Archive for February, 2018

Jimmy Buffett talks about ‘Escape to Margaritaville’

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From ABC 7 in New York: “Jimmy Buffett’s ‘Escape to Margaritaville’ comes to Broadway

Jimmy Buffett has never won a Grammy Award, and he’s not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, so how come he’s richer than Bruce Springsteen? Some answers can be found at the Marquis Theatre, where we found him getting ready for the opening of his new musical.

Laid-back has rarely looked so good. The man making an “Escape to Margaritaville” has built a fortune by seeming like he doesn’t have a care in the world.

“The ability to have a little fun in life is necessary and even more so now,” Jimmy told me during final rehearsals of his new show.

“No, I did not,” he said. “I was just writing songs about people that I knew about and episodes in my own life.”

Buffett’s new Broadway show is but one small part of an empire. The musician is worth more than half a billion dollars, but the musical featuring his old tunes woven into a loose story is very close to his heart. Being on Broadway is one of his long held dreams.

“One of the cool things is walking to work down Broadway and being on Broadway, so to me, I still have to pinch myself to see that’s going to happen,” Buffet said. I asked him how that makes him feel and he replied, “You know I always love that Drifter’s song: ‘You know, the neon lights are bright on Broadway.’ I sing it coming down Broadway.”

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Article source: http://www.buffettnews.com/2018/02/23/27403/

Video: SOJA – Everything To Me

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On Oct. 20th, 2017 SOJA released their sixth full-length studio album, Poetry In Motion. The 11 track record, released via ATO Records, was written, arranged, produced and recorded all in the same room for one top to bottom cohesive record. The latest single from Poetry In Motion is the song “Everything To Me” with a video you can enjoy below. Read our most recent interview with SOJA front-man Jacob Hemphill further discussing the album and their 20 year musical career by clicking HERE!

This entry was posted on Friday, February 23rd, 2018 at 12:42 am and is filed under Daily News, SOJA.
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Article source: http://www.thepier.org/video-soja-everything-to-me/

Forbes Article on Escape To Margaritaville

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From Forbes: “After A Long Weekend, Jimmy Buffett Kicks Back On Broadway

Break out the cheeseburgers: Jimmy Buffett’s come to Broadway, and business is good.

The 71-year-old entrepreneur saw his long-gestating musical, Escape To Margaritaville, begin previews at the Marquis Theatre this weekend. It grossed nearly $400,000 off just two performances – not bad for a professed beach bum.

It’s got room to grow, though. Taking into account higher-than- average weekend prices, the show is primed to gross over $1 million next week, but not hit its listed potential. Word-of- mouth still needs to spread.

Jukebox musicals, even with a built-in fanbase like Buffett’s, are not that much safer than original properties on Broadway. Some are megahits like Jersey Boys or Beautiful, but plenty fail to turn a profit, including the Marquis’s last tenant, Gloria Estefan’s On Your Feet!.

But Buffett is not one to let a good business opportunity sink – he is, after all, worth about $550 million (a Forbes assessment backed up by recent, quietly savage profile in the New York Times). And according to one of his producers, the theater bar is already setting records for intermission drink sales. Wasting away, indeed.

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Article source: http://www.buffettnews.com/2018/02/22/27400/

Sublime’s Brad Nowell’s 1988 Letter To His Sister From College

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Before Bradley James Nowell created a genre of reggae-rock music as the singer, songwriter and guitarist of Sublime, he was attending college at UC Santa Cruz. Thanks to his sister, Kellie Nowell, this is what Brad wrote her a year before starting Sublime.

The original publish of this letter can be read by clicking HERE! This deserves its own headline as we continue to celebrate the music and life of Brad Nowell on what would have been his 50th birthday.

