Archive for June, 2018

Buffett to appear on Kenny Chesney’s new album

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From ABC: “Jimmy Buffett, Ziggy Marley and more lend their voices to Kenny Chesney’s “Songs for the Saints

Jimmy Buffett recreates his 1974 classic, “Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season,” on Kenny Chesney’s new album, Songs for the Saints. It’s a fitting choice, since Kenny wrote and recorded the project after Hurricane Irma devastated his home-away-from-home, the Virgin Islands. The superstar from East Tennessee will also donate all the money he makes from the album to recovery efforts.

The legendary “Margaritaville” singer is just one of several high-profile guests on Kenny’s new album, including reggae legend Ziggy Marley and Americana star Mindy Smith.

“Each one of them has a tie to my life in the islands, but also reflect some piece of what we’re trying to do,” Kenny explains. “Ziggy Marley, and his family’s legacy, holds so much truth for all of the people I know down there. Mindy Smith’s Come To Jesus was an album I lived with from morning to night when I was first going down there — and her voice sounds like an angel.”

“And Jimmy,” he adds, “more than the lost shaker of salt, understands the poetry of the islands beyond what tourists see — the life — in a way that made a song written decades ago so current. I’m honored they also want to help.”

Songs for the Saints was recorded mainly in Nashville and mixed in Key West, Florida.


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Protecting Treaty Trust Resource for Future Generations

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As a RAY Marine Conservation Diversity Fellow, I help coordinate and grow the International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification (OA Alliance), a coalition of leaders developing on-the-ground solutions for challenges facing our ocean. Most days, I’m on the phone at my desk in Washington, DC with people from all around the world discussing how to protect coastal communities from the impacts of ocean acidification. Today, however, I’m back in my rainy hometown of Olympia, Washington to meet an OA Alliance member in person and learn about why this work matters.

Combating ocean acidification starts at home, with dedicated individuals rolling up their sleeves to take action. The Nisqually Tribe of Western Washington is an engaged member of the OA Alliance, focused on climate resiliency, action, education and outreach at a local and national level. Maggie Sanders, their OA Alliance representative shares with me how ocean acidification impacts their treaty trust resources, culture and community.

The ocean is important to the community because water is life. It’s a part of our culture and a part of our life, since time immemorial,” Maggie tells me. Tribes have a long history of living off the natural resources of this land. However, with the arrival of Europeans and the creation of the United States, traditional tribal life was drastically altered. Treaties between the United States and tribes were used to remove them from their land and relocate them to reservations.

Five treaties were negotiated in Western Washington between 1854 and 1855. Tribes agreed to move as long as their right to fish, hunt and gather in their traditional places was upheld. Early on, when the treaties were first implemented, fish and other seafood were plentiful and rights were easily maintained. However, as more people moved to Washington, environmental degradation increased and non-native commercial fisheries became more prevalent, resulting in depleted fish stocks. Tribes were wrongfully blamed for the disappearance of fish and the state began arresting them for fishing off-reservation despite their right to do so being outlined in the treaties. These arrests were unlawful because treaties hold a constitutional weight that surpasses state law.

In the face of low fish stocks, non-native commercial fishing continued to increase and fewer and fewer fish were returning to Washington rivers, making it impossible for tribes to observe their treaty rights. In an effort to raise awareness of their unjust treatment, tribal fisherman organized “fish-ins,” like “sit-ins,” and other forms of civil disobedience during a time known as “The Fish Wars.” Their protests resulted in brutal arrests.

The Supreme Court case, commonly referred to as the Boldt Decision, was a turning point in the tribes’ fight for recognition. It established tribes as co-managers of salmon with the state, created conservation standards that restricted the state’s ability to regulate treaty fishing, divided the harvest equally between the state and tribes and confirmed the state and federal government’s responsibility to protect salmon habitat so that treaty rights could be observed.

© Mel Ponder Photography

Even though tribal leaders made great strides in getting tribal treaty rights recognized, those resources are still under threat today from challenges like ocean acidification. The OA Alliance strives to bring attention to these impacts and support the great work that’s being done to mitigate it.  “I feel that indigenous voice needs to be more on the national and regional levels and sometimes indigenous voice is left out in those contexts. And so, I feel that being a part of an international alliance allows the indigenous people that extra voice,” Maggie says.

When I ask Maggie why she advocated joining the OA Alliance, she says, “I felt that it was an extremely important issue in regards to treaty trust resources and an extremely awesome opportunity to collaborate with outside agencies and entities working towards the same goal. I felt that it impacts the world and also all tribes, including Nisqually. When I was thinking about this, I was thinking about how I’m from Makah, but the salmon, they go up the Nisqually and out to the ocean and back to the Nisqually. So we’re all interconnected.”

