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The battle for Bristol Bay isn’t over

By David Aplin, interim managing director of WWF’s U.S. Arctic program

Time and time again, the people of Bristol Bay, the State of Alaska, and the United States have said overwhelmingly that the risks associated with development of the Pebble Mine are too great. Bristol Bay’s sustainable ecosystems and all of the values they support should not be compromised. Local business leaders don’t want it. The region’s tribes don’t want it. And more than a million Americans have gone on record demanding that this national treasure be protected.

Can a gentle giant of Philippine coral reefs be saved from extinction in the wild?

We once lived in a world full of giants – blue whales freely swimming in our oceans and large animals such as elephants roaming our land. Unfortunately, populations of terrestrial and marine megafauna have declined dramatically in recent years. African elephant populations have declined from an estimated 1.3 million to around 600,000. Populations of big…

We Will March for the Ocean!

On Saturday, June 9, 2018 tens of thousands of people will March for the Ocean in Washington D.C. and across the nation and planet to mark the end of World Oceans Day weekend. Why? Because we have no choice! Our public seas, already in crisis, are now at hugely increased risk from the Trump administration…

What’s the cost of a surf-and-turf dinner? 1,795 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.

What’s the cost of an average shrimp-and-steak dinner? If it comes from the loss of mangrove forests to aquaculture and agriculture, it’s 1,795 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. That’s about the same amount of greenhouse gases produced by driving a fuel-efficient car from Los Angeles to New York City. Clearcutting of tropical mangrove forests to…

Menhaden, The Little Fish That Could—Won’t

Menhaden, the little fish that could, can’t. I mean, they can but they won’t. Because as of a few days ago, they’re not allowed to. This week they got another bad break from fisheries managers. Let me explain. The fish is called “the most important fish in the sea” because it feeds so many whales,…

Hōkūleʻa Joins the Centennial Tribute to Queen Liliʻuokalani

In honor of Queen Liliʻuokalani, Hōkūleʻa this morning set sail along the southern shoreline of Oʻahu to join in an observance ceremony shared across the island chain. At around 8:30 am, Hōkūleʻa was faced toward the direction of Iolani Palace, Kawaiahaʻo and Washington Place and her sails were lowered. At this moment, double rainbows appeared…

‘Planetary Boundaries’ a flawed mechanism to safeguard Earth’s biodiversity, scientists warn

The notion that human impacts will be fine, so long as we keep them within “planetary boundaries” is seductive, but deeply flawed scientifically. Worse, though well-intentioned, it encourages harmful policies, three of the world’s leading ecologists argue in a peer-reviewed commentary published this month in Trends in Ecology & Evolution.

“A critical question is how should we manage human actions that harm the natural world,” said Stuart L. Pimm, Doris Duke Professor of Conservation at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. “Do we really want to operate under the assumption – as the notion of a planetary boundary for biodiversity purports – that humans can go about business as usual so long as the impacts of our actions remain within some arbitrary ‘safe operating space’?”

Shedd Aquarium Teens and Volunteers Lend an Eye to Global Research

The following is a blog post by Dr. Steve Kessel, director of marine research at Shedd Aquarium. You don’t have to be a scientist to contribute to a global research study thanks to a growing number of projects that rely on citizen science. These are projects in which volunteers and scientists work together to answer real-world…

One Fin, Two Fin, No Fin, Bluefin

By Carl Safina Atlantic Bluefin tuna might be the best studied marine fish in the world. But counting Bluefin in the wild is difficult. They can live several decades and reach 1,500 pounds, and they migrate across the ocean. It’s been particularly difficult for western Atlantic Bluefin. (Eastern Atlantic and western Atlantic tuna are named…

What Is Making All That Arctic Noise?

Working and living in the coastal Arctic, we have a particular interest in the impacts of noise on marine mammals and how that affects both their health and vitality and that of our indigenous partners, who rely on marine mammals for their food and economic security. With a range of colleagues within and outside WCS, we are developing an understanding of soundscapes, which helps us define and implement conservation strategies to protect these iconic animals in two of the most critical marine mammal habitats in the Western Arctic.

A “novel” approach to climate change education: “The Kingdom of Winter,” a book review

Author Dorothy Papadakos is working on “The Kingdoms of the Seasons” series of novels to help teach young adults about climate change in a more engaging way.

Dinner with a side of ocean destruction?

Every time you eat at a restaurant, university cafeteria, airport, corporate campus, or sporting event, your food was likely provided by a large foodservice company. Sea of Distress 2017, a new Greenpeace report, evaluates whether food companies are helping or harming the oceans and workers. The world’s oceans are home to one million species, covering…

A Krill’s-Eye Video of New Zealand Seabirds

Music video or science documentary? This is both! We took a GoPro-rigged buoy out into New Zealand’s Hauraki Gulf, where multitudes of hungry seabirds were tracking swarms of fish and krill just below the surface of the sea. Featuring Darlingside‘s “The Ancestor” from the album Birds Say. Underwater footage courtesy of the Northern New Zealand Seabird Trust.…

To Save Australia’s Outback, Indigenous Groups Connect With Nature

Note: This piece was updated on Nov. 14, 2017, with terminology to appropriately describe Indigenous communities in Australia. Flying across the width of Australia in July, from Sydney in the southeast to Broome in the northwest, I was mesmerized by the sweeping floodplains of the channel country and the seemingly endless rolling dunes of the…

Virtual Reality can help politicians make responsible decisions about the environment

There’s been no shortage of apocalyptic images lately, from massive hurricanes in the Caribbean and Texas to California’s deadliest wildfires ever. Scientists say global warming has magnified the impact of disasters like these. Still, some legislators deny the impact of climate change or oppose any restrictions on carbon emissions. I’ve long said that if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a virtual reality experience is worth 1,000 pictures. Could virtual reality change their minds?