Archive for January, 2018

Gulf Restoration: Moving Planning Across State Lines

Posted in Saving Mother Ocean | Comments Off on Gulf Restoration: Moving Planning Across State Lines

Restoring the Gulf of Mexico after the BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster will take a lot of time and money, and there are several different decision-makers involved. One of those decision-making bodies is the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council, a group of state and federal agency leaders who oversee $3.2 billion in Clean Water Act fines that BP and other parties were required to pay for their role in the disaster.

Back in 2016, tens of thousands of ocean supporters like you called on the Council to update their comprehensive plan to restore the Gulf, with more ambitious goals like ensuring that Council members collaborate on their project proposals across watersheds, leverage funding across programs, and include meaningful opportunities for the public to weigh in.

The Council not only heard our concerns, but they also recognized that the best way to achieve these goals is to make sure the Council members have adequate funding to carry them out.

With their newly approved Final 2017 Funded Priorities List: Comprehensive Commitment and Planning Support, the Council will invest in collaborative, long-term planning for the Gulf, as opposed to spending each annual payment from the Deepwater Horizon settlements on small, disconnected projects. Many great, shovel-ready projects have already been funded to start repairing the Gulf, but now is the time for long-term thinking.

Tom McCann : Ocean ConservancyTom McCann : Ocean Conservancy
© Tom McCann / Ocean Conservancy

While this new investment won’t directly replant marsh grass or monitor fish species, it will provide grants from the Deepwater Horizon settlements to the Council members to ensure that those projects to restore marshes or fish or any other part of the Gulf will be coordinated. Here at Ocean Conservancy, we think this type of planning will ultimately lead to more effective restoration.

The Council members will be able to leverage restoration dollars to develop high-impact projects, which we hope lead to bigger improvements in the health of the Gulf ecosystem.

While we all tend to focus on issues limited to our city or state, we know that’s not how an ecosystem works. Gulf animals don’t stop at state lines, and neither did the 210 million gallons of oil that spewed into the Gulf. Likewise, the projects to restore the Gulf shouldn’t be limited to within state borders. Additionally, many Gulf states share a river on their borders, like the Perdido River between Florida and Alabama, and the Sabine River between Texas and Louisiana. With a properly funded coordination program, these states will be able to compare project ideas and submit joint project proposals for funding with settlement dollars. They are also better prepared to build their project ideas on the best-available science and environmental compliance. And with the proper amount of time, capacity and funding, state and federal leaders can more thoughtfully engage with coastal communities and tribes to understand their needs and incorporate their ideas into project proposals.

The Gulf is one interconnected ecosystem, and we must ensure that our wildlife and habitats are fully recovering—not just in one state, but across the entire Gulf region. We commend the Council for taking this important step, and we look forward to working collaboratively with our partners and local communities to build the best possible future for the Gulf.

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Confronting Plastic in the Ocean: California’s Stalled Push to ‘Keep the Cap On’

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By now you might have heard about a California bill that would push restaurants to offer plastic straws to diners only upon request. While the anti-straw movement has gained considerable momentum in the past few years, these ubiquitous utensils haven’t been the only item under legislative consideration on the West coast. Last year, California Assembly member Mark Stone introduced AB 319, a bill that would prohibit retailers from selling or offering for sale single-use plastic beverage containers with caps that are not tethered or affixed to the beverage container itself. In a statement announcing the proposed legislation, he explained, “By requiring that those lids stay attached to the plastic bottles that consumers use, we can ensure that they are part of California’s successful recycling programs and not in landfills or the environment.” 

Industry groups opposed AB 319, arguing that such regulation would hardly make a dent on the ocean plastic problem. While the legislation appears to be on hold for now, it’s worth debunking the propaganda surrounding it.

There is no doubt that plastic pollution in the ocean is reaching crisis levels.

Public Domain

Three years ago, Dr. Jenna Jambeck and colleagues published groundbreaking research estimating that 8 million tons of plastic waste enters the ocean from land every year, with more than 50% coming from just five southeast Asian countries. Given the geographic concentration, it makes sense to focus efforts on improving waste management in the region—a strategy that Ocean Conservancy has pioneered and advocated for vigorously.