Maggie is currently organizing a community-based workshop for local tribes that will focus on the impacts of ocean acidification to shellfish, the environment and the community.  I ask her how her work on ocean acidification at a local level connects to her collaboration on an international level.

“…the ocean is a huge body of water and it takes a lot more than just one community to become involved. I feel that we all need to collaborate and partner together because the ocean reaches every point of contact. It’s a part of our responsibility as earth stewards to protect the ocean. And if other partners are willing to collaborate and the funding is there and the resources are there, it’s time to come together and work together on the international and national.”

Like Maggie said, “water is life,” and it connects us all. We are all in this fight together, which is why collaborative action at a local, state, tribal, national and international level is essential to protecting coastal communities globally. The OA Alliance is not only a way to share the stories of community leaders around the world, but also to celebrate the great work that has been done and the progress we are making for future generations to come.

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Trump Tries to Weaken Safety Rule for Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling

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Last month, the Trump administration announced plans to weaken offshore drilling safety rules that were put in place to prevent incidents like the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, which killed 11 workers and spilled 210 million gallons of oil into the ocean. Tell the administration that you oppose efforts to weaken offshore drilling safety rules.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement—BSEE for short—has proposed rolling back important safety measures that are part of a broader set of provisions known as the “Well Control Rule.” One of the key purposes of this rule is to prevent incidents in which operators lose control of the well they are drilling in the ocean floor. Loss of well control led to the Deepwater Horizon rig’s deadly explosion in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, causing the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history.

After that massive oil spill, BSEE carefully developed the Well Control Rule over the course of six years—with significant industry and stakeholder input—before finalizing it in early 2016. And so far, the rule appears to be working. For the first time in at least a decade, there were no reported loss of well control incidents in 2017 after the rule took effect, according to a BSEE chart summarizing offshore drilling safety incidents.

Despite the thoughtful development of the rule and its apparent success, BSEE has proposed changes that would undermine some of the rule’s key provisions including:

  • Eliminating provisions related to real-time monitoring of offshore wells, which could allow industry to adopt monitoring plans that are not as effective at identifying potential well control problems;
  • Rolling back a requirement aimed at reducing the risk of a collision between an approaching vessel (lift-boat) and a drilling platform, which could increase the odds of an accident that could jeopardize well integrity;
  • Eliminating an oversight mechanism that requires operators to share test results with BSEE for important safety devices called blowout preventers when BSEE is unavailable to witness the testing; and
  • Doing away with provisions that require BSEE oversight and approval of third-party organizations that verify inspection and test results for offshore safety equipment, potentially weakening the integrity of independent reviews.

The need for BSEE oversight of inspections and tests was underscored recently when the Department of the Interior Office of Inspector General found that an offshore operator attempted to cover up equipment failures, submitted falsified test results and violated other safety rules.

While not all oil and gas companies try to cheat the system, it’s clear that strong rules and vigorous enforcement are needed to ensure that offshore operators adhere to safety standards and are held accountable if they willfully ignore the rules. In fact, BSEE was created after the BP oil disaster specifically to promote safety and environmental protection in the offshore oil and gas industry. That’s why it’s so disappointing that BSEE now appears to be retreating from that mission in order to promote offshore oil and gas production and development.

As companies plan to drill in even deeper and riskier waters in the Gulf of Mexico, this is not the time to risk another disaster by cutting corners on safety. In fact, some members of Congress have already voiced opposition to these rollbacks: Senator Maria Cantwell (WA) and Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA) have sponsored legislation, the Clean Coasts Act and the Safe COAST Act, that would prevent BSEE from weakening the Well Control Rule.

Unfortunately, BSEE’s proposal is just the latest in a series of Trump administration actions that cater to the oil and gas industry while jeopardizing safety, the ocean’s ecosystem and the livelihoods of coastal residents and businesses that depend on a healthy marine environment. For example, the Trump administration issued a draft offshore leasing program that would open up virtually the entire U.S. coastline to risky offshore drilling, proposed a new offshore oil and gas lease sale in the environmentally sensitive Arctic waters of the Beaufort Sea as well as in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, and has threatened to roll back Arctic-specific drilling rules in the near future.

Fortunately, there’s still time to make your voice heard. Join Ocean Conservancy in telling the Trump administration not to weaken offshore drilling safety rules. 




