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Sturgeon: Dinosaurs in the Hudson River?

Once upon a time, sturgeon the size of school buses roamed the oceans, seas, and rivers of the world. Huso huso is the largest and now the rarest species of sturgeon, growing on average to about 25 feet long. Huso huso lives in the Caspian and Black Seas and it is now unclear whether the species has gone extinct in the wild or not. When the International Union for Conservation of Nature (the IUCN) last surveyed the species in 2010, the population had decreased by 90% over the past sixty years and a number of the populations had gone extinct in the wild. Most if not all individuals are now bred and raised in hatcheries.

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How to Rebuild a Reef

Many threats face coral reefs today, from coral bleaching to storms to boats and anchors that break fragile coral branches.  But all hope is not lost - corals are capable of regrowth. Recently, a great deal of research has gone into understanding coral resiliency.

Corals take at least several decades for regrowth and it is a slow and steady process. Naturally, it is important for coral to have evolved the ability to rebuild and regrow because natural disasters like storms and variations in fish grazing happen all the time. The problem now is how corals can regrow in the context of human-caused environmental change. 

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An Alert to the Shipping Industry: a Letter from Kathy Metcalf

In preparation for the United Nations Oceans Conference set for 5-9 June 2017 in New York, a number of preparatory committees and side events are being conducted.  On February 15, 2017, a side event was held at the UN, sponsored jointly by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS),  the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Government of France.  The event was titled "At the crossroads: Global Shipping Lanes and Whale Conservation". . . 

 

With this summary of the event in mind, the purpose of this email is to alert the shipping industry . . .

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Ballast Water Management – Beyond Type Approval

Since September of last year, when the implementation date of the International Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention became clear, all eyes have been focused on the U.S. Type Approval Process.  Ship owners and operators have been concerned, in particular, with the differences between the between the U.S. and International Type approval processes and the potential that BWMS meeting the more stringent U.S. requirements may not be available prior to the entry into force of the International BWM Convention in 2017.

In December 2016, the Coast Guard type approved three BWMSs, and we expect to see more systems submitted for type approval early this year.  

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Restoring the Liver of New York Harbor

One billion oysters will be given a new home in New York Harbor. That’s the goal of a non-profit organization called the Billion Oyster Project (BOP). Partnering with a variety of other people, including schools, restaurants, and the general public, BOP is planning on restoring the vast oyster reefs which used to single-handedly filter all of the water in New York Harbor.

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Historic and Happy Day for Ocean Planning

This morning, the White House announced the National Ocean Council approved the Nation's first ocean plans- the Northeast Ocean Plan and the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Action Plan.  The cornerstone of each of these plans is a database of maps, marine species, climate information, renewable energy, and human activities. . .

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