Brad’s 1988 Letter to His Sister From College:

Bradley Nowell formed Sublime in 1989, but in April of 1988, he was going to UC Santa Cruz. When I reached out to Brad’s sister, Kellie, she didn’t have any stories to re-tell, but was kind enough to share an amazing letter that a 20 year-old Brad wrote her before moving back to Long Beach from Santa Cruz, CA. Sublime had not yet been founded and you get to experience a peak of who Brad was, in his own words, at the age of 20; even asking his sister for suggestions on a new band name! Enjoy:

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Dear Kellie,

Howz it goin’ down there? Life up here is just swell! The waves haven’t been so good so I’ve been doing a lot of mountain bike riding weight lifting – that is, when I’m not in the library studying…RIGHT!!? Well anyway, I wanted to thank you for the beautiful card you sent; it really meant Brad Nowella lot to me. I want you to know that I feel the same way about you. It’s important to have people believe in you – but, of course, you must first believe in yourself. ‘Tis the same way w/ love! Anywho, I’m looking forward to coming home very much. I’m more than ready to get the _ _ _ _ out of hippy town! (Even though it is a beautiful place.) I find myself wishing more more that I was back in L.B. I can’t wait to jam again w/ da boyz. It gives me great joy, even if they are a couple a freaks! I’m trying to come up w/ a name for our band – something nice – so I’m quite open for suggestions. (Sloppy 2nd’s simply will not do this time around!) Oh – I’m not sure if I told you or not but Spike is VERY pregnant right now. I’d give her another 2 weeks max! I think the gestation period of cats is around 60 days. I’m not sure. Needless to say (or maybe not so needless), we have stopped indulging in “kitty flips,” much to her amazement delight! Well actually I think she kind of like them, even though she did always run hide. Nevertheless, the cat who knocked her up really sliced her up bad with his claws. (She was no easy catch… that’s my girl!) I’m almost positive it was that fat piece of shit Earl from down the street… I’ve seen the way he leers at her!

I hope all is well down there w/ you your homegirls. Please give my love to our darling mother Kirk – our loving father Janie. About moving back down – I’m pretty sure I can fit all my stuff in my truck. (If not I’ll call.) I’m hoping to sell my mountain bike right before I leave so I can start to raise enough cash to purchase a PA. There’s really no place to ride it down there anyway. Well, I love miss you very much. Can’t wait to see you again! As they say up here:

May your beer waves women never be flat! (Or something like that!)

Brad”

  • Click HERE to view Page 1 of the Letter
  • Click HERE to view Page 2 of the Letter
  • —————————————————–

    These stories don’t have to be limited to just those that knew him. Brad touched all of us with his creativity and his punk-rock soulful approach to the music. Share with us in the comments below how Brad and Sublime impacted your life. We find that the best way to honor the man and his music, is to continue to celebrate it at the highest possible volume. Today, we celebrate his birthday as much as we celebrate his music – Thank you and Happy Birthday Bradley!

    Special thanks to Kellie Nowel for taking the time to share this with letter.

    Related Links:
    Exclusive Sublime Blog
    Sublime Website
    Sublime Facebook

    Article By: Mike Patti

    Watch: Sublime – “What I Got”

    This entry was posted on Thursday, February 22nd, 2018 at 3:03 am and is filed under Daily News, Sublime.
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    Article source: http://www.thepier.org/sublimes-brad-nowells-1988-letter-to-his-sister-from-college/

    Sky of Blue, Seas of Green: Discover what lives beneath the waves (and among the kelp)

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    In its latest installment, Blue Planet II brings viewers to new underwater ecosystems. “Green Seas” highlights the kelp forests, mangroves and underwater grasslands that provide homes to some unique creatures. Dragon fish dads float through the currents, looking for a safe place to spawn. Giant cuttlefish search for mates. Thousands of spider crabs gather in a pile to shed their shells in safety.

    The sheer amount of life in these undersea forests is almost surprising to a science novice like myself. Generally, when I think of where most ocean creatures live, I think of coral reefs. But if coral reef are the tropical rainforests of the seas, then these ecosystems are like underwater deciduous forests—maybe less flashy, but certainly just as lively.

    One example of this surprising amount of life comes in the first few minutes of the episode. In the far north, as the weather begins to warm and spring begins, starfish begin to spawn. This mass spawning (and the supply of food that comes with it) spurs on life from all corners of the sea. Sea cucumbers emerge and use ten arms to grab onto the starfish eggs as they float on by. The time lapse footage is somewhat unsettling: a plant-like creature suddenly has arms that are grabbing onto food as quickly as possible. I’m reminded of what I must look like when you put a bag of chips in front of me.

