Ocean Conservancy

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Ocean Conservancy

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MIDLAND, Mich.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW) today released its 2016 Sustainability Report, laying a solid foundation with strong first-year results since announcing its 2025 Sustainability Goals. Prepared in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards Comprehensive Option (GRI 102-54), GRI is the most widely used framework for sustainability reporting used globally by businesses, governments and other organizations. The report highlights the successes of Dow’s commitment to redefine the role of business at its intersection with society. “ Our 2025 Sustainability Goals are designed to do nothing less than help redefine the role of business in society,” said Andrew Liveris, chairman and chief executive officer. “ By driving unprecedented collaborations, Dow is leading the way in developing societal blueprints that will advance the transition to a more sustainable society and a path to a better, more resilient and more profitable way of doing business.” Dow’s 2025 Sustainability Goals serve as the next chapter in the Company’s sustainability journey, in which it will take a leadership role in developing societal blueprints that integrate public policy solutions, science and technology, and value chain innovation to facilitate the transition to a more sustainable planet and society. Overall, in the first full year of Dow’s 10-year effort, Dow has already made exciting gains: piloting new business models to rethink waste, developing tools to recognize how natural ecosystems provide business value, and developing blueprints for low-carbon and livable cities. “ Our 2025 Sustainability Goals harness Dow’s innovation strengths, global reach and the passion of our employees,” said Neil Hawkins, chief sustainability officer and corporate vice president, environment, health and safety. “ These 10-year goals will deliver long-term value to Dow and sustainable, global solutions for our customers and society.” Just a few goal achievements from Dow’s first year: Leading the Blueprint: 100 dialogue sessions conducted. On track for having the first societal blueprint draft by the end of 2017. Delivering Breakthrough Innovations: Implemented a new generation of Sustainable Chemistry Index and developed business-specific 2025 Sustainability Goals. Advancing a Circular Economy: 20 projects in progress, including the Hefty® Energy Bag Project – a unique program designed to convert previously non-recycled plastics into energy – and our support to ongoing research with Ocean Conservancy to reduce marine debris. Valuing Nature: Collaborated with The Nature Conservancy to develop a suite of tools to help businesses place a value on nature in their decision processes. Identified more than $40 million worth of Valuing Nature Goal projects. The full 2016 Sustainability Report is available on Dow’s website. Dow (NYSE: DOW) combines the power of science and technology to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The Company is driving innovations that extract value from material, polymer, chemical and biological science to help address many of the world's most challenging problems, such as the need for fresh food, safer and more sustainable transportation, clean water, energy efficiency, more durable infrastructure, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow's integrated, market-driven portfolio delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers in 175 countries and in high-growth sectors such as packaging, infrastructure, transportation, consumer care, electronics, and agriculture. In 2016, Dow had annual sales of $48 billion and employed approximately 56,000 people worldwide. The Company's more than 7,000 product families are manufactured at 189 sites in 34 countries across the globe. References to "Dow" or the "Company" mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted. More information about Dow can be found at www.dow.com. ®TM Trademark of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) or an affiliated company of Dow


