Environmental News September 15 to September 29, 2016

Quote for the week

“Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.”
— Gary Snyder

UCSB Professor Receives $10 Million To Establish Benioff Ocean Initiative
Date: September 29, 2016
By: Kirstie Allen
U.C.S.B. takes huge steps towards tackling marine issues worldwide with the establishment of the Benioff Ocean Initiative, a foundation recently formed by university marine biologists and researchers. Surveying and accepting submissions from nations around the globe, members of the team will review specific environmental problems and analyze them to find viable solutions. This new project will hopefully inspire powerful action with regard to marine conservation around the world.
Read more here.

High Stakes on the High Seas: A Call for International Reserves
Date: September 29, 2016
By: Nicola Jones
With the devastation of marine populations worldwide due to commercial overfishing, marine protected areas offer a hopeful solution to recover devastated ocean life. As fish stocks dwindle and habitats continue to suffer from the impacts of overfishing, momentum for the establishment of more marine protected areas grows, particularly on the high seas. An even more extreme approach has been proposed, suggesting the ban of fishing on all high seas and restricting it purely to territorial waters.
Read more here.

Deep-sea volcano a hotspot for mysterious life: ‘We don’t know what we’re going to find’
Date: September 29th, 2016
By: Caleb Jones
For the first time ever, scientists have reached the Cook Seamount, a 13,000 foot extinct volcano lying on the ocean floor. Earlier this month, the 3 man submarine reached this never before seen spectacle, revealing several new and rare species of marine organisms.
Read more here.

Saving the World's Oceans Is This Marine Biologist's Life Pursuit
Date: September 28th, 2016
By: Gary Strauss
At 81 years old, scientist, explorer, and conservationist Sylvia Earle still ruthlessly fights for the protection of our planet’s oceans. After 60 years of work in ocean conservation, Earle’s current focus involves the establishment and growth of marine protected areas, hoping that 20% of our planet’s oceans will be protected by 2020.
Read more here.

Whales, Sea Turtles, Seals: The Unintended Catch Of Abandoned Fishing Gear
Date: September 28th, 2016
By: Clare Leschin-Hoar
With several whale entanglements throughout California this summer, and another one last weekend off the coast of Maine, ghost nets and abandoned fishing gear have become an extreme problem for marine life. Entangling, exhausting, and drowning whales, dolphins, seals, and other marine organisms, lost fishing gear is a preventable and extreme threat that continues to plague our oceans. However, with the signing of The Whale Protection & Crab Gear Retrieval Act this last week, the hopeful new law makes it not only legal to collect abandoned fishing gear, but economically profitable.
Read more here.

Conservation Measures Needed to Ensure Future Generations of Sharks, Rays
Date: September 26, 2016
By: Charles Knapp
As shark and ray populations suffer severe overexploitation resulting from unsustainable fishing practices, the health of our oceans suffers as well. As keystone species dire to the stability and survival of food chains and marine ecosystems, we must take steps towards conserving and protecting these fragile, beautiful ocean creatures.
Read more here.

Alexandra Cousteau Is on a Mission to Protect the Ocean Floor Before Its Vital Habitats Are Lost Forever
Date: September 24, 2016
By: Joanna Sloame
Alexandra Cousteau, granddaughter of Jacques-Yvez Cousteau, has teamed up with international organization Oceana to study and protect our deep oceans. Capturing video footage of the seafloor surrounding the Channel Islands, Cousteau and her team reveal the highly productive and important marine habitat and its vital purpose in our oceans.
Read more here.

PRESS RELEASE: Gov. signs whale protection legislation
Date: September 24, 2016
By: Mendo Voice Staff
New hope is on the horizon for whales off the coast of California, after entanglements in crab fishing gear reached records highs in 2015. The Whale Protection and Crab Gear Retrieval Act, new legislation signed by Governor Jerry Brown Friday afternoon, seeks to permanently protect whales by removing lost fishing gear. Receiving immense support in the Senate and Assembly, the passing of this act demonstrates steps forward in combating marine conservation issues off California’s delicate and pristine coastline.
Read more here.

Billions Committed At Our Oceans Conference
Date: September 18th, 2016
By: MarEx
Huge steps forward were achieved at the annual “Our Oceans” conference, where over 136 new initiatives were announced to conserve the marine environment. With the creation of over 40 new marine protected areas, $1 billion dedicated to marine pollution, and a national bag ban instituted by 5 countries, this year’s convention achieved great strides towards saving our seas.
Read more here.

John Kerry Says Saving the Oceans is a ‘Life or Death’ Issue
Date: September 16, 2016
By: Laura Parker
United States Secretary of State John Kerry discusses in an interview with National Geographic the dire need to protect our oceans. As the health of our oceans dwindles due to overfishing, runoff and sewage pollution, acidification, and a multitude of other critical threats, Kerry states that protection of our seas is at the forefront of his priorities.
Read more here.

Our Oceans Conference Confronts Ocean’s Biggest Threats
Date: September 15th, 2016
By: Lorraine Chow
The third annual “Our Oceans” Conference kicked off today in Washington D.C., starting discussion of ocean conservation problems and solutions among over 90 countries around the world. This year’s convention aims to focus specifically on sustainable fisheries, marine protected areas, marine pollution, and climate-related conflicts, with the hope of pushing ocean conservation to become a global foreign policy and national security issue.
Read more here.