Archive for May, 2018

From the Trenches

Posted in Saving Mother Ocean | Comments Off on From the Trenches

Ocean Conservancy recently embarked on a partnership with Force Blue to support a coral restoration mission in Puerto Rico. Nathan Quinn, a member of Force Blue Team One deployed to Puerto Rico to assist NOAA, Sea Ventures and Puerto Rico’s Department of Natural Resources in October and has been there since. The Florida native and U.S. Army Veteran and Military Medic Instructor took some time to speak with us about his time in Puerto Rico. Read parts one, two and three of this four-part series.

Michael Farnham: Your Force Blue teammates were recently in D.C. working with Ocean Conservancy’s Government Relations team to tell your story to lawmakers in the hopes of supporting further funding for NOAA. You were working in Puerto Rico while this happened, what message would you like to convey for those representatives and senators as to the importance of the work NOAA is doing and how it benefits organizations like Force Blue?

Nathan Quinn: If I could say one thing to the legislators on Capitol Hill, it would be “Please do not disregard the amount of good partnerships like the one between NOAA, Force Blue and the Ocean Conservancy are doing in giving our marine resources—and our veterans—a second chance.” Organizations like Force Blue can do so much to support the mission of agencies like NOAA. In order for that potential to be maximized, we know that fully funding NOAA so that they can keep leading these efforts is critical to our future. If the powers-that-be would take a moment to consider that—and to recognize what a win/win this is for all involved, I think we’d find bipartisan support across the board and that was our message in Washington.

8- Please credit @Jim Hellemn, forceblueteam.org8- Please credit @Jim Hellemn, forceblueteam.org
© Jim Hellemn

Farnham: Force Blue is a young organization and this Puerto Rico project demonstrated the capabilities on a major scalewhat do you envision Force Blue looking like in the next few years?

Quinn: It was a big deal when little start-ups began to disrupt huge industry and make changes to long time consumer problems by pointing out how inefficient certain businesses were. It seems reasonable, therefore, that the same can be done in the nonprofit world. With this deployment in particular there was an idea that was introduced and tested by science then proven by small groups like Sea Ventures. Force Blue can add the man power and prove the scalability of these ideas by taking them and putting them to work in very short period of time—6,000 fragments of coral that would perish are now thriving on the reef in just a few months! Now proven, we can scale this using a larger group from Force Blue—like Team Two training in August—as well as other groups. Pretty soon we will start to see enormous changes not just in Puerto Rico but around the country and around the world.

The six members of Force Blue Team One are not going to replant all the coral. What we can do is bring attention to all of the amazing things that are being done to save the world’s oceans. Inspiring people isn’t just a good way to improve the world, it’s the only thing that ever has.

Our goal over the next few years is to add more veteran combat divers, beginning with the six new recruits we’ll be training this August, to create a bigger force capable of deploying anywhere in the word.  More veterans doing more good in more places—that’s our formula for success.

Farnham: Anything else you’d like to add?

Quinn: All I would add is that, if you’re reading this, thank you. Taking the time to understand what it is we’re endeavoring to do is so very important to our mission.  If you’re reading this and would like to play an even bigger part in that mission’s success, please visit www.forceblueteam.org and make a tax-deductible donation.  Every dollar raised goes directly toward putting a veteran like me back in service—which is where we all belong.

Article source: https://oceanconservancy.org/blog/2018/05/25/from-the-trenches/

Is Your Sunscreen Killing the Coral Reef?

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This blog post was written by Anna Smith, an Ocean Conservancy intern working with the Ocean Acidification program for the month of May 2018. Anna is a senior in high school and is looking forward to studying Environmental Sciences in college.

With summer fast approaching, many of us are already looking forward to spending days on the beach and getting in some much-needed vitamin D. Most of us will unknowingly celebrate National Sunscreen Day this Sunday when we stock up on beach supplies; but before you buy your sunscreen for the summer, we wanted to give you the lowdown on sunscreen ingredients and ocean health.