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    © Blue Planet II/BBC

    The sea cucumbers aren’t the only creatures that benefit from the seasonal rises in ocean temperatures. Fronds of kelp begin to rise towards the surface, propelled by the sunlight.  What was once seemingly barren terrain becomes an ocean forest teeming with life. It’s a reminder that these aquatic ecosystems are delicate, and that the smallest changes in temperature or climate can have a big impact.

    In the four years it took to film Blue Planet II, filmmakers captured behaviors of aquatic animals that had never been filmed before. In this episode, an octopus is chased by a shark. When it seems the octopus has no place left to go, she takes matters into her own tentacles. She hides itself in plain sight by covering herself in shells, confusing the shark and allowing her to escape. We knew octopuses were smart, but we’ve never before seen an octopus using camouflage quite like this. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if octopuses could live on land, they would be our overlords in no time.

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    © Blue Planet II/BBC

    Though there isn’t an explicit conservation call-to-action in the episode, it does make a strong case for protecting these seas of green. Along the pacific coast of North America, sea otters play a vital role in the kelp forests. Otters eat the sea urchins that arrive in hoards and would otherwise threaten these ecosystems. They are a keystone species, but were hunted for their fur and came close to extinction.

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    © Blue Planet II/BBC

    Today, sea otters are protected. In the US, they’re protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. These protections have allowed sea otter populations to bounce back—in some places, their numbers have become so great that they assemble in huge rafts, something that hasn’t been seen in over a century. However, they’re still in danger. Ocean acidification threatens the shellfish that they eat. Plastic pollution threatens the kelp forests they call home. And the MMPA is under threat from some members of Congress who wish to weaken the act. Now is not the time to roll back protections of the animals that depend on our green seas, and now is not the time to feel hopeless about these threats. We can all protect our blue planet, and in just one week, Ocean Conservancy is hosting an advance screening of the final episode of Blue Planet II—much of this final episode focuses on things we can do to take action. Make sure to follow along on our Facebook account as we post stories from the screening.

    Find out how you can help protect our green seas here.

    Watch the episode here.

    Learn more about the series here.

     

    Article source: https://oceanconservancy.org/blog/2018/02/21/sky-blue-seas-green-discover-lives-beneath-waves-among-kelp/

    John Feldmann & Travis Barker’s ‘Back To The Beach’ Festival

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    It was announced this morning on the World Famous Kroq that singer, songwriter and producer, John Feldmann of Goldfinger and Blink-182 drummer, Travis Barker, are putting on the Back To The Beach Festival on the state shoreline of Huntington Beach, CA boasting an unbelievable line-up of nostalgic 90’s ska-punk.
    BackToTheBeachFestival
    Feldmann met Barker back in the nineties when Barker was the drummer for The Aquabats who would open up for Feldmann’s Goldfinger. Fast forward more than 20 years and they’re teaming up to put on a first of its kind ska-punk music festival.

    The idea for the festival came to Feldmann last year while on tour with NOFX, telling KROQ: “The first show I ever saw was the English Beat at the Greek Theater up in Berkeley. Ska music has changed my life, since I was a kid. I’ve always been into 2nd wave, two-one, Madness, the Specials and I’ve never been to a festival that is just all feel good music.”

    John continues on, explaining: “I hit up Travis Barker and said we should do something that no one has done before. John Reese, our friend, had the idea of doing it on the beach in Huntington Beach, the epic-center of ska-punk, and Travis was in.”

    John Reese is known for doing a number of festivals, most recently partnering up with Barker on his Musink Festival that combines Punk Rock, Tattoos and Cars.

    The Back To The Beach Festival will be a 2-day event taking place on Saturday, April 28th and Sunday, April 29th. The line-up for this festival is something about as ideal as it gets for any fan of the 3rd-wave ska sound of the 90’s. What makes this festival so outstanding, in addition to its 90’s nostalgia, is all of the new music that most of these bands will likely be playing, if not have out by the time of the festival. Then there’s there imagination of the on-stage collaborations which makes this even more exciting.