But it is important to remember that Jambeck’s research showed that many other countries in the world contribute substantially to the plastic problem. In fact, the United States ranks 20th on the list of contributing countries, adding roughly 160,000 metric tons (MT) of plastic into the ocean each year. That’s a big number by anybody’s yardstick. 

While a whole variety of disposable plastic products contribute to that 160,000 MT figure, Ocean Conservancy’s data illustrate that a small number of items are disproportionately represented in the debris items catalogued on beaches and in waterways each September as part of our International Coastal Cleanup. In 2016, more than 13 million items of trash were removed by volunteers around the world during this annual volunteer effort, of which 822,000 (17%) were plastic beverage bottle caps—the third most common item. In California alone, more than 40,000 bottle caps were collected by Cleanup volunteers.

So make no mistake: while the data shows that we are unlikely to ban our way out of the ocean plastic crisis, it also shows that bottle caps are a significant and needless threat to our ocean.

We in the United States have a critical role to play in reducing our contribution of 160,000 metric tons down to zero, and our hope is that American industries—and not just California—can lead the way.

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Reggae Songstress Etana to Release New Album, Reggae Forever

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On March 8th, international reggae star Etana is set to drop her new album Reggae Forever via Tad Records. The album includes 14 brand-new tracks set to make their debut in time for Natinal Woman’s Day.

Etana, often referred to as the Strong One, is a Jamaican based artist known for her soulful voice and conscious lyrics over authentic roots reggae and lovers rock music. This is her 5th studio album and a follow up to her September 2017 release of the Etana In Dub EP.

Issuing a statement on the release, Etana shares: “This is my first project by myself and it’s distributed by Tad’s Records. I’m hoping that all my fans will have the same love for the music like I do. I hope that they can see the growth in lyrical content, and the vocals and the versatility. I hope that they can appreciate the different messages in the music. I hope that my fans will find joy in every aspect of the album. More vibes, more positive energy, more joy to all my fans. Get this one! It is special to me as you all are, and I hope it is special to you, as you all have made me feel. REGGAE FOREVER!”

C. Danny Breakendridge, veteran producer Tad’s Records executive states: “‘Reggae Forever’ is an empowering collection of songs, each with the quality to stand out on its own. It is refreshing and in keeping with the popular Jamaican saying, ‘Forward Ever – Backward Never.’” You can pre-order Reggae Forever by clicking HERE!

Fans will have the opportunity to catch Etana on the road alongside 2-time Grammy nominated artist, J Boog as they’ll embark on his Love Over Everything Tour that starts February 10th — You can find all of Etana’s upcoming dates below.

Etana – Reggae Forever Track List:
Etana_ReggaeForever1.) Free, PT 2
2.) Fighting For Nothing
3.) Spread Love
4.) Carry You
5.) You’re The One
6.) Sprung
7.) My Man
8.) Soldier
9.) Good Enough
10.) Burned
11.) No Money, No Love
12.) 6 Mins: 21 Secs
13.) Destination
14.) Jah Love (I Know)

Related Links:
Etana Website
Etana Facebook
Tad Records Website

Article By: Mike Patti

Watch: Etana – “Burning”

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 31st, 2018 at 12:46 am and is filed under Daily News.
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Jimmy Buffett to perform at Wrigley Field on July 13

Posted in Jimmy Buffett News | Comments Off on Jimmy Buffett to perform at Wrigley Field on July 13

Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band will perform at Wrigley Field Friday, July 13, with special guest Boz Scaggs.

Tickets go on sale to the general public Friday, February 9, at 10 a.m. CST via


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Rebelution Announces 2019 Festival In Jamaica

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In the midst of their 2018 Winter Greens Tour and the building anticipation of their forthcoming sixth full-length studio album, Rebelution has officially announced the debut of their all-new destination event “The Bright Side Festival” – the event will take place in Runaway Bay, Jamaica in January 2019 alongside The Green, Raging Fyah and DJ Mackle.
Rebelution has been mastering their craft of igniting audiences with their live performances since their inception dating back to 2004. Since then, the GRAMMY nominated Isla Vista quartet has grown accustomed to selling out headlining shows (including the acclaimed Red Rocks and Cali Roots, Reggae Rise Up and One Love Cali), and have been putting the finishing touches on their as-of-this-writing untitled new album and follow-up to 2016’s Falling Into Place.