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Protecting Their Own Ocean Backyard

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I was honored to take part last month in the first marine debris cleanup that Ocean Conservancy has sponsored in Alaska. On May 12, Michael Levine, a senior Arctic fellow for Ocean Conservancy, and I arrived on St. Paul, a wind-swept, rugged and wildly beautiful volcanic island in the Pribilof Islands of the Bering Sea. There we joined the Aleut tribe and St. Paul School in a cleanup of one of their shorelines. Thanks to the help of students in the fourth and fifth grades, middle school and high school, we picked up close to 300 pounds of debris. This included fishing nets, lines, buoys and an assortment of plastics and foam pieces that washed up onto a fur seal rookery within walking distance of the town of St. Paul.

St. Paul’s far-flung location between Russia and Alaska in the Bering Sea fosters biological richness, with over 200 species of birds and the world’s largest population of Northern fur seals. But the island’s location also makes it a focal point for marine debris carried by ocean currents. The question arises then, how to remove this trash?

Fur Seal GazeFur Seal Gaze
The northern fur seal is an eared seal found along the North Pacific. They tend to live alone or in pairs, and rarely come to land, except to breed. © Patricia Chambers

The impact of marine debris on sea birds and marine wildlife is a real cause of concern among many in the community of St. Paul. Birds and marine mammals become ensnared in plastic waste or ingest tiny plastic particles. Ultimately this can have an impact on human food chains as well, since the community relies on the natural bounty as part of their diet and way of life.

During the cleanup, the young students of St. Paul spent the last two days of the school year—known as Pribilof Days—collecting over 500 pieces of debris, including packing bands and fishing gear. Their effort will make a local seal rookery safer this summer. Next year, Ocean Conservancy hopes to expand this effort. And if the eager and energetic team of young stewards is any indication of things to come, we can count on making a big difference together.

One of the greatest joys of traveling to rural communities for these projects is the opportunity to meet people and share a common bond of appreciation and concern for the area’s unique beauty. During Pribilof Days, Michael and I met so many wonderful, down-to-earth people, from the teachers and staff at the St. Paul School and the Aleut tribe’s Ecosystem Conservation Office, to the local bird guides, known as “bird nerds”, researchers and locals who showed us around the island.

Eider DuckEider Duck
A King Eider duck resting on a “seagrass throne.” A large and spectacular duck, the King Eider lives in Arctic coastal waters foraging on sea beds up to 80 ft. deep. © Patricia Chambers

A few days after the cleanup was over, I headed to the St. Paul airport, eager to return home and share the stories and photos I’d gathered. But a low ceiling of clouds had moved in, and my flight was delayed, not once but twice over the next three days. Michael had departed on one of the few flights leaving the island as soon as our project was finished, so I was on my own. While waiting to leave, I couldn’t help but consider how my delayed travel plans were but a small reflection of the greater challenges of removing large amounts of marine debris in remote locations like St. Paul. Weather is unpredictable and harsh, logistics are complicated, and removing the debris is arduous and may even require larger machinery.

Although finding solutions to this problem won’t be easy, I feel hopeful as I look back on the cleanup and remember the faces of the young, concerned citizens of St. Paul. Their determination to protect their own ocean backyard serves as a reminder that even the smallest acts can make the biggest differences in the world.

Southside CliffsSouthside Cliffs
Part of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, this windswept walk above sea cliffs on the Southeast side of St. Paul Island is teeming with seabirds during summer breeding season. © Patricia Chambers

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Margaritaville Resort coming to Fort Myers Beach

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From News-Press: “Fort Myers Beach resort teams up with Jimmy Buffett-inspired Margaritaville brand

It’s official: Margaritaville is coming to Fort Myers Beach.

That’s Margaritaville Resort, the Jimmy Buffett-inspired name that TPI Hospitality Chairman Tom Torgerson announced this morning for his planned 254-room resort to be built near the Times Square dining, shopping and entertainment district.

It comes via a partnership with Margaritaville Holdings, the global lifestyle brand that plays off the lyrics and lifestyle of singer, songwriter and best-selling author Buffett, whose songs celebrate tropical escapes and relaxation.

The beach resort is scheduled to begin construction in December, and open in early 2021.

No word yet on whether Buffett is likely to ever stroll over, looking for that lost shaker of salt. But an appearance is possible. On Florida’s east coast, Buffett surprised guests of the Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort with a concert in November of 2015.

