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Swan Island Expedition Day 02

The next morning found the expedition facing more rough conditions. With one wave following another in an unending sequence, and no island on the horizon, our team retreated to ride out the remaining hours. Nearly 20 hours later after our journey started, we finally reached the Swan Islands and a respite from the pounding. Settling in to our initial position at James Point East on the southwest corner of the island, our team prepared for the first dive of the trip. The captain gave instructions on safety and what to expect on the dive, and then we took to the water.  Dr. Melanie McField, Director of the Healthy Reefs for Healthy People Initiative (HRI), and her team are conducting reef surveys and she offered her comments on the first dive.…
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The Swan Island Expedition Day 01

The Expedition members gathered on the dock around our ship the Utila Aggressor II ready to board for our voyage from the Bay Islands to Swan Island.   With an eye toward the journey and in the spirit of cooperation that embodies this Expedition, we formed a chain working in conjunction to load the equipment, dive gear and luggage needed for the success of this venture.  We boarded our new home for the upcoming week, met our crew and prepared to embark.  Sitting in the berth, with expectations whirling, we had little idea of what was to come. Honduras Coastline: Saying goodbye to Roatan,(c) Kip Evans Photography It soon became apparent that our hopes and expectations for a smooth ride to the Swan Islands was not in the forecast. …
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SYLVIA EARLE ALLIANCE EMBARKS ON EXPEDITION TO EXPLORE AND HELP PROTECT THE SWAN ISLANDS, “ THE GALAPAGOS OF THE CARIBBEAN”

Sylvia Earle diving the Meso American Reef(c) Kip Evans HONDURAS, July 18, 2011 – Today, Dr. Sylvia Earle, world-renowned oceanographer, National Geographic Explorer-In-Residence, founder of Mission Blue and 2009 TED Prize Winner, joins a team of scientists, government officials and award-winning photojournalists on a week-long expedition to the Swan Islands and Mesoamerican Reef, “the Galapagos Islands of the Caribbean.” Located 90 miles off the coast of Honduras, the Swan Islands are situated at the southern boundary of the Mesoamerican Reef – the Atlantic Ocean’s largest coral reef and a “hope spot” as identified by Dr. Earle and her team. Led by the Sylvia Earle Alliance (SEA) and the Healthy Reefs Initiative (HRI) at Texas A&M Corpus Christi, the Mission Blue expedition aims to raise global awareness of the critical importance of the Mesoamerican Reef and surrounding areas to the overall health of the world’s ocean as well as catalyze support for the official declaration of this “hope spot” as a marine protected area (MPA).…
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Film : Sylvia Earle & “Mission Blue” at Chilmark Community Center

By Brooks RobardsThe Martha’s Vineyard TimesJune 29, 2011 It’s hard to convey adequately the importance of Sylvia Earle’s upcoming appearance at the Chilmark Community Center on Wednesday, July 6. One of the world’s foremost oceanographers, Dr. Earle will join the audience in watching scenes from “Mission Blue,” Menemsha summer resident Bob Nixon’s documentary-in-progress, and comment on them. Dr. Earle and her Mission Blue initiative to rescue the world’s oceans make up the subject of the film, which is now in the editing stage. With principal photography just finished, Mr. Nixon expects to complete and release “Mission Blue” this winter. The director will join Dr. Earle at this Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival (MVFF) event. The story of Dr. Earle’s Mission Blue initiative is one of optimism and determination in the face of the dying state of the world’s oceans.…
Posted in Bob Nixon, mission blue, sylvia earle |

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Mission Blue: Next Stop – The Ocean

As the research vessel Brooks McCall prepares to embark from Pensacola’s city dock for destinations near the BP Deepwater Horizon spill site, expedition co-leaders Thomas Shirley and Sylvia Earle discuss their goals for the week ahead. Sylvia Earle with the Brooks McCall. By Thomas Shirley and Sylvia Earle Shirley: Sylvia, we’re departing on the Mission Blue: Survivors of the Spill expedition. What do you expect to get out of this? Earle: I am really looking forward to using that cool little submersible that the Waitt Foundation is making available to us. It has the capacity to go down to 2,000 feet, and it will let us personally look around. And you’re going to try to get some core samples out there?…
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Chile Creates Large Marine Reserve at Sala y Gómez Island

Re-Posted From NATGEO News Watch & Oceana The Chilean government announced the creation of a large marine reserve around tiny and remote Sala y Gómez island in the Pacific ocean. The Waitt Foundation, Oceana, and National Geographic mounted a March 2010 expedition to document marine diversity in waters surrounding the island. The government’s move represents a more than 100-fold increase in the expanse of Chile’s marine protected areas.Sala y Gómez island. © OceanaClick here to read the full article on the NATGEO siteClick here to red the full article on the Oceana site…
Posted in mission blue, SEAlliance, sylvia earle |

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Deb Castellana: Reports on her experience along the Gulf

In light of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, Deb Castellana, is on her way to the Gulf of Mexico and will be reporting first hand about her experience along the gulf. From visiting the reefs off Palm Beach, to Sanibel Island, and up the coast all the way to Venice, Louisiana and Plaquemines Parish, you can follow Deb on our Mission Blue blog.  Deb Castellana grew up in Cold Spring Harbor, a small village on Long Island Sound in New York.  One of her earliest memories was exploring how different plants grew where the fresh spring water joined the salty marsh at the head of the harbor.                                                                                                                             Cold Spring Harbor, NY                           Between the Atlantic Ocean and the Sound, and the freshwater creeks of the North Shore, Deb was under the ocean’s spell from an early age.…
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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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Reef Splendors

A full and fascinating day of diving at three distinctly different sites here on the fringing barrier reef of Belize’s Ambergris Caye. Our first dive was to Esmeralda, a reef cut in the outer barrier reef that drops precipitously to over 30 meters (100 ft). We worked our way across a colorful, healthy reef and followed deep sand channels at 25 meters (80 ft), encountering curious nurse sharks and fearless black groupers. On our next dive we descended into the San Pedro Canyons, sharp fissures in the reef that drop away ever deeper—to 50 meters or more (165 ft). There, we spotted an inquisitive Green Moray eel and were surrounded by more nurse sharks and big groupers (at one point, we counted 12).…
Posted in ambergris caye, conservation, deep search, hol chan, Marine Protection, mission blue, MPA, sylvia earle |

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