Recent studies have found that sunscreen chemicals in many popular products actually hurt corals. The main chemical culprits are oxybenzone and octinoxate, which convert sunburn-causing UV rays into harmless heat on human skin. But once these chemicals are in the water, they actually decrease corals’ defenses against bleaching, damaging their DNA and hurting their development. It’s almost as though sunscreen for humans has the opposite effect for corals! This damage, along with harm from other stressors including ocean acidification, water pollution, rising sea temperatures, and coral disease, prevents corals from successfully reproducing and surviving in current marine environments.

When beachgoers wearing sunscreen go swimming, they carry these chemicals into the ocean. Research shows that coral reefs in Hawaii are exposed to over 6,000 tons of sunscreen lotion every year. Chemicals like oxybenzone and octinoxate also enter marine ecosystems through sewage treatment plant outflows. Since they’re not designed to remove other pollutants, they are not usually removed by wastewater treatment systems. A 2015 study showed that oxybenzone starts causing serious damage to corals at concentrations as low as the equivalent of one drop of water in six-and-a-half Olympic-sized swimming pools. In Hawaii, concentrations more than 10 times that amount have been measured at popular swimming beaches that feature some of the islands’ most exquisite coral reefs.

To protect Hawaii’s precious coral ecosystems, the state’s lawmakers passed a bill on May 1, 2018 that prohibits the sale and distribution of sunscreen containing oxybenzone and octinoxate. If the legislation is signed by Governor David Ige, it will take effect on January 1, 2021. This is a big step designed to protect one of Hawaii’s major tourist attractions—it’s beautiful reef ecosystems. Tourism is a huge part of the Hawaiian economy—a more than $16 billion industry. Millions of visitors will be affected by this law but local businesses are ramping up awareness campaigns to help. For example, Hawaiian Airlines has partnered with Raw Elements to offer reef safe sunscreen containing only certified natural and organic ingredients to their guests.

Even if you’re not lucky enough to be at a Hawaiian beach this summer, we can all still make a difference. By putting our awareness into action, we can make different choices that lessen our impact on the ocean.

  1. You’ve already taken the first step—becoming informed!
  2. Choose mineral sunscreens, especially lotions containing non-nano zinc dioxide as the primary active ingredient.
  3. Look for reef safe sunscreens which are becoming increasingly available
  4. Avoid aerosol sunscreen. Much of what you spray leaves a residue on the sand which is then washed back into the ocean. Your lungs will be healthier too, as aerosol sunscreens are easily inhaled.
  5. If you can, apply less personal care products before you go swimming; the fewer chemicals you bring into the ocean, the better. Some ways to protect your skin from harmful UV radiation without lots of sunscreen could be to avoid going to the beach during the intense midday sun, or spending lots of time in the shade and in sun protective clothing and a hat.

These tips can help you care for the ocean while you enjoy carefree time on the beach and in the ocean. Of course, we don’t mean to throw shade on sunscreen on National Sunscreen Day—you should always protect yourself from harmful UV rays while enjoying time outside! So next time you join your friends at the beach, help us shed some light on this beloved summer essential and share our tips to keep both beachgoers and our treasured corals healthy, safe and protected.

 

Article source: https://oceanconservancy.org/blog/2018/05/24/sunscreen-killing-coral-reef/

St. Somewhere Wine Club

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Penrose Hill and Margaritaville, the global lifestyle brand synonymous with fun and escapism, have partnered to launch a new wine club, transporting members to a vacation state of wine. St. Somewhere Wine Club by Margaritaville features monthly delivery of premium bottles from around the world inspired by the Margaritaville lifestyle.

Every month, experts in vacations and vines hand select six award-winning bottles to send. Members have the flexibility to personalize each shipment, continually update their preferences or skip a month at any time.

For a limited time, new members can dip their toes in the water with a sample box of three wines for $15, plus tax and $4.95 shipping. Following the introductory offer, members may continue with the club and receive six bottles of wine every month for $89.99 plus tax (free shipping included).

To join the St. Somewhere Wine Club by Margaritaville or for additional information, visit www.StSomewhere.Club

Comments

Article source: http://www.buffettnews.com/2018/05/24/27629/

It’s a Mermaid, it’s a Sea Cow, it’s a…Dugong?