The resort will serve up several Margaritaville food and beverage concepts, including a LandShark Beach Club with a 5 o’Clock Somewhere Bar Grill, a beachside LandShark Bar Grill, a Coconut Telegraph Coffee Shop on the pedestrian bridge over Estero Boulevard and a JWB Bar and Grill on the second level.

The Margaritaville brand is featured at more than 12 lodgings locations and more than 20 additional projects in the pipeline, more than 60 food-and-beverage venues and four gaming properties.


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8 Ocean Animals Who Could Pull Off a Heist

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When I first heard that there was going to be an Ocean’s 8 movie with a female cast, I had two main thoughts: one—this is an awesome idea and I can’t wait to see it, and two—most importantly, I would love to see another remake starring an actual “ocean’s eight” pulling off a heist.

Picture it: eight different sea creatures trying to make it in the big reef city. One has the brains, one has the brawn and they all have the ability to survive underwater. After falling on some hard times, their old ringleader brings the gang back together for one last big catch: robbing Poseidon, king of the sea. Using their unique set of skills, the aquatic team bands together for their biggest caper yet, and hijinks ensue.

While the studio execs in Hollywood have yet to respond to my emails, I wanted to share with you my dream casting for the next remake. Here are the top eight ocean creatures that I’d want to help me pull off a heist:

The Sailfish: The Getaway Driver

  • One of the fastest fish in the sea, the sailfish can reach speeds of up to 68 miles per hour. Though they usually use this speed to catch their prey, it would definitely come in handy to help the rest of the gang make a quick escape.


The Anglerfish: The Deep Sea Expert

  • In a heist, it’s vital to enlist someone who knows the seedy underbelly of the city: someone who hadn’t merely adopted the darkness, but was born into it, molded by it. The anglerfish is the queen of the ocean’s deep. With their sharp, translucent teeth and bioluminescent lures, female anglerfish are some of the most intimidating fish in the sea.


The Oyster: The Jewelry Maker

  • Now, you might be thinking, “This all sounds great, but what are they going to do when Poseidon realizes his treasure’s been stolen!?” Fret not! This is where the humble oyster comes in. Though not all oysters produce pearls, the team would need to enlist one that does to produce some decoy treasures. In this scenario, the oyster would also make other jewelry/precious metals and would wear quirky hats. Just go with it.


The Tusk Fish: The Handyman

  • For most ocean creatures, breaking into a safe is a near impossible task—not having thumbs, for one, adds a certain degree of difficulty. If only there were a fish that was an expert in using tools to break into things…OH WAIT! THERE IS ONE! Tusk fish are one of the few fish that have been observed using tools. Much like how they use the side of pieces of coral to break into their dinner, the tusk fish would use the tools at their disposal to break into the safe.


The Mantis Shrimp: The Secret Weapon

  • Every team needs a wild card—someone you don’t think is a threat but comes out of nowhere to create chaos. The mantis shrimp may be small, but has incredible eyesight and ridiculous strength. It can smash its prey with the force of a 22-caliber bullet, easily breaking through the shell of a mollusk or even glass!


The Cuttlefish: The Master of Disguise

  • Cuttlefish are arguably one of the coolest creatures in the sea. They’re astonishingly smart, and they can change their color and even shape to match their surroundings. In any heist, it’s vital to have a camouflage expert, and there’s no ocean denizen more qualified than the cuttlefish.


The Bottlenose Dolphin: The Right-Hand Cetacean

  • Every heist needs a ringleader, and every ringleader needs a right-hand man, and the bottlenose dolphin makes a perfect partner in crime. Though they’re extremely intelligent and speedy swimmers, the real value of a dolphin in a heist situation is their charisma.  Who could stay mad at a smiling, squeaking dolphin? These guys could charm their way out of any sticky situation, and outsmart the guards at every turn.


The Octopus: The Mastermind

  • Finally, we’ve gotten to the brains of the operation, the one who brings our motley crew together, our protagonist—the octopus! With eight arms, three hearts and one big brain (not to mention eight smaller bundles of neurons, one for each arm!), the octopus is well equipped to mastermind a heist. They’re one of the smartest invertebrates in the ocean, and they’ve been shown to be excellent at puzzles while living in captivity. They’re also excellent at squeezing through small spaces and camouflaging themselves. Moreover, octopuses traditionally like to spend time alone, making them all the more compelling as the protagonist of a group heist film. By the end of the movie, our hero octopus will have gained the real treasure: friendship.


Whether or not you agree with my picks for the ocean’s eight, I think we can all recognize that there are some pretty amazing fish in the sea.  And Hollywood, if you’re reading this, I’m available to executive produce the project.




