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Expedition to Midway Reveals “A model for the world”

By Deb Castellana Searching for “Wisdom” may seem like an odd name for Dr. Earle’s recent expedition to Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge within the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, but actually, “Wisdom” is the name of the oldest known Laysan albatross, and it was one of the team’s goals to meet her. This grand dame is at least 60 years old and is still nesting on Midway Atoll. And yes, the expedition team found her (see photo at right.) Like Dr. Earle, “Wisdom” has witnessed profound changes in her years surveying our ocean planet.  Since she was hatched  (and coincidentally since Dr. Earle first began to scuba dive) in the early 1950’s, the ocean has changed in fundamental ways. From plastic pollution and marine debris to ocean acidification and dwindling food supplies from overfishing, Dr.…
Posted in Dr. Sylvia Earle, Laysan Albatross, Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument |

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Dr. Earle & Wyland visit Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument at Midway Atoll

Join Dr. Sylvia Earle and wildlife artist & ocean conservationist Wyland as they explore Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument at Midway Atoll.  These are some of the first pictures to come from the expedition to the remote island chain. Dr. Earle was instrumental in the designation of these islands as a World Heritage Site, but this is her first actual visit, as it is for Wyland.  We can see that the group was fortunate enough to encounter sharks, the critically endangered Hawaiian Monk Seal, as well as nesting Laysan Albatrosses.  Even given the great distance to major population centers from Midway, it is plagued by plastic pollution, most of it originating from sources on land. One study showed that 97.5% of Laysan Albatross chicks had plastic in their stomachs, and it is documented that forty percent die from it.…
Posted in Dr. Sylvia Earle, Hawaiian Monk Seal, Laysan Albatross, Midway Atoll, Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, World Heritage Site, Wyland |

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