Monthly Archives: March 2015

Sea Lion Pups Starving Along California Coast

By Courtney Mattison Sea lion pups are starving and washing up on California beaches for the third consecutive year. Every winter since January 2013, throngs of sickly young sea lions have stranded themselves on beaches and in seaside backyards and parking lots in California coastal communities, often weighing less than half of their ideal body weight. “They’re extremely emaciated, basically starving to death,” says veterinarian Shawn Johnson of the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito. Over 2,000 emaciated, dehydrated and diseased sea lion pups have washed up on California’s shores from San Diego to San Francisco since the beginning of 2015. For the two-month period of January and February this year, California sea lion strandings were almost 20 times the average stranding rate.[i] Last year, it took until April for the Sausalito Marine Mammal Center to receive 100 distressed sea lions, but this year the center saw that many individuals in the first half of February alone.[ii] Rehabilitation centers including the Sausalito Marine Mammal Center and the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach, CA are overwhelmed.…
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Happy Earth = Happy People

Last Friday, Grammy Award-winning musician, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Pharrell Williams and the United Nations Foundation welcomed 1,700 school children for the annual International Day of Happiness at the UN General Assembly Hall in New York City to spread happiness by learning how to take climate action and build a better world. Pharrell addressed the young audience with the story of how music brings him joy, saying, “I’m here to talk to you guys about the importance of happiness. Music brought my happiness. And when you find out what makes you happy… you should know that happiness is your birthright.” He continued with a message about the importance of protecting Earth, our home: We only have one home. And I know we’re visiting neighbors like Mars, and you know we’ve been to the Moon, but we have a home.…
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Act now to protect our ocean and fresh water

By Riki Ott, PhD on behalf of The ALERT Project I am a survivor of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, a marine toxicologist, a commercial fisherman, and an author – turned activist. The turning happened 26 years ago today, when I flew over the wreck of the Exxon Valdez in Prince William Sound, Alaska. The Sound – my backyard, my fishing grounds, and most importantly, a place I loved. The giant inky stain on the water was… overwhelming. Intimidating. It was vast, and I was only one person. What could I do? As I flew over the ocean of oil, I realized I knew enough to make a difference… did I care enough? The answer, I knew, would change my life.…
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Sacred Forests – Part I: The Search

By Sam Low, author of Hawaiiki Rising In 1990, the Polynesian Voyaging Society decided to create a new canoe, to be called Hawai’iloa after a famous Tahitian navigator. Hawai’iloa would be built of traditional materials – lauhala for the sails, olana for the lashings, koa for the hulls, ohia for crossbeams to connect the hulls, and hau for stanchions, decks and steering paddles. “Hokule’a was built quickly, of modern materials mostly,” Nainoa Thompson recalls, “and then we went right into sailing – it was an ocean project – the emphasis was on sailing her, not building her. But when our ancestors built and sailed voyaging canoes, it required the labor and arts of the entire community, everyone working together – some collecting the materials in the forest, others weaving the sails, carving the hulls, lashing, preparing food for the voyage, practicing rituals to protect the crew at sea.…
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The Island President is Behind Bars

Mohamed Nasheed, the first democratically elected president of the Maldives and international champion of climate change action, was found guilty of terrorism and sentenced to thirteen years in prison this month. Nasheed is accused of ordering the arrest of a Maldivian judge in 2012 when he was still in office. Accusations aside, Nasheed’s defense has been stillborn: the court scheduled a hearing within two hours of his arrest and prevented the defense team from appearing in court because they were required to register two days in advance. As a result of this judiciary obstructionism, Nasheed’s own lawyers have quit the trial, citing biased proceedings and resultant inability to craft a defense. His confinement will be a “prison apartment” according to government officials.…
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Environmental Growth and Sustainability in Peru

Mission Blue is proud to partner with Follow EGS – Environmental Growth and Sustainability! Here’s a word from Follow EGS on their current work: Follow EGS is a nonprofit environmental organization that focuses on building collaborations among organizations and institutions to further scientific research and enhance marine conservation and education by means of technology use and capacity building for the benefit of society and the oceans. Our organization concentrates most of its work in rural areas and developing countries. At the present time, Follow EGS is focusing on establishing a presence in Peru. The organization is dedicated to building bridges between scientists and local communities to design, develop, and implement research projects, initiatives, and programs that increase public understanding about nature and oceans.…
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Uniting Asia for a Healthy Ocean

Mission Blue is proud to partner with earthlysoul – a Japanese nonprofit organization working to contribute to society through various sports activities and challenges centered on the ocean. With strength from perseverance, earthlysoul aims to foster awareness about the ocean and inspire people to provide a better environment for future generations by challenging themselves physically and mentally. Earthlysoul founder Kazuya Suzuki says: “By personally… challenging myself and placing myself in situations where I am constantly facing death (as an ocean athlete), I started to think more and more about what I could leave behind when I would no longer be around. This thought led me to have a strong desire to leave a better world for the future generations to come – and thus earthlysoul was born in 2009. …
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Beauty, Innovation and Conservation at Tetiaroa

A word from our amazing new partners at the Tetiaroa Society: The Tetiaroa atoll is special place for many reasons. Located 33 miles north of Tahiti, this ring of 12 motus (islets) is a place of legend for Polynesians where Tahitian Royalty would visit to relax, take stock and to indulge in the rich and beautiful landscape. It’s a place that fascinates, as Marlon Brando found when he visited while scouting filming locations for Mutiny on the Bounty in 1960. Seven years later, he completed his purchase of Tetiaroa with a burning desire to learn from it, to protect its beauty, and to preserve it for the Tahitian people and their way of life that he so dearly loved. In the 1970s, he began working on projects to generate electricity sustainably and to establish a university on the atoll with the hope of bringing the best scientists from around the world to learn from and protect the oceans.…
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Rescuing Sea Turtles from Ghost Nets

Mission Blue is thrilled to partner with the Olive Ridley Project in the Maldives! The following is a guest post all about their amazing work: Every year millions of animals including whales, dolphins, turtles and birds are mutilated and killed by lost, abandoned or discarded fishing nets, otherwise known as “ghost nets.” Entangled animals either drown within minutes or endure long, slow deaths lasting months or even years, suffering from debilitating wounds, infection and starvation. Oceanic currents provide pathways for ghost nets to travel huge distances from their points of origin, often accumulating in various hotspots around the world. Three entangled olive ridleys The Olive Ridley Project (ORP) was founded in the Maldives by biologist Martin Stelfox in response to the alarming number of olive ridley sea turtles found entangled in ghost gear.…
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The Deepwater Horizon Catastrophe 5 Years On

No one missed the Deepwater Horizon disaster. People missed the recent oil spill in Bangladesh. But the world witnessed Deepwater Horizon. Millions of gallons of oil flooded the Gulf of Mexico everyday — for 87 days. The biggest accidental oil spill ever. Five years later the effects of the Deepwater Horizon blowout still endure. A new study confirms a massive undersea oil mat near the unlucky oil well — Macondo 252 — that blew on April 20th, 2010. Considering this tar mat is the size of Rhode Island, the Gulf is clearly still feeling the affects of the catastrophe five years on. Gulf sea turtles stranding more frequently, dolphins killed, observed oil slicks hundreds of kilometers in length after the well was “capped” — a depressing list of unknown length.…
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