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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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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.

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 +

Opponents organize a protest against Titan America's planned cement plant near Wilmington. Photo: N.C. Coastal Federation

Todd Miller: In North Carolina, Plenty Remains to Be Done As Titan Calls It Quits

by Todd Miller, Executive Director, North Carolina Coastal Federation Category:

Opponents organize a protest against Titan America’s planned cement plant near Wilmington. Proof-positive that ordinary people can wage extraordinary campaigns to protect their quality of life and environment – plus a call to action to be ever-vigilant about protecting the waterways and coasts we love. Photo: N.C. Coastal Federation.  Eight years ago a business lobbyist who had formerly worked for then N.C. Governor Mike Easley called just as I was leaving the office for the day. He said he wanted to give me a “heads-up” that a major new industry was about to announce plans to locate in Wilmington, and that it would be a wonderful economic stimulus for southeastern N.C. He assured me that the company would be a good coastal steward, and encouraged the North Carolina Coastal Federation to welcome the project. The next day Titan America, a Greek international conglomerate, announced its plans to build one of the nation’s largest cement kilns and limestone mines next to the Northeast Cape Fear River just upstream of downtown Wilmington. Secret meetings with state and county leaders had already “cemented”... read more +