Posted in Saving Mother Ocean | Comments Off on It’s a Mermaid, it’s a Sea Cow, it’s a…Dugong?

Manatees and dugongs are affectionately dubbed “sea cows” because of their grass-eating tendencies and slow nature. They are often seen swimming gracefully with their powerful tails and flippers.

But, did you know that manatees may have been the inspiration behind many sailors’ tales of sirens and mermaids? History Channel reported that during Christopher Columbus’ first trip to the Americas, his company recorded a sighting of three mermaids in the waters surrounding the island of Haiti. He reported seeing these mermaids rise from the sea near his route. Later it was discovered that these mythical mermaids were most likely manatees.

We love the slow and gentle nature of manatees and dugongs. Since the behavior and characteristics of manatees and dugongs are fairly similar, they are often confused for one another, but we’re here to help! We’ve put together the key differences that separate the two below.

What They Look Like

Manatees are thought to have evolved from four-legged land mammals more than 60 million years ago, their closest relative outside of dugongs being the elephant. There are three different manatee species: the Amazonian manatee (Trichechus inunguis), the America or West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus) and the African manatee (Trichechus senegalensis). These aquatic mammals are usually a gray-brown with a flat, paddle-shaped tail, two flippers and a whiskered snout. All manatees, with the exception of the Amazonian manatee, have vestigial toenails, appendages rendered useless over evolution and reminiscent of the claws they once had as land animals. Despite having small eyes and no external ear structures, manatees have fairly good eyesight and hearing. They have a special membrane that protects their eyes and large, inner ear bones. Also unique to manatees is their lack of a seventh neck vertebrae, which means they can’t turn their head without turning their entire body. The average lifespan of a manatee is around 40 years, in which they can grow between eight and thirteen feet.

giphygiphy

Dugongs (Dugong dugong) are closely related to manatees and are the fourth species under the order sirenia. Unlike manatees, dugongs have a fluked tail, similar to a whale’s, and a large snout with an upper lip that protrudes over their mouth and bristles instead of whiskers. Dugongs are born a pale, cream color and darken to a slate gray as they age, which is around 70 years on average. Another defining feature is that adult males and some old females develop small tusks, which males use for fighting during mating season. Dugongs also have good hearing, but unlike manatees, their eyesight is very poor. Adult dugongs are usually around eight to ten feet in length.

Where They Live

Relative to their species name, manatees are found in specific parts of the world. The Amazonian manatees stick to the Amazon River, the African manatee lives along the west coast of Africa and the American or West Indian manatee is found on the east coast from Florida to Brazil. Regardless of what part of the world they are found in, manatees tend to stay in shallow waters, since they need to resurface for air. A resting manatee can remain submerged up to 15 minutes, but when active they must resurface every three or four minutes. Manatees usually swim alone or in pairs, but can form small groups, called aggregates, during mating season or if there’s a particularly large feast of grass.

giphygiphy

Dugongs live in the coastal waters of East Africa to Australia with most of the population residing in northern Australian waters. They prefer shallow, warm areas with high concentrations of sea grass and are rarely found in rivers, unlike manatees. Dugongs are usually spotted alone or in pairs, but can gather in large herds consisting of nearly a hundred. The exact gestation period for a dugong is unknown, but it’s estimated at about a year. Similarly to manatees, dugongs give birth to their young in the coastal waters, where the calves swim to the surface for their first breath.

What They Eat

Manatees are herbivores and possess molars to feed on aquatic plants. When at sea, they prefer sea grass and when in rivers munch on freshwater vegetation. Because plants have such low nutritional value, manatees must graze for six to eight hours a day, consuming around 10-15% of their body weight. Manatees have also developed a lower metabolic rate allowing them to use 25% less energy than other mammals of their size. Since manatees are so large and slow-moving, they are vulnerable to motorboat accidents, crowded waters and fishing nets.

giphy-5giphy-5
© IMGUR

Dugongs are also herbivores and have a similar diet to manatees. Dugongs have between ten to fourteen teeth along with a horny pad on their lip and palate to easily up root vegetation. Some algae and the occasional crab have been identified in the stomach of a dugong, but their stomachs are relatively simple and have a hard time digesting.

