AltaSea: Trending – July 11, 2018

A monthly round-up of news and trends important to the AltaSea community.


Climate Change Can Be Stopped by Turning Air Into Gasoline (The Atlantic)

A team of scientists from Harvard University and the company Carbon Engineering announced on Thursday that they have found a method to cheaply and directly pull carbon-dioxide pollution out of the atmosphere.

If their technique is successfully implemented at scale, it could transform how humanity thinks about the problem of climate change. It could give people a decisive new tool in the race against a warming planet, but could also unsettle the issue’s delicate politics, making it all the harder for society to adapt.

Majority of samples taken during Volvo Ocean Race contain microplastics, new data reveals (Sail-World)

The Volvo Ocean Race Science Programme reached a significant milestone when the race completed a global circumnavigation following its arrival into Cardiff, Wales in May 2018, eight months after departing from Alicante, Spain.

Out of a total of 68 samples taken during the course of the Volvo Ocean Race, only two, collected south of Australia and east of Argentina, have been found to contain no microplastics.

The most recent data, taken from sub-surface seawater samples collected on board Team AkzoNobel and Turn the Tide on Plastic boats, found 75 particles of microplastics per cubic metre in one taken off the US coast following the stopover in Newport, Rhode Island.

Levels of 73 and 76 particles of microplastics per cubic metre were recorded as the boats headed towards the mid-Atlantic. These could be connected to the edge of the North Atlantic garbage patch, one of five ocean ‘gyres’, estimated to be hundreds of kilometres across in size.

Fishing for a Solution (AlertDiverOnline)

Divers care about the ocean and are rightfully concerned about the degradation of many ocean ecosystems and the overexploitation of myriad ocean creatures.  When there’s bad news about the health of our oceans (as there often is), we as a community need to sound the alarm so everyone knows a problem needs to be solved.  Similarly, we need to celebrate when there is good news on the ocean conservation front. 

As a shark conservation biologists, I’ve been heartened by how effectively the diving community has raised the alarm about declining shark populations around the world.  Like you, I love and care about sharks and am deeply concerned about unsustainable overfishing of shark populations in many places around the world. As a science communicator and believer in the Ocean Optimism movement, however, I’m surprised that shark conservation success stories do not get the same level of attention as some of the bad news. In 2011 researchers analyzed U.S. and Australian media coverage and found that four times as many news stories mentioned negative effects on shark populations as mentioned any kind of conservation success.


Glaser Weil Honored With Key ‘To The Future’ From AltaSea (Glaser Weil)

On Saturday, June 23, 2018, Glaser Weil LLP was bestowed a key by AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles in honor of its extensive and impactful pro bono work for this leading, world-class urban marine research and innovation center. Ceremoniously presented to Peter Weil, Glaser Weil’s Managing Partner, by Jenny Cornuelle Krusoe, AltaSea’s Executive Director, the key represents ‘a door to the future’ on the project that AltaSea will name for the Firm. This tribute ensures that Glaser Weil’s work will be commemorated for the life of the project. The Firm has dedicated a significant amount of pro bono time and resources to AltaSea as part of its continued commitment to serving the communities in which it practices and lives.

€566 billion and growing: the EU blue economy is thriving (Government Europa)

The EU blue economy – all economic activities related to oceans, seas and coastal areas – is growing steadily according to the European Union’s first annual report on the subject.

The EU blue economy has a turnover of €566bn, with the sector generating €174bn of added value and creating jobs for around 3.5 million people.

European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, said: “The EU’s blue economy is consistently growing over the last decade and the potential for the future is promising. With investments in innovation and through responsible ocean management, integrating environmental, economic and social aspects, we can double the sector in a sustainable way by 2030.”

