Blog Archives

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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Hope Spot Update: Outer Seychelles

By: Kara Norton Angelique Pouponneau held her head high as she prepared to take the global stage at the United Nations. On World Oceans Day 2019, Angelique was representing the blue economy of the Seychelles. At just 29 years old, Angelique believes she is an example of what happens when you give Seychellois women, particularly young women opportunities: you create the possibility of driving significant change.    In 2014, less than 0.02 percent of the Seychelles’ coastal natural resources were protected. The island nation comprises 115 islands and boasts the largest shallow tropical marine ecosystem in the region. The country’s Outer Islands have been heralded as landmarks of biodiversity, containing seemingly untouched habitats where mega fauna thrives. In the “Galapagos of the Indian Ocean”, sharks hold court over coral atolls, while tropical parrotfish, humphead wrasses, rockfish, groupers, and triggerfish glide between the nutrient rich open sea and safety of coral lagoons.…
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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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Meet Dr. Pablo García Borboroglu, the Scientist and ROLEX Awards for Enterprise Associate Laureate Determined to Save the World’s Penguins

There is perhaps no one on Earth that knows quite as much about penguins as Dr. Pablo Garcia Borboroglu. Starting in his own backyard of Patagonia, Argentina, Dr. Borboroglu has dedicated his life’s work to studying and protecting the world’s 18 different penguin species from the growing threats they are facing.  Dr. Borboroglu was recently named an Associate Laureate of ROLEX’s Awards for Enterprise, in which he will receive support for his work in protecting penguins around the world and understanding how they’re affected by climate change, fisheries, pollution, human disturbance and introduced predators. His actions will benefit all life in the ocean, and ultimately, on land as well.  Mission Blue got the opportunity to learn more about Dr. Borboroglu’s work and how he plans on getting the rest of the world enthusiastically involved in ocean conservation.…
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A Discussion with Dr. Emma Camp, Coral Conservationist and 2019 ROLEX Awards for Enterprise Associate Laureate

  Emma testing out the Flexi-Chamber she designed to measure rates of photosynthesis on coral reefs.   Dr. Emma Camp is an Australian marine biologist on an audacious mission– she’s working to conserve corals in the Great Barrier Reef and ultimately across the globe that are rapidly declining under climate change. Dr. Camp championed a groundbreaking discovery: there are specific species of “Super Corals” that are able to survive in the extreme conditions brought on by global climate change: warm, acidic waters with insufficient oxygen levels. This discovery provides Emma a unique opportunity to uncover what supports coral survival into extremes, and along with her colleagues, she hopes to use this knowledge to aid rehabilitation efforts of the world’s coral reefs.…
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