ocean

Counterpoint Press

The good guys and the bad guys in environmental issues are often determined by which side you favor. 

But the murkiness of good/bad and right/wrong is brought into sharp focus in Summer Brennan's book The Oyster War: The True Story Of A Small Farm, Big Politics, And The Future Of Wilderness In America

It concerns a decades-old oyster farm in California, a federal effort to protect sensitive lands, and the ability of anybody involved in an extractive industry to protect or enhance the environment. 

Hachette Book Group

Many of us could sit by the ocean for hours.  And it's more than just the sound of the rushing waves or the smell of the salt air, because we can bliss out by the side of a river or a lake just as easily. 

Wallace J. Nichols says there's plenty of science to support this, science he shares in Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do.

Charleston Marine Life Center

Lots of us head for the ocean in the summer.  But we tend to stay above the waves, and even a few feet from them.

Not so for ocean explorers like the students and teachers of the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology

OIMB began its explorations in 1924 and is going strong today. 

Recent tasks included trips aboard the famous submersible ship Alvin, and the opening of the Charleston Marine Life Center, across the street from OIMB on the Southern Oregon Coast. 

Wikimedia

  When you stop to think about it, we know less about the oceans of Earth than the space immediately surrounding the planet.

Because unlike space, we can't see through the ocean or use satellites to explore it. 

That's why the Ocean Observatories Initiative started up... to place sensors off both coasts of the United States, to track a broad array of information. 

A crew from Oregon State University recently placed the final sensor in the Pacific. 

Wikimedia

Recent discussions of the warm-water "Blob" in the Pacific may have obscured previously existing concerns about ocean health.

Like the increasing level of acidity in the ocean, and the more frequent appearance of low-oxygen zones (hypoxia). 

The West Coast Ocean Acidification & Hypoxia Science Panel brings together top minds from the West Coast State and British Columbia to come up with ideas for addressing the ocean issues. 

The panel presents a progress update at a meeting in Sacramento next week (July 29), with several reports due this fall. 

Returning The Favor: "Saved By The Sea"

Apr 8, 2015
New World Library

We'll be celebrating Earth Day in the near future.  Journalist, documentary producer, activist, and scuba diver David Helvarg once observed that our celebrations seemed to stop at land's end, and did not include the oceans. 

He aims to correct the oversight in his book Saved By The Sea

Helvarg recounts his many experiences--plenty bad with the good--in the Earth's oceans in this memoir. 

Answers For Oysters With Shell Trouble

Dec 18, 2014
University of Washington

It's a tough life for a newly hatched oyster.  Shellfish have 48 hours after hatching to form a shell, or they die. 

And current ocean conditions make it harder for the shellfish larvae to make shells. 

Ocean researchers including George Waldbusser at Oregon State just studied the factors. 

The increasing acidity of the oceans is one, but there are others to take into account. 

California U.S. Representative Lois Capps has asked for a moratorium on offshore fracking until there's more study. In a letter to the Interior Department and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week, Capps says she wants the federal government to conduct a study of fracking's impacts to the marine environment.

A recent report by the Associated Press documented at least a dozen instances of hydraulic fracturing in the Santa Barbara Channel, site of a disastrous 1969 oil platform blowout that spurred the modern environmental movement.

U.S. Army Corp of Engineers

An emergency effort has begun to remove millions of gallons of toxic liquids from an abandoned pulp mill that poses a pollution threat to Humboldt Bay.

The Eureka Times-Standard reports that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to remove more than 4 million gallons of pulping liquors from the old mill site.