    Saturday April 28th:

    Day One Line-up:
    311, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, The Aquabats, Hepcat, Less Than Jake, Mad Caddies, The Suicide Machines, Big D The Kids Table + more!

    311 continues their 90’s nostalgic run of shows in 2018 as they’ll close out night one after Mighty Mighty Bosstones appear to play direct support. Less Than Jake, The Suicide Machines, Mad Caddies the BossTones are all rumored to have new music set to drop this year as I’m sure this festival will be a great platform to debut much of the new music live. With Travis Barker putting the event on, I wonder if he returns to his roots and suits up in his old Aquabats uniform to play drums? If there was ever a time, Travis, we would all agree that this would be it!

    Watch: Mighty Mighty BossTones – “The Impression That I Get”

    Sunday April 29th:

    Date Two Line-up:
    Sublime with Rome, Goldfinger (w/Travis Barker), Fishbone (original line-up), Save Ferris, The Interrupters, Mustard Plug, The Aggrolites, The Untouchables + more!

    Sunday has the sexier line-up of bands, especially when you have Travis Barker playing drums for Goldfinger’s set. Fishbone is performing with their OG line-up which sounds terrifyingly fantastic, especially for long-time fans or for anyone who has seen their documentary, “Everday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone.”

    What are the odds Sublime with Rome plays “April 29th 1992″? Save Ferris has embarked on their resurgence with plans for a new record in 2018. Same goes for what John Feldmann calls the best 4th Wave Ska band in The Interrupters who have brought new life to the genre of ska-punk to a new generation of rude-boys gals.

    Watch: The Interrupters – “Take Back The Power”

    In Closing:

    I don’t know if the order in which the line-up was presented will be the actual order in which the bands will play. It clearly states more groups will be added. One big name that is surprisingly missing is Reel Big Fish. It’s hard to imagine a festival like this taking place without their presence and I’d have to imagine they’d feel the same — Same could be said about No Doubt.

    I think the only bands on this entire line-up that we’re unable to verify some form of new music being pursued for 2018 would be the Untouchables. 311 has been seen in the studio but they’re still promoting last years Mosaic while Goldfinger continues to celebrate their first record in 9 years with 2017’s The Knife.

    Tickets will be available starting Friday, February 23rd at 10am PST with 2-day VIP Lounge tickets going for $199.00. Kids under 10 get in free with paid adult admission to the Lil Punk Kidzone full of carnival games of chance, inflatable bounce houses and even sand castles to build! You can find out more information at BackToTheBeachFest.com

    Related Links:
    Back To The Beach Fest Website
    Back To The Beach Fest Facebook

    Article by: Mike Patti

    Watch: Fishbone – “Party At Ground Zero”

    Watch: Goldfinger – “Tijuana Sunrise”

    This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 21st, 2018 at 2:34 pm and is filed under 311, Daily News, Sublime.
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    Article source: http://www.thepier.org/john-feldmann-travis-barkers-back-to-the-beach-festival/

    Buffett adds three shows to the SOASOAS tour

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    Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band added three shows to the 2018 Son of a Son of a Sailor Tour.

    May 19 2018 – Sprint Center – Kansas City, MO
    Tickets go on sale March 2nd

    May 22 2018 – Wells Fargo Arena – Des Moines, IA
    Tickets go on sale March 2nd

    June 23 2018 – Key Arena – Seattle, WA
    Tickets go on sale March 2nd

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    Article source: http://www.buffettnews.com/2018/02/21/27394/

    Force Blue for Our Ocean: Giving Warriors a Cause, Giving a Cause its Warriors

    Posted in Saving Mother Ocean | No Comments »

    Buoyancy. Betterment. Belonging.

    Three words that drive the mission of Force Blue, an initiative that unites the community of Special Operations veterans with the world of coral reef conservation for the betterment of both. Ocean Conservancy is proud to support these veterans and their mission. Julia Roberson spoke to cofounders Jim Ritterhoff and Rudy Reyes about their love of the ocean, the importance of NOAA and the opportunity to be a part of something bigger.

