Monthly Archives: June 2017

How Can Indonesia’s Coral Reefs Resist Climate Change?

Indonesia’s 17,000 islands are among the richest in the Coral Triangle. Conservationist Drew Harvell plunged into some of its best Marine Protected Areas to check the health and vitality of Indonesian reefs and here’s what she found… By: Drew HarvellAs I awoke to the sounds of the mullahs’ calls for morning prayer in Makassar, Sulawesi Island,  I pondered barriers being crossed in my research project: cultural, gender and even scientific. Our goal is to save the spectacular biodiversity of Indonesia’s seas, which is threatened by an unholy trinity of coastal pollution, climate change and habitat destruction. We are working on coral reefs, which are the most biodiverse marine habitats. And Indonesia, within the Coral Triangle, is the beating heart of that diversity.…
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Good News For Coral Reefs On Vamizi Island

By: Raphaelle Flint, IUCNWith constant news of climate change causing coral reef bleaching or dieback, good news is hard to come by. A rare success story can be found on the island of Vamizi off the east coast of Africa, where cool currents, and local conservation efforts supported by IUCN, protect coral reefs from the effects of climate change. Spawning coral. Image: Erwan SolaWe are in the midst of a third global bleaching event, now considered the longest and most widespread in recorded history. Mass bleaching happens when global warming-induced elevated sea surface temperatures cause stress to corals and if over a long enough time, mass die-offs. Indeed, in parts of the Indian Ocean, bleaching has affected coral by 60-90%.…
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FORCE BLUE: A Call of Duty to Heal the Ocean

By: Laura ButzI recently had the honor of meeting U.S RECON Marine Sergeant Rudy Reyes who shared his story about being a former combat diver who’s now on a mission to help protect and restore the ocean.  I cannot truly capture in words how profound his story is or the eloquent way he spoke about his life’s journey.  Nor, can I begin to fathom the magnitude of his experience as a combat diver.  All I can humbly offer is listening to him speak with such humility and passion, I was incredibly moved and a part of me is changed forever.  Rudy’s new call of duty is empowering other Special Ops veterans to join FORCE BLUE’s conservation efforts to help restore critical marine ecosystems around the world.  …
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Hope from Brazil: Verde Mar Project Joins Mission Blue

Mission Blue is proud to partner with Verde Mar Project! By: Caio SallesOne of the most important spots for tourism in Brazil is the Sugar Loaf in Rio de Janeiro. It’s part of a Conservation Unity called Monumento Natural dos Morros da Urca e Pão de Açúcar. Just below it, there is a small pearl called “Praia Vermelha,” or Red Beach, which is amongst the last beaches with good water quality in Rio’s central area. The adjoining bay is a nursery for several marine species and home for many green sea turtles.   Despite being part of a conservation area, Praia Vermelha faces a serious problem: the huge quantity of underwater debris. To address the situation, Verde Mar Project congregated scuba divers to collect and analyze waste accumulating in the ocean.…
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Hokulea Will Return Home After Sailing 40,000 Nautical Miles Around the Globe

On Saturday, June 17, Hokulea (Hōkūle‘a) and its crew members will make their historic return to Hawaii after sailing more than 40,000 nautical miles around the globe! According to Mission Blue partner, the Polynesian Voyaging Society, “The mission of the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage is to weave a lei of hope around the world through sharing indigenous wisdom, groundbreaking conservation and preservation initiatives while learning from the past and from each other, creating global relationships, and discovering the wonders of the Island Earth.” Image: Polynesian Voyaging Society The voyage began in May 2014 when Hokuleah departed from O’ahu and sailed with a fleet of seven deep-sea voyaging canoes from Hawaii, Tahiti, and New Zealand. The homecoming celebration honors the multicultural journey and connection with people all over the world. …
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Coastal Southeast Florida Hope Spot: A Community in Action

By: Angela Smith, Shark Team OneFor a number of years, I have worked with key stakeholders as well as educational and governmental groups on recommended management actions (RMAs) that propose an integrated approach for ecosystem and coral reef protection for the Southeast Florida region. The Hope Spot nomination in part was inspired by a particular action plan calling for no-take zones within a marine protected area. That RMA along with many others written by myself and other stakeholders were vetted and voted on during a process called “Our Florida Reefs,” a community planning process developed by the Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative (a National Action Plan to conserve coral reefs under guidance from the United States Coral Reef Task Force, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission).…
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PADI and Mission Blue Are Partnering to Ignite Support for Hope Spots

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA – 7 June 2017 – PADI® and Mission Blue™ have forged a formal partnership to help increase the level of protection of our world’s ocean. Led by legendary oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle, Mission Blue inspires action to explore and protect the ocean. At the heart of this effort is a global campaign to build public support for the protection of Hope Spots — special places that are vital to the health of the ocean.Hope Spots are about recognizing, empowering and supporting individuals and communities around the world in their efforts to protect the ocean. By activating its global network of divers and dive professionals, the PADI family will further bring attention to marine areas in a worldwide network targeted for enhanced protection.…
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Cocos Island Expedition: A Lesson in Enforcement

You don’t need to be a marine biologist to understand why Cocos Island is well worth protecting. While the schools of hammerhead sharks steal the show, the truth is that there are nearly 1,400 marine species identified around Cocos Island with a high degree of endemism. On a single dive, a lucky diver could see multiple species of sharks, mantas, yellowfin tuna, marlin, eels and a profusion of fishes. Good on the Costa Rican government, then, for having created Cocos Island National Park and thus prohibited the entrance of fishing boats within 12 nautical miles around the island. Cocos Island From the North (c) Kip Evans Mission Blue As Mission Blue and our expedition partner Fins Attached cruised back to Puntarenas on the Undersea Hunter vessel, we had time to reflect on the jaw-dropping natural beauty we had witnessed at Cocos Island and the continuing struggle to protect it.…
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Kicking Off The United Nations Ocean Conference

By: Shilpi Chhotray, Mission Blue June 5th marks the first day of the United Nations (UN) Ocean Conference, a major conference energizing efforts to promote ocean sustainability. Dr. Sylvia Earle and Mission Blue are thrilled to be partnering for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14, life below water. SDG 14 aims to: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. The Ocean Conference, the first UN conference of its kind, coincides with World Environment Day and World Oceans Day on Thursday (June 8th). Photo: Anders Nyberg, UN The Ocean Conference will not only serve as a place to raise awareness of the state of the ocean but call upon global leaders and advocates to generate new dialogues and partnerships aimed at implementing solutions.…
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New Vision at Blue Vision: Heirs To Our Oceans at BVS6

By: Aislinn Clark, Dakota Peebler, Charley Peebler, Seth Weinfield, Nee-Yu Marcus, Cambria Bartlett and Kiran GarewalEvery two years a very important ocean conference happens in Washington, D.C. – the Blue Vision Summit (BVS).  This year it was particularly special.  For the first time middle-school age kids, us! – Heirs To Our Oceans! — participated alongside our adult ocean-protecting counterparts.   That’s right – 9 Heirs descended upon our nation’s capital.  What did we do there?  We helped make a plastic pollution fact sheet for our Congresspersons to review!  We sat on panels with experts!  We visited 10 of our Representatives’ offices on Capitol Hill (all in one day) asking that our congresspersons sponsor ocean-protecting bills, for our generation!  We hosted the first-ever Youth Mixer at the Summit! …
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"With knowing comes caring." - Dr. Sylvia Earle