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Leaders in Sustainability Highlighted in Newly Declared Tetiaroa Atoll Hope Spot

Tetiaroa Atoll is a rare, secluded place that serves as a refuge for nesting green sea turtles and a variety of seabird species, surrounded by a healthy and ecologically important coral reef and a brilliant turquoise lagoon. Unfortunately, like other atolls around the globe, Tetiaroa and the coral reefs that support it are at serious risk due to the negative effects of climate change and resource misuse– but there is hope. Local nonprofits Tetiaroa Society and Te mana o te moana, along with their partners – The Brando Resort, The Brando Family Trust, and the local government and community – are working to preserve and restore the atoll. International nonprofit Mission Blue has declared the Tetiaroa Atoll a Hope Spot in support of Tetiaroa Society’s goal of establishing full protection of the island from a ground-up, grassroots approach and in support of Te mana o te moana’s long term sea turtle nesting program on the atoll.…
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Ocean Organizations Designate Seamounts off California Coast as Newest Hope Spots in Worldwide System

CALIFORNIA COAST, UNITED STATES (May 14, 2019) – Deep below the ocean’s surface, not far from the beautiful beaches of the California coast, where millions sunbathe, surf, and enjoy the majesty and tranquility of the sea, lies a world of underwater mountains, volcanoes and ancient islands called seamounts. These seamounts provide a home to biologically important treasures critical to the health of the ocean. Although virtually unknown to the Golden State’s nearly 40 million residents, the seamounts are home to creatures like the endangered blue and gray whales and sperm whales, sharks, rare deep‐sea corals that take hundreds of years to grow, and seabirds hunting high overhead for fish that aggregate near the seamounts. Unfortunately, the dozens of vibrant seamounts along California’s coast and across the globe face a risky future due to potential deepsea trawling, ocean warming and acidification, offshore drilling, and the rise of deep-sea mining, a practice that extracts minerals from the seamounts and seabed.…
Posted in .Homepage, Dr. Sylvia Earle, Featured, mission blue, Partner Stories, Uncategorized |

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Rodriguez Seamount – A Geologic Rarity

By Samuel Georgian, Marine Biogeographer at Marine Conservation Institute Rodriguez Seamount is a 10–12 million-year-old seamount located approximately 42 miles off the coast of southern California. It towers over a mile above the seafloor, with its tallest summit cone standing over a little over 2,000 feet below the surface. Once upon a time, Rodriguez was an island standing as tall as 230 feet above sea level, with an area of 2.6 square miles. Like the neighboring San Juan Seamount, it has since sunk back beneath the waves largely due to the subsidence of the ocean crust beneath it. Due to the erosional forces it was exposed to as an island, its modern summit largely consists of a large flat dome, qualifying Rodriguez as a guyot – a flat-topped seamount.…
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New Hope Spot in San Francisco Bay Highlights Need for Comprehensive Ocean Conservation Action

SAN FRANCISCO BAY, CALIFORNIA (APRIL 28TH, 2019) With 8 million people living in its watershed San Francisco Bay is the most urbanized estuary in the U.S. and development has taken a toll on its local marine life. But on April 28, the Bay will become the newest Mission Blue Hope Spot, injecting new life into conservation efforts. San Francisco Bay is a hotspot for marine biodiversity, with more than 500 species of fish and wildlife, including migratory salmon, herring and anchovies. Since the 1960s, billions of dollars and many volunteer hours have been invested to restore the Bay’s ecological health. These efforts have started to pay off: Water quality has greatly improved, watersheds are healthier, tidal wetland restoration is underway and many marine animals are returning to the Bay.…
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Gumdrop and Pioneer Seamounts – Offshore Seabird Havens

By Samuel Georgian, Marine Biogeographer at Marine Conservation Institute   Gumdrop and Pioneer Seamounts Gumdrop and Pioneer are neighboring seamounts located approximately 45 miles off the coast of California, close to San Francisco. The summit of Pioneer Seamount sits approximately half a mile (2,690 feet) below the surface, while Gumdrop Seamount is even deeper – 3,960 feet down. The seamounts are largely made up of various forms of basalt – a common volcanic rock type that forms when iron-rich lava cools quickly. Unlike many seamounts, which often form at the tumultuous intersection of two or more tectonic plates, they are both examples of intraplate volcanoes. Along with neighboring seamounts including Davidson, Guide, and Rodriguez, these types of volcanoes form within a single tectonic plate due to plumes of extremely hot mantle forcing its way through weaknesses in the Earth’s crust – in this case, likely due to the occurrence of an ancient spreading center.…
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Ocean Conservation Front and Center in Australia with Sydney Coast Hope Spot

