A monthly round-up of news and trends important to the AltaSea community.
Live Chats (AltaSea)
AltaSea has scheduled some exciting Live Chats over the coming weeks. We hope you will join us for one or all! To sign up for these free online events, please follow the links below.
- Live Chat with Dr. Burke Hales: Ocean Carbon Cycles – Friday, June 19 at 12:00pm
- Live Chat with Dr. Andrew Thurber: Antarctica’s Methane Seep Habitats – Friday, July 3 at 12:00pm
- Live Chat with Dr. Jonathan Fram: Kelp Beds, Coral Reefs, and Arctic Lakes – Friday, July 10 at 12:00pm
- Live Chat with Dr. Geraldine Knatz: Innovations Developed at the Port of Los Angeles in the Last 100 Years – Friday, July 17 at 12:00pm
- Live Chat with Dr. Roberta Marinelli: Seafloor Ecology and BioGeoChemistry – Friday, July 31 at 12:00pm
NATIONAL OCEAN MONTH
Celebrate the Ocean (NOAA)
What do you know about our ocean? The ocean is where life began over 3.5 billion years ago. The ocean covers over 70% of the Earth’s surface and includes over 96% of the Earth’s water. Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is the largest living structure on Earth and can be seen from the moon! The deepest part of the ocean is in the Mariana Trench, and nearly 7 miles beneath the waves! Coral reefs cover only 1/50th of the ocean floor but about one quarter of all the marine species make coral reefs their home. No light penetrates the ocean at depths greater than 3,280 feet. Aided by deep diving rovers and remote sensing cameras, scientists are still discovering new species beneath the waves. The Gulf Stream transports more water than all of the Earth’s rivers combined. The mid-ocean ridge crisscrosses the globe for over 40,000 miles and is the largest geological feature on Earth. Did you know that about 95% of the ocean remains unexplored? There is only one world ocean. Happy World Ocean Day from NOAA’s National Ocean Service.
Proclamation on National Ocean Month, 2020 (The White House)
Our ocean and coastal waterways are essential to our national security, international trade, maritime commerce, global competitiveness, and transportation. The jobs of more than 3 million Americans depend on our ocean economy, which generates more than $300 billion of economic activity annually. During National Ocean Month, we reaffirm our commitment to responsible stewardship of our ocean resources to strengthen and expand economic opportunities, while also ensuring that the natural beauty and wonder of the oceans are preserved and maintained for future generations.
HERE’S THE BLUE DEAL
Revolution 5.0 and the Ocean Economy (AltaSea)
The Fifth Industrial Revolution is at Los Angeles’ doorstep, and AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles is ready to embrace it. Our Center of Innovation focuses on Aquaculture, Blue Technology, and Ocean Energy. Our Aquaculture Cluster invites companies to tackle issues such as sustainable food production. Our Blue Technology Cluster constructs and uses underwater robotics and other ocean exploration technologies. Our Ocean Energy Cluster will focus on kinetic wave energy and algae fuel technologies.
Why does this matter? The Fifth Industrial Revolution brings focus back to humanity by coupling the concepts “for-profit” and “for-benefit”.
With unprecedented speed the COVID-19 crisis has pushed humanity to focus on our future. In a matter of weeks, people everywhere have altered nearly every aspect of their daily lives. Now, as the world slowly begins the long way back to a new normal from the virus’s impacts, we have a unique opportunity to redefine global systems to be environmentally sustainable and economically fair. In addition, climate change still exerts immense pressure on our planet, and threatens all life on earth, unless swift action is taken. Building the “new normal” will necessitate broad changes to many sectors. Dedication to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 will become more critical than ever. AltaSea is proud to support these goals in our programs and strategic partnerships.
Ocean Energy (Maya Henry)
When you think of energy, your mind might jump to a picture of a lab or scientists working with chemicals. Maybe, and, let’s be honest, you have absolutely no clue what to think. Energy is something we use in our day to day life constantly. From the first time we flip on our lights in the morning to when we finish using our electric tooth-brush at night, energy, for many of us, has become nothing more than a subconscious “thing.”
Regardless of what you think of, when you think of energy, I’m almost positive the image of a roaring ocean doesn’t come to mind.
Why is that?
5 Ways the Ocean Can Save the Planet (AltaSea)
Less than a year ago, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change communicated to policy makers that the health of the ocean was suffering from global warming. But the ocean, is not a victim, and it does not benefit humans to view it that way. Doing so makes us less empowered to correct the situation according to The High Level Panel for A Sustainable Ocean Economy (HLP), a group of science and policy experts.