[Related: 2018 Most Anticipated Albums]

The destination festival promises to bring attendees memories that will surely last them a lifetime – not a difficult task when pairing an all-inclusive resort in Jamaica with some of the best music reggae rock has to offer. The event will take place at the Jewel Paradise Resort Cove and Spa, and will be brought together and sponsored by Island Gigs.

Joining Rebelution will be The Green, Raging Fyah (who is currently on tour with Rebelution for the Winter Greens Tour), and Rebelution’s very own Tour DJ, DJ Mackle.

While more details are expected to be announced soon, Rebelution confirmed that they will be performing three full sets throughout the duration of the event. Consider this a PSA to get this on your radar!

Related Links:
Exclusive Rebelution Blog
Rebelution Website
The Green Website
Raging Fyah Website
DJ Mackle Website

Article By: Brian Glaser

Watch: Rebelution – “Attention Span” (Live at Red Rocks)

Watch: Rebelution – “Bright Side of Life” (Live at Red Rocks)

This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 30th, 2018 at 12:37 am and is filed under Daily News, Rebelution.
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To Save Corals, We Must First Solve Global Waste

Posted in Saving Mother Ocean | Comments Off on To Save Corals, We Must First Solve Global Waste

For seven years, I’ve worked to understand the problem of plastics in the world’s ocean and endeavored to advance strategies to address it. But last week’s new study in the journal Science hit me like a ton of bricks. It’s now clear that to save the world’s coral reefs we first need to solve our global waste problem.

Thanks to work of Dr. Jenna Jambeck and her colleagues in 2015, we know that a huge amount of plastic (8 MMT) flows into the global ocean each year and the majority of that plastic then flows into the western Pacific Ocean from the countries surrounding the area. Now, an international team of scientists led by Dr. Joleah Lamb and Dr. Drew Harvell of Cornell University has linked this influx to a massive increase in disease susceptibility in the coral reefs across this area. Their findings show that the incidence of disease grows 20-fold when corals become entangled in plastic waste and that this is mostly driven by an increase in three known deadly diseases: skeletal eroding band disease, white syndrome, and black band disease.

The size and scale of this study was impressive. A team of investigators from nearly a dozen institutions worked across the Asia-Pacific region sampling 124,884 individual reef-building corals from four countries and eight latitudinal regions. They found that nearly a third of the corals sampled in the field were entangled in plastic waste, with the greatest amount off Indonesia (a country with limited modern-day waste management) and the lowest amount off Australia (a high income country with a relatively sophisticated approach to dealing with waste). All told, as many as 11 billion plastic items could be contaminating coral reefs across the Asia Pacific right now. And Lamb predicts that this number will increase to nearly 16 billion by 2025 if no improvements are made in how the region deals with its waste.

Corals provide $375 billion worth of goods and services to people around the world through not only fisheries and tourism but also coastal protection from storms and climate-driven rising sea levels. Coral reefs are also the “rainforests of the sea,” hosting 25% of the ocean’s biodiversity but covering only 0.1% of the ocean’s surface. Before last week’s publication, we knew that corals were under extreme stress from a number of threats including overfishing, coastal development, warming seas and ocean acidification.  In fact, bleaching of coral reefs has become one of the most visible—and visceral—signs of climate change impacts. Even without the enhanced risk of disease from plastics, the long term survival of corals is at serious risk. Lamb’s findings show that the harm humans are causing to coral reefs extends even further.

Hope is not lost but we must redouble our efforts.  We must halt overfishing. We must rapidly and aggressively move away from a fossil fuel economy. And it is now clear that we must also solve our global waste problem. If we don’t, corals will suffer even as we alleviate these other threats.

The good news is plastic pollution is now very much on the global ocean agenda. Just this week in Davos, Switzerland, there has been an overwhelming emphasis on ocean plastics from international decision makers as well as from some of the biggest corporations on the planet. Coca-Cola launched its #WorldWithoutWaste vision that includes recovering one bottle or can for every one sold by 2030. Evian committed to make all of its plastic bottles from recycled material by 2025. The global packaging giant Amcor just announced it will make all of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025. At Ocean Conservancy, we are leading the Trash Free Seas Alliance® to advance new funding mechanisms like the Closed Loop Ocean to improve the fundamentals of waste management in Southeast Asia. When combined with efforts to reduce the overall production of plastics and to create a “circular economy” to ensure materials are collected and repurposed, we can stem the tide of plastics into the world ocean.

