The Beacon

Ocean News: BP Wants Money Back for Overpayments, Obama Has a Big Opportunity to Protect Whales, and More

A group of long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas). (Photo: Oceana / Carlos Suárez)

- Scientists are predicting a slighter larger than average “dead zone” for the Chesapeake Bay this summer, meaning that nearly 2 cubic miles of the Bay will lack the needed dissolved oxygen for fish and crabs. The Gulf of Mexico, on the other hand, is predicted to have average-sized dead zone, caused by excessive nutrient pollution from wastewater and agriculture. The Baltimore Sun

- Last week, BP asked a federal judge for millions of dollars back in overpayments to some Gulf businesses that claimed losses after the 2010 spill. BP says the court should recalculate losses prior to a policy change in May. The Associated Press

- Scientists may have discovered a new approach to preserving harder, calcified reefs as ocean acidification worsens. They found that soft corals have tissue that protect them from acidification, and could provide a new approach to protecting harder reefs. Nature World News

- A new study found that floating plastic debris on the ocean’s surface is widespread, but the 7,000 to 35,000 tons of it is a lot less than the 1 million tons discovered in the 1970s. Concentrations were highest west of the U.S., between the U.S. and Africa, west of southern South America, and east and west of the southern tip of Africa. The Associated Press

Long Read:

- Though the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument that President Obama expanded last month is protected, it’s not actually off limits to sonar trainings by the U.S. Navy—an exception granted by former President George W. Bush. Now, President Obama has a chance to direct the U.S. Navy to protect the whales and make this Marine Protected Area truly a sanctuary. Slate

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