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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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Global Weirding: The Coral Catastrophe

Global Weirding: The Coral Catastrophe

Coral reefs are the rainforests of the sea. Full of diversity and severely endangered, corals play a very similar role in reefs to the role of trees in rainforests. Corals provide a backbone for the most lush, colorful, and productive ecosystems on the planet.

For humans, reefs buffer shorelines, provide homes for important fisheries species, are important tourist destinations, and can provide novel medicines. According to a study done in 1997, the economic worth of coral reefs adds up to approximately $375 billion each year, even though reefs only cover 1% of the earth’s surface. Yet all of this value is at risk under the influence of climate change. 

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