NOAA just announced it will formalize and expand its longstanding partnership with Schmidt Ocean Institute to explore, characterize and map the deep ocean and boost public understanding of the global ocean.
The Sea’s Weirdest Creatures, Now in ‘Staggering’ Detail (The New York Times)
The bizarre life of the sea’s middle depths has long been a challenge to see, study and fathom. The creatures of that realm live under crushing pressures at icy temperatures in pitch darkness. The fluid environment is unbound by gravity and hard surfaces, so natural selection allows for a riotous array of unfamiliar body parts and architectures. By human standards, these organisms are aliens.
After serving in the Israel Defense Forces, Ofer Ketter became a professional adventurer. With every continent and ocean under his belt, he has filmed documentaries from helicopters, hiked the South Pole and solo-piloted a sub into a flooded volcano. These days, Ketter helms a U-Boat Worx CS7 submersible aboard explorer yacht SuRi, showing clients a rarefied world a thousand feet below the surface.
Marine scientists from around the world spent the last four years reviewing numerous studies and other data on the possible environmental effects of marine renewable energy (MRE) devices and found that the potential impact to marine life is likely small or undetectable.
SUSTAINABLE AND INNOVATIVE BUSINESS
Marine industries’ contribution to US economy swells (Freight Waves)
The United States’ marine economy contributed about $373 billion to the nation’s gross domestic product in 2018 and grew faster than the nation’s economy as a whole, according to statistics released Tuesday.
The statistics come from research conducted by two U.S. Department of Commerce agencies — the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) — on 10 sectors representing businesses dependent on the nation’s oceans, coasts and Great Lakes from 2014 to 2018.
On a beach in the Caribbean, a nonprofit called Project Vesta will soon begin testing a radical new way to fight climate change that involves spreading ground-up olivine—a cheap green mineral—over the sand, where ocean waves will break down the mineral, which in turn will pull CO2 from the air. “Our vision is to help reverse climate change by turning a trillion tons of carbon dioxide into rock,” says Tom Green, executive director of Project Vesta.
These entrepreneurs are turning discarded fishing nets into surfboards and swimwear (World Economic Forum)
“Ghost nets” – fishing gear that has been lost or abandoned in our oceans – are a deadly menace for sea life, marine habitats and even the fishermen responsible for putting them there.
It is estimated that between 600,000 and 800,000 tonnes of fishing nets, long lines, fish traps and lobster pots are lost or dumped in the ocean each year, choking coral reefs, entangling fish, marine mammals and seabirds, and catching in boat propellers. A handful of entrepreneurs around the world are now finding ways of tackling this ocean scourge and turn them into something new.
Need More Nature? Listen to 12 Essential Field Recordings. (The New York Times)
The world of “field recordings” is cinéma vérité for the ear: the sounds of natural phenomenon, occasionally from far-flung places, documenting the unreachable, the unexpected and the heretofore inaudible. Listening to these recordings of chattering animals, bustling ecosystems and roaring weather systems can be an experience that blurs the boundaries of music and chance, documentary and art, new age and noise, the real and the imaginary.
Lots of forces are at work on the world’s ocean, and NASA studies them all. When it comes to sea level, NASA does much more than just measure it; they also seek to understand it. But for non-scientists, fathoming the forces that determine sea levels around the world can sometimes be a bit daunting, so here’s a little guide to some of the basics
The Year You Finally Read a Book About Climate Change (The New York Times)
If National Ocean Month inspired you to decide that now is the time to pick up a book about climate change, here is a selection, categorized, by the editors of the Books and Climate desks for The New York Times.
In partnership with Terranea Resort, the Marine Mammal Care Center (MMCC) rehabilitation team released two rehabilitated sea lions back into their natural habitat with a five-star send off at Terranea’s Beach Cove in advance of World Oceans Day on June 8.
“We are delighted to share this positive recovery as part of our ongoing mission to care for and protect Los Angeles marine life,” said MMCC President Amber Becerra. “Terranea is a special place for us, it is located on the former site of Marineland of the Pacific and the original Marine Mammal Care Center was located there to rehabilitate marine life that needed treatment in the Los Angeles area. We have partnered with Terranea for more than 10 years as part of their commitment to sustainability and protecting our precious coastal habitat.”