The Beacon

Ocean News: Scientists Discover New Line of Sea Anemones, Illinois Bans Microbeads, and More

A sawfish (Pristidae) (Photo: Shutter Fotos / Flickr Creative Commons)

- Scientists previously mistook a deep-sea creature with 6.5 foot long tentacles to be one of the oceans’ largest sea anemones, but DNA research reveals that this animal is part of a new order of marine organisms. This new order of Cnidaria—a phylum that includes jellyfish, corals, sea anemones, and their relatives—now includes stony corals, anemones, and black corals. Science Daily

- Illinois officially became the first state in the nation to ban microbeads on Sunday, after Governor Pat Quinn signed a law banning them in cosmetics. These tiny plastics can end up in the oceans, where they can bioaccumulate and threaten food chains. The Wall Street Journal

- The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) recently announced a plan to save sawfish from extinction. Their strategy includes combating intentional killing of sawfish, protecting their habitats, and reducing fisheries bycatch. Sawfish were once common in 92 countries, but are now extinct in up to 42 of them. Bloomberg

- Warmer temperatures could increase the amount of carbon dioxide released by the world’s oceans—and that could further fuel climate change, according to a new study. The scientists studied a 26,000 year old sediment core and observed how it reacted to warming temperatures to reach this conclusion. Science Daily

Long Reads:

- In a recent blog post for The Huffington Post, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called for action to protect the oceans, citing they’re in danger from pollution, overfishing, and acidification. The Huffington Post 

- While lawsuits continue in Louisiana against the oil and gas industry, the state continues to fall victim to sea level rise and environmental degradation. National Journal


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