For a breakdown of key differences between manatees and dugongs, check out our diagram below.

ManateesDugongs_VennDiagram2ManateesDugongs_VennDiagram2
© Ocean Conservancy

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists both manatees and dugongs as vulnerable with some subspecies of manatees as endangered. It’s imperative that we share the ocean with these amazing creatures as we navigate a rapidly changing ocean landscape.

Because they are unable to survive in the cold, manatees and dugongs must make the difficult journey towards warmer water each year. Boat strikes are one of the biggest threats during migration. To help the sea cows, when boating, always obey posted speed zones and go slowly in shallow waters where they tend to rest, feed and migrate. Watch for signs and never throw trash, debris or fishing line overboard.

Even if you live inland, you can help by picking up trash that could end up in coastal and ocean waters. Spending a few extra minutes at the end of your beach visit to clean up your surroundings can benefit manatees for a lifetime. The most important way you can help is to always be respectful. If you are lucky enough to see a manatee or dugong in the wild, never disturb them. Admiring from afar is safest for you and the animals.

Article source: https://oceanconservancy.org/blog/2018/05/23/mermaid-sea-cow-dugong/

It’s a Mermaid, it’s a Sea Cow, it’s a…Dugong?

Posted in Saving Mother Ocean | Comments Off on It’s a Mermaid, it’s a Sea Cow, it’s a…Dugong?

Manatees and dugongs are affectionately dubbed “sea cows” because of their grass-eating tendencies and slow nature. They are often seen swimming gracefully with their powerful tails and flippers.

But, did you know that manatees may have been the inspiration behind many sailors’ tales of sirens and mermaids? History Channel reported that during Christopher Columbus’ first trip to the Americas, his company recorded a sighting of three mermaids in the waters surrounding the island of Haiti. He reported seeing these mermaids rise from the sea near his route. Later it was discovered that these mythical mermaids were most likely manatees.

We love the slow and gentle nature of manatees and dugongs. Since the behavior and characteristics of manatees and dugongs are fairly similar, they are often confused for one another, but we’re here to help! We’ve put together the key differences that separate the two below.

What They Look Like

Manatees are thought to have evolved from four-legged land mammals more than 60 million years ago, their closest relative outside of dugongs being the elephant. There are three different manatee species: the Amazonian manatee (Trichechus inunguis), the America or West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus) and the African manatee (Trichechus senegalensis). These aquatic mammals are usually a gray-brown with a flat, paddle-shaped tail, two flippers and a whiskered snout. All manatees, with the exception of the Amazonian manatee, have vestigial toenails, appendages rendered useless over evolution and reminiscent of the claws they once had as land animals. Despite having small eyes and no external ear structures, manatees have fairly good eyesight and hearing. They have a special membrane that protects their eyes and large, inner ear bones. Also unique to manatees is their lack of a seventh neck vertebrae, which means they can’t turn their head without turning their entire body. The average lifespan of a manatee is around 40 years, in which they can grow between eight and thirteen feet.

giphygiphy

Dugongs (Dugong dugong) are closely related to manatees and are the fourth species under the order sirenia. Unlike manatees, dugongs have a fluked tail, similar to a whale’s, and a large snout with an upper lip that protrudes over their mouth and bristles instead of whiskers. Dugongs are born a pale, cream color and darken to a slate gray as they age, which is around 70 years on average. Another defining feature is that adult males and some old females develop small tusks, which males use for fighting during mating season. Dugongs also have good hearing, but unlike manatees, their eyesight is very poor. Adult dugongs are usually around eight to ten feet in length.

