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Citizen Science Supports Protection in the Moreton Bay Hope Spot

By: Shilpi Chhotray, Mission Blue Communications Strategist  Citizen Science Supports Protection in the Moreton Bay Hope Spot “The citizen scientists in the Moreton Bay Hope Spot are living proof that the ocean is a big blue magnet that unites people who care. Their important work is benefitting the human and aquatic inhabitants of greater Brisbane by making a strong case for continued protection of this Hope Spot. Thank you to the citizens of Moreton Bay for collaborating and contributing data in the effort to protect and restore the blue heart of the planet. You are great cause for hope!” – Dr. Sylvia Earle The Moreton Bay community is a model example of how robust citizen science programs help ignite support and ongoing passion for marine protected areas.…
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Ocean Protection Goal Increases to 30%

A Proud Partnership- Mission Blue Applauds IUCN’s Motion to Protect 30% of  the Ocean By 2030! “Planet at the Crossroads” was the theme at this year’s World Conservation Congress. Organized by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), leaders took bold steps in confirming recommendations for 30% marine protection by 2030. Over 180 countries and 700 conservation groups were represented.  Motion 53 came one week following President Obama’s historical expansion of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Countries are now being urged to designate this as a minimum for Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Building fuller sustainability would include the reduction of at least 30% “extractive” activities including fishing, mining, and drilling.  Pew Charitable Trusts outlines some of the ways in which this might be accomplished:  States committing to designate at least 30 percent of their national waters as MPAs by 2030;  States engaging constructively in establishing MPAs in areas beyond national jurisdiction, through the development of a new global instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and through the adoption of new and existing proposals at the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources; and  IUCN State Members calling on the CBD Secretariat to initiate the process for achieving a post-Aichi target of 30 percent of coastal and marine areas fully protected by 2030.…
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Journey Across The Arctic

Mission Blue is proud to partner with 5 Gyres!  By: Carolynn Box and Lia Colabello, The 5 Gyres Institute  @ 5 Gyres5 Gyres was founded on the belief that citizen science can change the world. In 2009, we began raising awareness about marine plastic pollution when Dr. Marcus Ericksen and Anna Cummins collected 15,000 plastic water bottles to create the JUNK RAFT, which Marcus sailed for 2,600 miles for 88 day from California to Hawaii. Since then, the organization has embarked on 17 research expeditions, covering 50,000 miles and engaging scientists around the globe.    In 2014, 5 Gyres convened eight international scientists to publish the first global estimate of plastic pollution in our oceans: 5.25 trillion particles weighing in at 269,000 tons of “plastic smog” worldwide.   …
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Hope for Southeast Florida’s Marine Ecosystems

By: Angela Smith, Founder and President of Shark Team One The Story of the Coastal Southeast Florida Hope Spot! A damselfish in a staghorn coral colony off Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, FL © Angela Smith North of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary exists a critical area of coral reef habitat and other associated marine ecosystems that have been in decline for decades due to overuse and their proximity to the heavily populated cities of Southeast Florida. Although in 1990 the Florida Keys were declared a sanctuary, the reef areas extending from Key Biscayne in the south up to St. Lucie Inlet in the north still remain unprotected. Southeast Florida marine habitats hold populations of critically endangered species like staghorn and elkhorn coral, and smalltooth sawfish.…
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Hope Spot Hatteras: Lessons Learned

Meet Hope Spot Hatteras, one of the 14 new Hope Spots designated by Mission Blue and the IUCN World Conservation Congress.   After months of waiting to hear back about our Hope Spot: Hatteras nomination, we are so happy to announce Dr. Sylvia Earle and Mission Blue have voted to establish a Hope Spot 40 miles off the coast of Cape Hatteras! View the most recent updates on our website and the Hope Spot nominations here.     © Hope Spot Hatteras   As a small group of community members and students, taking on an idea this big to protect the ocean was intimidating, but the support from our communities and those across the east coast alongside our love of the ocean kept us fighting for Hatteras. …
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Atlantic’s First Marine National Monument!