News Article | May 30, 2017
Site: www.greenbiz.com

Why businesses are striving for multiple U.N. Global Goals


News Article | June 2, 2017
Site: en.prnasia.com

WASHINGTON, June 3, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- As world leaders gather at the first UN Ocean Conference that will get underway on June 5th, World Environment Day, Ocean Conservancy is releasing data from more than half a million International Coastal Cleanup volunteers who removed 18,399,900 pounds of trash from beaches, coasts and waterways in 112 countries last September, in the world's largest volunteer effort on behalf of the ocean. "We are grateful for the volunteers around the world who literally moved mountains of trash from entering our ocean," said Allison Schutes, senior manager of Ocean Conservancy's Trash Free Seas Program. "Together, we walked over 14,490 miles of beaches, coasts and waterways—enough to walk around the moon twice. This is no small feat and we are grateful for every person who showed up and every piece of trash they picked. It makes a difference in our efforts to stem the tide of ocean trash." The report released today identifies a piano among the other more unusual items found. Small, ubiquitous items like cigarette butts, plastic beverage bottles, food wrappers, plastic bottle caps and plastic straws remain the most commonly collected items—and remain among the most deadly to wildlife like seabirds, marine mammals and sea turtles. The International Coastal Cleanup contributes to the world's most robust database on marine debris, which is built entirely on the individual action of the citizen scientists who meticulously log their finds. Last year, Ocean Conservancy debuted the Clean Swell mobile app to allow volunteers to more easily log trash that they collect. "The International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) is perhaps the clearest expression of grassroots global action on behalf of our ocean, something Ocean Conservancy is proud to have led for over 30 years," said Janis Searles Jones (@InVeritas_Jones), CEO of Ocean Conservancy. "But we recognize that cleanup efforts alone cannot tackle a crisis of this magnitude with an estimated 8 million tons of trash makes its way into our ocean every year, which is why we invite partnerships and collaborations across sectors." The Cleanup is part of Ocean Conservancy's larger strategy for Trash Free Seas and is one of the many ways the organization is joining with others to help find answers and solutions to address existing ocean trash and eventually stop its flow into the ocean. Ocean Conservancy also started the Trash Free Seas Alliance® to coordinate across industry, government, NGOs and public interest organizations to identify ways to stop land-based trash from ever reaching the ocean. Scientists have identified that by improving waste management and collection in the 20 countries where the mismatch between plastic consumption and mismanaged waste is greatest, we can reduce by 2025 the amount of plastic entering the ocean by more than 40%. "Ocean Conservancy is excited to see the solutions and commitments that emerge from the United Nations' Ocean Conference to tackle ocean trash," added Jones. "We are ready to step up to the challenge of turning the tide on ocean trash together." Ocean Conservancy acknowledges with thanks the support of The Coca-Cola Company for the International Coastal Cleanup over the past 19 years. Last year, Coca-Cola activated a global employee engagement campaign to encourage participation in the Cleanup -- more than 7,000 Coca-Cola system associates volunteered along with their friends and families, cleaning more than 150,000 pounds of trash. As part of its commitment to address global climate change, Bank of America has supported the Cleanup since 2002, with thousands of employees participating in Cleanup events all around the world. Other national sponsors include National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Altria Group, Inc., Brunswick Public Foundation, Cox Enterprises, The Dow Chemical Company and the Martin Foundation. Ocean Conservancy is working to protect the ocean from today's greatest global challenges. Together with our partners, we create science-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it. For more information, visit www.oceanconservancy.org, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.


Calado H.,University of The Azores | Bentz J.,University of The Azores | Ng K.,University of The Azores | Zivian A.,Ocean Conservancy | And 4 more authors.
Marine Policy | Year: 2012

Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) are playing important roles in environmental conservation and management. Some are actively involved in the development and implementation of marine spatial planning (MSP), especially in Europe where this has been embodied within a European Directive. MSP is being used by many countries to sustainably manage coastal and marine areas, and reduce conflicts. However, recommendations regarding specific NGO roles within the MSP process are lacking. Consequently, to fill this gap and discuss a way forward, a session at the 5th Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts and Islands (GOF5) brought together MSP experts and NGO representatives. This paper reports the conclusions of these discussions and presents a summary guideline document for efficient and effective NGO MSP engagement. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Christie P.,University of Washington | Pietri D.M.,Blue Earth | Stevenson T.C.,Ocean Conservancy | Pollnac R.,University of Rhode Island | And 2 more authors.
Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability | Year: 2016

The Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries, and Food Security (CTI-CFF) is an ambitious marine conservation and governance program engaging six countries in Southeast Asia and Melanesia that has attracted significant international support, including an investment of over $40 million from the United States through the five-year U.S. Coral Triangle Initiative Support Program. In this paper, we examine outcomes of the USCTI documented through the Learning Project (LP), a collaborative, interdisciplinary project capturing lessons learned from USCTI and CTI-CFF. The co-design process and collaborative spirit of the LP allowed it to collect a large body of information from a diverse range of informants in a relatively short time frame and provide important documentation of the achievements and challenges of USCTI. For instance, social surveys of resource users and policy makers in the Coral Triangle region and the United States document that the CTI-CFF has resulted in impressive management outcomes, including: improved MPA enforcement, increases in national and regional management capacity, leadership creation, and integrated conservation-fishery-climate change planning. Significant challenges remain to ensure that overall planning processes effectively link regional-level, national-level, subnational-level (district/provincial) and community-level efforts and that international donors and policy-makers, managers, and resources users in the region remain committed to this conservation experiment. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.