Where They Live

Relative to their species name, manatees are found in specific parts of the world. The Amazonian manatees stick to the Amazon River, the African manatee lives along the west coast of Africa and the American or West Indian manatee is found on the east coast from Florida to Brazil. Regardless of what part of the world they are found in, manatees tend to stay in shallow waters, since they need to resurface for air. A resting manatee can remain submerged up to 15 minutes, but when active they must resurface every three or four minutes. Manatees usually swim alone or in pairs, but can form small groups, called aggregates, during mating season or if there’s a particularly large feast of grass.

giphygiphy

Dugongs live in the coastal waters of East Africa to Australia with most of the population residing in northern Australian waters. They prefer shallow, warm areas with high concentrations of sea grass and are rarely found in rivers, unlike manatees. Dugongs are usually spotted alone or in pairs, but can gather in large herds consisting of nearly a hundred. The exact gestation period for a dugong is unknown, but it’s estimated at about a year. Similarly to manatees, dugongs give birth to their young in the coastal waters, where the calves swim to the surface for their first breath.

What They Eat

Manatees are herbivores and possess molars to feed on aquatic plants. When at sea, they prefer sea grass and when in rivers munch on freshwater vegetation. Because plants have such low nutritional value, manatees must graze for six to eight hours a day, consuming around 10-15% of their body weight. Manatees have also developed a lower metabolic rate allowing them to use 25% less energy than other mammals of their size. Since manatees are so large and slow-moving, they are vulnerable to motorboat accidents, crowded waters and fishing nets.

giphy-5giphy-5
© IMGUR

Dugongs are also herbivores and have a similar diet to manatees. Dugongs have between ten to fourteen teeth along with a horny pad on their lip and palate to easily up root vegetation. Some algae and the occasional crab have been identified in the stomach of a dugong, but their stomachs are relatively simple and have a hard time digesting.

For a breakdown of key differences between manatees and dugongs, check out our diagram below.

ManateesDugongs_VennDiagram2ManateesDugongs_VennDiagram2
© Ocean Conservancy

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists both manatees and dugongs as vulnerable with some subspecies of manatees as endangered. It’s imperative that we share the ocean with these amazing creatures as we navigate a rapidly changing ocean landscape.

Because they are unable to survive in the cold, manatees and dugongs must make the difficult journey towards warmer water each year. Boat strikes are one of the biggest threats during migration. To help the sea cows, when boating, always obey posted speed zones and go slowly in shallow waters where they tend to rest, feed and migrate. Watch for signs and never throw trash, debris or fishing line overboard.

Even if you live inland, you can help by picking up trash that could end up in coastal and ocean waters. Spending a few extra minutes at the end of your beach visit to clean up your surroundings can benefit manatees for a lifetime. The most important way you can help is to always be respectful. If you are lucky enough to see a manatee or dugong in the wild, never disturb them. Admiring from afar is safest for you and the animals.

Article source: https://oceanconservancy.org/blog/2018/05/23/mermaid-sea-cow-dugong/

Buffett’s 2018 tour sails into Des Moines

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Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band continued the 2018 Son Of A Son Of A Sailor Tour last night at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines IA.

During the Bing and Bong show Buffett announced he will be performing at Alpine Valley and Detroit in 2019.

The set list from the show is now available. There was one change to the set list from the first show, the addition of the song “Knees Of My Heart”.

From the Des Moines Register: “Jimmy Buffett sails into Des Moines for a fun night with frenzied fans

Thousands of Iowans went sailing Tuesday night in downtown Des Moines. Well, sort-of.

They wore parrot hats and donned flip-flops. They downed margaritas and bottles of Landshark. They danced and tossed beach balls, singing songs of cheeseburgers and volcanoes.

And it was all in the name of easy-goin’ songwriting staple Jimmy Buffett.

“Hello, Des Moines,” Buffett said, introducing the show to his Iowa faithful. “Tuesday night is Saturday night as far as we’re concerned.”

Buffett and his band sailed for the first time since 2012 into Wells Fargo Arena, bringing along a crowd of 11,900 Parrotheads. The show marked the second of Buffett’s “Son of a Son of a Sailor” 40th anniversary tour, which launched Saturday in Kansas City.

The 71-year-old southerner offered what a fan wants in an arena-sized star. He’s engaging, telling stories of his biggest 1970s and ’80s hits. He’s energetic, punting beach balls into the audience.

