The Beacon

The Plastic Menace

Everybody's talking about the detrimental effects of plastic, both on human health and the environment -- and this week's article in Time magazine is adding to the buzz.

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Friday Victories: Reef-tastic

Before I review the good news this week, I have to review the not-so-good. Today the Washington Post reports:

"The Bush administration has decided not to take any new steps to regulate greenhouse gas emissions before the president leaves office, despite pressure from the Supreme Court and broad accord among senior federal officials that new regulation is appropriate now."

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Crab Cake Confessions

crab cakes

All right, I was going to keep it a secret, but I think I just need to get this off my chest:
over the July 4th weekend, I made crab cakes. And they weren't exactly sustainable.

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A Sobering Report on Reefs


To continue the coral reef theme of my earlier post, the AP published a story yesterday about a NOAA report docum

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Ranger Discovers Deep-Sea Coral

deep-sea coral

The Oceana Ranger, our roving catamaran, has discovered deep-sea white coral in the Aviles Canyon in the Bay of Biscay, off the northern coast of Spain. The coral was identified using an underwater robot, which can work down to 600 meters.

The deep-sea coral can take centuries, or even millennia, to form -- some European coral formations are more than 8,000 years old, and their age makes them especially vulnerable. Recent studies estimate that almost half of the deep-sea coral reefs in Europe have disappeared, particularly due to destructive fishing methods such as bottom trawling.

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Which Tentacle Do You Favor?

octopus rubik's cube

I receive word-of-the-day e-mails, but I've got one today that didn't arrive in my inbox: octidextrous. As in, are you right-tentacled, left-tentacled, or octidextrous?

Scientists in the UK are giving aquarium octopuses Rubik's Cubes to see if they use a preferred tentacle, which could help in reducing the creatures' stress if the scientists know which side they prefer to be fed on.

But the question remains: Can the octopus actually solve the Rubik's Cube? Now that would be a sight to see...

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Oceana Spokeswimmers Beijing-Bound

Not only did Oceana supporter and Olympic gold medalist Aaron Peirsol break yet another world record on Friday's Olympic trials in the 200 meter backstroke, but he and Amanda Beard -- another Oceana supporter -- have both made the 2008 Olympic team.

Join us in watching them as they compete in Beijing.

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Penguins in Peril


As a child I adored the book Mr. Popper's Penguins. A dozen mischievous performing penguins? What could be better? And then there's Tacky the Penguin, a lesser-known children's book with a wonderful lesson about being yourself -- as illustrated by a penguin in a hawaiian shirt. And recently I saw March of the Penguins with my mom; we were both weeping by the end. Okay, so maybe I'm a sap, but the point is -- penguins are one of the most beloved creatures on Earth, and this week brought news that they are slipping away.

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A New World Record

aaron peirsol

Oceana partner and Olympic medalist Aaron Peirsol set a world record last night in the 100-meter backstroke at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials against what he said was the toughest field he's ever faced -- including Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, and Randall Bal.

Only five weeks until the Olympics... get excited to see Aaron in action.

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Pixar Does Pollution

I know I've been harping on the plastics/pollution issue a lot lately, but it seems like the din around the issue is growing louder. First, there's the Junk Raft, project of Algalita Marine Research Foundation. The blog's tagline is, "Sailing [from California] to Hawaii on 15,000 plastic bottles and a Cessna 310, to raise awareness about plastic fouling our oceans." Yesterday was the raft's one-month mark at sea, and they say they have an estimated eight more weeks to go.

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