News Article | September 20, 2016
Site: www.washingtonpost.com

Earlier this year, it appeared that we might be on pace for a startling new record in the Arctic. Back in May, the area of the Arctic Ocean covered by floating sea ice was even smaller than it was at the same time in 2012, the year that went on to set the all-time record for low sea ice extent in the month of September. September, you see, is when Arctic sea ice naturally declines to its annual minimum each year, after months of summer warmth and unbroken sunlight. No wonder, then, that climate wonks have been anxiously watching the daily charts from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) recently, wondering how low this September’s ice would actually go. However, Arctic weather during the summer was more friendly to ice — cloudiness, for instance, can cool down the ocean — and as a result, this year’s September extent wasn’t quite so low as in 2012. Instead, the National Snow and Ice Data Center announced Thursday that 2016 was merely tied for the second-lowest extent ever recorded, with the year 2007. The all-time record low year, 2012, saw just 1.31 million square miles of sea ice extent at its September low, on Sept. 17 of that year. The 2016 low, reached on Sept. 10, was 1.6 million square miles, and the 2007 low was very nearly the same, leading to what the center calls a “statistical tie.” In other words, in September of 2007 and 2016, the area of the Arctic Ocean covered by sea ice was bigger than it was in 2012 by an area about the size of Texas. But the real story is that all of these years are way, way below the average, as a figure from the National Snow and Ice Data Center makes clear: The center stresses that its determination about 2016’s sea ice minimum is merely “preliminary.” It is still possible that the sea ice extent could tick a bit lower before the ocean begins to refreeze, and the planet’s icy cap starts to expand, as winter nears. The researchers actually appeared to express a bit of surprise that 2016 didn’t stand out more in September, given how dramatically low ice extent was earlier in the year, and given evidence that the ice was also very thin and the ocean very warm. After all, 2016 is widely expected to turn out to be the warmest year on record for the globe as a whole. But sea ice doesn’t necessarily follow in perfect lockstep. Weather conditions during the summer matter a lot: “Statistically, there is little relationship between May and September sea ice extents after removing the long-term trend, indicating the strong role of summer weather patterns in controlling sea ice loss,” notes the NSIDC. Thus, the punchline is clear: Don’t focus too much on any individual year; focus instead on the trend. And when it comes to trends in Arctic sea ice — one of the most observable planetary indicators — there’s just no doubt that the trend is down, and down, and down, even if not every year sets a new record. “September Arctic sea ice is now declining at a rate of 13.4 percent per decade, relative to the 1981 to 2010 average,” NASA says. Or think about it another way: According to a table presented by the NSIDC, all of the 10 lowest years for Arctic sea ice extent have occurred since 2005. This year, Arctic sea ice melt was paired with an astonishing window on the kind of world that this will bring — a cruise ship, the Crystal Serenity, successfully navigated the Northwest Passage on a trip from Alaska to New York via the Arctic. As sea ice trends lower and lower, we can only expect such incursions to grow. “The loss of summer sea ice … opens up the Arctic to increasing vessel traffic and the risks that come with it like higher risk of oil spills, impact of noise pollution on marine wildlife and the introduction of invasive species,” said Janice Searles Jones, president of the Ocean Conservancy, in a statement. “By 2025, vessel traffic through the Bering Strait is projected to increase anywhere from 100 – 500% from what it was in 2013.” From space, a new effort to crack down on illegal fishing across the globe Obama to designate the first-ever marine monument off the East Coast, in New England We’ve been protecting Earth’s land for 100 years. We’re finally starting to protect its oceans For more, you can sign up for our weekly newsletter here, and follow us on Twitter here.