A splash of Show Ponies: About halfway into the set, Buffett introduced his band’s alter-ego: Daphne Blue and the Show Ponies. Bluegrass Buffett followed, banjo and all.

The four-song Show Ponies medley treated Parrotheads to a break from his traditional (and self-described) “three-chord songs.”

“Deep in the heart of the Coral Reefer Band,” he said. “… there’s bluegrass genes.”

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Article source: http://www.buffettnews.com/2018/05/23/27625/

The Movement Releases Single: “Loud Enough,” Talks New Record

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On May 18th, The Movement‘s second single of the year with “Loud Enough,” was made available to fans. It’s the third total song they’ve put out since the 2016 drop of their last full-length record, Golden. With a new single, The Pier caught up with the band for an update on a new record.

Last June, The Movement put out “Siren” featuring Stick Figure, followed by January’s drop of “Cool Me Down.” With the May release of “Loud Enough” we’re slowly seeing the unfolding of The Movement’s next record as all 3 songs are expected to be on the upcoming album. The as of yet untitled record will include up to 14 or 15 songs produced by Johnny Cosmic.
JoshTheMovement_LoudEnough
“Loud Enough” opens with synths occupied by reggae-hip hop groove with a drum and bass heavy backline and growling vocals by Joshua Swain. The song speaks to societal change, asking if our united voice is Loud Enough.

Swain tells The Pier: “There’s 2 contradictory sides to the record. One is me being really happy and the other side is me being frustrated by the current affairs. Our world is pretty amazing, you know? Our family, our friends, and our lives are great. We really have nothing to complain about. But you look outside that bubble and you see the state of politics and current affairs and its really pretty shitty outside our bubble. It’s frustrating to not really know what to do about that, so all you can really do is write about it and hope it has an effect.”

They hope to have the album out late summer, early fall. In further describing the record, Josh explains: “The other songs are about enjoying the beach and feeling good about life. There’s something to say about the duality of the record with us touching on the two sides of good and evil. Sonically, I’d say this record is more drum and bass heavy, not drum bass music, but you can really feel the kick drum and the snare and the bass, first and foremost. I feel like our last album, ‘Golden,’ had more of a mellow, analog feel that was smooth and we want this new record to thump.”

“Loud Enough” is a song they’ve been playing live for quite sometime and fans can expect to hear it on their current summer tour along with new songs “Cool Me Down” and “Siren.” When asked if they plan to debut any other new songs live this summer, there weren’t any immediate plans to, but they alluded to a new track, titled “Honey” that drummer Gary Jackson refers to having a classic Joshua Swain flow.

With a 40min set, it’s hard to work in a lot of new songs without alienating the hits fans came to see. The group hopes to have the album out by August or September, so unveiling some new songs live this summer isn’t out of the question, you’ll just have to show up early to be surprised as they open up for Dirty heads and Iration — Stay tuned as we’ll continue to follow them on their path to a new record. You can find additional links and tour dates below.

Listen: The Movement – “Loud Enough”

Related Links:
The Movement Website
The Movement Facebook

Article By: Mike Patti
Photo By: In The Barrel Photo

Listen: The Movement – “Cool Me Down”

Listen: The Movement – “Siren” (ft. Stick Figure)

This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018 at 2:40 pm and is filed under Daily News, Stick Figure.
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Article source: http://www.thepier.org/the-movement-releases-single-loud-enough-talks-new-record/

How Canada’s G7 Leadership Can Help Reduce Plastics in the World’s Oceans

Posted in Saving Mother Ocean | Comments Off on How Canada’s G7 Leadership Can Help Reduce Plastics in the World’s Oceans

Susan Ruffo wrote this blog in partnership with Louie Porta, vice-president of operations for Oceans North, a Canadian nonprofit that works on Arctic marine conservation in partnership with Indigenous organizations. 

When Canada hosts a G7 summit meeting in Charlevoix, Quebec next month, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna has pledged to work with other world leaders to reduce the more than 8 million metric tons of plastic that end up in the oceans each year.

