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Dr. Earle advocates for Sargasso Sea conservation & Bermuda Blue Halo initiative

Dr. Earle spoke at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute (BUEI) last Thursday  to emphasize the importance of Bermuda’s role in conserving the Sargasso Sea — what Dr. Earle has called “the golden rainforest of the ocean.”  The Sargasso Sea is an open-ocean ecosystem that supports a large and extraordinary whorl of golden-brown Sargassum seaweed that spirals within the North Atlantic sub-tropical gyre near Bermuda. Large mats of Sargassum float over an area comparable to the size of the United States and provide vital habitat, spawning and feeding grounds, and migration routes to numerous species – many of which are endangered, endemic, and/or commercially important (Sargasso Sea Alliance, 2012). Dr. Earle’s talk at BUEI was hosted by the Bermuda Young President’s Organization, and coincided with ongoing efforts by the Pew Environment Group (who sponsored the evening lecture) and Bermuda’s Government to create a large “donut-shaped” marine reserve within Bermuda’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) to protect the Sargasso Sea and Bermuda’s other vital and threatened marine resources – a project called the “Bermuda Blue Halo initiative.” The proposed no-take marine reserve would be the largest of its kind in the Atlantic Ocean.…
Posted in Bermuda, Bermuda Blue Halo Initiative, BUEI, Dr. Sylvia Earle, Sargasso Sea, Sargasso Sea Alliance |

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The Sargasso Sea Hope Spot

The Sargasso Sea in the North Atlantic Ocean One of Sylvia Earle’s Hope Spots is the Sargasso Sea. This area in the central North Atlantic Ocean is a clockwise circulating gyre which accumulates material from both sides of the North Atlantic. Maps and charts from the 1730s to 1840s show extensive areas of Sargassum, the free-floating brown macroalgae (Phaeophyte) Sylvia Earle refers to as “the golden rain forest of the sea.” The “floating reefs” of Sargassum give the Sargasso Sea its’ name. For many years Scientists and ocean advocates have been meeting to establish a marine protected area within the Sargasso Sea because of its unique biodiversity. The endangered Bermuda Petrel An update on progress toward protecting the Sargasso Sea was provided in an IMCC talk by Sheila McKenna of the SEAlliance (McKenna and Hemphill, 2011).…
Posted in Bermuda Petrel, Garbage patch, high seas MPAs, hope spots, MPA criteria, Sargasso Sea, Shelia McKenna |

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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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