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World Oceans Day 2018

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For most people on most days, the ocean is out of sight and out of mind. But not today. On World Oceans Day, we celebrate the beauty and bounty of the most defining feature of our planet—the big, blue ocean.

Many of us feel a pull to it—that irresistible impulse to marvel at the unending waves, to dig our toes in the sand, to cast a line, to catch a wave, to dive below. When we are extraordinarily lucky, we get to experience the ocean on weekends and summer holidays. And some of us get to call the ocean and coast home year-round. But most of us live vicariously through images and videos, often on Instagram. For the most part, we live our lives and don’t have to think about what the ocean means to us and how much we need it.

Every single one of us needs the ocean, whether or not you sail its waters or sit on its shores, whether you enjoy seafood or love whales and otters. The ocean is fundamental to the functionality of our home planet.

Without the ocean, there would be no life. It is as simple as that.

Phytoplankton that lives on the surface of the ocean produces about half the oxygen on the earth. If you like to breathe, you need the ocean.

The ocean holds almost all of our planet’s water–about 97%, and is a key driver of our planet’s water cycle. If you depend on freshwater and everything that grows and lives because of it, you need the ocean.

The ocean is a primary food source for more than 2.6 billion people. If you like to eat fish, you need the ocean.

Over the past several decades, the ocean has absorbed almost all of the excess heat trapped in the atmosphere–more than 90%.  If you like a habitable planet, you need the ocean.

And right now, the ocean needs us.

For us to continue to enjoy the surf and the sand, the scallops and the seafood, the summers and the springs, we need to pay some attention to what we’re doing because our ocean has been bearing the brunt of our activities in four damaging ways:

First, we love all the ocean has to offer us a little too much. For example, illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing is depleting fisheries in many places around the world. It’s impacting coastal communities and local economies, especially in vulnerable developing communities.

Second, we willingly risk our ocean for dangerously short-term gains. For example, risky offshore oil and gas development could have catastrophic, irreversible impacts on fragile marine life.

We can feel the impacts of overfishing. We have witnessed the impacts of an oil spill. The harm to the ocean is direct. We decide whether to make changes to avoid that harm. We rebuild fish populations using smart, science-based management like what we have here in the United States. We constrain or prohibit oil and gas development–and when its expansion is proposed, we fight back to protect our coastal communities and livelihoods.

Third, we are increasingly cognizant of the fact that all rivers and waterways ultimately lead to the ocean. We see this every year during our International Coastal Cleanup, when volunteers pick up thousands of pounds of trash off our beaches, and hear this from scientists, who found that 8 million metric tons of plastic flows into the ocean every year—bobbing on the surface, in the deepest trenches, carried to the Arctic and to the remotest islands.

And finally, the ocean is bearing the brunt of climate change. As we increase our carbon emissions and other greenhouse gases, the ocean is becoming warmer, more acidic and is rising–threating coastal communities and livelihoods here and around the world.

Many of the choices we make as a society have gotten us to where we are today.

We now have the opportunity, on World Oceans Day, to remember how important the ocean is to us, and how our choices–every day–affect the ocean.

When we can understand the problem, we can find a solution. And part of that solution is recognizing that if we’re not talking and thinking about the ocean when we’re talking about food, or fresh water, or energy development, or reducing and managing our trash, or climate change, we’re not having the right conversation.

If you think of our ocean as a giant security blanket for the planet that has long protected us, insulated us, absorbed our injuries and nurtured us, one thing is increasingly clear. It is beginning to fray. The good news is that we have the will, skill and power to repair it.

Today, on World Oceans Day,

let’s remember that the ocean needs us as much as we need it.

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Video Premiere: TreeHouse! – “Prayer for the Day”

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Reggae jam rockers TreeHouse! out of Myrtle Beach, SC, have collaborated with The Pier for the exclusive premiere of the new music video for their upcoming single “Prayer for the Day.” Produced by Kuli Productions, the video highlights the pristine Carolina coastline that the band calls home, and sends the message to count each day as a blessing.

Watch: “Prayer for the Day” – TreeHouse! [Pre-order on all platforms at]

“Prayer for the Day” was recorded alongside Spiritual Rez lead singer Toft Willingham (co-producer/recording engineer) at 9B Studio in Milford, MA. TreeHouse! frontman Jeremy Anderson sees the song as a graduated sequel to their 2013 hit-single “Blessings,” which recently surpassed 1 million streams on Spotify. 