To support this important goal, Oceans North and Ocean Conservancy organized a one-day workshop in Ottawa on April 25 that brought together 60 key experts from industry, local and national governments, scientists and conservation groups.

“There was a lot of common ground,” said Louie Porta, vice-president of operations for Oceans North. “We came up with a top ten list of ideas that a G7 initiative needs to include on marine debris.”

That list was shared with Minister McKenna when she met with workshop leaders at the end of the day.

One of the recommendations that had widespread support is for Canada to show leadership at home by establishing a harmonized national “extended producer responsibility” policy. This would require companies to take responsibility for the environmental impacts of plastic products throughout their entire lifecycle. This would include proper disposal of plastic products, from recycling to reuse and other waste management solutions.

Another key suggestion was to create a global network of municipalities to work on cleaning up marine debris since 80 percent of plastic litter in the oceans is generated on land. An additional 20 percent comes from sea-based sources, including lost and abandoned fishing gear. A city-to-city approach could be especially important for remote northern communities in Canada and elsewhere that lack waste management systems because of economic and geographic hurdles.

“Northerners are concerned about this. These are places where people rely on the marine environment for a healthy lifestyle,” Porta said.

Cities are critical actors when it comes to managing plastic waste since they are both the leading edge when setting goals and policies and the last defense before items escape into the environment, said Susan Ruffo, managing director for international initiatives at Ocean Conservancy.

“Engaging mayors and city leaders is critical to setting up systems that will work,” Ruffo said.

McKennacleanupMcKennacleanup
© Oceans North

A third idea was to have G7 countries negotiate an agreement to stop the flow of plastics into the ocean, along with China and the four Southeast Asian countries that generate 50 percent of the marine debris. Such an accord could be modeled after the landmark international Arctic fisheries agreement that was negotiated last year between 10 countries to protect that region from commercial fishing.

G7 countries can also take the lead on setting standards for recycled content, plastic waste reduction targets and minimizing the leakage of plastic into the marine environment.

The next step will be to compile a report on the workshop’s findings and top recommendations that will be submitted to Minister McKenna before the G7 summit next month.

Three days before the Ottawa workshop, Minister McKenna participated in a beach cleanup near Halifax, Nova Scotia, helping 150 volunteers collect 100 bags of marine debris. The event was organized by Oceans North, Ecology Action Centre, Friends of McNabs Island and Ocean Conservancy.

Article source: https://oceanconservancy.org/blog/2018/05/22/canadas-g7-leadership-can-help-reduce-plastics-worlds-oceans/

How Canada’s G7 Leadership Can Help Reduce Plastics in the World’s Oceans

Posted in Saving Mother Ocean | Comments Off on How Canada’s G7 Leadership Can Help Reduce Plastics in the World’s Oceans

Susan Ruffo wrote this blog in partnership with Louie Porta, vice-president of operations for Oceans North, a Canadian nonprofit that works on Arctic marine conservation in partnership with Indigenous organizations. 

When Canada hosts a G7 summit meeting in Charlevoix, Quebec next month, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna has pledged to work with other world leaders to reduce the more than 8 million metric tons of plastic that end up in the oceans each year.

To support this important goal, Oceans North and Ocean Conservancy organized a one-day workshop in Ottawa on April 25 that brought together 60 key experts from industry, local and national governments, scientists and conservation groups.

“There was a lot of common ground,” said Louie Porta, vice-president of operations for Oceans North. “We came up with a top ten list of ideas that a G7 initiative needs to include on marine debris.”

That list was shared with Minister McKenna when she met with workshop leaders at the end of the day.

One of the recommendations that had widespread support is for Canada to show leadership at home by establishing a harmonized national “extended producer responsibility” policy. This would require companies to take responsibility for the environmental impacts of plastic products throughout their entire lifecycle. This would include proper disposal of plastic products, from recycling to reuse and other waste management solutions.

Another key suggestion was to create a global network of municipalities to work on cleaning up marine debris since 80 percent of plastic litter in the oceans is generated on land. An additional 20 percent comes from sea-based sources, including lost and abandoned fishing gear. A city-to-city approach could be especially important for remote northern communities in Canada and elsewhere that lack waste management systems because of economic and geographic hurdles.

