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Kangaroo Island North Coast Hope Spot Highlights Need for Greater Protection

KANGAROO ISLAND, SOUTHERN AUSTRALIA (AUGUST 10TH, 2020) Kangaroo Island is Australia’s third-largest island, and one of immense biological significance. A plunge beneath Kangaroo Island’s crystalline waves reveals a bursting rainbow of life – lucky divers can spot animals like striped reef fish, radiant sea stars, enigmatic jellyfish, pods of 100 dolphins and several threatened and endangered species. However, not unlike many other marine ecosystems, it faces the threat of ever-growing human interference.     Kangaroo Island North Coast has been declared a Hope Spot by international marine conservation nonprofit Mission Blue in recognition of the Hope Spot Champions’ goals of increased marine protection for the island’s surrounding waters and the expansion of ecotourism and research tourism in the area. Mission Blue also recognizes the need to protect Kangaroo Island from a proposed timber port project.…
Posted in .Homepage, Dr. Sylvia Earle, Featured, mission blue, Partner Stories, Photo of the Day, Uncategorized |

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New Hope Spot in the Baltic Sea Calls for Widespread Ocean Education

GOTLAND, SWEDEN (July 6th, 2020) Gotland, a limestone island that sits between southeast Sweden and Latvia surrounded by The Baltic Sea provides a marine environment unique in many aspects.  It is the largest brackish body of water in the world and is quite young – it’s approximately just 3,000 years old. Perhaps one of its most distinguishing characteristics is its salinity gradient which allows its waters to house both saltwater and freshwater species.     Mission Blue, ocean conservation nonprofit, has named Gotland a Hope Spot in support of the Hope Spot Champions’ goals of bringing ocean awareness to the general public through hands-on and digital educational programs for children and youth. On the island of Gotland, the Swedish mainland and the countries surrounding the Baltic Sea, there are many projects targeting the health of the sea and the marine habitat.…
Posted in .Homepage, Dr. Sylvia Earle, Featured, mission blue, Partner Stories, Photo of the Day, sylvia earle, Uncategorized |

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Working with the Largest Fish in the Ocean to Protect Migratory Species in the Eastern Pacific Seascape Hope Spot

The Spanish version can be read below. The distinctive, rattling noise of an underwater noisemaker grabs the attention of the divers, and they quickly scan for the source of the sound: Dr. Alex Hearn. He is easy to spot, not only for his yellow tank but the exaggerated pointing. Before long the source of Dr. Hearn’s excitement is revealed. It’s a whale shark, about 12 meters (~40ft) in length cruising along above the reef off Darwin Island, one of the most remote, and recently protected islands in the Galápagos archipelago.  Like nearly all the whale sharks that pass through the Galápagos Islands, this whale shark is an adult female and she will only stay for a few days before continuing her migration through the Eastern Pacific Seascape Hope Spot.…
Posted in .Homepage, Dr. Sylvia Earle, Featured, mission blue, Partner Stories, Photo of the Day, Uncategorized |

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A Hope Spot Expedition Heads to the Tropical Eastern Pacific’s Enchanted Galápagos Islands

The Spanish version can be read below. In the equatorial Eastern Pacific, 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, lies an active volcanic archipelago that is like nowhere else on earth. Early Spanish sailors called these islands the Enchanted Isles because of the strong currents that pulled ships off course and heavy mist that caused the islands to “disappear”. Though the name was not initially intended to be a compliment, “enchanted” is still an apt description for this seemingly-magical geological and biological hotspot, now called the Galápagos Islands. The 19 islands and dozens of islets that make up the Galápagos archipelago were all formed by volcanic activity, a hot spot where intense heat from the Earth’s mantle forced the crust of the Nazca Plate, an oceanic tectonic plate, upward.…
Posted in .Homepage, Dr. Sylvia Earle, Featured, Partner Stories, Photo of the Day, sylvia earle, Uncategorized |

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Mission Blue Announced as Key Partner for Earth Day 50th Anniversary

