Shark meets ray. Photo by Andy Mann

Shark meets ray. Photo by Andy Mann

18
May
2016

Life’s Better in the Bahamas Shark Sanctuary

by Katie Flowers and Demian Chapman Category:

You have likely heard it somewhere before, an impressive piece of information shared tirelessly and sometimes incorrectly attributed to the impacts of shark finning only: “100 million sharks are killed every year.” Although this is an alarming number, it’s actually more factual to look at the range from the larger study estimating exploitation rates of sharks: 63 million – 273 million sharks killed annually. One hundred million is thus a conservative estimate, and the shark fin trade is not fully responsible for those landings. Data aside, the more important question now is what can we do about these losses? The answer may partially lie in the Bahamas. Before the study mentioned above even came out, the island nation made a progressive choice by fully protecting its sharks from fishing in 2011. Bahamians had put two and two together: many shark species in their waters live there either partially or year-round, and these sharks are worth big bucks alive – a 2007 estimate of $78M US in the Bahamas alone. The Bahamas is one of the best places in the Caribbean and arguably the... read more +

Oil pollutes Clifton Bay in The Bahamas. Photo courtesy Save the Bays website.

Oil pollutes Clifton Bay in The Bahamas. Photo courtesy Save the Bays website.

16
May
2016

Marc Yaggi: Keeping the Magic of the Bahamas

by Marc Yaggi Category:

Growing up in landlocked Pennsylvania, I always was enamored with the marine environment. The Bahamas in my mind were a magical and mythical archipelago of sun-soaked beaches, friendly people, and crystal clear turquoise waters full of a vibrant kaleidoscope of fish. The islands captured our imagination through vehicles like Splash, Thunderball, and Flipper. People around the world have a vision of the Bahamas as paradise. Now having been to the Bahamas a few times over the past decade, I see that all of those things are true.  However, when you look closely, you can see that some of the magic of the Bahamas is getting tarnished. I recently spent a day on Clifton Bay in New Providence with my friends Joseph Darville, Rashema Ingraham, Paco Nunez, and others from Waterkeepers Bahamas, Save the Bays, Clifton Waterkeeper, Bimini Waterkeeper, and Grand Bahama Waterkeeper.  Before joining the Waterkeeper team, I snorkeled at the same reef I had snorkeled about eight years ago.  It was very obvious that the reef had undergone significant stress, as there were fewer fish and the coral... read more +

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11
May
2016

Louis Bacon accepts TRCP’s award with remarks about conservation successes and future

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On April 27th, Louis Bacon, Founder and Chairman of The Moore Charitable Foundation and its affiliates accepted The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP) Lifetime Achievement in Conservation award. In his acceptance speech, he touched on TRCP and conservation successes – and sounded a warning bell about what the conservation movement needs to do in order to guarantee the basic human rights of clean air and water to all people. His remarks in full are published here: I am very, very honored to be here for this prestigious award… an award that is all the more meaningful for me coming from an organization that was founded in honor of Theodore Roosevelt, the childhood hero of mine and of course our country’s first hero of the conservation movement. I am doubly honored tonight to share the awards with two modern-day heroes in today’s conservation movement – Senator Heinrich and Senator Risch, recognized for their political leadership and continuing the environmental legacy of President Roosevelt. You know, for me it is kind of easy to channel TR, given that I live right... read more +

A CAFO stores toxic hog waste in an open pit.
6
May
2016

Environmental Injustice is Toxic

by Marc Yaggi Category: ,

Imagine a world where many times when you walked out your front door, you immediately were accosted by the overwhelming stench of animal waste.  Imagine a world where you couldn’t invite friends to your home for fear their eyes and throats would burn from the fetid stench.  Imagine a world where your health, and the health of your family, was at risk every day because the air you are breathing is saturated with toxic chemicals and bacteria. This world is a reality for people like Elsie Herring, who lives in rural North Carolina near a hog factory farm where she has endured a form of discrimination that rarely draws much attention.  Polluting industries and industrial-waste sites often are located in low-income communities, especially communities of color that offer the least political resistance. These massive factory farms generate enormous amounts of untreated animal waste, which is stored in giant cesspools and sprayed on fields until they are so saturated that the waste runs off and pollutes nearby streams and rivers – streams and rivers that local communities use for... read more +

The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership 2015 Annual Report
27
Apr
2016

The TRCP: Honoring Louis Bacon’s conservation contributions and celebrating a year of achievements

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Tonight, The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP) celebrates its eighth annual Capital Conservation Awards, and will honor three honorees who are building a legacy of support for fish and wildlife on Capitol Hill and across the country. The TRCP’s 2016 Lifetime Conservation Achievement Award will go to Louis Bacon, who, as Founder and Chairman of The Moore Charitable Foundation and its affiliate foundations, has spent more than two decades conserving threatened habitat, protecting open spaces, and safeguarding clean water through the support of more than 200 local, national, and international organizations. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho) will be presented with the 2016 James D. Range Conservation Award—named after TRCP’s co-founder and conservation visionary—for their dedication to protecting what sportsmen value from both sides of the aisle in Congress. In recognition of this award today, this blog space would like to highlight the important work that the TRCP does every day to unite and amplify the voices of conservation, in particular those of sportsmen and women and their organizations. Below is a recent post from their content- and issue-rich... read more +

Zion National Park in Utah by Tom Morris (www.sharetheexperience.org).
21
Apr
2016