News Article | September 20, 2016
Site: www.washingtonpost.com

A decade ago, only a tiny fraction of the world’s oceans had been protected from overfishing and other environmental threats. The United States had scores of national parks and other landmarks. Other countries had safeguarded cultural, historical and natural treasures. But for the oceans, such efforts remained in their infancy. “Ocean conservation was an afterthought,” said Matt Rand, who directs the Global Ocean Legacy project for the Pew Charitable Trusts. “When you looked around the world a decade ago, very little investment was going into the conservation of ocean ecosystems.” A key example of how that began to change came in 2006, when President George W. Bush designated an island chain spanning nearly 1,400 miles of the Pacific northwest of Hawaii as a national monument. Last month, President Obama expanded the Papahānaumokuākea (pronounced “Papa-HA-now-moh-koo-AH-kay-ah”) Marine National Monument to 582,578 square miles of land and sea, creating the largest ecologically protected area on the planet. As government leaders, scientists and environmental activists from around the world gather this week at the State Department for what has become an annual global conference on preserving the oceans, roughly 3 percent of the world’s oceans are now protected. That’s a far cry from the 30 to 40 percent that many scientists think will be necessary over the long term to maintain the sustainability of the seas that feed billions of people and employ millions of workers. But it’s exponentially more than only a few years ago. “I’m thrilled with the progress we’ve made,” Secretary of State John F. Kerry, who engineered the first such gathering in 2014, said in an interview, even as he acknowledged that much more work lies ahead. “Through my years in the Senate, there had been great [nongovernmental] oceans advocates. … But I think it needed the force of an administration and a department like the State Department to say, ‘We’re not going to leave you out there on your own. This is our responsibility, too.’ “ The Obama administration’s embrace of the cause has emboldened ocean advocates and helped fuel a global push to set aside more protected areas. “Right now, I’m more hugely hopeful for ocean conservation than I’ve ever been at any other time in my career,” said Janis Jones, president of the Ocean Conservancy, an environmental advocacy group. “There are more and more people invested in protecting the ocean.” Those people include local advocates trying to protect marine species from threats that include plastic debris and the acidification underway as oceans absorb human-generated carbon emissions. But increasingly, it also includes high-level leaders in different parts of the globe. Last year, for instance, the president of the tiny island country of Palau in the western Pacific Ocean pushed to create a marine reserve larger than the state of California. President Thomas Esang “Tommy” Remengesau Jr. signed a designation to keep 80 percent of its territorial waters from activities such as fishing and mining. About the same time, Chile created the largest marine reserve in the Americas off its coast called Nazca-Desventuradas Marine Park. The area encompasses roughly 115,000 square miles — almost the size of Italy. And last week, the presidents of Ecuador, Colombia and Costa Rica announced they would expand the marine protected areas under their jurisdiction to more than 83,000 square miles, creating a network of underwater “highways” that will allow wide-ranging species such as sea turtles and sharks more freedom to move without facing intense fishing pressure. Making the announcement, Ecuador President Rafael Correa noted his nation’s underwater territory is five times larger than its terrestrial one. “Large-scale marine protected areas are the single largest driver for ocean protection right now,” said Wilhelm, who led the public process that resulted in President Bush creating the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in 2006. “It was a crazy idea back in 2000. And now it’s normal.” Wilhelm, who served as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration superintendent of Papahānaumokuākea from June 2006 to July 2014, said protecting those areas required a shift in mindset among policymakers. Once they accepted the idea of places in the ocean as part of a country’s cultural and historic heritage, she said, it became easier to declare them off limits. “Before, we thought about heritage as cathedrals or maybe Mount Kilimanjaro,” Wilhelm observed, “but not about wild oceans.” [Obama seeks to make a big splash by creating the largest protected area on the