    Julia: Where does your love for the ocean come from?

    Rudy: It was the Marine Corps and doing amphibious operations and being a Recon Marine and a combat diver. The water became my work and the power, the beauty, the majesty of this entirely new element to this Missouri kid—well, it was magnificent.

    Jim: I grew up in a Pennsylvania steel town. The ocean was a world away for me, you know? I went away to graduate school up in Syracuse, took up scuba diving, did a lot of lake diving. And then finally got to go to the Caribbean. It just changed my whole life. From that moment on, I have been involved in marine conservation in one way or another. When my daughter Krista was born, she was in the water at a year old with me. And then, when she was 12, I got her certified. Sent her to the Marine Institute for four summers to study marine biology as a high schooler and she was my dive buddy. Based on experiences with her, I wrote a children’s book about marine conservation and made a film. When the opportunity to really begin this program availed itself to me, it was like my life’s calling.

    Julia: How did you think of merging ocean conservation and helping veterans?

    Jim: You know, Rudy is a very visible and well-respected member of the veteran community. He deployed a number of times to some really bad places and had a tough time in his assimilation back. I hadn’t seen him in a couple years and I ran into him. I saw that he had been having problems. I was going diving the next week with my daughter so I invited him. That’s where we saw what the water could do for Rudy and what Rudy could do in the water.

    Rudy: I had no job, no money. I had been doing counter-terrorism for some time but wasn’t sure that I wanted to carry a gun for work anymore and so, I said “I’m sorry, Jim. I can’t make it. I don’t got the cash.” Jim and Keith Sahm, our third co-founder, put it all together for me and after that, I just started getting fired up about all the communities underneath the water and the beauty, the gorgeous simple truths of organisms and life doing exactly what they’re supposed to do. After some time, I started calming down and started diving like a scuba diver instead of a combat diver. One night, Keith told me that this habitat was being destroyed and that it was going to go away. Jim was like, “We’ve got a lot of guys like you, a lot of warriors and commandos, maybe we could do something proactive to help this environment.” And that’s how it all started.

    Jim: We thought maybe we could use marine conservation to help these heroes find a new mission, something larger than themselves that they can believe in again and get back that feeling of doing good. At the same time, maybe we can utilize them to reach an audience about marine conservation that isn’t going to listen to another climate change scientist.

    Julia: Why do you think the conversation around conservation has become so polarizing, and how can Force Blue and the ocean help bridge the divide?

    Rudy: It’s become so polarized with loving and taking care of our planet and loving and supporting our veterans. Here’s something that is a bridge. It’s about being the true hero, doing the right thing and protecting and preserving something that is tantamount to life on the planet. We all have kids. I want to dive with my kids like Jim dives with his daughter. And if we don’t take care of [the ocean] and we don’t get super proactive and really make a stand, and bring every ability and asset to the table, we’re going to lose it. That’s not going to happen on our watch.

    Jim: These guys have devoted their military careers to protecting communities that are at risk. It’s that simple. We’re putting it in those terms for them—that the ocean is a community at risk that can’t fight for itself. You tell that to this group of guys and they’re like, “Where do we start?” You almost can’t contain how much good they want to do because it’s all they know. It’s what they’re conditioned to do.

    Julia: Why are Force Blue divers uniquely suited to do this work?

    Rudy: We’re mission-oriented, and success is the only thing we do. At first, I thought that we could maybe fix some reefs and rebuild some things. But what happened through this process was a healing and a transformation. I mean we couldn’t even imagine what a profound effect it was going to have. The definition of character we learn in the Marine Corps is doing the right thing when nobody’s looking. I couldn’t have done this if Jim didn’t bring me down there. He knew that there was something that needed to be done for our brothers. All those years at war and all the years of super high op tempo—we don’t really ever come home. And so that’s Force Blue—we just knew we had to do it bigger for more of the brothers, and what better mission to fight for than to fight for our oceans and reefs?

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    © Force Blue

    Julia: How have others in the military community received Force Blue and the mission so far?

