Connect to Windsurfing/Environment
Extinction risk not the answer for reef futures
Coral and reef fishes are not like pandas and tigers, and the extinction risks they face are much lower. Leading coral reef scientists in Australia and the USA say there needs to be a new approach to protecting the future of marine ecosystems, with a shift away from the current focus on extinction threat.
'Extinction is the final endpoint, but coral reefs are in deep trouble long before we get to that point. We need to take action much earlier,' says Professor David Bellwood from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (Coral CoE) at James Cook University.
'The goal should be to maintain reefs that can support corals, fish and humans' Professor Bellwood says.
In a world first study published in the journal, Current Biology, researchers tested the concept of double jeopardy, which is widely used to assess extinction risk. It is based on the assumption that the risk of extinction is greater if a species has both a small geographic range and low numbers.
The researchers counted the numbers of individuals of more than 400 species of fishes and corals across a 10,000km swath of the Pacific Ocean, from Indonesia to French Polynesia.
Read More on Sail-World.com
|Boyan Slat is a 20-year-old on a mission
Boyan Slat is a 20-year-old on a mission - to rid the planet's oceans of floating plastic. He has dedicated his teenage years to finding a way of collecting it. But can the system really work - and is there any point when so much new plastic waste is still flowing into the sea every day?
'I don't understand why 'obsessive' has a negative connotation, I'm an obsessive and I like it,' says Boyan Slat. 'I get an idea and I stick to it.'
This idea came to him at the age of 16, in the summer of 2011, when diving in Greece. 'I saw more plastic bags than fish,' says Slat. He was shocked, and even more shocked that there was no apparent solution. 'Everyone said to me: 'Oh there's nothing you can do about plastic once it gets into the oceans,' and I wondered whether that was true.'
Global production of plastic now stands at 288 million tonnes per year, of which 10% ends up in the ocean in time. Most of that - 80% - comes from land-based sources. Litter gets swept into drains, and ends up in rivers - so that plastic straw or cup lid you dropped, the cigarette butt you threw on the road - they could all end up in the sea.
The plastic is carried by currents and congregates in five revolving water systems, called gyres, in the major oceans, the most infamous being the huge Pacific Garbage Patch, half way between Hawaii and California.
Click here to read the full story.
2016 Olympic Games - Water pollution targets abandoned
By the 2016 Olympic Games Brazil will not make good on its commitment to clean up Rio de Janeiro's sewage-filled Guanabara Bay, state environmental officials acknowledged in a letter obtained Saturday by The Associated Press.
Last month Sail-World reported an admission by the Rio environment department that 800,000 tonnes a day of effluennt flows into the river system that ends in Guanabara Bay.
In the May 7 letter addressed to Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo, Rio's state environment secretary, Carlos Francisco Portinho, asks for more funding for pollution control efforts and admits that at current investment rates, it will take more than a decade to significantly reduce the levels of pollution in Guanabara Bay, where the Olympic sailing events and rowing are to be held.
Brazilian authorities had pledged to cut by 80 percent the flow of pollution into the Bay by the 2016 Games through the expansion of the sewage network and the construction of River Treatment Units. Read More on Sail-World.com
Trawling for Trash across the Pacific Ocean
On Matt Rutherford's first sailing trip, from Maryland to the Florida Keys, he encountered three hurricanes (his boat ran aground and was even struck by lightning). Undeterred, he continued sailing, and eight years later became the first person to make a solo, non-stop sailing trip around North and South America.
Now, Rutherford is taking on a new challenge. On Sunday, April 13, he and Nicole Trenholm, field operations scientist at his nonprofit, the Ocean Research Project, will attempt the longest continuous marine plastics survey in history, starting from Oakland and ending in Japan. Read more . . .
LEAVE NO TRACE!
