Archive for March, 2012
MEET THE LOCALS!
8 Q’s & A’s for South Florida
MEET THE LOCALS introduces us to the local, dedicated & inspiring people out there working in some capacity for the Environment. Each month South Florida Green News will feature a different person -usually a local. We will ask each interviewee the same set of five questions, plus three more that they chose from a list we provide! In January it is Mill McCleary
Mill is the Executive Program Director at Reef Relief in Key West. Reef Relief got to work in the Keys protecting reef in 1987 and their history is impressive and their outreach is far and wide. Any friend of the reef is a friend worth having! Here is a mini interview with Mill.
PLEASE ANSWER THESE FIVE QUESTIONS…
1) What is your website or is there one you would like to recommend? www.reefrelief.org
2) What environmental policies would you like to see Florida adapt tomorrow? Stronger water quality standards, shutting down ocean sewage outfalls, expanded storm water treatments, permanent protection from offshore oil and gas drilling
3) What green policy have you seen adapted in a place outside of Florida that you liked? Permanent protection from offshore and inshore oil drilling in Chesapeake Bay
4) Favorite beach or outdoor spot in Florida? Florida Keys Barrier Reef
5) Please finish the following sentence, I Love the Ocean because…. it supports all life on Earth.
6) Biggest change you have made in your life to lessen your carbon footprint? Riding my bike or walking everyday
7) Book or Film you like to recommend? The Cove
8) Favorite local place to revive yourself and charge your batteries? Fort Zachary Taylor State Park
22 March 2012 by Michael Marshall. Zoologger
Zoologger is our weekly column highlighting extraordinary animals – and occasionally other organisms – from around the world
Species: Allapasus aurantiacus
Habitat: On and around the seabed off the coast of California
If there’s one way we can be sure that life on Earth really is the result of evolution, and not the guiding hand of a cosmic engineer, it’s the hideous design flaws. The examples are too numerous to list, but let’s just consider one: human males have their testicles on the outside.
It seems they work better that way, because sperm production works best slightly below human body temperature. But it isn’t half inconvenient – as any male who has ever been kicked in the goolies will tell you.
Spare a thought, then, for the newly-discovered Allapasus aurantiacus. The females are the first animals known that have their ovaries on the outside. But according to their discoverers, they are the first of many.
Acorn worms are quite different to the more familiar annelid worms, as they are close-ish relatives of backboned animals. They live on the sea bed, often burrowing into the sediment. Read more at http://t.co/Wxm8gc9B
Environmentalists and the groundfish bottom trawl industry on Wednesday announced a landmark agreement on ways to limit the impact of trawl nets on sensitive corals, sponges, and deepsea habitats on the B.C. coast.
The agreement sets out total annual bycatch objectives for the entire fleet at 562 kilograms for corals and 322 kilograms for sponges, the lowest levels reported in the past 15 years.
A protocol is in place to alert skippers in the fleet when a trawl bycatch exceeds 20 kilograms of corals or sponges.
The total area of coastline trawled will also be reduced by 20.6 per cent to 31,633 square kilometres, the amount of continental slope habitat trawled to a depth of 200 to 800 metres by 18 per cent to 12,413 square kilometres, and the amount of deepwater habitat trawled to 800 to 1,400 metres by 65 per cent to 1,395 square kilometres.
The world’s marine habitats are in trouble, and there are only so many dollars we can throw at the problem. But putting just a few toward community education and outreach pays huge dividends, according to a new study by Nature Conservancy scientists and coauthors just published in the journal Marine Policy.
Researchers headed to the remote Indonesian islands of Misool and Kofiau — located in the heart of the Coral Triangle, the richest marine environment in the world — to find out whether a community marine education program would help in the creation and management of local marine protected areas (MPAs).
They found that with a limited budget of just $24 per person per year, positive attitudes towards and local knowledge of marine resources rose in local people by 33% over the course of five years.
Perhaps the biggest change came in people’s understanding that illegal fishing activities — such as dynamite, traditional poison and cyanide fishing — are some of the most destructive ways to catch fish. In 2005, only 34% of local people knew these activities were illegal, while 74% did after the outreach program.
And scientists report that illegal fishing activities have decreased sharply after the outreach program, says Craig Leisher, lead author of the study and Conservancy senior advisor on poverty and conservation.
For more details about the study, download it here (subscription required).
By KEVIN WADLOW. email@example.com
Wednesday, March 28, 2012 06:00 AM EDT
Florida Keys corals that took centuries to grow died within days during the frigid January 2010 cold snap, says a newly published scientific study.
“Some monumental corals that were 200 or 300 years old perished in a span of five days,” said Rob Ruzicka, a co-author with Michael Colella of the patch-reef study published in the February edition of Coral Reefs, the journal of the International Society for Reef Studies.
Colella and Ruzicka work for the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and have been involved with the 17-year history of the institute’s Coral Reef Evaluation and Monitoring Project.
The published cold-water study focuses on patch reefs, generally found in depths of 12 to 20 feet in Hawk Channel, inside the main Florida Keys coral reef, that did not suffer damage as severe. Read the full article at http://www.keysnet.com/2012/03/28/434024/new-study-2010-cold-snap-massacred.html
Author, India Evans’ Reef Rescue Tells the story of 13-year-old eco-warrior Julie Leeds and her futuristic car Jett as they race to the Florida Keys to help save the endangered coral reefs. While spending the summer in Key West, also known as the Island of Bones, Julie and Jett discover why the coral reefs are dying. But not everyone wants the reefs to be saved, and Julie soon faces a series of threats, a spy ring, high-speed chases, and deep-sea kidnap attempts. From close encounters with deadly sharks, shipwrecks, and buried treasure, to menacing messages and ruthless treasure hunters, Julie s summer is a harrowing thrill ride that leads her to an infamous fort, where she learns of her own family s connection to a long-forgotten secret.
India Evans has generously donated copies of this book for sale by Reef Relief. When you buy a copy Reef Rescue from the Reef Relief Store in Key West or on our online store 100% of the profits benefit Reef Relief.
Note: If this item is not yet on the Reef Relief store site sent you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to place your order.
ScienceDaily (Mar. 28, 2012) — As corals continue to decline in abundance around the world, researchers are turning their attention to a possible cause that’s almost totally unexplored — viral disease.
It appears the corals that form such important parts of marine ecosystems harbor many different viruses — particularly herpes. And although they don’t get runny noses or stomach upset, corals also are home to the adenoviruses and other viral families that can cause human colds and gastrointestinal disease.
In a research review published in the Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, scientists point out that coral declines are reaching crisis proportions but little has been done so far to explore viral disease as one of the mechanisms for this problem. Read the full article at the ScienceDaily
By Associated Press, Published: March 21
Bottlenose dolphins in Barataria Bay, Louisiana, are showing signs of severe ill health, according to NOAA marine mammal biologists and their local, state, federal and other research partners.
Barataria Bay, located in the northern Gulf of Mexico, received heavy and prolonged exposure to oil during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Based on comprehensive physicals of 32 live dolphins from Barataria Bay in the summer of 2011, preliminary results show that many of the dolphins in the study are underweight, anemic, have low blood sugar and/or some symptoms of liver and lung disease. Nearly half also have abnormally low levels of the hormones that help with stress response, metabolism and immune function.
Researchers fear that some of the study dolphins are in such poor health that they will not survive. One of these dolphins, which was last observed and studied in late 2011, was found dead in January 2012.
NOAA and its local, state and federal partners started the Barataria Bay dolphin study in 2011 as part of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA), the process for studying the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Read more at http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/2012/03/study-shows-some-gulf-dolphins-severely-ill/