planet] There remains considerable local opposition to restricting fishing activities in parts of the sea, whether it’s more than a thousand miles from Honolulu or off the coast of New England. Eric Reid, general manager at a fish processing plant in Point Judith, R.I., said in an interview that just because the reserve closes off a small fraction of the ocean does not soften the economic impact on communities that fish there. “If the state of Connecticut was turned into a monument and there was no economic activity whatsoever, or hit by a meteor or vaporized, the spin that could be used is it’s only 2 percent of the States,” Reid said. “But the people of Connecticut would be pretty uptight.” A group of marine biologists and conservationists decided more than a decade ago to spur an intentional competition among heads of state in which leaders would vie for the mantle of designating the largest marine reserve on Earth. When Bush invoked the 1906 Antiquities Act to protect the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands in 2006, it ranked as the world’s largest protected area, but by earlier this year it had slipped to 10th in the rankings. With its recent expansion, it reclaimed the No. 1 spot. Advocates have appealed personally to heads of state — and their spouses — to grant these safeguards. Two wildlife photographers, David Liittschwager and Susan Middleton, spent much of 2003 and 2004 documenting marine and terrestrial species on the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and in the fall of 2005 the then-head of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, James L. Connaughton, gave their book “Archipelago” to first lady Laura Bush. The first lady, an avid birder, became a passionate advocate for creation of the monument and traveled there in 2007. At times, scientists have even taken leaders underwater to view potential sites for protection. National Geographic explorer-in-residence Enric Sala went in a remotely operated underwater vehicle piloted by the president of Gabon to survey that nation’s offshore resources, and in 2014 President Ali Bongo Ondimba created a series of marine parks covering 18,000 square miles — 23 percent of the waters under Gabon’s jurisdiction. [More of the planet was protected in 2015 than ever before–few noticed because it was underwater] Sala wrote in an email that there is plenty of scientific evidence to show that large marine protected areas ensure their habitats are more resilient to climate change and boosts the size and reproductive capacity of fish there. Coral reefs have recovered in a protected area in the Pacific’s Phoenix Islands Protected Area, he noted, where fishing is prohibited. And scientific analyses have found a fourfold increase in the biomass of fish in protected areas over time. “I saw that myself diving in the remote and unfished southern Line Islands in 2009,” he said. “These islands were hit by the strong El Niño of 1997-98, but 10 years later the corals looked pristine and healthy, as though that warming event never happened.” Historically it has been difficult to get momentum behind ocean conservation in part because so much of the ocean is considered international high seas, and no one leader or one country can decide to protect it. Sala said this is the area that policymakers need to eye next. “If nobody owns or is responsible for a patch of the ocean, it makes it much harder to create the coalition that’s necessary and the authority that’s necessary to move that ocean space into conservation,” Jones said. “It’s really hard, because the lines are not clear.” She said that treating the oceans as a common space has hindered the world’s ability to safeguard them, and only in recent hears have nations made more concrete efforts to work together to grapple with which areas deserve protection. “Continuing to treat the ocean just as a global commons is really ruinous for us all,” she said. “When everybody is responsible, nobody is responsible.” Still, most experts said, many citizens in the United States and abroad have a hard time understanding the need for marine protected areas. “People get parks on land. They don’t really get parks in the ocean. Not just green parks, but blue parks,” said Jane Lubchenco, who served as head of NOAA during Obama’s first term. “A hundred years ago it was set in motion a movement to protect special places on land. Now is the time to think about protecting special places in the ocean.” Scientists nearly double sea level rise projections for 2100, because of Antarctica The mysterious ‘cold blob’ in the North Atlantic Ocean is starting to give up its secrets In Hoboken, a glimpse of cities’ future fights over rising seas