Fleet of aerial, surface, and underwater robots maps ocean front (

Using multiple autonomous vehicles simultaneously, an interdisciplinary team of scientists and engineers returns to the United States after exploring the North Pacific Subtropical front—a sharp boundary where cold fresh waters from the north meet warm salty waters from the south. The fronts are the most conspicuous oceanographic phenomena and the goal of this project was to demonstrate the use of distributed autonomous robotics to detect, track, and characterize these complex and dynamic processes with high accuracy across large spatial and temporal scales.

Bringing together aerial, surface, and underwater robotic vehicles with support from the research vessel Falkor, allowed the team to locate, map, and explore the front. It was detected approximately 1,000 nautical miles off the coast of Southern California several days ahead of the research party’s arrival using autonomous surface vehicles. Multiple low cost submarine, surface, and aerial robots joined the front exploration from Falkor. The resulting distributed robotic system and intelligent sensor network helped the research team to track the complex oceanic front dynamically, in an easier, faster, and more cost effective way that would be possible with traditional means, such as only relying on ships.


POPS Innovation Forum (Algalita)

Have an idea to solve plastic pollution through a product or system redesign, technological or economic innovation? Want to communicate directly with representatives from large and innovative brands, plastic manufacturing and waste management industry? If you’re between the ages of 15 and 25, apply for the POPS INNOVATION FORUM to jump-start your role in the solution!

The INNOVATION FORUM brings together imaginative youth and experienced industry experts for 2 1/2 days of intensive discussion to advance solutions to plastic pollution. The event will be held at California State University, Long Beach from August 3rd to 5th.  For more information, click here.

LA Students Put Plastic Pollution Under the Microscope in Chile (Random Lengths News)

A group of high school students and teachers from Los Angeles recently returned from Chile’s prestigious Coastal Laboratory of Aquatic Resources in Calfuco, just outside of Valdivia. Students participated in a workshop structured to develop their awareness and expertise relating to the protection and care of the oceans.

The PAR Explora of CONICYT Los Ríos joined this final initiative aimed at teachers to provide methodological tools to stimulate students in scientific research. The initiative also aimed to motivate students to care for the environment, especially that of the oceans and the entire ecosystem that it comprises.


Open House: Ocean Innovation (AltaSea)

Saturday, July 28, 2018 from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Please join AltaSea’s Quarterly Open House entitled “Ocean Innovation” featuring Braid Theory, Platypus and ECOncrete.

AltaSea tenant, Braid Theory, is a portside business incubator weaving together entrepreneurs, industry influencers and corporate partners to accelerate adoption of transformative technology, drive market growth and create profitable collaborations. Presentations by two of Braid Theory’s clients, Platypus, LLC, a world leader in low cost water data collection and monitoring solutions using autonomous, co-operative robotic boats and ECOoncrete will be showcased. ECOncrete’s innovative technology enhances marine and coastal infrastructure by inducing formation of bio-habits, while preserving functional and structural properties.

Attendance is free and open to the public. For more information, click here.

Blackwater Diving: Exploring the Night Sea (Aquarium of the Pacific)

Tuesday, July 31, 2018 from 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Mike Bartick is an avid diver and photographer whose work concentrates on the macro fauna of the Verde Island Pass located near Anilao, Philippines. In this lecture Bartick will share photos and stories from his experiences exploring the ocean at night, including images of gelatinous sea jellies, sea snails, squid, and paper nautiluses—some of the ocean’s ancient animals. Drifting on the night current in the open ocean with nothing more than a lit buoy line, he explores the night sea to photograph the unique and often unseen animal life that resides there. Bartick is a field guide who conducts photo safaris, lectures, and seminars. His photos have been published in Sport Diver, Diver Life, and other publications.

For more information, click here.             

Shark Week 2018 (Cabrillo Marine Aquarium)

Sunday, August 5, 2018 – Saturday, August 11, 2018 from 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Shark Week returns to CMA and features special shark crafts and activities each day! Daily Activities (12:00 PM to 4:00 PM) include a shark specimens, book display, puzzles, activities and crafts, and a scavenger hunt. For more information, click here.

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