The Beacon

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

CEO Note: Arctic Drilling Held At Bay

(Photo: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)

For the past five years, the oil industry has kept up a relentless campaign to drill in Alaska’s Arctic Ocean. Oil exploration and drilling would put this exceptional ecosystem at great risk from a disastrous (and inevitable) oil spill, greatly harming marine life, fish species, and coastal communities.


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Happy International Polar Bear Day!

(Photo: Alan D. Wilson / www.naturespicsonline.com) 

It’s International Polar Bear Day! It’s a day created to bring awareness to polar bear conservation, and to simply take a moment to recognize the overall awesomeness that is the polar bear. Polar bears have many extraordinary physical abilities and are stunningly beautiful, so having an entire day of every year dedicated to them is a no-brainer.


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McAuliffe Backs Offshore Drilling, Threatens Over 100,000 Jobs and Millions of Dollars in VA

Night falls over the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico.(Photo: Oceana / Carlos Suarez)

The Outer Continental Shelf Governors Coalition, a group of seven Republican governors representing Alaska, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, North Carolina, and South Carolina, will soon have its first Democratic member: Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe.


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Guardian Article Highlights Fishing Tensions in Senegal

(Photo: Oceana / María José Cornax)

You’ve heard a lot lately about our campaign to save the oceans and feed the world— simultaneously fighting hunger and revitalizing ocean ecosystems. The Guardian recently ran a great story that emphasizes how declining fish populations are a personal, pressing problem for many people across the globe. Reporter Martine Valo reveals how traditional communities in Senegal are competing with foreign fish-processing factories for dwindling fish catches.


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Cat Pathogens Found in Arctic Belugas

(Photo: Claude Robillard)

The occurrence of human diseases in marine mammals is rapidly on the rise and an alarming development for our oceans. The latest species to succumb is the canary of the sea: the beluga whale.

Researchers from the University of British Columbia recently discovered Toxoplasma gondii, a devastating parasite, in a western Arctic population of beluga whales.


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CEO Note: Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation Awards Oceana $3 Million

(Photo: Oceana / Tim Calver)

I’m proud to announce that the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation just awarded Oceana a grant of $3 million to aid our conservation efforts in the Pacific and Arctic Oceans. Over the next three years, this grant will help fund existing and new campaigns that target ocean habitats and keystone species, like sharks.


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California Bill Would Ban Deadly Drift Gillnets

(Photo: Oceana / NOAA) 

On November 18, 2013, our team in the Pacific sent a letter to NOAA Fisheries requesting photos of marine life drowned in drift gillnets off the coast of California. We already knew that each year over a hundred marine mammals are killed by drift gillnets, mile-long fishing nets set below the water’s surface to catch swordfish and thresher sharks in the area. Animals big and small—whales, dolphins, sea turtles, sea lions—are caught in these walls of mesh and often drown, and Oceana wanted to bring forward any photographic proof of gillnets’ damage.


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Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation Grants $3 million to Oceana

(Photo: Oceana / Jenn Hueting)

Oceana is pleased to announce that we have been awarded a $3 million grant from the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. The grant will aid our efforts to protect threatened ocean habitat and keystone marine species in the Pacific and Arctic Oceans.

“Protecting our planet’s oceans and the marine species that call it home is one of the most pressing sustainability crises facing humanity today and a moral imperative that we must acknowledge,” DiCaprio said. “It’s my hope that this grant will help Oceana continue the tremendous work that they do daily on behalf of our oceans.”


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Arctic Summit to Address Competing Interests

(Photo: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)

The Arctic is one of the world’s most spectacular ecosystems, but it’s also one of the most at-risk. Climate change is already changing this ice-filled landscape, while countries and corporations compete for a its rich natural resources, untapped sources of energy, and emerging trade routes.


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One Step Closer to Offshore Wind

(Photo: Nuon)

Call it a victory for offshore wind on the East Coast! Block Island, off the coast of Rhode Island, cleared a major regulatory hurdle as it qualified for a vital federal tax credit by signing an agreement with Alstom to purchase turbines. Clean energy will now come to the grid quicker than previously anticipated, and we will be on our way to a long-term renewable energy source never before witnessed in the U.S.


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