As lakes thaw and boats get loaded back into the water, take a minute to get your brain around this chart (CLICK to enlarge). Maybe this year, you'll stop throwing cigarette butts over the side, or letting crew get away with tossing aluminium cans in the sea? Everything lasts a lot longer than you might think it does, so keep it all on the boat. Source: NOAA
Pacific ocean pollution survey
Ocean Research Project announced it will begin in Spring 2014 the first Trans-Pacific, continent to continent NON-STOP Marine Plastic Survey. Leaving California for Japan, it will use a high speed trawl net to generate a dataset to add to the global understanding of how much marine debris is on the ocean's surface and to discover how ocean plastics threaten marine life and human health. Samples will also be analysed for persistent organic pollutants (POP) such as PCB's and pesticides through University of Tokyo's International Pellet Watch Program. Samples will also be processed at Baltimore Underground Science Space.
"Our Mission: To produce breakthrough environmental solutions that protect and nurture our planet to meet the vital needs of people today and for generations to come."
Deep-Sea Waves Reveal Secrets
Waves deep below the ocean surface help explain how global currents work, and may improve climate predictions, according to scientists including a Stanford Woods Institute-affiliated researcher.
Stanford researchers Leif Thomas and Dan Whitt have discovered an undersea surf zone, where wind-spawned waves traveling as much as 500 meters below the sea surface break as they hit the boundaries between currents of differing density, such as cool subpolar and warm subtropical currents, causing the water carried by the currents to mix.
Their finding has ramifications for understanding how heat, salinity, and nutrients are transferred between currents and, by extension, globally. The new data should also aid in improving the physics behind computer models used to predict climate.
Thomas and Whitt developed a mathematical model analyzing how internal waves propagate in the ocean and interact with currents. Whitt is lead author of a paper describing their research that was published online by the American Meteorological Society's Journal of Physical Oceanography.
Their model showed that when internal waves hit a current with a different density, they slow down and break, just as surface waves break when their progress is slowed by shallows, and mixing results.
"Strong ocean currents such as the Gulf Stream present ideal conditions for internal wave breaking," Thomas said. "We basically discovered a surf zone for these wind-driven internal waves."
Full article and link to their research paper at woods.stanford.edu
Velocitek Makes Second Annual Donation to Sailors for the Sea
Sailors for the Sea extends a thank you to Velocitek for their second year in a row of financial support. Since 2006 Velocitek has been a member of the environmental organization 1% for the Planet, a coalition of more than 1,000 businesses that donate 1% of their sales to a network of more than 3,000 environmental organizations worldwide.
Alec Stewart, president of Velocitek notes; "Velocitek is a company made up of people who love the ocean. Being based in Hawaii, we are surrounded by the ocean and we spend a lot of time playing in and on the water. We also realize that clean oceans are essential to our livelihood, and the success of the recreational marine industry as a whole. We believe that individually we have a small impact in preserving our oceans, but together, we can make a big difference. We support the ongoing commitment Sailors for the Sea has made to educating the sailing community on the threats to oceans and coastal waters and empowering sailors - from youth to experienced life-long recreational and professional sailors - on the actions they can take to protect marine health for generations to come." ( . . . more )
SAS present their next event, the Big Spring Beach Clean 2013.
Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) is calling on coastal communities to get involved with the SAS Big Spring Beach Clean on 22nd, 23rd & 24th March to help tackle the marine litter crisis hitting UK shores.
SAS is encouraging community volunteers to lead their own beach cleans as part of the SAS Big Spring Beach Clean, offering advice, equipment and promotional materials to ensure safe and successful events. All lead volunteers will also receive a limited edition Klean Kanteen©; a refillable, safe, healthy, lightweight, reusable bottle free of Bisphenol A (BPA) and other toxin substances.
The SAS Big Spring Beach Clean will take place between 11am and 2pm on 22nd, 23rd & 24th March, so get ready to roll up your sleeves for UK beaches.
Sadly, the springtime reveals the true severity of the marine litter crisis. The impact of winter storms and in absence of seasonal council beach cleaning operations, the accumulation of litter can be truly shocking. Typical examples of marine litter include rubbish from beach users, sewage-related debris, waste from commercial shipping, nets and fish boxes from fishing vessels and medical waste.
Marine litter is thought to reduce the resiliance of marine ecosystems and add to other human impacts on the marine environment such as inappropriate development, sewage and agricultural pollution, climate change and ocean acidification (Derraik, 2002). Marine litter can also dramatically affect quality of life, recreational opportunities and aesthetic value. The majority of beach users rank cleanliness as a priority in chosing their destination. A 2005 ENCAMS study showed that 97% of people avoided beaches with 10 or more large litter items per metre.