Wave of Global Engagement Building for Landmark Earth Day 2020 April 15th, 2020, Washington, DC/Napa, CA Earth Day Network, which coordinates the annual Earth Day, is today delighted to announce that Mission Blue has become a key partner for 2020. Mission Blue, which is igniting public support for a global network of marine protected areas – Hope Spots! – large enough to save and restore the ocean, joins thousands of other groups and entities worldwide dedicated to make stepped-up environmental action a cornerstone in this crucial year. Earth Day 2020 comes 50 years after the first Earth Day which, in 1970, mobilized over 20 million citizens to demand action on the environmental challenges of the time. Today Earth Day is observed in around 190 countries and mobilizes one billion people and close to 100,000 organizations.…
Posted in .Homepage, Dr. Sylvia Earle, Featured, mission blue, Partner Stories, Photo of the Day, Uncategorized |

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New Hope Spot in Panama Champions a Push for a Healthier Environment

Featured image by Bocas del Toro Productions   BOCAS DEL TORO ARCHIPELAGO, PANAMA (February 10th, 2020)  Over the last 30 years, Panama’s Bocas del Toro archipelago has gone from an unknown paradise to capturing the hearts of globe-trotting wanderlusters. This small archipelago is home to just 16,000 residents, and in 2012 they hosted 225,000 tourists. Compared to many favorite destinations across the world, this chain of islands is relatively new to the tourism industry – but many locals and conservationists are already feeling the unintended effects of the sharp rise of travelers and accompanying development.     Water conditions surrounding the islands continue to worsen. Sedimentation, eutrophication, hypoxic events and turbidity have impacted the abundance of many coral species and have made conditions difficult for regrowth.…
Posted in .Homepage, Dr. Sylvia Earle, Featured, mission blue, Partner Stories, Photo of the Day, Uncategorized |

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Conflict Islands Hope Spot Celebrates Extraordinary Coral Reefs and Local Conservation Work

CONFLICT ISLANDS, PAPUA NEW GUINEA (February 5th, 2020)–    The Conflict Islands atoll is an isolated ring of 21 individual islands surrounded by brilliant blue water in the Milne Bay Province of Papua New Guinea (PNG). It spans 4.55km2 (1.76sp mi) and 21km (13mi) in area and length. Currently, the Conflict Islands are not under any protection by the PNG Government, although Conservation International conducted an ecological report which revealed something truly spectacular: the reefs hold more than half the world’s coral species– making the Conflict Islands one of the richest natural habitats in the world. Thanks to the atoll’s remote location, its vibrant ecosystem has been left virtually untouched. The islands have an incredible advocate; the organization Conflict Islands Conservation Initiative (CICI) has been hard at work over the last couple of years to keep the atoll’s ecosystem as healthy and stable as possible through their reef conservation projects and shark and sea turtle tagging programs.…
Posted in .Homepage, Dr. Sylvia Earle, Featured, mission blue, Partner Stories, Photo of the Day, Uncategorized |

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Photo of the Day ~ Peacock Mantis Shrimps’ Amazing Eyes

The Mantis Shrimp has eyes that are compound, like those of the dragonfly, although they have a far smaller number of ommatidia (about 10,000 per eye;) however, in the mantis shrimp each ommatidia row has a particular function. For example, some of them are used to detect light, others to detect color, etc. Mantis shrimp have much better color vision than humans (their eyes having 12 types of color receptors, whereas humans have only three,) as well as ultraviolet, infrared and polarized light vision, thus having the most complex eyesight of any animal known. The eyes are located at the end of stalks, and can be moved independently from each other, rotating up to 70 degrees. Interestingly, the visual information is processed by the eyes themselves, not the brain.…
Posted in Multimedia, Photo of the Day |

Photo of the Day ~ Harbor Seal off Cortes Bank

Spotted at Cortes Bank near San Diego, California, a harbor seal (Phoco vitulina) swims through an underwater kelp forest. Captured by Kyle McBurnie, the photo is the overall winner of the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science’s Underwater Photography Contest, which recognizes amateur photography.   …
Posted in Multimedia, Photo of the Day |

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