The Beacon

Ocean News: World Oceans Day Edition

A leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) hatchling. (Photo: Oceana / Tim Calver)

World Oceans Day is on Sunday, June 8—a day to celebrate and raise awareness for marine ecosystems. Today’s round-up features both the perils facing the oceans today, as well as advancements to protect them. Take a look below, and click here to find a list of World Oceans Day events near you.

- BP aftermath continues: The U.S. Chemical Safety Board released a report yesterday analyzing how a safety device failed to stop the 2010 BP oil spill. The Board warned that this device needs increased regulation in all offshore drilling operations to prevent similar catastrophes. The Associated Press

- The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, the governing body that protects this World Heritage Site, issued a permit to allow dumping of 370,000 cubic meters of dredge spoil into the marine park. A spokeswoman from a local conservation group called the decision “an astounding level of arrogance.” The Guardian

- A new report by the Global Ocean Commission stresses the ecological and economic value of the high seas, citing their importance in removing carbon from the atmosphere and providing commercially important fishing grounds. The authors urge for better management and regulation of these natural services. National Geographic

- A 60 tank, 13,000-square-foot major sea turtle hospital opened to the public on Topsail Island, North Carolina yesterday. The new facilities are much larger than the old Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center, allowing the new hospital to rescue more sea turtles and perform minor surgeries. Jean Beasley, the founder of the hospital, received Oceana’s 2013 Ocean Hero Award for her dedicated efforts to protect sea turtles for over 16 years. News & Observer

- With dredging set to begin over the weekend in the Port of Miami, researchers are attempting to salvage and collect as many specimens of coral as possible before the reefs are cleared. Researchers have recently found larger colonies of coral than expected, and say this could provide insight to protect Florida’s other reefs. The New York Times

- On June 5, 1944, the day before D-Day, Dwight D. Eisenhower formed a small research group to investigate wave and weather patterns so that he could predict the timing of the Normandy landings. Now, 70 years later, scientists are calling D-Day the advent of modern oceanography in the United Kingdom. National Oceanography Centre

Long read: Coastal marshes, coral reefs, and other ecosystems provide natural barriers to protect coastlines from hurricanes and sea level rise—and sometimes, they work better than manmade structures, like levees. Scientists have now put a price tag on their value, estimating they provide trillions of dollars in services. The New York Times


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