    Jim: Since our inception, which was a little over a year ago, we’ve gotten a ton positive feedback. But what I’m most proud of is that everyday somebody reaches out through our website that wants to help, wants to volunteer. We probably have 200 vets say “Hey, how can I be a part of this?” We’ve got guys from Australia, South Africa, Israel, Egypt—even one British Royal commando who’s part of our first team. This has moved even beyond just the US military. This really has the potential to be an international force for good.

    Rudy: Force Blue is not just about the love. It’s about the mission of doing something arduous that’s filled with pride and making and rebuilding and creating something. This is the warrior mission for preserving and protecting. We’ve accomplished things that have never been accomplished before in the Florida Keys because of the excellence of these men. Don’t make me cry on this dang interview but it’s the proudest thing I’ve ever witnessed.

    Jim: The great thing about Force Blue is that while we may have many, many, many deployments, the mission never ends. It’s not over in five days. It’s not over in two months. Everybody who joins Force Blue is in it for the right reasons, and it’s not going away. We’re going to continue to deploy and everybody can feel like they are now a part of something that has no expiration date to it.

    Rudy: We go back to school to be warriors for conservation.

    Julia: Ocean Conservancy is really excited to be partnering with you guys on your next deployment to Puerto Rico with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). What do you hope to accomplish?

    Jim: (laughs) We’ll do anything NOAA asks us to do.

    Rudy: Yeah, not only will we do anything but with these skill sets and the confidence and the team unity, we CAN do anything.

    Jim: That’s not just us blowing smoke. Whether it was our NOAA teammates or the Coral Restoration Foundation folks we worked with, all of them said, you guys do three times the amount of work that one person normally does. As a team, you’ve done 20 times the amount of work that a five man team of volunteer divers would have done.

    Julia: Wow.

    Jim: In Puerto Rico we will go to the areas that NOAA has already surveyed. We’ll see the areas that were hardest hit, most damaged by Hurricane Maria—areas where the coral has literally been ripped off the reef and is now lying in the sand, suffocating. What we’ll do is cement these fragments back onto the reef. Or if that particular reef is too damaged or the substrate is not conducive, we will bring the fragments back to the boat and transport them to another reef for planting. There’s a great metaphor that gets lost in all this sometimes—it’s how much these veterans are like coral. You see coral that is sort of been left for dead or left–

    Rudy: Forgotten.

    Jim: Yeah, forgotten. And all you have to do is put it in the right place, and not only will it thrive on its own, but it will cause an entire community around to thrive around it. There’s a particular story that I think exemplifies this. When we were in the Florida Keys, there was a 1,000 pound pillar coral. There may only be five or six of those left in the Keys. It had been ripped off and was lying about 15 feet below the reef. So this dinosaur, this 500-year-old, 1,000 pound pillar coral was going to die. It was left for dead. Our guys got on it. Long story short, with six lift bags and 20 gallons of cement, we managed to get this pillar coral up righted and back on to the reef. You can see it in the footage we filmed, the color comes back almost immediately.

    Rudy: It exploded into color.

    Jim: We got back on the boat, and the dive masters who have worked down there for years were in tears. They told us, you guys just saved a t-rex. And then it started to hit everyone. It dawned on our guys that they hadn’t just moved a big heavy object, they had actually saved something incredibly important. My hope is there will be at least one or two of those little instances when we’re in Puerto Rico—when our guys will come to the rescue of something that otherwise would have been left for dead.

    Julia: That’s so wonderful. Could you talk a little bit about your work with NOAA?

    Rudy: First of all, it’s such a prestigious and absolutely credited organization specifically in science and in conservation.

    Jim: When you’re dealing with governmental organizations, you see these acronyms, and they become nameless and faceless. But when you meet the individuals who work there Tom Moore, Michael Nemeth—they care so much. They’ve dedicated their lives to ocean conservation. They’re passionate people. It’s a giant governmental organization but what it’s made up of is people who care very deeply about this.

    Rudy: They’re the recon of the ocean.

    Julia: I love that. “NOAA is the recon of the ocean.”

