Check out how the NAMEPA Chapter at Syracuse University is working to protect marine environments! Great job, Syracuse!
On 03 March, three members of Division 9, braved a brisk and windy but sunny morning to pick up trash and litter along a segment of shoreline at the New Hope Overlook ramps on Jordan Lake. Perry Taylor, 09-11, Sankey Blanton, 09-08, and Jim Frei, 09-11 spent about 90 minutes tromping through shrubs, woods, riprap, and briers retrieving trash that accumulates along the shoreline. With high winds blowing directly into the cove, a big load of trash was expected, but a lot less was found. This same segment of shoreline was picked over last November when the lake level was down four feet, so a lot of trash had already been removed. Only three bags were collected during this event. We have observed that less trash is accumulating along this shoreline over the past several years. However, we are still seeing too much styrofoam. The Division 9 segment does not get a lot of bank fishermen, so we don’t see much abandoned fishing line or plastic bait cups.
Strange to think that a little straw can be threatening. . .
Every day, Americans use 500,000,000 plastic straws and then throw them away. Arranging these straws end-to-end would create a line of plastic over sixty-two thousand miles long. That is enough to circle the Earth 2.5 times per day! These single-use plastic straws are threatening our health, environment, oceans, and sea life.
Strange to think that a little straw can be threatening. . .
Megan, a student at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy just wrapped up an internship with NAMEPA. We sat down with Megan to talk about her experience, and how this internship will help to shape her future career.
Students in grades K–12 are invited to participate in the annual calendar art contest sponsored by the North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA), the United States Coast Guard (USCG), and the Inter-American Committee on Ports of the Organization of American States (CIP-OAS). The theme of this year’s contest aligns with that of IMO’s World Maritime Day, “Better Shipping for a Better Future.” Submissions will be accepted from youth across the Americas (North America, Central America, South America and the Caribbean).
NAMEPA is teaming up with local high schools to spread knowledge and share opportunities with students interested in careers in the maritime industry and environmental conservation. NAMEPA’s mission is unique as it bridges the gap between commerce and preservation, making NAMEPA a quintessential example of the dynamic positions available in the field of marine science and maritime industries.
Americans use an estimated 500,000,000 plastic straws every day, which is equivalent to 1.6 straws for every man, woman and child. This is enough to circle the earth 2.5 times per day!
A goal of environmental education is to cultivate a generation of environmental stewards who can further spread awareness to entire communities. Project Skyros offers a camp that challenges young students on environmental problems. . .
When one goes on a seaside vacation, one looks forward to a relaxing time complete with a stroll on idyllic beaches. Unfortunately, this wasn't the case during a weekend visit to Block Island where an invigorating walk turned into a beach cleanup.
“What defines an invasive species? Are humans an invasive species?”, one of my students asked me during lunch. Earlier that day he had asked a similar question in front of the whole group, but I had responded that we didn’t have enough time to get into a long debate about the contentious definition of an invasive species. I said that if he wanted, we could debate whether or not humans were an invasive species over lunch.
268,940 tons of plastic float through the world’s oceans, spreading, accumulating, and being swallowed or absorbed. A group of researchers led by Markus Eriksen of the Five Gyres Institute in LA made this estimate in 2014. 5.25 trillion plastic particles are sitting in the ocean, they wrote in their paper, which was the first ever estimate for the total amount of plastic in the ocean.
Carbon sequestration, ocean acidification, and global climate change: these are just a few complex processes associated with the carbon cycle and ultimately, the future of our environment. More familiar and accessible to the general public, however, is the fact that the amount of atmospheric carbon, a primary driver of climate change, is steadily on the rise in today’s world. Questions and concerns on the future of our planet develop when we begin to contemplate what consequences will arise as a result of this increased carbon. How will nature react?
One of the things we all have in common as citizens of Earth is our dependence on the it and on fully functioning ecosystems. Earth Day is about making sure that we can continue to depend on these processes, both for their intrinsic and their economic value. In the age of climate change, pollution, and habitat destruction, an age scientists have literally termed the anthropocene, which means “the age of the human”, Earth Day is more important than ever.
Each year, April 22nd is a reminder of the responsibility we have to be stewards of the planet on which we live. Earth Day reminds us of the environmental issues that may not always be at the forefront of all conversations. But how did it start? And who do we have to thank for bringing environmental issues into the national spotlight?
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.
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.
Fisheries are vital for providing protein and nutrients to people around the world; they sustain human life on earth, but humans are currently not using them sustainably.
Offshore drilling often sparks a heated debate. Many environmentalists would view this form of oil abstraction as particularly harmful to the marine environment. . . While criticism surrounds the oil industry, there is no questioning that America relies heavily on oil.
Garbage patches are not an accumulation of these horrific encounters between wildlife and trash, however, they are spiraling masses of something much more subtle and sinister.
“The best bumper sticker I’ve ever seen,” my grandmother told us between gifts, “was one that read ‘Throw it away? There is no away.’”
We aimed for a waste-free gift-giving this year, not buying any new items for gift wrapping whatsoever. Rather than worry about buying enough wrapping paper, gift bags, gift tags, and tissue paper, it was fun to see which bags and boxes have made a comeback year after year.