Monthly Archives: March 2014

Navigating the Starpaths toward a Sustainable Planet

This May, Master Navigator and Ocean Elder Nainoa Thompson will launch Hokule’a’s worldwide voyage from the island of Hawai’i. The theme is malama honua, which means to take care of each other and this island in the universe called earth, the only home we have. There is a scientific aspect to the voyage as well. As nature guides Hokule’a and Hikianalia across the world, much focus will be on what lies beneath them. “It’s a great voyage of peace, not just among ourselves, but making peace with nature,” said Sylvia Earle. Mission Blue and Dr. Earle are proud to be among the  scientists and agencies partnering on Hokulea’s worldwide voyage. The voyage will include visits to marine areas that are being cared for and seeing progress and areas that need help. …
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Why Water is Important to You

This question is posed by Mission Blue as part of the Clean Water Tour launching this weekend in Austin, Texas in conjunction with many partners. In this post, there are links to answers to that question, but with something that is as vital to our existence as water, there are many answers. One of the most compelling and beautiful cases for the importance of water is found in a short film written and narrated by Mission Blue’s Dr. Sylvia Earle and produced by National Geographic.  This film is a superb overview of the importance of water and the ubiquity of it in our world. The film is also the introduction to our Explore the Ocean layer in Google Earth. You can search thousands of stories from the Google Earth on this website from the menu tab above.…
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Marine diversity is as fragile as glass

by Courtney Mattison After Leopold Blaschka – a glass flame worker from the Czech Republic – lost his wife and father in the early 1850’s, he took time off to grieve and sail to America. Without a steam engine to speed their journey, Leopold and his shipmates found themselves becalmed for two weeks in the Azores off the coast of Portugal in a twist of fate that is still making ripples today. Leopold had never before witnessed the glasslike transparency of living marine invertebrates and began collecting and drawing the fragile jellyfish and other creatures that populated the surrounding waters. Photo of nudibranch Acolis rudibranchialis taken at Shoals Marine Lab in Maine © David O. Brown (above) and watercolor sketch of the same species by Rudolf Blaschka © Rakow Research Library, The Corning Museum of Glass (below).…
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We’ve been all over fighting for the ocean: United Nations, Bermuda, Costa Rica and — Hollywood?!

What better way to raise awareness about the state of our oceans than putting it on the silver screen? And, no less, under the direction of Academy Award winning Fisher Stevens (of The Cove fame) and Bob Nixon (Academy Award nominee and MB Board Member). The film is on the festival circuit and, as it happens, is being shown today at the Environmental Film Festival in Washington DC. The film Mission Blue — shot during a 3-year period around the world — traces Sylvia Earle’s remarkable personal journey, from her earliest memories exploring the ocean to her rise to prominence as the world’s leading oceanographer. Spectacular underwater video reveals the breathtaking vibrancy of marine life as well as manmade devastation of these pristine environments.…
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Leaders Gather at the Economist’s World Ocean Summit

In late February, representatives from government, business, academia, think tanks, and NGOs converged on a cliffside hotel overlooking Half Moon Bay outside of San Francisco. The location was appropriate as it looked out on a picturesque corner of what they’d come to discuss: the vast oceans that wrap over 70% of the planet. This was The Economist’s annual World Ocean Summit, hosted in association with National Geographic. With 250 attendees and backed by a strong call to action in The Economist’s February issue, the event sought to gather the most influential marine thinkers and policymakers in the world and discuss what can be done to begin healing and sustaining Earth’s most crucial ecosystem. As John Kerry neatly stated in his opening remarks, the challenge is no longer diagnosis, but action.…
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At 500 Meters Deep, An Explosion of Color

When Columbus neared the coast of the New World, he thought he saw lights of civilization twinkling on the shores. What he really saw, though, was likely bioluminescence from thriving marine life. The creation of light by living creatures, known to scientists as bioluminescence, is an evolved trait that benefits the organism by offering camouflage, mimicry, sexual attraction and more. This lush, lazy light is what we see in fields full of fireflies at night, or on the jellyfish as they bob in the night sea. The shark you see above, however, is not bioluminescent. The gentleman below can explain. Dr. David Gruber on a Rebreather Enter David Gruber, Associate Professor Biology and Environmental Science at Baruch College. He recently made some exciting discoveries involving another interaction of light and life: biofluorescence.…
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Mission Blue Galapagos Expedition Leads to Historic Protection Push for Sargasso Sea Hope Spot

(Dr. Sylvia Earle on the Mission Blue Galapagos Expedition) Mission Blue’s Galapagos Expedition made serious ripples in the ocean community and inspired a wellspring of action and initiative for ocean conservation. One such result was ocean appassionato David Shaw taking interest in the Sargasso Sea — the “floating rainforest of ocean” as Dr. Earle calls it — which led to the creation of the Sargasso Sea Alliance, a special organization that has worked tirelessly for years to better protect the marine area. This week, their efforts have paid off in spades. David Shaw on the Mission Blue Galapagos Expedition On Tuesday, countries and territories from around the Sargasso Sea Hope Spot and Europe met in Bermuda to reaffirm their support for an initiative, led by the Government of Bermuda, to collaborate for the conservation of the Sargasso Sea ecosystem.…
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Dr. Earle and HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco receive Fellowships in London

The Marine Biological Association, founded in 1884, runs a leading research laboratory in Plymouth and is one of the world’s oldest and most respected institutions devoted to the advancement of marine biology and the study of the ocean. In recognition of its long and eminent history and its status in the field of marine biology, the MBA was awarded a Royal Charter in 2013. On March 11, the MBA celebrated its Royal Charter with a reception in London at Fishmongers Hall. Scientists, policy-makers and industry figures gathered to celebrate the oceans, and the contribution that marine biology makes to a greater understanding of the challenges and opportunities ahead for the United Kingdom. Photo: Marine Biological Association Prince Phillip, His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, patron of the Marine Biological Association, was among the guests at the official celebration marking the award of a Royal Charter to the Plymouth-based organization.…
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Sylvia Celebrates 10 Years with the Rutgers Institute of Marine Science

Dr. Sylvia Earle recently visited the Rutgers Institute of Marine Science in New Brunswick, New Jersey and gave a keynote speech for their 10th Anniversary. She’s been a partner of this leading organization since her attendance at the groundbreaking ceremony 10 years ago. And what an amazing 10 years its been at the Institute! Just what does the Rutgers Institute of Marine Science do? Check out the video below for the lowdown. The Institute grabbed headlines last year for their innovative ocean drone program which is mapping and recording different aspects of the marine environment such as temperature, currents and even migrating fish. This program is part of the ambitious Gliderpalooza Program, a collaborative ocean survey program coordinated between 16 American and Canadian government bodies and research teams.…
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Bahamas urged to become global beacon for protection of marine environment

NASSAU, Bahamas — The Bahamas is perfectly placed to lead the way in saving the world’s oceans, a world renowned marine scientist told a gathering of scientists and conservationists on Monday night. Speaking at the opening of the second annual Bahamas Natural History conference, American oceanographer, explorer and author Dr. Sylvia Earle said the history of marine conservation efforts and the responsive attitude of successive governments mean that no country is now better placed to set an example for the rest of the world. “The Bahamas can be the leader in showing the way to save the oceans, and by extension, our way of life,” she said. “You can do this, you can be the beacon for the world.” What’s more, according to Dr.…
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"With knowing comes caring." - Dr. Sylvia Earle