    Jim: Yes! They understand the situations. They’re three steps ahead of the next storm. I don’t care if you have 10,000 Force Blue divers in the water, it’s not going to matter if somebody isn’t out there assessing and understanding what needs to happen. That is what makes NOAA absolutely essential to marine conservation.

    Rudy: They’re the deep dive, they’re the recon and collecting information that we can turn into intelligence so that we execute our mission. We couldn’t do it without them.

    Julia: What can people do to support the work that you guys are doing?

    Jim: Well, first and foremost, we are privately funded. We are, right now, a 100% volunteer effort, and we absolutely need financial support from anybody who’s willing to offer it. The easiest way is to go to our website and donate. But beyond that, it’s about awareness. Everybody involved with Force Blue understands that our story is a compelling one. What it’s doing for veterans who deserve more than just a pat on the back and a clap at the airport. They deserve to be given new ways to utilize what they are already the best in the world at. On the environmental side, this program truly has the potential to be a vanguard for the entire conservation movement because of the excellence represented by our guys and the new audience that they alone can reach. If we can get influential people, corporations and other like-minded organizations to take notice of what it is we’re doing, I truly believe the sky is the limit.

    Rudy: This is such a profound movement, and we dream big. We are here. We were born to save the world, and I know we can create a revolution and a whole new way of thinking to make our world better. Fund us so that we can continue to achieve great things. Give us the chance, and that’s what we’ll do. All of us are service people. We love service and fighting for things that need to be fought for.

    Julia: That is a perfect note to end on. You guys are incredible—thank you for sharing your story with us! Ocean Conservancy is so excited to be working with Force Blue and NOAA on this trip to Puerto Rico. We can’t wait to report back to our members on what we accomplish together.

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    © Force Blue

    Article source: https://oceanconservancy.org/blog/2018/02/20/force-blue-ocean-giving-warriors-cause-giving-cause-warriors/

    St. Helena: A First Look at What We Learned About Ocean Plastics

    Posted in Saving Mother Ocean | No Comments »

    We touchdown on a narrow, deserted airstrip in Namibia after a two-hour flight from Johannesburg, South Africa. It has been nearly two days and Nick Mallos and I are still in route to St. Helena, one of the world’s most remote islands.  We wait on the tarmac, refueling for our final journey out over the Atlantic Ocean to the island.

    Beside me an elderly gentlemen with a shock of white hair, likely from somewhere in Europe, reads “St. Helena:  A maritime history.”  He is one of 100 people on our full plane, all of us visiting the island. The government of St. Helena has plans for as many as 30,000 tourists to visit in the future, with direct access for the first time provided by South African Airlines Airlink via a new airstrip built into the side of the volcanic island.

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    © Alistair Dove/Georgia Aquarium

    As we reach cruising altitude once again, I review a range of documents produced by St. Helena’s Environment and Natural Resources Directorate on its strategy to deal with waste management in the face of this development. Officials are taking this seriously, for without a change in practice, it is likely that the one landfill on the island at Horse Point will reach capacity within eight years. Plans are in place to prioritize the minimization of waste and to expand recycling of items like glass, cardboard and tin cans. Half of the total waste currently sent to the landfill is kitchen waste, suggesting that great gains can be made by developing a whole-island approach to composting. But plastics and other materials with low economic value still make up a good 20% of the waste stream by weight, and likely more when assessed by volume. One of our goals for our week on the island is to learn from local officials about how they will ensure that the pace and scale of tourism development on the island can be consistent with the island’s incredibly natural biodiversity—both above and below the waves—and maintain the cultural heritage of the local community of ‘Saints.’

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    © George Leonard

    Nick and I are now back in the United States and over the next few weeks will present what we have learned from this field expedition. Beyond understanding the government’s progressive approach to waste management, we have quantitatively surveyed ten of the island’s beaches for evidence of plastics and other marine debris, providing insights into how the island is at the end of the line of the globe’s use and misuse of single use plastics and other materials. We had the good fortune to join Dr. Al Dove and his team of researchers from the Georgia Aquarium to also study whale sharks in the nearshore, crystal clear waters. Scientists believe these incredible creatures—and other marine wildlife that filter huge volumes of seawater—may be at risk from the plethora of microplastic particles that are now present in the world’s oceans. To date, no one has evaluated this issue among the population of whale sharks that call St. Helena home. And there are stories to be told of the amazing people we have met during our journey; dedicated government researchers working to understand and protect the natural wonders of this special place, researchers from around the South Atlantic who came to the island for the first international conference on the diverse island environments of this region, and Al Dove and his team of researchers and graduate students seeking to uncover the mysteries of the island’s whale sharks.

