The Weekly Dive, Vol. 3
We bring you the third edition of the Weekly Dive, where you’ll find both important news and fun media, all related to the ocean!
The USDA has pledged $50 million to restore river basins around the Gulf of Mexico, as a first step towards restoring the Gulf following the 2010 oil spill. This announcement accompanied the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force’s presentation of their final report, which demonstrates decades of decline prior to the oil spill. Initial efforts are expected to improve water quality by reducing runoff of agricultural pollution. [The Washington Post]
Marine protected areas are powerful conservation tools that face ongoing challenges. In an article in Scientific American, researchers provide insight on their concerns that many MPAs are failing to meet their conservation goals, noting that it takes strategic implementation and enforcement for MPAs to provide real benefits to ecosystems and the people who depend on them. [Scientific American]
A new report reveals that 16 percent of the critters so lovingly portrayed in “Finding Nemo” are threatened by extinction. A study of the IUCN classifications of 1,568 species related to characters in the Disney film shows that many of the most charismatic reef animals are at under threat. [The Washington Post]
How low can you go – the entirety of the Marianas Trench has been mapped and its depth recalculated. Its deepest point, known as Challenger Deep, lies 10,994 meters below the surface. This milestone should help pave the way for exploration, as several teams race to send manned submersibles into the trench, as well as for further mapping of the seafloor, of which we know so little. [BBC]
Fins down – a portion of Japan’s tsunami disaster relief budget will fund the whaling industry. A portion of the tsunami reconstruction budget was intended for fisheries projects to rejuvenate devastated fishing towns, including providing whaling vessels with security as a “deterrent” against protesters, who are trying to stop the hunt and who argue this is a misuse of funds. [The Huffington Post]
A Cook Islands Shark Sanctuary may soon become a reality. The sanctuary, if made a reality, would include the country’s entire Exclusive Economic Zone, approximately 1.2 million square miles (2 million square km), and contribute to a global network of regions in which all shark species are fully protected. [The Los Angeles Times]
Longing to get back to those laid back summer beach days? Indulge in your nostalgia and escape the holiday shopping mania with “Today is the Day” by Yo La Tengo. If you weren’t craving sunshine and surfing yet, you will be after this.