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Celebrate our coral reefs and ocean this Earth Day

2014-04-22 21:11:30 admin

earth_day-xzkr38Tips to reduce your impact on the planet and our oceans

  • Reduce your carbon footprint and energy consumption. Climate change threatens our coral reefs and ocean through extended coral bleaching events and ocean acidification.
  • Make safe, sustainable seafood choices
  • Don’t litter! Trash can entangle, maim, drown wildlife, and smother coral. Grocery bags, pieces of plastic, and packaging look like food to many animals. When ingested they can cause starvation and even death. Pick up trash when you see it every bit helps.
  • Don't purchase products that exploit marine life.               Some products contribute to the harming of fragile coral reefs and marine populations. Avoid purchasing items such as coral jewelry, tortoiseshell hair accessories (from hawksbill turtles), and shark products.
  • Always pick up pet waste. Pet waste left on the ground will end up in nearshore waters where it adds harmful bacteria and nutrients causing risks to the health of swimmers and threatens wildlife and the marine environment.
  • Support coral reef and ocean conservation and policy. Educate your friends and family about these issues. Support Reef Relief coral reef conservation program today 

 

Resources:

Ecological Footprint http://www.myfootprint.org/

EPA 's Household Carbon Footprint Calculator http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/ind-calculator.html

Zero Footprint Youth Caluclator   http://calc.zerofootprint.net/

EarthLab: This calculator breaks down vehicle information by car type.

Carbon Domestic Household Calculator

Carbon Footprint Business Calculator: For businesses in North America and many other areas of the world. The sign-up process requires you to give your workplace information, so be prepared.

Target Finder: This quick Energy Star calculator allows architects or folks in the construction industry to plan an energy-efficient target for building projects, which, of course, lowers that building's emissions.

Redefining Progress  http://rprogress.org/index.htm


FWC approves sea cucumber management changes

2014-04-21 18:44:33 admin

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Media contact: Amanda Nalley, 850-410-4943

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) at its April meeting near Tallahassee established a commercial daily trip and vessel limit of 200 sea cucumbers in both state and federal waters.

This change will go into effect June 1. The Commission chose this limit today after considering potential management options. The change was requested by the existing commercial fishery as a proactive conservation measure.

While there is currently a small commercial fishery for sea cucumbers in Florida, primarily for the live aquarium trade, sea cucumbers have been commonly targeted elsewhere in the world as a food product due to their high value in Asian markets. The rapid, unregulated development of sea cucumber export fisheries elsewhere in the world has led to fishery collapses and sea cucumber depletions.

Sea cucumbers are vulnerable to overfishing due to their sedentary nature, which makes them easy to locate and collect, and because of their life-history characteristics such as their late reproductive age, their need for a dense population in order to successfully reproduce and their long life span. They are also ecologically important, as they help cycle nutrients in nutrient-poor tropical reefs and oxygenate sediments.

This proactive change to the commercial fishing regulations will ensure Florida’s populations of these ecologically important species and the fisheries they support remain sustainable.

More information about the issue is available in the “Sea Cucumber Presentation” link in the Commission meeting agenda. Go to MyFWC.com/Commission and click on “Commission Meetings” to pull up the agenda.

 


Long-term predictions for Miami sea level rise could be available relatively soon

2014-04-21 18:36:33 admin
Date:
April 15, 2014
Source:
National Science Foundation

Miami could know as early as 2020 how high sea levels will rise into the next century, according to a team of researchers including Florida International University scientist Rene Price.

 

Price is also affiliated with the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Florida Coastal Everglades Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) site, one of 25 such NSF LTER sites in ecosystems from coral reefs to deserts, mountains to salt marshes around the world.

Scientists conclude that sea level rise is one of the most certain consequences of climate change.

But the speed and long-term height of that rise are unknown. Some researchers believe that sea level rise is accelerating, some suggest the rate is holding steady, while others say it's decelerating.

With long-term data showing that global sea levels are steadily rising at 2.8 millimeters per year, and climate models indicating that the rate could accelerate over time, Price posed a question to colleagues: How soon will Miami residents know what sea levels will be in the year 2100?

"In Miami, we're at the forefront of sea level rise," Price says. "With the uncertainty in what we currently know, I was looking for information that could help us plan better for the long-term."

Read more at http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140415153813.htm


Attention Key Westers!

2014-04-21 18:33:40 admin


Reef Relief summer coral camp staff are in urgent need of housing. Our three grad students need housing from mid- May until mid august. If you can provide or know of an opportunity for low cost or free housing, please email us at reefrelief@gmail.com or call 305-294-3100.


Lawmakers aim cash at Everglades cleanup

2014-04-21 18:24:56 admin
 

While paying for a cleanup, the Florida Legislature is poised to adjourn May 2 without addressing some of the most persistent polluters of Florida's lakes, rivers and springs.

– Flush with cash in state coffers, Florida lawmakers are pouring money into cleaning the mucky, polluted waters surrounding the Everglades.

Read more at http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/broward/os-legislature-everglades-money-20140420-17,0,3400918.story