    Come join us! We hope you enjoy our series on St. Helena as it unfolds over the next month.

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    © Leigh Morris (UK Marine Conservation Society)

    Article source: https://oceanconservancy.org/blog/2018/02/20/st-helena-first-look-learned-ocean-plastics/

    Inuit Voices on Canada’s Northwest Passage

    Posted in Saving Mother Ocean | Comments Off on Inuit Voices on Canada’s Northwest Passage

    For most of us, Canada’s Northwest Passage still conjures a romantic mystique: the lure of explorers, hardship, dreams, riches and failure. Where the Arctic explorers Franklin searched and died and where Amundsen at last succeeded, tour ships cruise today and the entire route can be sailed at times without encountering ice. And yet, the Northwest Passage remains a draw for the adventurous, even as it is also a bellwether for change and a symbol for geopolitical posturing.

    At the same time, the Northwest Passage is home, a place of comfort and continuity to thousands of Canadian Inuit in 53 communities built on or near the shores of the Arctic Ocean. The mythical qualities projected on the Arctic by questing Europeans have little resonance with those for whom the region holds no mysteries, but is simply a known and inhabited land, imbued with the rich spiritual connections that bind humans and animals, and humans and the world of which they are a part.

    The loss of summer sea ice in the Arctic is opening the Northwest Passage to the commerce first dreamed of by early geographers and explorers. It is creating economic opportunities for those who live along the shipping routes or control resources that can now be profitably exploited and exported.

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    © Oceans North

    This change creates a grand, if fleeting, opportunity to chart a new course in Arctic conservation, fully engaging Inuit and fully preparing for what will come in the next decades. If careful planning can replace grab-and-go opportunism, if traditional practices can be valued along with mineral wealth and if Inuit can help guide development instead of being “developed,” then Arctic societies can turn today’s changes into tomorrow’s well-being. They can also then demonstrate that environment and economics need not be in conflict and can sustain what exists while allowing for innovation and growth.

    This month Canada’s national Inuit organization, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, made a fascinating contribution to that vision with a new report called “Nilliajut 2: Inuit Perspectives on the Northwest Passage, Shipping and Marine Issues” and a documentary film that I recommend if you want to hear firsthand the diverse and powerful voices of Inuit who live throughout the Northwest Passage.

    A theme throughout the report is that Inuit want a voice in whatever happens next, whether that is the development of new shipping corridors to protect marine ecosystems or bolstering emergency response measures for oil spills or search and rescue operations. The collection of essays from Inuit leaders and reports on community consultations held across the Arctic offer important insights on how to safeguard the waters of Inuit Nunangat.

    Here are some highlights from the report:

    • Read Aqqaluk Lynge’s essay about why Inuit in Greenland and Nunavut, separated only by Davis Strait, should collaborate on how to share and protect the ocean between them.
    • Inuk college student Robert Comeau shares elders’ stories about the arrival of Qallunaaq (non-Inuit) ships on their shores and the words of his grandmother: “We are the Land, We are the Air, We are the Water.”
    • Inuit leader Mary Simon urges governments to consider Inuit knowledge and experience when addressing the impact of climate change on the Arctic.
    • Inuit advocate Peter Ittinuar’s passionate essay outlines why Inuit feel they have “first right of access” to the waters of the Northwest Passage and must be “fully consulted before activities take place that may irretrievably and irrevocably harm the current life of those waters.”

    This report is a special opportunity to listen to the priorities of those most affected by the rapidly changing Arctic and to ensure that Inuit play a significant role in shaping policies that protect this region for future generations.

    Article source: https://oceanconservancy.org/blog/2018/02/19/inuit-voices-canadas-northwest-passage/