The Beacon

Oceana’s blog about the latest ocean news, policy and science.

Offshore Wind Development Moves Closer to Reality in Maryland, North Carolina Thanks to BOEM

Maryland and North Carolina move forward with offshore wind

An offshore wind farm in the North Sea. (Photo: © MEDVIND / Bent Sørensen / DONG Energy  A/S)

Big news keeps rolling in for offshore wind this summer! Yesterday, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) held its third competitive lease sale off the coast of Maryland for an area that comprises 80,000 acres of the outer Continental Shelf. Sixteen offshore wind developers competed to win the rights to develop this clean energy in two sections in the North Lease Area (32,737 acres) and the South Lease Area (46,970 acres), which are both at least ten miles off the coast of Ocean City.


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Ocean News: Nicaragua Dispatches Military to Protect Baby Turtles, New Zealand Bans Shark Finning, and More

An olive ridley sea turtle hatching, a species to be protected by the Nicaraguan

An olive ridley sea turtle hatching, a species to be protected by the Nicaraguan military. (Photo: S M / Flickr Creative Commons)

- As sea turtle hatching season gets underway in Nicaragua, the nation’s military has been sent to the coast to protect baby sea turtles from poachers. Poaching has historically been an issue in Nicaragua, but has improved in recent years. The Dodo


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Video: Austin Nichols Tags Sharks off Florida, Advocates for the Oceans with Nautica and Oceana

Austin Nichols goes shark tagging with Oceana

Austin Nichols on a shark-tagging research trip with Oceana, Nautica, and the RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation Program in Miami Beach, Fla. (Photo: Oceana / Melissa Forsyth)

Actor, diver, and ocean advocate Austin Nichols (“One Tree Hill,” “The Day After Tomorrow,” “Wimbledon,” and “John from Cincinnati”) joined the R.J. Dunlap Marine Conservation Program at the University of Miami, Oceana, and Nautica earlier this summer to tag sharks off the coast of Florida. Nichols helped tag seven sharks while he was on the water, including a nurse shark, a blacktip shark, four blacknose sharks, and a lemon shark.


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Photos: Oceana’s Balearic Expedition Confirms Need for Expanded Marine Protected Areas

Oceana launched an expedition to the Balearic seamounts

Coralligenous community with gorgonians (Paramuricea clavata) and a group of swallotwail seaperch (Anthias anthias), pictured during Oceana’s expedition to the Balearic seamounts onboard the SOCIB R/V in August 2014. (Photo: Oceana in Europe / Flickr)

Earlier this month, Oceana in Europe completed a 10-day expedition to the Balearic seamounts, where a team of scientists mapped, documented, and collected data on the area to determine the need for protective measures.


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Ocean News: Barbuda Becomes Ocean Conservation Leader in the Caribbean, July Ocean Temperatures Hit Record Highs, and More

Barbuda is a leader in ocean conservation in the Caribbean

A rocky ledge off Barbuda. (Photo: Ron Kroetz / Flickr Creative Commons)

- Scientists say that seagrass habitat is being lost at the same rate as Amazon rain forests, or about two soccer fields per hour. The scientists warn that this is key habitat for many young fish, so the loss of seagrass could have a huge impact on fisheries. BBC


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Photos: Leonardo DiCaprio, Other Celebs Fight for Our Oceans at Oceana’s SeaChange Party

Leonardo DiCaprio with Andy Sharpless at the SeaChange Party

Leonardo DiCaprio speaks at SeaChange. (Photo: ©Oceana / Tom Vickers)  

This past weekend, Oceana hosted the seventh-annual SeaChange Summer Party, a sold-out fundraiser event that raised $1.4 million for the oceans. Celebrities, ocean activists, and Oceana board members attended the event in Laguna Beach, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Ted Danson, Dennis Haysbert, Laura Dern, Miranda Cosgrove, Austin Nichols, Oscar Nunez, Rachael Harris, and Jenna Ushkowitz.


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New Report Touts Economic Benefits of Seafood Traceability

Seafood traceability has economic benefits

A fish market in Maryland. (Photo: Oceana / Jenn Hueting)

A new report on the economic benefits of seafood traceability provides compelling evidence for adoption of the practice throughout the seafood industry. Written by Future of Fish, an ocean-focused nonprofit organization, the report makes the case that seafood traceability not only serves to insure a company’s product integrity, but it also provides an added value to the product.


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Ocean News: New Minke Whale Foraging Patterns Discovered, Google Street View Takes on the Florida Keys, and More

Minke whale hunt under Antarctic ice for krill

Minke Whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) off the Chilean coast. (Photo: Oceana / Eduardo Sorensen)

- Google’s Street View will soon be coming to underwater ecosystems off the U.S. Government scientists have been learning to use this technology in the Florida Keys, and not only will this provide a glimpse into the underwater world, it will also help scientists inform research and management plans. Monroe News


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CEO Note: Progress for Sharks

Sharks conservation has made progress, but still needs your help

A dusky shark (Carcharhinus obscurus). (Photo: Richard Ling / Flickr Creative Commons)

If you’re like most ocean lovers, you’ve probably spent a few nights this week tuning in to Discovery Channel’s Shark Week. But as we celebrate our collective love of sharks, we should also take a moment to reflect on the many threats that sharks face.


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Poll Update: Great White Sharks Win as the Fan Favorite (Photos)

Great white sharks receive negative media attention

A great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias). (Photo: "White shark" by Pterantula (Terry Goss) at en.wikipedia - Derivative of w:Image:Whiteshark-TGoss5b.jpg. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons) 

In honor of Shark Week, we asked our audience on Tuesday to weigh in on their favorite shark species. Not surprisingly, great white sharks turned out to be the fan favorite!


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