Secretary Jewell: The Next 100 Years of American Conservation

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On April 27th, The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership will be awarding the 2016 Lifetime Conservation Achievement Award to Louis Bacon. As The Moore Charitable Foundation gears up to this event and we celebrate both Earth Day and National Parks Week, we reflect on the state of conservation, open spaces nationally – and on our responsibility to guarantee the future for our next generations.  This week, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell released a statement about the need for a course correction in the way America conserves our public lands, waters and wildlife. Here is her statement, as repurposed from Medium. The Next 100 Years of American Conservation This week is National Park Week — a time when we celebrate the more than 400 natural, historical and cultural sites that make up the most incredible parks system on Earth. Places that attract visitors from around the world and inspire other nations to follow our lead. But being the “best” wasn’t always a forgone conclusion. During World War II, national parks fell into a state of disrepair. Congress, needing to fund the war effort, directed... read more +

The Rio Grande Water Fund is a successful program channeling resources to restore healthy forests and protect water needed by people and nature.
1
Apr
2016

Terry Sullivan: Safeguarding the Rio Grande Water Shed with Innovative Forest Management Practices

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A major element of the enchantment of New Mexico is the beauty of our forested mountains. Until the last 100 years, those forests were maintained by natural processes such as frequent, low-intensity fires that would act to cleanse the landscape and create the perfect balance of vegetation and trees. However, over the past century, as we have suppressed natural fires, our forests have grown significantly more dense with trees.  This creates more fuel for fires, and combined with steadily increasing summer temperatures is causing wildfires to burn hotter, this often results in catastrophic wildfires. These wildfires not only destroy wildlife habitat, homes and community infrastructure, but they also impact rural economies through the loss of tourism and recreational opportunities. Restoration of overgrown forests that act as fuel for wildfires is a critical strategy to reduce the risk of high-intensity wildfire, and a few years ago such treatments were underway only at a very small scale. The Las Conchas Fire of 2011 illustrated the problem we faced: nearly 45% of the 156,000 acres fire burned at high severity. Thunderstorms... read more +

Image by gettyimages
31
Mar
2016

Ocean Unite: Generation Z to Alpha – the ocean cannot wait another 20 years for our protection

by Ocean Unite Category: , , ,

Some changes come as lightning bolts, others as waves. And when it comes to international negotiations, even the waves can feel like they’re happening in slow-motion – with long periods stuck in freeze-frame. This may be inevitable in a world where delegates argue all night over a comma, and can take years deciding whether or not to even discuss something at all, but it is out of sync in our fast-moving age of high-speed technology, short attention spans and escalating ecological challenges. Take the ocean. You could grow a whole adult person in the length of time it has taken to move from governments recognizing the need to protect areas of the ocean beyond national jurisdictions, to governments agreeing to negotiate an international agreement to actually do it (you may want to read that sentence again!). I should know; I’ve been closely following the progress of both this nascent agreement and just such a person for over 20 years. My youngest son was born in 1997, part of Generation Z. He was five and just starting school when... read more +

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25
Mar
2016

A Life in the Harbor with New York Harbor School Graduate and Marine Conservation Leader

by Luis Mendelez Category: ,

This post is published in interview format, reflecting a conversation with The New York Harbor School‘s Peter Matthiessen Award for Leadership in the Marine Environment winner, Luis Mendelez. Mr. Mendelez is a New York Harbor School graduate, assistant waterfront director for New York Harbor Foundation and School, and active Captain for New York Water Taxi. His story is inspiring and now part of the new Billion Oyster Profiles, which will tell the story of the Billion Oyster Project through the people who have shaped and been shaped by it. The Moore Charitable Foundation and founder Louis Bacon are proud to partner with the school, the BOP, and to be associated with next generation conservation leaders such as Mr. Mendelez. Congratulations, Luis. Louis Bacon Blog (LBB): When did you attend and graduate from the New York Harbor School? Luis Mendelez (LM): I was part of the first graduating class.  I attended from Fall of 2003 and graduated in 2007. LBB: How did you learn about the Harbor School? LM: Murray Fisher walked into my third period class in 8th grade; I believe it was my... read more +

The U.S. Atlantic waters are home to fragile populations like the North Atlantic right whale, one of the most endangered species on the planet with only about 500 individuals still alive.
20
Mar
2016

Victory for U.S. Oceans: Obama Administration Protects East Coast from Offshore Drilling

by Andrew Sharpless, CEO & Ted Danson, Board of Directors - Oceana Category: ,

Here’s some great news: the United States Government has announced it will remove the Atlantic Ocean from its five-year plan for oil and gas development. This is an important victory for the U.S. Oceans. Our organization, Oceana, has campaigned against proposals to drill for oil in the Atlantic since 2009. We and our allies helped organize citizens from 110 East Coast municipalities and helped get more than 100 members of Congress, 700 state and local elected officials and 1,100 business interests to join the effort. This week, we learned that the Obama Administration listened and, as a result, will protect the Atlantic coast from the dangers of offshore drilling activity. In its newly proposed five-year program for oil and gas development on the Outer Continental Shelf, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has removed the Atlantic Ocean for leasing from 2017 to 2022. This announcement will help protect marine life. East Coast fisheries also provide cod and haddock, two of the most commonly-caught fish in an $11.8 billion Atlantic fishing industry. Now, these creatures and more will not... read more +