It won’t be easy, but last week’s study makes clear that to save corals we must solve the global waste problem.

In doing so, we can save the oceans—and ourselves.

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Video: Katchafire – “Way Beyond”

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As discussed inside our 2018 Most Anticipated Albums feature, NZ’s Katchafire plan to release their Legacy record this February. Ahead of it’s release, they dropped a music video for new single “Way Beyond.” The creation of the song was led by long-time band member and songwriter Leon Davey who provided lead vocals and co-produced the track. The music video was shot in Sydney, Australia and produced by Polly Snowden, featuring Davey peacefully strolling down the street with all sorts of shenanigans taking place around him. Explaining Katchafire’s latest single, Davey says, “This song has come about because of all the good, the bad, the people that I have loved and lost, and people who I love today. That my family and friends make my life what it is today, and for this I am blessed and will always be eternally grateful. My life used to be just about me and what I wanted. It is only in my older years that I have come to this realisation… everything else is temporary.” Stay tuned for more details on their 5th studio album — Enjoy the song and video…

This entry was posted on Monday, January 29th, 2018 at 12:08 am and is filed under Daily News.
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50 Best Travel Tips from 10 Years of Travel

Posted in Hotel and Venue Reviews, Island Enthusiasts | Comments Off on 50 Best Travel Tips from 10 Years of Travel

Tips for Planning Your Trip and Booking Accommodation

  1. Get the Best Deals on Hotel Rooms

In order to score a great deal on a hotel room, you may have to be patient, be flexible, and do your research. Travelers have many different strategies and tricks for getting the best hotel room for the lowest price. For example, booking 24-48 hours may get you a lower rate, as you’re booking during the hotel’s cancellation time frame. If you sign up ahead of time on websites that alert you of price drops, you will get an instant notification when the hotel is available at the best price. Checking in at the end of the day, and discreetly asking for a corner room, will also give you the best chance of getting an upgrade for the same price.

  1. Make Friends (And Save Money) By Staying in a Hostel

If you are a young solo traveler, staying in a hotel can get lonely. Meet fellow travelers at youth hostels, which offer cheap accommodation in private or dorm rooms. The quality of the rooms or amenities may not match a 5-star resort, but many hostels have communal areas or activities where travelers can mingle and enjoy a drink.

Hostels are (usually) not available for travelers over the age of 50, but solo travelers can meet people through a variety of websites or apps.

  1. Consider Housesitting for Free Accommodation

If you are flexible with travel dates and where you would like to stay, consider house sitting or pet sitting. There are a handful of websites that offer a subscription program in order to search and apply for house sitting jobs. Most of these jobs are in the suburbs, but if you own a car or do not mind taking public transportation, you can get a nice house or apartment with little to no cost.

  1. Check The Dates Of Your Trip For Public Holidays

Different countries have different religions and holidays that may affect your travel plans. In some cases, the rates for accommodation may be higher, or hotels will book up fast. Other holidays may affect the hours of popular tourist sites or local businesses. In some countries, religious holidays may affect the sale of alcohol. On the other hand, visiting a country or city while they celebrate a big holiday can be very enriching and make your trip more special. Plan your trip accordingly, and know what to expect when you arrive during a holiday season.

  1. Read Blogs or Visit Social Media For Inspiration

If you pop your destination into Google, you may find a handful of the same restaurants, sites, and hotels in the first page of results. Dig a little deeper and get recommendations from Bloglovin or other blogging platforms. Bloggers, especially bloggers with smaller followings, are more likely to give accurate and authentic information about what it is like to travel; if they are paid by a tour or company to promote their product, they should disclose that information throughout their blog posts.

You can also use social media to find local gems and hidden spots. Searching through Instagram by specific locations or hashtags will show you pretty sites and great restaurants that you might not find on big travel websites.


KBong Planning April Release for New Album ‘Easy To Love You’

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Stick Figure keyboardist, guitarist and “summer forever” enthusiast, Kevin “KBong” Bong is preparing to release his new album and follow-up to 2014’s Hopes and Dreams in April – the new record will be titled Easy To Love You and will feature 12 new tracks!