“Prayer for the Day” will be available for download and streaming on all outlets beginning Friday, June 22nd. Pre-order for the single is available by visiting the TreeHouse! website linked below. TreeHouse! will also be supporting the single with their “Prayer for the Day” tour, which kicks off on June 21st in Atlanta, GA. 

Speaking about the inspiration for the track, Anderson says, “I woke up one morning with this line in my head. It’s nothing fancy or complex. It’s just an approach to giving thanks in a simple and straightforward way. It felt like a song that already exists, and I felt like it should exist. At least for my own sake, and as my own mantra.”

The music video for “Prayer for the Day” features TreeHouse! jamming out on their hometown beaches in South Carolina, The video also follows the story of a young aspiring surfer, portrayed by 13-year old surfer Cam Davis, who is dealing with a less-than-ideal home life. Following the message of the song, the boy remains hopeful and eventually finds a mentor, played by drummer Justin Heter from Electric Soul Pandemic, who helps him achieve his surfing dreams.

Anderson finishes by adding his own personal positivity and optimism, saying, “Let’s be thankful for all the little things, as they add up. In this  time of cynicism, it’s important to openly express our hope and faith with intention and without fear or doubt.” We can also be optimistic for more new TreeHouse! music in the near future, with Anderson revealing that “a new album is on the horizon.” For now we’ll enjoy the new single and music video for “Prayer for the Day.”

Related Links:
iTunes Pre-Order Link
TreeHouse! Official Website
TreeHouse! Facebook

Article By: Brian Winters

This entry was posted on Friday, June 8th, 2018 at 7:16 am and is filed under Daily News.
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Video of Q&A with Jimmy Buffett

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A video from the QA session with Jimmy Buffett and the cast of “Escape to Margaritaville” after the June 2nd matinee performance is available (thanks to Terri). Buffett answers several questions including “What is your favorite Broadway show?”, “What advice do you have for the next generation of Parrotheads?”, and “How did this (the musical) all come about?”


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A Historic Win for California’s Coast and Ocean

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On Tuesday, Californians took an important step to protect our state’s coast and ocean. California has long been a leader on coastal, ocean and environmental issues, and voters showed this week that they continue to support the state’s leadership and investment in our environment. The passage of Proposition 68 showed that voters will unite to preserve our future and natural resources, and also to move towards a more just, equitable and forward-looking environmental movement.

Ocean Conservancy has a long history of working on ocean policy in California.  And we have strongly supported Proposition 68 since it was introduced in the state legislature last year. The projects that will be funded through this historic natural resource and parks bonds will help address some of the most pressing issues related to the ocean, including ocean acidification, sea level rise and protections associated with critical coastal habitat, such as the Pacific Flyway. Despite past efforts to conserve and enhance California’s natural resources, ocean and coastal waters have not always been a priority, leaving them vulnerable to pollution and climate change. Most notably, when the last natural resources bond passed over a decade ago, the component related to oceans did not focus on many of these pressing issues.

Since then problems like ocean acidification have worsened, with growing CO2 emissions fundamentally changing the chemistry of our ocean and disrupting the species and habitats that call it home. Sea level rise too has increased in intensity over the last decade, with flooding events and coastal erosion increasing in frequency and severity. Proposition 68 will allow California to more effectively implement projects that bolster its climate preparedness and resiliency, including in coastal communities.

With Prop 68’s success, over $1 billion will go to protecting local communities from flooding, with over $200 million more dedicated specifically for coastal and ocean protection, restoration and adaptation to coastal climate change. In total, $4 billion will be invested in natural resources and disaster prevention, cleaning up contaminated drinking water, increasing local water supplies, and providing safe parks for children and future generations. Prop 68 breaks new ground by ensuring disadvantaged communities that are “park poor” and vulnerable to climate change get the attention they need and deserve.

With the passage of Prop 68, we will be able to protect our coastline, increase access to our coast and beaches, protect the ocean from runoff and pollution, improve our fisheries and increase the resilience of our natural systems and our communities’ ability to adapt to climate change. Without Prop 68, this would have been much harder to do.

Prop 68 is especially ground-breaking in this focus on social justice and equity as well as its recognition of the need to address climate change. It passed with an especially broad coalition of supporters that is focused on the equitable, inclusive and sustainable implementation of Prop 68 for the long-term challenges ahead. Ocean Conservancy is immensely pleased that the voters of California recognized the value of Proposition 68 and turned out at the ballot box this week. We look forward to continuing to work with members of this regionally diverse coalition to ensure a safe, just and vibrant future for our coast, ocean and coastal communities.

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