Hugo Tagholm, SAS Executive Director says: "The marine litter crisis is a major issue hitting beautiful beaches right around the UK. The SAS Big Spring Beach Clean empowers communities and educates the public on how we can all play our part in turning the tide of marine litter."
Caring for the Blue with Bryony Shaw
British environmental organisation, The Blue Project, speak with Olympic medalist and Blue Ambassador Bryony Shaw about her love of windsurfing and protecting the waters she uses.
How does your sport connect you to the natural environment and how does that environment continually motivate and inspire you to achieve goals – sporting and other life goals?
Read the answer to this question and more . . .
British environmental organisation, The Blue Project, speak with the godfather of windsurfing Robby Naish about his relationship with the ocean and why its so important to preserve it.
The Blue Project uses sport, adventure and digital media to connect more people to our blue environment. Jacques Cousteau once said that "People protect what they love" so our mission is to develop innovative ways to encourage greater care of our blue environment.
Our journey started with a small group of people who derive a large part of their inspiration from competing and working in the natural environment. We decided to share their stories, images and content with a wider audience and set up the Blue Project as a communications outreach programme.
In 2009, we launched the Blue Mile as a mass-participation event designed to connect more people and raise funds to support WWF's marine and freshwater programme – http://www.theblueproject.org/.
Massive Arctic Ice Melt Reported
An area of Arctic sea ice bigger than the United States melted this year, according the U.N. weather agency, which said the dramatic decline illustrates that climate change is happening "before our eyes."
In a report released at U.N. climate talks in the Qatari capital of Doha, the World Meteorological Organization said the Arctic ice melt was one of a myriad of extreme and record-breaking weather events to hit the planet in 2012. Droughts devastated nearly two-thirds of the United States as well as western Russia and southern Europe. Floods swamped West Africa and heat waves left much of the Northern Hemisphere sweltering.
Read More . . .
Rising Seas, Vanishing Coastlines
THE oceans have risen and fallen throughout Earth's history, following the planet's natural temperature cycles. Twenty thousand years ago, what is now New York City was at the edge of a giant ice sheet, and the sea was roughly 400 feet lower. But as the last ice age thawed, the sea rose to where it is today.
Now we are in a new warming phase, and the oceans are rising again after thousands of years of stability. As scientists who study sea level change and storm surge, we fear that Hurricane Sandy gave only a modest preview of the dangers to come, as we continue to power our global economy by burning fuels that pollute the air with heat-trapping gases. ( .... more)
Challenge Marine Litter this weekend
Surfers Against Sewage is delighted to announce the inaugural Return To Offender weekend on 24th and 25th November, giving the public a fantastic opportunity to challenge businesses about the marine litter crisis. Over the past 15 years the amount of marine litter washing up on UK beaches has almost doubled. The Return To Offender initiative is an activity designed to help individuals and communities confront businesses with items of litter found on UK beaches, asking them to take specific actions including:
- Increasing anti-littering messaging on their products to better inform consumers about reuse, recycling and proper disposal.
- Reducing the amount of packaging used for their products.
- Identifying less harmful packaging options to safeguard the environment.
- Supporting environmental initiatives and community activities to protect oceans and beaches.
The activity will see SAS campaigners and supporters from Land's End to the Orkney Islands returning to manufacturers pieces of marine litter found on tidelines nationwide asking for more to be done to protect these unique environments. It will also highlight particular sources of marine litter and solutions that can contribute to the reduction of marine litter.
To get involved communities and individuals can download Return To Offender resources at http://www.sas.org.uk/
The weekend will encourage individual beach cleans through SAS Regional Reps, SAS members, SAS supporters, SAS activists, the general public, supportive local businesses and national businesses. Most of all, SAS will actively promote individual activity of collecting just one or two items of litter from local beaches across the UK.SAS is encouraging all our supporters to take action during the weekend, becoming a part the anti-beach litter campaign.