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA As you read this, guests are gathering at Bondi Beach on Sydney’s brilliant coast to celebrate the launch of the Sydney Coast Hope Spot. The new Hope Spot is championed by the Ocean Lovers Festival in conjunction with Underwater Earth at an action-packed, 4-day event featuring on-shore live entertainment, art, photography presentations and practical workshops centered around the themes of conservation and sustainability. Starting today, April 11th through April 14th, attendees of the Ocean Lovers Festival will also enjoy a film festival, including a special screening of Mission Blue. “It is a dream come true not just for our festival, but for all our Sydney Ocean Lovers to have the support of Mission Blue to recognize Sydney’s cherished coastline on the international stage with a Hope Spot,” said Festival founder Anita Kolni.…
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Kep Archipelago Hope Spot Declared in Recognition of Protecting Cambodia’s Endangered Marine Ecosystems

KEP ARCHIPELAGO, CAMBODIA, (April 5th, 2019) The islands that make up the Kep Archipelago off the coast of Cambodia are known for their tranquil waters and at one time, some of the most exquisite seagrass meadows in Southeast Asia. The waters of Kep Archipelago act as important feeding grounds and provide migratory routes for numerous threatened species including Irrawaddy dolphins, dugongs, giant clams and Cambodia’s largest concentration of seahorses. Unfortunately, the area has faced considerable damage from illegal fishing and destructive bottom trawling practices that have ruined parts of the seafloor, creating an underwater desert. However, the work of organization Marine Conservation Cambodia (MCC), through their research, direct conservation practices and local activism has greatly helped to restore Kep Archipelago’s precious ecosystems and species, including the endangered and iconic Irrawaddy dolphin.…
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Gorda and Mendocino Ridges – California’s Test Cases for Deep-Sea Mining

By: Samuel Georgian, Marine Biogeographer at Marine Conservation Institute.   The Gorda and Mendocino Ridges are a complex series of oceanic ridges just off the coast of northern California and are home to unique deep-sea ecosystems including hydrothermal vents and cold seeps. Unfortunately, these areas may be at risk from future deep-sea mining efforts. It is critical that we enact protection for these diverse habitats before they are irrevocably damaged by commercial activities. Hydrothermal Vents Only discovered in 1977, hydrothermal vents are incredible deep-sea ecosystems that form due to the venting of extremely hot and mineral-rich fluids into the water column. Hydrothermal vents occur when fractures in the seafloor allow seawater and magma to meet, resulting in the venting of extremely hot (750°F and higher) fluids into the water column.…
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Datan Algal Reef in Taiwan is Declared a Hope Spot in Support of Saving a Unique Ecosystem from Industrialization

TAOYUAN, TAIWAN, (March 19, 2019) The northwestern coast of Taiwan holds a mysterious reef that remains a secret from much of the world – including local residents. Hidden in plain sight during the day, this prolific reef comes to life at dusk with thousands of fish, crabs and macroinvertebrates rising to the water’s surface. This particular reef’s one-of-a-kind endemic species population, topography and ecosystem exist nowhere else in the world. Unfortunately, much of this exquisite algal reef has suffered destruction from industrial development and pollution throughout the last 50 years, and the remaining healthy area of the reef is under threat from a liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving port project. However, local community-based groups, NGOs and researchers are determined to convince the Taiwanese government to officially protect this unique reef and are working to preserve their cultural and fishing heritage, protect the living environment and develop a sustainable eco-tourism and hospitality industry to sustain the local economy.…
Posted in .Homepage, Dr. Sylvia Earle, Featured, mission blue, Partner Stories, Uncategorized |

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Spring Into Migration!

By: Rachel Krasna It’s almost spring! The season for growth, life and new journeys. People everywhere are starting to plan vacations to enjoy their spring break- presumably somewhere warm. During this season of vacation and celebrating, you might encounter some species starting their own journeys, or migrations! Let’s take a look at some common marine species and their vacation plans: Sharks Every year in March, dozens of shark species begin migrating to the southeastern shorelines. Among them are black tips and spinner sharks, who are escaping frigid waters found in the north. 2018’s migration had researchers nervous with numbers severely decreasing, but this year’s population numbers look promising. The black tip sharks normally appear in Florida’s waterways around mid-January and stay in the area for a few months.…
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