AltaSea: Trending – September 9, 2020

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


Live Chats and Webinars (AltaSea)

AltaSea has scheduled some exciting Live Chats and Webinars 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.

Project Blue Presents The Blue Hour (AltaSea)

AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles is proud to host The Blue Hour on October 10, 2020 from 6:00 – 8:30pm next to the USS Battleship Iowa in San Pedro, CA.

The Blue Hour will be a unique, spectacular drive-in experience for all attendees focusing on LA as the global capital of Blue Economy and Education! This fundraiser will honor those who have paved the way for AltaSea and who will continue to forge new paths.

An invitation will be coming your way later this week!


Earth Overshoot Day (Emily Anderson)

In today’s world, people tend to use resources in excess. From traveling by automobiles and planes to using immoderate amounts of plastic, society has created an unhealthy obsession with the consumerism lifestyle. While many are blinded by the “one use” culture, movements globally have brought awareness to the health of the Earth. Scientists have dedicated their careers to calculating and reducing carbon footprints worldwide and with modern tools available to us, we have the capability to create a compatible energy efficient world.

Who was the Rose of Los Angeles? (Dr. Geraldine Knatz)

In 1924 newspaper man John B. T. Campbell began publishing a serialized novel in the Los Angeles Herald called the Rose of Los Angeles. It’s a love story set against the backdrop of the 1890’s Free Harbor Fight, the battle over whether funding to create the Port of Los Angeles would go to San Pedro or Santa Monica. Collis P. Huntington, one of the most powerful men in western railroading, led the forces to locate the harbor around his million dollar wharf constructed in Santa Monica. Senator Stephen M. White championed the cause of San Pedro. Both men, along with other real figures in Los Angeles history stride though the pages of this story. But the heroine of the story is the beautiful Rose, who lives on a ranch overlooking Santa Monica Bay. This is the story of how the beauty of one woman and her love for Lieutenant John Morgan, swung the sentiment of Los Angeles as its citizenry debated the fate of the harbor. Lieutenant Morgan came to Los Angeles to conduct a government survey of the two possible harbor locations. During the course of his survey work in San Pedro Bay, Morgan falls from his boat and the currents sweep him east toward Long Beach.

The Bench on the San Pedro Waterfront: Eloi Amar’s Last Laugh (Dr. Geraldine Knatz)

If you have driven along the San Pedro waterfront or walked along the waterfront promenade you have passed this bench. I passed it myself hundreds of time before I discovered the story of the family that left their name on our waterfront. Edouard Amar, one of the pioneer builders of San Pedro, immigrated to San Pedro in 1871. He was a sheepherder and at one time grazed 50,000 sheep on the hills of Palos Verdes and developed the north side of Sixth and Centre Streets in San Pedro. His son, Elio, followed in his hoof steps, running a cattle operation on Catalina Island. Father and son were also in the real estate business and developed the north side of Sixth and Centre Streets in San Pedro as well as built many of the town’s bungalows.

Project Blue! Project Blue! Project Blue! (AltaSea)

If you’re part of the AltaSea family, these words have meaning to you and the various ways you have engaged this summer with AltaSea’s live chats, webinars, programs, and much more.

If these words have you scratching your head, we hope that will change as Project Blue Presents: The Blue Hour, a fundraising, drive-in experience focusing on LA as the global capital of Blue Economy and Education. Taking place next to the USS Iowa on October 10, 2020 in San Pedro, CA, The Blue Hour encompasses much of what makes Project Blue significant and celebrates the partnerships that help define AltaSea.


Why Some Tropical Fish Are Gettin’ Squiggly With It (The New York Times)

When American painter Bob Ross said, “There are no mistakes, only happy accidents,” he was ostensibly referring to paint on a canvas.

But Mr. Ross’s mantra is just as true for fish from coral reefs, where the eggs of one species of fish and the sperm from another can sometimes combine to produce hybrid offspring with colors even more startling than that of their parents. Think of them as the happy little shrubs of speciation.

Take, for example, the multibarred angelfish (Paracentropyge multifasciata), which boasts black-and-white stripes like window blind slats, and the purple masked angelfish (Paracentropyge venusta), which resembles a lemon drop with a brilliant purplish-blue backside. When the two fish breed, they produce a blue-and-yellow hybrid swirled with white, almost like a slice of babka.

Humans’ construction ‘footprint’ on ocean quantified for first time (

In a world-first, the extent of human development in oceans has been mapped. An area totalling approximately 30,000 square kilometres—the equivalent of 0.008 percent of the ocean—has been modified by human construction, a study led by Dr. Ana Bugnot from the University of Sydney School of Life and Environmental Sciences and the Sydney Institute of Marine Science has found.

The extent of ocean modified by human construction is, proportion-wise, comparable to the extent of urbanised land, and greater than the global area of some natural marine habitats, such as mangrove forests and seagrass beds.

Dolphins Have Hidden Fingers. So Do Seals. These Sea Creatures Did Not. (The New York Times)

Put a dolphin’s front flipper in an X-ray machine, and you’ll see a surprise: an arc of humanlike finger bones. The same goes for a sea turtle, a seal, a manatee and a whale. All of these animals had four-legged ancestors that lived on land. As their various lineages adapted to life in the water, what had been multidigit limbs slowly transformed into flippers.

