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Carl Safina joins board of nonprofit working to improve lives of captive cetaceans

By Erica Cirino There are many people who believe whales and dolphins do not belong in aquariums and marine parks, and for good reason: When you put a large, highly intelligent animal that naturally travels a hundred or more miles a day into a small concrete tank, the results aren’t pretty. The animals suffer increased mental…

It’s Time for the World Heritage Convention to Step Up Protection of Globally Significant Wilderness Areas

Despite being irreplaceable and increasingly threatened, wilderness areas remain under-valued, under-protected, and have been almost completely ignored in international environmental policy. Immediate pro-active action is required to save them. The question is where such action could come from. In a paper just published in Conservation Biology, we argue that the World Heritage Convention has the ability to protect wilderness areas by improving coverage within Natural World Heritage Sites (NWHS). This is something very much in the World Heritage Convention’s best interests if it is to meet its core objective to identify and conserve the world’s most valuable sites.

Military-Civilian Partnership Brings New Oyster Reef to Northwest Florida

The air reverberated with clinking noises and the whoosh of oyster shells sliding off giant piles into waiting buckets. Volunteers, Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA) staff and their AmeriCorps team gathered the shells in mesh bags, slowly building another mound of new reef material. As they worked, a truck pulled in with even more shells, collected…

The bird and the dolphins

By Safina Center Fellow Ben Mirin Notes from the Field: The first of three vignettes A vignette from Expedition Echo, a 7-day sailing journey to record marine mammal vocalizations along the coast of Belize. It was a fisherman’s worst nightmare. As Captain Eggy frantically reeled in his line, the crew congregated at the back of the…

Two Days at the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

As part of an ongoing project, Erika Zambello is visiting all National Estuarine Research Reserves in the continental United States. Established by NOAA, the sites work together toward long-term research, education and coastal stewardship. Day 1 The Reserve Founded in 1999, the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) covers over 18,000 acres along the…

NRLI: Finding Inclusive Solutions to Seemingly Intractable Problems

The Natural Resources Leadership Institute is housed within the School of Forest Resources and Conservation and the IFAS Center for Leadership. Situated just outside Marianna in Florida’s Panhandle, Cindale Farms is a dairy comprised of just 600 cattle. I met the dairy’s owners Brad and Meg Austin during one of the most memorable sessions of…

Te Araroa and the Increasing Popularity of Thru-Hikes

By Erika Zambello, based on an article by Dan Hawkins. New Zealand is known for breathtaking scenery, popularized in the blockbuster Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movie series. Since 1975, citizens have been working toward a scenic, thru-hiking trail to showcase the country, culminating in an official trail that opened in 2011. Today,…

The WCS Climate Adaptation Fund: Supporting Climate Solutions That Work

WCS designed its Climate Adaptation Fund to test and verify solutions to protect the ecological integrity of natural systems. After five years of investing in adaptation projects across the country, our new 14 Solutions report categorizes some of the most common climate challenges impacting diverse landscapes and pairs them with the solutions our grant partners have deployed across the United States.

A date with killer whales

Wildlife photographer Jodi Frediani explains why April 20 is more than a holiday for smokers; it’s a day for whale lovers in Monterey Bay to gather & watch.

Kayaking Within Rookery Bay Mangroves

As part of an ongoing project, Erika Zambello is visiting all National Estuarine Research Reserves in the continental United States. Established by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the sites work together toward long-term research, education and coastal stewardship. A group of intrepid adventurers and I met at exactly 9 a.m. at the end…

Is Your Sunscreen Hurting Oysters? Probably.

By Erika Zambello, based on an article by Madison Toonder. Though still in high school, Madison Toonder is passionate about science, and recently used the scientific method to study oysters in the coastal environment near her Florida home. “I discovered the importance of conservation at a young age,” she wrote in a new article for Voices…

Living Shoreline Initiatives Aim to Stem Erosion at the GTM NERR

As part of an ongoing project, Erika Zambello is visiting all National Estuarine Research Reserves in the continental United States. Established by NOAA, the sites work together toward long-term research, education and coastal stewardship. A group of scientists attending a Jacksonville-based living shorelines conference, garbed in knee-high wading boots, walked across a mudflat toward a…

Reserva Monte Mojino: Conservation on the Slopes of the Sierra Madre

A cactus flower blooming next to a lush fig tree, a desert tortoise resting beneath an elegant trogon perched in a mesquite: I first encountered these strange bedfellows when I visited the forest near Alamos in Sonora, Mexico, during the summer monsoon. It is here, along the slopes of the Sierra Madre Occidental, that one…

Two Days at the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve

As part of an ongoing project, Erika Zambello is visiting all National Estuarine Research Reserves in the continental United States. Established by NOAA, the sites work together toward long-term research, education and coastal stewardship. Located on the Florida Panhandle, the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve (ANERR) borders encompass over 245,000 acres, including Apalachicola Bay, wildlife…

Southern Resident killer whale population is running out of salmon, running out of time

The Pacific Northwest’s Southern Resident killer whale population is running out of food…and that’s spelling disaster for these vulnerable creatures.