While many folks have gotten to know KBong from his infectious and uplifting personality since 2012 as the keyboardist and contributing vocalist for Stick Figure, fans should know that he also has an arsenal of his own tracks that are worth a listen. In 2014, KBong released his debut album Hopes and Dreams, a delightful listening experience which featured 14 tracks including guest collaborations with Alific, HIRIE as well as Stick Figure on the hit single “Livin’ Easy.”KBong_PressHIRes

KBong unleashed a tasty teaser with his new single “Good Lovin” last May – The Pier was thrilled to debut the track in which KBong explained the theme of the song was about “celebrating love between family and friends, nature, the experience of life and the blessing that this life is.”

[Related: Interview Song Premiere: KBong – ‘Good Lovin’]

Since then, he’s also made available an acoustic version of another new track, “Travelin’ On,” and earlier this week, KBong announced that his new single “Open My Eyes” will be made available on February 2 with a coinciding music video. As for the new record in its entirety, KBong is dishing up 12 new tracks – featured guests will include Raging Fyah, Johnny Cosmic, The Movement and Stick Figure. The album was recorded in its entirety while on the road, and KBong spearhead the project with Johnny Cosmic.

KBong was able to shed some additional details with The Pier on the process and journey that went into bringing this record to life: “We worked in green rooms and hotel rooms all across the country. We utilized any space we could! On days off I’d inquire at the front desk of our hotel about a quiet space we could work. Many times we’d find ourselves in conference rooms, breakfast rooms or empty hotel rooms to work. We approached this as a mobile studio situation. It really worked out and allowed us to record anywhere at any time. We felt inspired by all the places we traveled to and worked in. From all over the US, Europe and even Tahiti, all the various places really added to the texture and feel of this record.”

With Easy To Love You rendered complete for an April release, we should see the full track-list and album cover-art soon. Check back soon at The Pier for more details as they are revealed. In the meantime, don’t miss KBong with Stick Figure on their “Above The Storm Tour” alongside Twiddle and Iya Terra!

Related Links:
Exclusive Stick Figure Blog
KBong Website
KBong Facebook
Stick Figure Website

Article By: Brian Glaser

Watch: KBong – “Good Lovin” (official lyric video)

This entry was posted on Sunday, January 28th, 2018 at 12:10 am and is filed under Daily News.
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Goldfinger Releases 1999 Live Album to Vinyl

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Last year brought us the first Goldfinger album in nine years (and possibly their best yet) with The Knife – keeping momentum high, John Feldmann and company have officially released their 1999 live album Darren’s Coconut Ass: Live From Omaha on vinyl featuring 8 tracks.

The record itself was recorded at The Ranch Bowl, a venue that was once a bar bowling alley in Omaha, Nebraska. The album features all covers including tracks from Joe Jackson, Sugar Ray and The Offspring, and was performed in between their albums Hang-Ups (1997) and Stomping Ground (2000).

The vinyl was pressed with a single pocket LP 11×11 jacket insert with 180 Gram Brown and was created by Kevin Gray at Coherent Audio.

Goldfinger – Darren’s Coconut Ass: Live From Omaha Tracklist:
Goldfinger_Coconutass1.) Just Like Heaven
2.) Is She Really Going Out With Him?
3.) Feel Like Making Love
4.) Nite Klub
5.) The Kids Are Alright
6.) DownPressor Man
7.) You Say You Don’t Love Me
8.) Man In The Suitcase

Grab your copy today via srcvinyl by clicking HERE!

While John Feldmann has kept busy from a production perspective having recently been seen in the studio working with Nick Hexum and Aaron “P-Nut” Willis from 311, it remains unclear if there is new Goldfinger music in the works, in addition to when we’ll see them back on the road. However, fans are hopeful that we’ll hear sooner than later (especially with the rumor mill swirling that we’ll see Goldfinger for some dates on the farewell edition for Vans Warped Tour).

Check back at The Pier for more details in the coming months as more updates are released from the Goldfinger camp!

Related Links:
Goldfinger Website
Goldfinger Facebook

Article By: Brian Glaser

Listen: Goldfinger – Is She Really Going Out With Him (Live)

This entry was posted on Saturday, January 27th, 2018 at 12:49 am and is filed under Daily News.
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