For a paper published Wednesday in Biology Letters, researchers compared the flipper bone structures of 19 marine species with terrestrial ancestors, from species around today, like dolphins and sea turtles, to now-extinct creatures, like mosasaurs and ichthyosaurs that swam the oceans in the dinosaur era.


The Ocean Farmers Trying to Save the World With Seaweed (

In a cove in Bamfield, a coastal community in British Columbia, Canada, Louis Druehl steers his boat, The Kelp Express, a mile along the mountainous coastline. For 51 years, this boat has taken Druehl to the fortuitously named Kelp Bay where beneath the water’s surface ropes of seaweed that Druehl has been carefully harvesting for decades dangle in the cold Pacific water.

Referred to by some as the “seaweed guru”—by others, as the “kelp grandfather”—Druehl, 84, was the first commercial seaweed operator in North America when he began growing kelp, a brown seaweed, in 1982. Seaweed is his life: he has studied it, farmed it, cooked it, and written an award winning, bestselling book about it. Over the years, Druehl has watched interest in seaweed come and go. But now, as climate change wreaks havoc on ecosystems across the planet, the world is turning to seaweed as a potential climate change solution. “All of a sudden, people have discovered seaweed,” Druehl tells me. “They’ve discovered us.”

Aquaculture can supply much-needed American jobs, but not if the US doesn’t support an industry (Washington Examiner)

As states work to carefully reopen and people are dining outside during this pandemic, seafood is a summer delicacy that’s in high demand at America’s restaurants. Despite that demand, our nation must rely on other countries for plentiful supplies of seafood. In fact, the United States imports 90% of its seafood consumption.

Offshore aquaculture (the process of cultivating seafood in pens submerged in the ocean through sustainable, science-based method) is successfully producing salmon, shellfish, tilapia — you name it. But it’s all happening overseas. There are hundreds of seafood, aqua feed, and aquaculture industry operations from California to Kansas to Maine, just waiting for the chance to produce American-made fish.


Long Beach Marine Geologist Writes Book For Young Explorers (The Grunion)

Laurie Zaleski spent much of her life traveling as a marine geologist, conducting geological surveys and mapping the ocean floor.

She has since settled in Long Beach, and begun a second career writing, primarily for children. Her first book, A Young Person’s Field Guide to Finding Lost Shipwrecks, has been published by Austin Macauley Publishers.

“The focus of the book is explaining geological oceanography, but the fun part is the search for shipwrecks,” Zaleski said. “It’s about our 2004 trip to find the Santísima, a 200-year-old shipwreck…

A science teacher from Iowa is using sidewalk chalk to share colorful lessons on marine biology (USA Today)

It was in July, four months after Iowa schools shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic, when Greg Barord finally found an educational use for the sidewalk chalk he had lying around.

The marine biology teacher at Des Moines Public School District’s Central Campus said he missed teaching and talking to students about sea creatures.

“I made some coffee, took the extra chalk outside and just started drawing,” he said. “I wanted to use what I had to make something about the animals I love.”

He first drew one of his favorite aquatic animals, a nautilus, on the sidewalk outside his house July 16, accompanied by facts and figures about the creature. And just like that, #sidewalkscience was born on Central Campus’ marine science accounts on Facebook and Twitter, where students and families have responded with excitement.

Ocean Influencer: Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, President, World Maritime University (WMU) (Marine Technology News)

A member of the maritime community since birth, Doumbia-Henry is intimately familiar with ocean-based practices, marine laws and regulation, and sustainability actions. Her role at WMU is a crucial one, as the coming years may prove to be some of the most important for our planet’s future. Doumbia-Henry’s impressive legal career, undeniable knowledge, and passion for social and environmental justice will all become ever more significant in the fight to protect our oceans.


2020 Expedition (Nautilus Live – Ocean Exploration Trust)

An update from AltaSea partner, Ocean Exploration Trust: Launching our 2020 Nautilus season, this mapping expedition will extend from southern California to British Columbia to cover priority areas for future dives and to fill in gaps in bathymetry within the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, a vast area located 200 miles offshore that contains natural resources like fisheries and mineral resources.

Mapping will start with surveys to fill gaps in mapping data in waters north of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, a nearly 3,900-kilometer-square (1,500 square miles) area of protected waters home to large populations of commercially important fish. Nautilus has been working in this area since 2015 to map the seafloor and parts of Arguello Canyon. Arguello Canyon is being considered for the designation of the proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary, which would protect an abundantly rich and diverse marine ecosystem that is a nursery and home for many fish and marine mammal species. Time permitting, our scientists will map the seafloor within the boundaries of the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary to expand on previous mapping conducted by our scientists and determine points of interest for future ROV dives.

14th Annual Sustainability Summett (Los Angeles Business Council)

The LABC is proud to present the new Virtual Two-Day 14th Annual Sustainability Summit with our partners the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy and the Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy. For more information, click here.


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