News Article | September 14, 2016
Site: www.washingtonpost.com

A decade ago, only a tiny fraction of the world’s oceans had been protected from overfishing and other environmental threats. The United States had scores of national parks and other landmarks. Other countries had safeguarded cultural, historical and natural treasures. But for the oceans, such efforts remained in their infancy. “Ocean conservation was an afterthought,” said Matt Rand, who directs the Global Ocean Legacy project for the Pew Charitable Trusts. “When you looked around the world a decade ago, very little investment was going into the conservation of ocean ecosystems.” A key example of how that began to change came in 2006, when President George W. Bush designated an island chain spanning nearly 1,400 miles of the Pacific northwest of Hawaii as a national monument. Last month, President Obama expanded the Papahānaumokuākea (pronounced “Papa-HA-now-moh-koo-AH-kay-ah”) Marine National Monument to 582,578 square miles of land and sea, creating the largest ecologically protected area on the planet. As government leaders, scientists and environmental activists from around the world gather this week at the State Department for what has become an annual global conference on preserving the oceans, roughly 3 percent of the world’s oceans are now protected. That’s a far cry from the 30 to 40 percent that many scientists think will be necessary over the long term to maintain the sustainability of the seas that feed billions of people and employ millions of workers. But it’s exponentially more than only a few years ago. “I’m thrilled with the progress we’ve made,” Secretary of State John F. Kerry, who engineered the first such gathering in 2014, said in an interview, even as he acknowledged that much more work lies ahead. “Through my years in the Senate, there had been great [nongovernmental] oceans advocates. … But I think it needed the force of an administration and a department like the State Department to say, ‘We’re not going to leave you out there on your own. This is our responsibility, too.’ “ The Obama administration’s embrace of the cause has emboldened ocean advocates and helped fuel a global push to set aside more protected areas. “Right now, I’m more hugely hopeful for ocean conservation than I’ve ever been at any other time in my career,” said Janis Jones, president of the Ocean Conservancy, an environmental advocacy group. “There are more and more people invested in protecting the ocean.” Those people include local advocates trying to protect marine species from threats that include plastic debris and the acidification underway as oceans absorb human-generated carbon emissions. But increasingly, it also includes high-level leaders in different parts of the globe. Last year, for instance, the president of the tiny island country of Palau in the western Pacific Ocean pushed to create a marine reserve larger than the state of California. President Thomas Esang “Tommy” Remengesau Jr. signed a designation to keep 80 percent of its territorial waters from activities such as fishing and mining. About the same time, Chile created the largest marine reserve in the Americas off its coast called Nazca-Desventuradas Marine Park. The area encompasses roughly 115,000 square miles — almost the size of Italy. And last week, the presidents of Ecuador, Colombia and Costa Rica announced they would expand the marine protected areas under their jurisdiction to more than 83,000 square miles, creating a network of underwater “highways” that will allow wide-ranging species such as sea turtles and sharks more freedom to move without facing intense fishing pressure. Making the announcement, Ecuador President Rafael Correa noted his nation’s underwater territory is five times larger than its terrestrial one. “Large-scale marine protected areas are the single largest driver for ocean protection right now,” said Wilhelm, who led the public process that resulted in President Bush creating the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in 2006. “It was a crazy idea back in 2000. And now it’s normal.” Wilhelm, who served as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration superintendent of Papahānaumokuākea from June 2006 to July 2014, said protecting those areas required a shift in mindset among policymakers. Once they accepted the idea of places in the ocean as part of a country’s cultural and historic heritage, she said, it became easier to declare them off limits. “Before, we thought about heritage as cathedrals or maybe Mount Kilimanjaro,” Wilhelm observed, “but not about wild oceans.” [Obama seeks to make a big splash by creating the largest protected area on the