This method of tackling the issue is a tried and tested one. Currently 5% of all litter found in the UK is from one company, Coca Cola*. Thanks to our Return To Offender campaign Coca Cola has already responded positively and made packaging changes.
SAS aims to encourage up to 1,000 individuals to get involved with the Return to Offender initiative as a result of the weekend.
SAS Beach Litter officer Dom Ferris says: "SAS's Return To Offender initiative is a powerful reminder to manufacturers that they should do more to tackle the marine litter crisis. Please get involved with making sure your beach has a voice as part of the Return To Offender weekend."
Surfers Against Sewage would like to thank the Patagonia Tides Foundation for their support in helping make this initiative possible.
Blue is the New Green
UK Sailmakers France, the developer of MatriX Titanium sails for the UK Sailmakers group, has just introduced Titanium Blue membrane sails that do not use petroleum based film (Mylar) as their skin material. These sails are being branded as Blue because of the sails' sky blue color.
Using organically-derived, cellulous-based films, in place of petroleum-based Mylar, these sails are recyclable. Sails made with cellulous-based films will have the same durability as petroleum-based Mylar films yet will be recyclable. When the sail's competitive usefulness life is over, Titanium Blue sails can be treated with a substance that dissolves the blue film. This allows the recapture of the reinforcing yarns in the sail.
Watch this video to learn more about the recyclable cellulose-based films in Titanium Blue - a true innovation in responsible sailmaking. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2eWTYgLOKU
ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY CLUBS
It first began with regattas mandating environmental awareness such as
requiring the use of reusable water bottles and recycling of trash. But
does your sailing club promote this approach as an operational standard?
Here are ten easy things, distributed to the membership of Miami Yacht Club
(Florida), which can be done to reduce the 'plastic footprint' and help
keep plastics out of the marine environment:
1. Choose to reuse when it comes to shopping bags and bottled water. Cloth bags and metal or glass reusable bottles are available locally at great prices.
2. Refuse single-serving packaging, excess packaging, straws and other 'disposable' plastics. Carry reusable utensils in your purse, backpack or car to use at BBQ's, potlucks or take-out restaurants.
3. Reduce everyday plastics such as sandwich bags and juice cartons by replacing them with a reusable lunch bag/box that includes a thermos.
4. Bring your to-go mug with you to the coffee shop, smoothie shop or restaurants that let you use them. A great way to reduce lids, plastic cups and/or plastic-lined cups.
5. Go digital! No need for plastic CDS, DVDS and jewel cases when you can buy your music and videos online.
6. Seek out alternatives to the plastic items that you rely on.
7. Recycle. If you must use plastic, try to choose #1 (PETE) or #2 (HDPE), which are the most commonly recycled plastics. Avoid plastic bags and polystyrene foam as both typically have very low recycling rates.
8. Volunteer at a beach cleanup. Surfrider Foundation Chapters often hold cleanups monthly or more frequently.
9. Support plastic bag bans, polystyrene foam bans and bottle recycling bills.
10. Spread the word. Talk to your family and friends about why it is important to Rise Above Plastics!
On October 20, 2012, Justin M. Smith embarked on a very special sail. Though the 12 year old from Muttontown, NY has been sailing for three years, he had never done something quite like this before: Justin sailed his 8-foot Optimist across the Long Island Sound entirely by himself, as a way to raise money to help fund a project run by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation that will restore the Sound's ecosystem. Justin plans to accept donations for the project up until his Bar Mitzvah in January 2013.
Read the story . . .
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (USA)
NFWF supports hundreds of projects across the country to protect and restore wildlife and their habitats.
|Founded by David Rockefeller, Jr., Sailors for the Sea educates and engages the boating community in the worldwide protection of the oceans. Among their core programs is Clean Regattas, which assists and certifies yacht clubs and regatta organizers to host clean events that minimize impacts upon the oceans.
Sailors for the Sea is working with the America's Cup Event Authority toward a zero waste and carbon neutral commitment for the racing next year. While this would seem to be a challenge given the event's need for support boats and helicopters, progress is occurring. Here were some of the highlights during the AC World Series event in August:
The Healthy Ocean Project beach cleanup held on August 19 had 180 volunteers. With 360 hours volunteered, more than 75 bags of trash and recyclable items were picked up from Fort Baker. That is approximately 2,250 pounds of trash and recyclables removed; that is the same weight as 17 Laser class boats.