“Northerners are concerned about this. These are places where people rely on the marine environment for a healthy lifestyle,” Porta said.

Cities are critical actors when it comes to managing plastic waste since they are both the leading edge when setting goals and policies and the last defense before items escape into the environment, said Susan Ruffo, managing director for international initiatives at Ocean Conservancy.

“Engaging mayors and city leaders is critical to setting up systems that will work,” Ruffo said.

McKennacleanupMcKennacleanup
© Oceans North

A third idea was to have G7 countries negotiate an agreement to stop the flow of plastics into the ocean, along with China and the four Southeast Asian countries that generate 50 percent of the marine debris. Such an accord could be modeled after the landmark international Arctic fisheries agreement that was negotiated last year between 10 countries to protect that region from commercial fishing.

G7 countries can also take the lead on setting standards for recycled content, plastic waste reduction targets and minimizing the leakage of plastic into the marine environment.

The next step will be to compile a report on the workshop’s findings and top recommendations that will be submitted to Minister McKenna before the G7 summit next month.

Three days before the Ottawa workshop, Minister McKenna participated in a beach cleanup near Halifax, Nova Scotia, helping 150 volunteers collect 100 bags of marine debris. The event was organized by Oceans North, Ecology Action Centre, Friends of McNabs Island and Ocean Conservancy.

Article source: https://oceanconservancy.org/blog/2018/05/22/canadas-g7-leadership-can-help-reduce-plastics-worlds-oceans/

Maiden voyage of SOASOAS tour is a memorable excursion

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From KansasCity.com: “Maiden voyage of sailor-themed Jimmy Buffett tour is a pleasure cruise in Kansas City

Jimmy Buffett’s nautical-themed concert at the Sprint Center in Kansas City took about 15,000 giddy passengers on a two-hour pleasure cruise on Saturday.

During the opening night of his “Son of a Son of a Sailor” tour, Buffett, 71, proudly proclaimed that “it’s actually true — I am the son of a son of a sailor.”

The added assurance wasn’t necessary. The storied singer-songwriter is beloved for his shaggy-dog stories, such as the woozy 1977 smash-hit “Margaritaville.”

His devotees are less like fans than members of a colorful cult of gregarious fun-lovers. Many enthusiasts in Saturday’s audience wore wacky costumes or Hawaiian shirts with leis.

Those fans are eager to buy whatever their hero is selling, a trait that has made Buffett a branding juggernaut and a serial entrepreneur.

One of his latest ventures is a pair of retirement communities named Latitude Margaritaville. During the mandatory rendition of “Margaritaville,” video footage promoting his current Broadway musical “Escape to Margaritaville” was displayed on an enormous screen behind the stage.

Most of the images that flashed behind the barefoot Buffett and his 11-piece Coral Reefer Band depicted tropical paradises, boat schematics and references to the revelry that causes his concerts to resemble Fat Tuesday, Halloween and New Year’s Eve celebrations rolled up together into wild beach-themed parties.

Buffett cited Mark Twain as an inspiration before performing the agonizing “A Pirate Looks at Forty.” Perhaps sensing that the atmosphere became uncharacteristically grim after singing the lyric “I feel like I’ve drowned,” Buffett ad-libbed “but I won’t wear a frown.”

Caroline Jones, a country-oriented artist who demonstrated formidable blues chops in a brief opening set, added additional depth to the forlorn ballad “Coast of Marseilles” in an enchanting duet.

The refreshed set list touched on all but two songs from the 1978 album “Son of a Son of a Sailor.” Only “Cowboy in the Jungle” fell flat.

An unusual array of cover songs ranged from inspired (the Beach Boys’ “Sail On, Sailor”) to dull (Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl”).

Buffett, a trustworthy navigator, mostly circumvented choppy waters. The maiden voyage of his “Son of a Son of a Sailor” tour made for a memorable excursion.

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Article source: http://www.buffettnews.com/2018/05/22/27621/