planet] There remains considerable local opposition to restricting fishing activities in parts of the sea, whether it’s more than a thousand miles from Honolulu or off the coast of New England. Eric Reid, general manager at a fish processing plant in Point Judith, R.I., said in an interview that just because the reserve closes off a small fraction of the ocean does not soften the economic impact on communities that fish there. “If the state of Connecticut was turned into a monument and there was no economic activity whatsoever, or hit by a meteor or vaporized, the spin that could be used is it’s only 2 percent of the States,” Reid said. “But the people of Connecticut would be pretty uptight.” A group of marine biologists and conservationists decided more than a decade ago to spur an intentional competition among heads of state in which leaders would vie for the mantle of designating the largest marine reserve on Earth. When Bush invoked the 1906 Antiquities Act to protect the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands in 2006, it ranked as the world’s largest protected area, but by earlier this year it had slipped to 10th in the rankings. With its recent expansion, it reclaimed the No. 1 spot. Advocates have appealed personally to heads of state — and their spouses — to grant these safeguards. Two wildlife photographers, David Liittschwager and Susan Middleton, spent much of 2003 and 2004 documenting marine and terrestrial species on the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and in the fall of 2005 the then-head of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, James L. Connaughton, gave their book “Archipelago” to first lady Laura Bush. The first lady, an avid birder, became a passionate advocate for creation of the monument and traveled there in 2007. At times, scientists have even taken leaders underwater to view potential sites for protection. National Geographic explorer-in-residence Enric Sala went in a remotely operated underwater vehicle piloted by the president of Gabon to survey that nation’s offshore resources, and in 2014 President Ali Bongo Ondimba created a series of marine parks covering 18,000 square miles — 23 percent of the waters under Gabon’s jurisdiction. [More of the planet was protected in 2015 than ever before–few noticed because it was underwater] Sala wrote in an email that there is plenty of scientific evidence to show that large marine protected areas ensure their habitats are more resilient to climate change and boosts the size and reproductive capacity of fish there. Coral reefs have recovered in a protected area in the Pacific’s Phoenix Islands Protected Area, he noted, where fishing is prohibited. And scientific analyses have found a fourfold increase in the biomass of fish in protected areas over time. “I saw that myself diving in the remote and unfished southern Line Islands in 2009,” he said. “These islands were hit by the strong El Niño of 1997-98, but 10 years later the corals looked pristine and healthy, as though that warming event never happened.” Historically it has been difficult to get momentum behind ocean conservation in part because so much of the ocean is considered international high seas, and no one leader or one country can decide to protect it. Sala said this is the area that policymakers need to eye next. “If nobody owns or is responsible for a patch of the ocean, it makes it much harder to create the coalition that’s necessary and the authority that’s necessary to move that ocean space into conservation,” Jones said. “It’s really hard, because the lines are not clear.” She said that treating the oceans as a common space has hindered the world’s ability to safeguard them, and only in recent hears have nations made more concrete efforts to work together to grapple with which areas deserve protection. “Continuing to treat the ocean just as a global commons is really ruinous for us all,” she said. “When everybody is responsible, nobody is responsible.” Still, most experts said, many citizens in the United States and abroad have a hard time understanding the need for marine protected areas. “People get parks on land. They don’t really get parks in the ocean. Not just green parks, but blue parks,” said Jane Lubchenco, who served as head of NOAA during Obama’s first term. “A hundred years ago it was set in motion a movement to protect special places on land. Now is the time to think about protecting special places in the ocean.” Scientists nearly double sea level rise projections for 2100, because of Antarctica The mysterious ‘cold blob’ in the North Atlantic Ocean is starting to give up its secrets In Hoboken, a glimpse of cities’ future fights over rising seas


