The Beacon

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

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

- According to a report released yesterday, this July’s average ocean temperature tied with July 2009 for being the hottest on record. Ocean surface temperatures averaged at 62.56 degrees Fahrenheit last month, about 1.06 degrees above the 20th-century average. The Hill

- The small Caribbean island of Barbuda is taking big steps for the oceans: Earlier this month, they signed a sweeping new set of laws, including establishing a network of marine sanctuaries and strengthening fisheries management. With the new regulations protecting 33 percent of Barbuda’s coast, the move has put them on the map as leaders of ocean conservation in the Caribbean. National Geographic

Long Read:

- The impacts of ocean acidification are still just becoming understood, but one group that’s one of the front lines of these changes are Native tribes in Washington. These tribes rely on shellfish, including clams, lobster, and scallops, yet harvests are declining each year. Indian Country Today

Op-Ed:

- This op-ed explores how the Obama administration’s approval of seismic airgun blasting is wrong for South Carolina, and how the “news should be more than a little troublesome.” The author sites the palmetto state’s thriving coastal tourism economy and pristine ecosystmes like wetlands and estuaries as to why offshore drilling isn’t worth the risk. The Post and Courier


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