Volunteers including members of the Key West High School Reef Relief Club removed 960 pounds of trash from our shores. Thank you all for helping to protect our ocean.
If you know of a shoreline in the Florida Keys that needs a cleanup contact Reef Relief at 305-294-3100 or email@example.com
Even after two measures in the Florida Senate, and a 200-person rally Tuesday at the Historic Capitol, wetland advocates may have to wait for future legislative sessions before the state cleans up its natural springs, bays and streams.
Although House Speaker Will Weatherford says he is “sensitive” to natural springs proposals to be released by the Senate, he tells Jim Turner of the News Service of Florida that House lawmakers will focus on issues they “can control” in 2014.
“I think we’ll tackle a lot of the funding issues this year,” Weatherford added. “I think there is an opportunity for us to address some of the policies issues, but water is so broad. You have water quality, you have water quantity, water infrastructure and how we move water resources.” Read the full article at http://www.saintpetersblog.com/florida-water-issues-may-be-put-off-until-2015
New Science is Essential to Protecting Marine Life from Seismic Testing for Oil and Gas
WASHINGTON–(ENEWSPF)–February 21 – Today, more than 100 marine scientists and conservation biologists sent a letter to President Obama and his administration urging them to “use the best available science before permitting seismic surveys for offshore oil and gas in the mid- and south Atlantic.”
Excerpt from the letter:
“It is essential to incorporate these guidelines into this PEIS in order to accurately estimate auditory injuries and disturbances to marine mammals from proposed seismic surveys, so that this important information can guide the most appropriate mitigation measures.
Conservationists remain concerned about the make-up of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) despite it being cleared of any conflict of interest.
A federal inquiry was ordered after claims two GBRMPA board members, Tony Mooney and Jon Grayson, held interests in companies that could benefit from expanding coal and gas production near the reef.
On Feb. 25 in Live Oak, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection will kick off a series of six meetings around Florida to take public input on the Department’s water quality assessment and restoration priorities over the next two years.
These meetings are to present the 2014 Strategic Monitoring Plan. The Department will also present a preliminary Total Maximum Daily Load 2-year work plan, and will request input on the new methodology used to prioritize TMDL and Basin Management Action Plan development for specific waterbodies and water segments.
LIVE OAK, FL
DATE AND TIME: Tuesday, February 25, 2014, 10:30 A.M. to 1:30 P.M. (EST)
PLACE: Suwannee River Water Management District Headquarters, Governing Board Meeting Room, 9225 County Road (CR) 49, Live Oak, FL, 32060
WEST PALM BEACH, FL
DATE AND TIME: Wednesday, March 5, 2014, 12:30 P.M. to 3:30 P.M. (EST)
PLACE: South Florida Water Management District Headquarters, B1 Auditorium, 3301 Gun Club Road, West Palm Beach, FL, 33406
FORT MYERS, FL
DATE AND TIME: Thursday, March 6, 2014, 11:30 A.M. to 2:30 P.M. (EST)
PLACE: South Florida Water Management District Lower West Coast Service Center, Main Conference Room, 2301 McGregor Boulevard, Fort Myers, FL, 33901
DATE AND TIME: Thursday, March 13, 2014, 12:30 P.M. (CST) to 3:30 P.M. (CST)
PLACE: Florida Department of Environmental Protection Northwest District Office, Conference Room 101, 1st Floor, 160 W. Government St. Pensacola, FL, 32502
DATE AND TIME: Tuesday, March 25, 2014, 2:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. (EST)
PLACE: Florida Department of Environmental Protection Central District Office, Conference Rooms A, B, and C, 3319 Maguire Boulevard, Suite 232, Orlando, FL, 32803
DATE AND TIME: Wednesday, March 26, 2014, 8:30 A.M. to 11:30 A.M. (EST)
PLACE: Southwest Florida Water Management District Bartow Service Office, Bartow Board Room, 170 Century Boulevard, Bartow, FL, 33637
Indonesia on Friday became home to the world’s biggest manta ray sanctuary covering millions of square kilometres, as it seeks to protect the huge winged fish and draw more tourists to the sprawling archipelago.
New legislation gives full protection to the creatures across all the waters surrounding Southeast Asia’s biggest country, which for years has been the world’s largest shark and ray fishery.
Protection group Conservation International hailed the “bold” move and said it was influenced by a recent government-backed review that showed a single manta ray was worth one million dollars in tourism revenue over its lifetime.
This compares to between $40 and $500 if caught and killed, the group said.
Many foreign tourists come to Indonesia every year to dive in some of the world’s most biodiverse waters and manta rays are a favorite sight.
Contact: Jeff Burgett, PICCC Science Coordinator 808-687-6149 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Honolulu, Hawai’i.
Coral reefs are home to more than 25% of all known marine fish species. Photo: Glassy sweepers, Polynesia. Credit: Thomas Vignaud.
Honolulu, Hawai’i. February 18, 2014 – An international team of coral reef scientists has used the latest global climate models to reveal timelines for the accelerating decline of the world’s coral reefs through the end of the century. If global emissions of greenhouse gases keep rising at or near the current rate, “within 40 years, nearly all coral reefs globally will be subjected to stressful conditions so regularly that reefs are unlikely to persist as we know them,” says study co-lead Dr. Ruben van Hooidonk.
Dr. van Hooidonk and his co-lead Dr. Jeffrey Maynard developed interactive online maps of their study results, showing the timelines for when each coral reef area will experience critical levels of temperature stress and ocean acidification. The study is published in Global Change Biology in its January 2014 issue.