News Article | December 1, 2016
Site: www.washingtonpost.com

The League of Conservation Voters called on Donald Trump’s three oldest children on Thursday to ensure that their father protects the environment, citing an open letter they and the president-elect signed in 2009 urging President Obama to act on climate change. Thursday’s letter — which was signed by LCV President Gene Karpinski and the chair of LCV’s board of directors, Carol Browner, who served as Obama’s climate czar during his first term — highlights the extent to which environmentalists are concerned about the direction of the next administration. On Wednesday, more than 2,300 scientists, including 22 Nobel laureates, sent a letter to Trump and GOP congressional leaders urging them to respect scientific integrity once they take the helm of the executive and legislative branches in January. Hours after LCV sent its letter to Trump’s children, a coalition of 30 green groups sent every member of the Senate a letter arguing that they should only support Cabinet nominees next year if they are committed to key environmental safeguards. Noting that the incoming president had vowed to unify the country, they write, “A critical step forward would be for him to nominate Cabinet secretaries and agency heads who are committed to addressing the climate crisis and to protecting our air, water, health, public lands and wildlife.” “If the President-elect instead chooses to nominate individuals who deny climate science or would seek to gut our bedrock environmental protections or roll back recent climate progress, we urge you to vote against their confirmation,” adds the signatories, which include the National Parks Conservation Association, Ocean Conservancy and the Sierra Club. For their part, Karpinski and Browner note that the four Trumps signed a letter addressed to Obama and published in the New York Times in November 2009 that cautioned, “If we fail to act now, it is scientifically irrefutable that there will be catastrophic and irreversible consequences for humanity and our planet.” “Seven years later the stakes have never been higher in the global fight against climate change,” Karpinski and Browner write in Thursday’s letter. None of Trump’s children spoke extensively about the issue of climate change during the campaign, though Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump are avid hunters. Donald Jr. told a group at the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership’s meeting this summer that the campaign had “broken away from a lot of traditional conservative dogma on the issue, in that we do want federal lands to remain federal,” a position his father outlined in a Field & Stream interview nearly a year ago. [Over 2,000 scientists urge Trump to respect ‘scientific integrity and independence’] The Trump campaign could not be reached for comment Thursday. On the question of climate change, however, the president-elect has given little indication that he will pursue the kinds of policies that LCV and other groups support. Donald Trump has vowed to boost fossil fuel production in the United States, particularly within the coal industry, and at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire during the GOP primaries, he mocked the idea that global warming is a threat. At that event, LCV volunteer Meghan Andrade asked Trump what he would do to address the issue, to which he replied: “Let me ask you this — take it easy, fellas — how many people here believe in global warming? Do you believe in global warming?” After asking three times “Who believes in global warming?” and soliciting a show of hands, Trump concluded that “nobody” believed climate change was underway except for Andrade. “Well, it’s a very interesting” question, Trump said. “You believe, right? You believe?” Referring to that incident, Karpinski and Browner write, “On Election Night, your father said he wants to be a president for all Americans. It’s pretty simple. For your children’s future and the future of all Americans, we must honor the United States commitments under the Paris agreement and reduce greenhouse gas emissions at least 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050, and we must defend the Clean Power Plan, the single largest step our nation has taken to address climate change.” They also specifically point to some of those being considered by Trump to head key environmental agencies or to serve as top advisers — including the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Myron Ebell, former Alaska governor and GOP vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin and former Texas Commission on Environmental Quality chair Kathleen Hartnett White — as people who “should make it nowhere near his administration. Our planet simply can’t afford to give polluters free rein to pollute our air and water and even sell off public lands.” [Top green group to spend at least $40 million this election, shattering past records] It is unclear how much leverage the nation’s environmental groups — including LCV, which endorsed Hillary Clinton for president before a single primary ballot was cast and spent $10 million in an effort to help her win the White House — have when it comes to Trump or his three oldest children, who serve as some of his top advisers.


News Article | December 19, 2015
Site: www.treehugger.com

Diaphanous and eerily beautiful, jellyfish are the floating aliens of the ocean, and some have hypothesized their numbers might be flourishing in recent years due to the warming and increasing acidification of the ocean. In any case, the jellyfish are but one piece of the ocean conservation puzzle, and in homage to this graceful and mysterious creature, Californian designer Roxy Russell created this series of jellyfish-inspired lighting, where part of the profits will be donated to the Ocean Conservancy. Made out of recyclable and durable velum finish PET (polyethylene terephthalate) mylar, in addition to white powder-coated aluminum, Russell's "Medusae" lamps come flat-packed and are designed to hang from the ceiling, allowing their delicate arms to float down, diffusing light softly. Russell has given these creations names like "Hydra", "Ophelia", and "Medusa" in a nod toward Greek mythological characters. Though it may seem paradoxical to make these plastic lamps to help ocean conservation, Russell explains that the problem is not with this recyclable material itself, but with our "everything is disposable" attitude: I don’t believe the PET is an evil material, it is the way we use it. We will never be able to completely eliminate something as versatile as plastics. We must, however put more thought into how disposable it is, and its role in our everyday lives. For example, we know we need to drink water everyday in order to survive, why are most people still using disposable containers to hold their water? It’s such a new thing too, for centuries we had canteen’s, animal skins etc, to hold our water. Now, we forget so easily that we are creating this waste every time we need to hydrate! The lights are an example of how delicate and beautiful our ocean life is. The use of plastic in such a way shows a middle ground in the ways we use our technologies. And hopefully elevates it, in a way. Though the lamps are on the pricey side (USD $475) and require a bit of assembly, they are one-of-a-kind and are made in Los Angeles. For more information or to purchase, check out Roxy Russell.

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