biodiverse in the world, and chosen by magnificent animals like hammerhead sharks (Sphyrnidae) and humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) to breed and raise their young. The “Ensenada de Utría” National Park is found inside the gulf, with its lush rainforests providing enriching ecotourism opportunities for those who visit. However, this beautiful pocket of the world is facing a threat to its natural wonders: the Colombian government is looking to build a Seaport in the Tribugá Gulf, right next to the existing National Park within it, threatening to end the local sustainable ecotourism that supports many people of the Chocó Province- not mentioning the countless marine and land species.…
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Newly Declared Florida Gulf Coast Hope Spot Shines Spotlight on Community-Wide Conservation– and Dr. Earle’s Beloved Hometown

FLORIDA GULF COAST, UNITED STATES (August 23rd, 2019) –  The Florida Gulf Coast Hope Spot hugs the state’s west side, spanning from Apalachicola Bay in the north to Ten Thousand Island in the south. The coast is famous for its immense beauty, rich biodiversity and booming local industries that sustain hundreds of thousands of people, and has become a cornerstone for sustainability. Conservationists, local business owners and members of the general public alike have built a culture upon preserving the integrity of the coast’s natural state– and a determination to protect the area’s marine life from threats created by human interference.  The home city of this Hope Spot, Dunedin, is especially near and dear to Mission Blue’s heart– this town is where Dr.…
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Western Australia’s Exmouth Gulf and Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area Named a Hope Spot in Support of Greater Protection

EXMOUTH, AUSTRALIA (August 15th, 2019) – – Western Australia’s Exmouth Gulf and Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area is a spectacular wilderness supporting nearly 2,000 species of fauna. Tourists trek there from all corners of the globe to snorkel the fringing coral reef, to witness one of the world’s most important humpback whale refuges, swim with the world’s largest fish the Whale shark, get a glimpse of dugong that are part of the last stable populations on Earth and many other creatures including manta rays, turtles and rare dolphins. It is also an internationally recognized wilderness ecotourism destination with the uninterrupted natural vistas free of industrial activities. Lesser known is that Exmouth Gulf supports an extensive intact arid-zone estuary containing vast tracts of mangroves and an incredible diversity of marine wildlife revealed in a new science review led by Dr.…
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A Solution to the Plastic Pollution Problem with Miranda Wang, 2019 ROLEX Awards for Enterprise Laureate

At just 18 years old, budding Canadian innovators Miranda Wang and Jeanny Yao discovered a bacterium that could “eat” plastics. Now at 25, Wang and Yao serve as the Co-Founders of BioCellection, a company based in Menlo Park, California, that works to break down previously unrecyclable plastics– like dirty grocery bags and food wraps– into chemicals that can be both biodegraded and used to create items commonly used in our society.      Wang was recently named a Laureate of ROLEX Awards for Enterprise in recognition of her ambitious endeavor to create a healthier future for the planet. Mission Blue took a moment to sit down with Wang at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington DC to learn more about her work and her goals on the horizon for solving what is perhaps the natural world’s most prominent threat. …
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A Blue New Deal for a Blue Marble Planet

By David Helvarg Sylvia Earle likes to say ‘No Blue, No Green’ in explaining the role of the ocean as the incubator and cradle of life on earth, also the driver of climate, weather and rain, the generator of over half the oxygen we air breathers consume and the salty home of some of the deepest, widest, weirdest habitats and marine critters from eel grasses to methane seeps, sarcastic fringeheads to narwhales. Incredibly, after four billion years of ocean evolution, all of this has now been put at risk by our own species’ thoughtless and greedy actions over the last fifteen decades or so.  We’ve been ignorant about the impacts of many of our activities failing to adopt the precautionary principle, “First, do no harm.”  That’s just thoughtless. …
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Critically Endangered New Zealand Dolphins – We Have To Act Now

By Shannon Rake For the sake of the nearly extinct Hector’s and Māui dolphins, please urge the New Zealand government to ban all gillnets and trawl nets up to the 100 meter depth contour as recommended by the IUCN and the scientific community. The Hector’s and Māui Dolphins Threat Management Plan laid out by the Government of New Zealand DOES NOT provide for adequate or effective protections for these highly vulnerable species. Please join us in calling to ban all gillnets and trawl nets up to the 100 meter depth contour. If you have 20 seconds right now, PLEASE use this pre-filled form and make your public comment here. This comment not only calls for the ban on all gillnets and trawl nets up to the 100 meter depth contour, but also calls for several other commonsense actions that would go far to help save these species from extinction.…
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Haven for White Sharks Off Western Australia’s Southern Coast Highlighted as New Hope Spot

SALISBURY ISLAND, AUSTRALIA, (July 8th, 2019) Thirty nautical miles off Western Australia’s southern coast lies Salisbury Island, a remote landmass of limestone and granite that has long held secrets of Australia’s past: the continent’s geological history, archaeological heritage and the mysterious life of the white shark, a sea creature that has captivated mankind for millennia. The waters surrounding Salisbury Island have recently been named a haven for white sharks thanks to the unique biodiversity of the area. What sets this shark haven apart from many others around the world is the fact that Salisbury Island has been left virtually untouched by humans. Conservationists with organization Finding Salisbury, Inc. are seeking official government protection to maintain the area’s stable condition with a comprehensive no-take state marine reserve and a “virtual tourism” program to allow the public virtual access while keeping the area wild.…
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