Coral reefs provide food and commercial fisheries, protect coastlines from waves, support tourism, and are inextricably interwoven into the cultural foundations for millions of people throughout the tropical oceans. Seychelles Ambassador for Climate Change and Small Island Developing State Issues, Ronald Jumeau noted that, "It is a common misconception that sea level rise is the greatest threat to small island countries, when in fact the decline of the coral reefs that help feed and protect us and contribute to our wealth and well-being is a more immediate threat to the economic viability and the very physical existence of many of our islands."
In the Pacific, island societies already are struggling with effects of global climate change on the habitability of their homelands. Coral reef decline will further affect the ability of these nations to navigate a changing future. Minister Tony DeBrum of the Republic of the Marshall Islands states, “Our islands and cultures have always been defined by our ability to interact with our marine and terrestrial environment. The impacts of climate change threaten the very existence of our unique identity as people and our sovereignty as a nation – a recognized member of the global community.”
Deanna Spooner of the Pacific Islands Climate Change Cooperative that provided funding for the research said, “This study makes complex information about climate change impacts on coral reefs available for the first time in an accessible format. Now, coral reef managers and other decision makers can see what the future likely holds for their region’s reefs and better communicate about the need for immediate conservation actions.”
This is another important scientific study that demonstrates the peril facing coral reefs today and into the future,” says Dr. Robert Richmond of the University of Hawai’i. “There is a clear urgency in responding to greenhouse gas emissions. Unless effective actions are undertaken at the global level, the future of coral reefs and those who depend on these incredible ecosystems is bleak.” Coral reef managers attempt to protect reefs and increase their resilience to stress by minimizing human impacts such as overfishing, polluted runoff, and invasive aquatic species. Strengthening these efforts through better land-use practices and the use of marine protected areas is also essential, Dr. Richmond stresses, “in order to buy time to address the ever-increasing problems caused by climate change.”
What the Study Reveals
Abnormally high ocean temperatures cause corals to “bleach” or lose the symbiotic algae that give them color and provide nutrients (food). Prolonged bleaching events can kill corals over large reef areas, and repopulation by corals, fish and other reef species may take a decade or more. As global warming proceeds, the temperature stress that causes bleaching is projected to become more severe and recur more often, eventually happening every year. It’s unlikely that most coral reefs can survive annual bleaching events. In addition, rising carbon dioxide concentrations will cause increasing ocean acidification, gradually reducing the ability of corals to form the stony skeletons that give reefs structure.
The study shows that the decade in which these stresses to reefs reach critical levels varies by latitude, and depends on rates of global greenhouse gas emissions. Annual bleaching is projected to occur sooner near the equator and later at higher latitudes. However, these high-latitude reefs will have more time to be exposed to ocean acidification. The online maps, hosted by NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch, use Google EarthTM and allow users to select emissions scenarios, coral sensitivity levels, and different levels of ocean acidification. Users can then see when climate models suggest stressful bleaching events will occur or when various levels of acidification will be reached.
This work was supported by the Pacific Islands Climate Change Cooperative and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, with additional support from the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program.
The Google Earth tool can be accessed at this link:
High resolution images can be accessed at this link:
Full citation for the Global Change Biology article: van Hooidonk, R., Maynard, J. A., Manzello, D. and Planes, S. (2014). Opposite latitudinal gradients in projected ocean acidification and bleaching impacts on coral reefs. Global Change Biology 20: 103–112. doi: 10.1111/gcb.12394
The Pacific Islands Climate Change Cooperative (PICCC) is a self-directed, non-regulatory conservation alliance whose purpose is to assist those who manage native species, island ecosystems and key cultural resources in adapting their management to climate change for the continuing benefit of the people of the Pacific Islands – http://piccc.net
LEE COUNTY, FL –
Water activists across Southwest Florida are ready to send a strong message.
They boarded buses in Naples, Fort Myers, Sarasota and other cities across the state to deliver a strong message to Tallahassee lawmakers: They want clean water.
Listed once as one of the most endangered rivers in the country, those passionate want to give the Caloosahatchee and other bodies of water a voice. They're demanding politicians make a promise Tuesday — clean up the pollution before it's too late.
"We see it all the time, the pictures on the news from the dead dolphins, the dead manatees, the fish kills, the way our beaches look, that is Florida's image that is being broadcasted," said Dave Kirwan, Cape Coral.
The dramatic images seen across Southwest Florida are pushing some to stand up.
"It makes me feel angry," Kirwan said.
The activists channel one message.
"We are entitled to and demand clean water in Florida," Kirwan said. "We knew the legislators would be in place. We knew it was our chance."
Sixteen-year-old Delanie Kirwan planned to make the trip to Tallahassee Tuesday to urge lawmakers to sign the Floridians' Clean Water Declaration. Watch the video at www.nbc-2.com/story/24746460/water-activists-to-hold-rally-in-tallahassee#.UwORjM6RSwU
Repeal the FL State law (Energy, Climate Change, and Economic Security Act of 2008 (House Bill 7135) Section 403.7033, Florida Statutes) that bans local governments from enacting local bans on plastic bags. We depend on our ocean just as much as Hawaii.
Plastic bags are the modern environmental scourge — piling up in landfills, polluting the oceans and choking wildlife. Now, Hawaii has taken a stand by becoming the first U.S. state to ban plastic bags at checkout counters.
Hawaii has always valued the land, or "Aina," so the step isn't too surprising. Four of the state's five counties have passed plastic bag bans (Hawaii's Kalawao County, the only outlier, is hardly populated), the Huffington Post reported. "Being a marine state, perhaps, we are exposed more directly to the impacts of plastic pollution and the damage it does to our environment," Robert Harris, director of the Sierra Club's Hawaii chapter, said in 2012, according to the Huffington Post. Read more at http://www.livescience.com/43278-hawaii-bans-plastic-bags.html