  THE WHITE HOUSE Office of the Press Secretary   FACT SHEET: President Obama to Continue Global Leadership in Combatting Climate Change and Protecting Our Ocean by Creating the First Marine National Monument in the Atlantic Ocean     Today, President Obama will designate the first marine national monument in the Atlantic Ocean, protecting fragile Dr. Sylvia Earle during a Mission Blue Expedition to Cashes Ledge in the Northern Atlantic © Kip Evans deep-sea ecosystems off the coast of New England as the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument. The new national monument – which encompasses pristine underwater mountains and canyons – will provide critical protections for important ecological resources and marine species, including deep-sea coral and endangered whales and sea turtles.  President Obama will make this announcement in remarks today at the 3rd annual Our Ocean Conference in Washington D.C.…
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Bringing the Ocean out of the Ocean

Mission Blue is proud to partner with Discovery Deep!  71% of the our planet’s surface is covered by water, yet 95% of that remains unexplored.  Discovery Deep, a Washington, D.C. based ocean exploration foundation is working to change that by “Bringing the Ocean out of the Ocean.” Discovery Deep uses innovative technologies such as virtual reality, 3-dimensional mapping and 360-degree video to help scientists collect research data, map shipwreck sites, and to educate divers and non-divers alike in the wonders of the underwater world and the importance of conserving it. Over the last year, Discovery Deep created digital maps of historic shipwrecks, collected DNA samples for a shark research project, and built a diver training course to collect citizen science observations.…
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Industrialization of the Ocean

By Michael Stocker,  bioacoustician and founder of Ocean Conservation Research – a research and policy development organization focused on the impacts of anthropogenic noise on marine habitat. For more information on industrial noise see While the specter of seabed mining is one of the more recent assaults on the ocean, it is a practice that falls under the longer-running and larger rubric of the industrialization of the sea. The ocean is a difficult – even hostile work environment. The surface is only occasionally calm. Due to the darkness of depth and turbidity visibility is all but obscured. Salt water is corrosive; and as operations submerge ever deeper they are subject to crushing hydro-static pressures. But advances in materials, processes, and communication technologies are opening up vast areas of the sea that have heretofore been out of reach and un-tappable.…
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Second Century Stewardship in US National Parks

David Shaw, the founding chair of the Sargasso Sea Alliance (a Mission Blue partner) and conservation filmmaker, has recently released a documentary titled Second Century Stewardship: Science beyond the Scenery in Acadia National Park. The film has come out on the occasion of the historic 2016 centennial celebrations of Acadia National Park and the US National Park Service. Mr. Shaw serves as a Trustee of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the National Park Foundation. Second Century Stewardship is a hopeful, forward-looking film that examines what science-based stewardship looks like in Acadia and beyond in this second century of the national parks system. Mr. Shaw remarks, “This collaboration is intended to more powerfully engage science in America’s national parks to benefit park stewardship and to encourage public engagement in science through park experiences.” To see the trailer, click on the video below. …
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Jean-Michel Cousteau Receives France’s Highest Honor for his Ocean Conservation Work

Mission Blue and Dr. Sylvia Earle’s dear friend Jean-Michel Cousteau, the President of the Ocean Futures Society and son of legendary ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau, was recently awarded the Légion d’Honneur by President Francoise Hollande of France on May 11th. The Order of Légion d’Honneur is the highest decoration in France and impressively Cousteau received the highest of 5 possible degrees of this award, the Chevalier (Knight). In accepting the award, Cousteau shared sentiments that Dr. Sylvia Earle often highlights. He said, “If we are to protect our ocean home and create a better future for us now, and for generations to come, we must continue to raise our voices together. This immense honor is for all of us. When you protect the ocean, you protect yourself.” Cousteau was extremely humble and underscored how this honor was accepted on behalf of all who have dedicated their talents in helping him communicate to the world the importance of protecting our “water planet”.…
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"With knowing comes caring." - Dr. Sylvia Earle