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


New Species of Sponges Found on the Pacific Seafloor (nytimes.com)

Thirteen thousand feet deep, on the cold, dark desert of the Pacific Ocean seafloor, scientists have discovered new sponges living on rock nodules targeted for deep-sea mining.

The tiny sponges, named Plenaster craigi partly for the multitude of stars that make up their backbones, belong in a genus of their own and are the most abundant organism found to date that live on the nodules

EU Opts for Public Awareness Campaigns Over Plastic Tax to Reduce Ocean Pollution (The Daily Catch)

The EU has ruled out penalties on single-use plastic products, in favour of raising public awareness of the damage consumer plastics are doing to the world’s oceans.

Frans Timmermans, vice president of the European commission, said a tax would “not be sustainable”, but that changing the way plastic was produced and used could work. “The only sustainable method is to create recyclable plastic and take out microplastics. You can’t take out microplastics with a tax. You need to make sure things are reused, and not put in the ocean.”

Warming Oceans May Make ‘Nemo’ Harder to Find (National Geographic)

Like coral reefs, sea anemones—with their flashy, tentacle-like polyps that waggle and wave in vibrant reds, greens, pinks, and yellows—provide homes and hiding spots for dozens of fish species, most memorably the orange clownfish made famous in Finding Nemo. Also like coral, rising water temperatures associated with climate change can severely weaken these anemones, causing them to expel the tiny symbionts that keep them alive and lend them color, a process known as bleaching.

That, it turns out, is just where trouble starts. 


AltaSea, Morton La Kretz Grant Agreement to Create La Kretz Blue Economy Incubator (AltaSea)

Philanthropist and businessman Morton La Kretz and AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles have signed a grant agreement to create and fund the La Kretz Blue Economy Incubator.

Morton La Kretz was a major funder of the downtown Los Angeles headquarters of the LA Cleantech Incubator (LACI) which opened last year. Both non-profit incubators are designed to nurture promising business startups with office space, consulting support, business connections, and financial assistance. The La Kretz Blue Economy Incubator will focus on technology companies creating sustainable business models connected with the ocean.

Learn more about the La Kretz Blue Economy Incubator and the future of the Port of Los Angeles as an innovation corridor.

Extreme Paddle Boarding Deploys Ocean Sensors For 3D Course Maps (SportTechie)

Two miles off the coast of San Francisco’s Ocean Beach not far from where the powerful currents of the bay pour into the Pacific Ocean under the Golden Gate Bridge, a beacon in the water is collecting hyper-local data about the ocean in preparation for a major event.

The data, a first for a Red Bull Heavy Water event, will give athletes, such as pro-paddle boarder Kai Lenny, and spectators information about what’s going on above and below the surface. That includes everything from a heat map of wave height and direction to current strength and visual GPS data.

New Marine Parks Protect 290,000 Square Miles of Ocean (National Geographic)

Niue, a tiny South Pacific island nation with a population of roughly 1,600, has turned 40 percent of its exclusive economic zone into a marine park, and Chile added two new marine parks where fishing and all other extractive activities are banned.

Together, the three new parks protect some 290,000 square miles of ocean—an area more than twice the size of Germany.


$100,0000 Big Ocean Button Challenge: Voting is Still Open! (XPRIZE)

There are 20 submissions competing for $100,000 in prizes that are up for grabs in the Big Ocean Button Challenge sponsored by XPRIZE! Now it is up to you to help them decide the winners.

Cast your vote today for the mobile app that best unlocks ocean data for public or private benefit, ideally while supporting responsible use and protection of our ocean.

Voting will remain open until 5pm PST on October 19th and the winners will be announced early in 2018.

Visit the Big Ocean Button Challenge page to view the apps and vote for your favorite: https://herox.com/bigoceanbutton

A New Aquarium Opened in Times Square … And We’re Totally On Board With It (One Green Planet)

National Geographic is a pioneer in the forefront of photographic imagery, and they have long introduced people to the unknown and unseen corners of the globe with the use of stunning images and video footage. And now, National Geographic is raising the bar even higher with the introduction of a new aquarium in Times Square. But this is no ordinary aquarium; this aquarium is created with the use of technology and features no live animals.

The experience is called Encounter: Ocean Odyssey, and it takes visitors on a mesmerizing tour into the depths of the Pacific Ocean. You can walk through coral reefs, witness giant squid and massive schools of fish envelop around you, interact with marine mammals, and see sharks up close and personal.

Ocean Dynamics May Drive North Atlantic Temperature Anomalies (EOS.ORG)

For at least the past 1,000 years, the surface waters of the North Atlantic Ocean have undergone a series of warmer and cooler phases, each lasting about 20 to 40 years and differing by a maximum of about 0.5°C. Known as the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), this pattern influences Atlantic hurricanes, Arctic sea ice, and European summer climate, as well as rainfall and droughts worldwide. What’s more, it can obscure or amplify the effects of global climate change.

Although the AMO is well documented, the underlying mechanism that drives it is unknown and remains up for debate. In a new study, Zhang presents compelling findings in support of the idea that ocean dynamics play a central role in the AMO.


22nd Annual Bids for KidsFriday, October 13, 2017

5:30 PM – 10:00 PM

Hyatt Regency Long Beach

Pine Avenue

Long Beach, CA 90802,

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Los Angeles Harbor will be celebrating their 22nd Annual Bids for Kids event on Friday, October 13th.   

For more information please contact Elizabeth Winston, Community Outreach/Events, elizabethw@bgclaharbor.org 

Salt Marsh Open House – October 14, 2017

2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Salinas de San Pedro Salt Marsh

3720 Stephen M White Drive

San Pedro, CA 90731

Join Cabrillo Marine Aquarium and visit the Beach’s own wetland habitat, Salinas de San Pedro, and discover the plants and animals that call it home! Using binoculars, magnifying glasses and other tools, CMA Educators and volunteers will help you observe and explore this habitat. Or simply sit back, watch the tide change and listen to the birds and other wildlife.  Free and open to all ages.

For more information, call 310-548-7562 or click here.

Harvest Festival – Friday, October 27, 2017

4:00 PM – 6:30PM

Toberman Neighborhood Center

131 North Grand Avenue

San Pedro, CA 90731

Join the Volunteer Center and Toberman Neighborhood Center for carnival games, food, and so much more!  There will be a costume contest and a prize for the best costume!

For more information, call 310-832-1145 or click here.

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