Archive for April 15th, 2010

April 15, 2010

Mission Blue: So Far So Good

Sylvia Earle’s Mission Blue project continues to gather steam after the successful trip out to the Galapagos just last week. With several celebrities in tow (some of the few people who could afford the huge fundraising-level ticket price of $20,000), Dr. Earle and a few dozen scientists met up onboard to discuss the future of her Hope Spots presented so eloquently in the 2009 TED Prize speech.  Several issues became highlighted, and it seems the overall group broke up into leading projects, including one that will attempt to target ocean education in the classroom in some way.

TED is promising to slowly leak videos of the speakers and the projects from this “TED at Sea” adventure over the coming weeks and I’m terribly anxious to see and hear exactly what was discussed and what is ahead for the future of the Mission Blue project. (Incidentally you can join Mission Blue through FaceBook, just as  you can follow WaterNotes on FB.)

UPDATE: TED posted Mike deGruy’s talk at lunch today, and its on one of my favorite ocean creatures, the octopus – particularly their shockingly advanced capacities for behavior and even, dare we say it, personality.  Enjoy!

Earle’s foundation chose 18 Hope Spots from around the world, including two in my relative backyard with the Sargasso Sea and the Bahamian Reef system.  Low and behold while checking out the Bahamian Reef pages I discovered several very familiar photos!  Seems the Mission Blue team raided the galleries of the Marine Photobank, a development I’m entirely tickled to see.  Hopefully that won’t be the only way my name becomes associated with MB projects in the future.

If you have photos of marine species or habitat areas always keep in mind that the Marine Photobank is one of the few resources online that allows for image sharing to nonprofits, magazines, and blogs alike.  The lovely little stingray above was a recent ‘donation’; he was a mystery animal to me until today.  Seems he belongs to the species Urobatis jamaicensis, the yellow spotted stingray which is known to frequent shallow coastal zones from North Carolina through Florida and into the Caribbean basin.  Seagrass beds are apparently very important for partuition for this species, not unlike many others, and is currently listed as Least Concern.

Hmm, learn something new everyday!

April 15, 2010

Oceana's Looking For a Few Good Mermen

Or mermaids.  A hat tip to Emily of Oceana for reminding me that the 2nd annual Ocean Heroes contest is underway! Entries are due by April 18th!  Send your nominations (you can even nominate yourself) through the official page and be sure to note whether they belong to the Junior (under 18) or Adult categories, which are new for this year.

Best of luck to all those who are nominated and remember, even if you aren’t recognized for your contributions, the ocean needs all the heroes it can get!