The Canary Islands are in the oil industry’s crosshairs, and that spells danger for the area’s marine habitats and wildlife.
In a new report, Oceana has denounced oil prospecting plans in the Canary Islands, highlighting the dangerous impact of these activities on cold-water coral reefs, deep sponge fields, hydrothermal vents, and nearly 100 protected species.
Spanish oil company Repsol is planning to prospect in the Canary Islands Channel, located off the northwest coast of Africa. The channel contains gas-based habitats that are protected under the Habitats Directive. These habitats support coral and sponge communities that would be destroyed by oil prospecting activity.
A total of 25 protected areas and 82 endangered species would be threatened by Repsol’s prospecting activities. These include sea turtles, short finned pilot whales, angel sharks, bottlenose dolphins, and a variety of fish.
The International Maritime Organization has declared the Canary Islands a Particularly Sensitive Area for its biological wealth and its economic dependence. This status affords the islands’ strict protection in terms of waste and pollution.
The Canary Islands is an archipelago supported by fishing and tourism. Both of these industries rely on the islands’ high biodiversity—more than 600 species and 350 communities and habitats. Oil prospecting would interfere with fishing and tourism, and reduce the biodiversity of the area.
We'll be sure to keep you posted!
Exciting news from the book world! Ted Danson’s book, "Oceana: Our Endangered Oceans and What You Can Do to Save Them," has been selected as a finalist for the Books for a Better Life award, presented by the Southern New York Chapter of the National MS Society.
"Oceana" is a great read that tells the story of how Ted became an ocean activist, his passion for more than 20 years. The book is also chock full of gorgeous photos, helpful infographics, and Ted’s own description of the state of the oceans, as well as Oceana's work to save them.
The Books for a Better Life award, now in its sixteenth year, raises funds to support services and educational programs for people living with MS. The awards recognize self-improvement authors in ten categories who inspire people to live their best lives. "Oceana" is a finalist in the Green category. You can purchase the book here (also available in Kindle format).
Winners will be announced on March 7, so keep your fingers crossed for Ted and we'll let you know if "Oceana" wins!
You could say we’re a straight-A student.
Charity Navigator, the largest charity evaluator in America, has launched an expanded rating system, and Oceana once again scored the highest marks.
In addition to receiving a four-star rating for our financial performance evaluation, Oceana has now received a 4-star rating on Accountability and Transparency. The new rating system allows donors to determine which charities have the “best practices that minimize the chance of unethical activities and that freely share basic information about the organization with donors and other stakeholders.”
In addition to the endorsement from the Charity Navigator, Oceana has also been accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) as a charity that meets all 20 standards for Charity Accountability. This endorsement is a formal recognition that Oceana has undergone a detailed review process and meets the highest operational, financial and ethical standards for charity accountability.
So as you and your loved ones plan your end-of-year giving, keep Oceana in mind. You’ll be able to rest assured knowing your dollars are doing good for the oceans.
And if you don’t want to wait until the end of the year – go ahead and donate now. Thanks for all your support!
I hope you've already picked up your copy of Ted Danson's book, "Oceana: Our Endangered Oceans and What You Can Do To Save Them."
But if you haven't, great news: It's now available on your Kindle.
This book represents the culmination of Ted's 25+ years of ocean activism, and we couldn't be happier with the way it turned out. The Friday Infographics we've been running are all included in the book, as well as a ton of incredible photos alongside Ted's own description of the state of the world's oceans. And, of course, there's a strong focus on the positive aspects of conservation and what we all can do to save our oceans, seafood and marine wildlife for future generations.
Check it out today!
For the third year in a row, Oceana has received a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, the largest independent evaluator of charities in the U.S., which recently updated their charity ratings.
Our 4-star rating is due to our outstanding organizational efficiency ratings. In other words, we put your money to work.
According to Charity Navigator CEO Ken Berger, "only 13% of the 5,500 charities we rate have received at least 3 consecutive 4-star evaluations, indicating that Oceana consistently executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way, and outperforms most other charities in America." He also stated that the designation "differentiates Oceana from its peers and demonstrates to the public it is worthy of their trust".
Ted Danson was on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams this weekend, talking about his book, "Oceana: Our Endangered Oceans and What We Can Do to Save Them." Once again he does a fantastic job describing the state of the world's oceans - and why he's optimistic that they can be saved in our lifetimes. If you haven't picked up your copy of "Oceana" today, be sure to order one here!
Oceana’s Georgia field organizer, Margie McClain, attended the Bonnaroo music festival last month; she kindly sent us this post about her experience:
Away from the comforts of home, surviving the blistering temperatures, thousands set up in camps and vendor areas across 700 acres of farm land in Manchester, TN. Bonnaroo is famous for advocacy participation and on its tenth anniversary, it didn’t let Oceana down.
I was lucky to be joined by volunteers of the Oceana Planetroo Vendor Team to promote the passing of the Mercury Pollution Reduction Act. A strong line of shows and an even stronger line of support helped us get 1000 petition signatures over the course of the four-day festival from every state, including Alaska and Hawaii, to support the Mercury Pollution Reduction Act.
Today Oceana and NRDC, in collaboration with Mote Marine Laboratory, are launching an oil-detecting underwater robot off the Florida Keys as a first line of defense against underwater oil plumes from the Gulf oil spill.
For 25 to 30 days, the robot, a.k.a.Waldo, will travel undersea in the water column, an area that satellite imagery cannot access, gathering data every few seconds and transmitting the information to researchers via satellite every three hours.
If oil is detected, Mote Marine Laboratory will provide the local government with this information so that emergency resources and response plans can be activated to help protect the Keys’ important ecological resources.
You can check out Waldo’s location and data throughout his expedition at Rutgers University’s web site.
Last week Oceana launched a new bluefin tuna PSA campaign featuring “Entourage” star Adrian Grenier. In March, Grenier joined Oceana to swim with the endangered fish and help get the word out that they are “going fast” -- literally and figuratively.
Bluefin can grow to 15 feet in length, weigh up to 1500 pounds and can swim at speeds of more than 50 miles per hour. They are on the verge of extinction as a result of overfishing, and the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico further threatens their survival.
The Gulf is the only place where the Western population of Atlantic bluefin tuna reproduces. After the spawning season (April to June), baby tuna continue to swim through the Gulf region where they can accumulate toxins in their gills from the oil itself and from the chemical dispersants.
“I hope that my involvement will bring attention to what is going on in the bluefin fishery,” Grenier said. “I want these PSAs to encourage people to get involved and help Oceana save these amazing creatures.”
Watch the PSA and get involved with Adrian and Oceana to protect bluefin!
Here’s one more way you can help the Gulf -- while upping your cool points.
The Heads of State, who have designed posters for the likes of Wilco, Modest Mouse and Sonic Youth, have designed an Oil Drop poster (pictured here), and they’re donating half of the sale price of each -- that's $20 per poster -- to Oceana.
You can feel pretty good about that (we sure do.) Get your posters here and spread the word.