All sailing teams were required to and used reusable water bottles.
The America's Cup Event Authority distributed 2,725 gallons of water on site, which prevented the use of 20,640 single-use plastic bottles.
Renewable energies were used for the first time at an ACWS event. Audio on the main stage was powered by solar panels and a Biodiesel blend (B20) was used in generators to reduce fossil fuel consumption.
Collecting the plastic film that breaks off the wings when a boat capsizes. If possible, it is recycled.
|Formed in January 2010, Ocean Crusaders Pty Ltd (Formerly Save Our Seas International Pty Ltd) is out to create a difference in our world by protecting our oceans from us humans. We focus on several key campaigns such as plastic, dolphins, sharks, turtles and sailing.
Founder Ian Thomson launched the campaign by smashing the solo circumnavigation of Australia record. By creating a profile for himself he in turn created awareness of the cause. Ocean Crusaders now aim to create Awareness of the issues and Educate people of what we can do to make a difference.
The greatest issue our oceans face is that the world is unaware of the problem we are causing. The convenient plastic bag and plastic products are everywhere and no one thinks of where they are going. We slaughter thousands of dolphins, turtles and sharks and hundreds of whales every year with little knowledge of what damage we are causing.
Education is a major part of our program. Our team regularly travel around to schools conducting talks to students. It is the next generation that is more open to change and working with them helps our situation immensely. With representatives across the globe and growing constantly, our education program is a unique learning tool and available to everyone free of charge.
We also run a program for the sailing community where events can become Ocean Safe Regattas by following our simple set of guidelines. As ocean users, sailors need to be leaders in looking after our oceans and it is very simple to do.
| Ric O'Barry's Dolphin Project is a campaign under the International Marine Mammal Project at the non-profit Earth Island Institute. This work has been chronicled in films such as A Fall From Freedom, the Oscar-winning documentary The Cove, and in the Animal Planet mini-series Blood Dolphin. To learn more, click here.
Ric O'Barry's Dolphin Project is an Earth Island campaign which encompasses Ric's work around the world as he saves dolphins from slaughter and exploitation.
The goal of Ric O'Barry's Dolphin Project is to put an end to dolphin slaughter and exploitation once and for all. Dolphins are regularly captured, harassed, slaughtered and sold into captivity around the world - all in the name of profit. The Dolphin Project works not only to halt these slaughters in countries around the world, but also to rehabilitate captive dolphins, investigate and advocate for economic alternatives to dolphin slaughter exploitation, and to put a permanent end to dolphin captivity.
The Dolphin Project has achieved many important victories for dolphins over the years. We brought the world's attention to brutal drive hunts taking place along the coast of Japan, as seen in the 2009 Academy Award-winning feature documentary "The Cove"; we successfully negotiated for an end to dolphin slaughter in the Solomon Islands; and we continue to raise awareness that captivity is cruel.
Ric O'Barry has been working towards these goals for over 40 years, and he continues his quest to put an end to dolphin suffering. Be sure to stay tuned for information on how you can get involved and make a difference.
The Garbage Patch
As sailors, the ocean is our playground, and for some, it is our office. Every day we go out on the water we make an impact on our ocean, yet so many people are unaware of that very impact. So here are some alarming stats for you:
- There is a garbage patch in the North Pacific containing enough rubbish to cover Australia 3m deep. There are 4 other garbage patches, one in every major ocean.
- The world uses 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags every year and it contributes to 100,000+ marine deaths from plastic suffocation and entanglement. Add another 1 million sea birds to that figure.
- The world drinks 200 billion litres of bottled water every year, contributing 20.5 million tonnes of greenhouse gasses to the environment and using enough oil to fill every bottle of water 25% full of oil. Only 30% of plastic water bottles are recycled around the world.
So if I said to you that the ocean produces 60-80% of the worlds oxygen and that our every day habits are slowly killing it, would it make you think twice? Yes, I am saying that your habits are risking the very air we breathe.
Read More on oceancrusaders.org