Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Water World

How Would you like to spend a night here? This is a hotel in the Maldives.

"When it comes to honeymoon destinations, most newlyweds have set aside a nice little bundle for their ultimate getaway.

But a unique suite in the Maldives - while offering unbeatable views of the local marine life - is likely to eat up the entire average wedding budget, let alone the honeymoon accommodation costs.

Conrad hotels are offering a breathtaking suite at their Maldives Rangali Islands resort, which has to be seen to be believed."

Check out more pictures at the link.

The Cove

For those of you who didn't see The Cove on Animal Planet last night, it is a must watch. Be warned some of the imagery is disturbing and very aggravating. It will rerun a few more times this week. Check out the celebrity studded PSA and head over to savejapandolphins.org for more information on Japan's horrible treatment of Dolphins.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Coalition Seeks Hearings on EPA's Pending E15 Action

For all our followers, especially our boating supporters, check this out!!! Hopefully we can stop the increase of ethanol in our gasoline!

"Thirty-nine environmental, food, motor vehicle, energy, power equipment and recreational industry groups on Wednesday requested House and Senate hearings on a pending Environmental Protection Agency action that could sharply increase the amount of ethanol permitted in gasoline.
In letters to the chairmen and ranking members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, the groups request the hearings be held in September to question top EPA and Department of Energy officials regarding the safety of a proposal to increase the amount of ethanol in gasoline from the current 10 percent (E10) to 15 percent (E15).
EPA has indicated it will make a decision by the end of September on whether to approve E15 in gasoline.

The 39 groups frequently oppose each other on a broad range of policy issues, but have launched a joint campaign calling on Congress to require thorough and objective scientific testing before allowing an increase in the amount of ethanol in gasoline.
Ethanol burns hotter than gasoline and corrodes soft metals, plastics and rubber. The groups believe more testing is needed to determine how much ethanol is too much for different types of existing engines to use safely without risking engine damage and failure that could leave vehicles stranded and endanger motorists and users of gasoline-powered equipment.

Environmental groups have raised serious questions about harmful environmental effects of ethanol."

The 39 groups are: Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers; American Meat Institute; American Petroleum Institute; American Sportfishing Association; Association of International Automobile Manufacturers; Association of Marina Industries; Bass Anglers Sportsmen Society/ESPN Outdoors; Blue Ribbon Coalition; Boat Owners Association of the United States (BoatU.S.); Center for Coastal Conservation; Coastal Conservation Center; Engine Manufacturers Association; Environmental Working Group; Forest Resources Association; Friends of the Earth; Grocery Manufacturers Association; International Liquid Terminals Association; International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association; Marine Retailers Association of America; Motorcycle Industry Council; National Boating Federation; National Chicken Council; National Marine Distributors Association; National Marine Manufacturers Association; National Meat Association; National Petrochemical & Refiners Association; National Turkey Federation; NATSO – National Association of Truck Stop Operators; Natural Resources Defense Council; Outdoor Power Equipment and Engine Service Association; Outdoor Power Equipment Institute; Personal Watercraft Industry Association; Petroleum Marketers Association of America; Sail America; Service Station Dealers of America & Allied Trades; Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council; Southern Environmental Law Center; Specialty Equipment Market Association; and Specialty Vehicle Institute of America.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Note From Ric O'Barry

Let's stop the dolphin slaughter! Every signature on the petition makes a difference!

"I hope you'll join me in this campaign to stop the killing of dolphins in Japan. Most people in Japan don't have any idea that the dolphin slaughter is even happening. If we can spread the word around the world - and especially in Japan - we can expose the secret of Taiji and force the Japanese government to stop it. We can win this issue - but we need your help!

At the Cove in Taiji, the dolphin killing continues. Although the killing of bottlenose dolphins - the primary target species - has dramatically decreased compared to previous seasons, they, along with other dolphin species, including many pilot whales and Risso's dolphins, continue to be captured for aquariums and slaughtered for meat by the Taiji fishermen. The fight for the protection of all marine mammals goes on. For updates on the situation, visit our

Things you can do:

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Man swims 25 miles through a maze of jellyfish to raise awareness

Bruckner Chase we salute you! Chase is one tough guy and an incredible athlete to endure this abuse to raise awareness for the local marine environment. To read the full article check out this link at Grind TV.

"Bruckner Chase staggered ashore at San Carlos Beach in Monterey on Tuesday evening after a 14-hour swim to raise awareness about the fragile nature of the local marine environment. Ironically, some of the creatures native to that environment made Chase pay dearly for his 25-mile traverse across fabled Monterey Bay.

Chase was first stung about an hour into a swim that began in his hometown Santa Cruz before dawn. The jellies became more dense and the stings more frequent, so a determined Chase donned a wetsuit handed to him by those aboard an escort boat. But that only protected his torso, arms and legs. "I got stung on my tongue, inside my mouth, on my neck and my feet and hands," he said during an interview Wednesday morning, while parts of his body still itched and contained welts. "After the sun came up I did not take a single stroke in which I did not at least see a jellyfish."

Chase, 44, who scheduled the event earlier than he would have liked to help kick off this week's Blue Ocean Film Festival, became only the second person to have completed the swim across Monterey Bay.
Chase, an endurance swimmer who has swum the length of Lake Tahoe and tried or attempted numerous other "adventure swims," put on the wetsuit reluctantly after his wife, Michelle Evans-Chase, told him he would not make it without one. "We had a bigger mission in doing this, in connecting the two cities and spanning the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary," the swimmer explained. "I would have hated to let pride and ego keep me out of the wetsuit when we had so much potential to reach so many people by swimming across."

As for the jellies, several species abound in Monterey Bay during much of the summer, but they're not always so dense at the surface. During the last mile, Chase felt them oozing through his hands with every stroke and realized "that had I not been in a wetsuit, I would not have been able to physically survive."

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hurricane Danielle

Surf's up! Look's like there will be some nice motion in the ocean over the next week for surfers on the Atlantic Coast. Right now the estimated track for the hurricane keeps this storm over open water and the Eastern Seaboard out of harms way. This storm is still a way's out and we'll keep you informed on any major developments. Article provided by Reuter's News.

"Hurricane Danielle unexpectedly weakened in the open Atlantic Ocean on Tuesday and was downgraded to a Category 1 storm on the Saffir-Simpson scale, as winds eased from 100 miles per hour to 80 mph, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

The storm still posed no threat to energy interests in the Gulf of Mexico as it headed west-northwest and well to the east of Bermuda.
The NHC said the low-level center of Danielle became exposed and, as a result, the eyewall became eroded.

Slow strengthening was still expected, with the intensity at days four and five holding just below major hurricane strength, but the storm's peak intensity was now seen at Category 2 with winds between 96 and 110 mph and not a previously forecast Category 3 peak intensity.

Computer models showed Danielle curving to the northwest on a path that would keep it over open seas, then turning more northerly well to the east of Bermuda."
(Reporting by Eileen Moustakis; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Guy Harvey And Neal Watson Join Forces With Dive Bimini; 'Neal Or Guy Might Be On Board Diving With You'

How about some Big Time Diving at Big Game Club, that may even include a dive with Big Time artist and conservationist Guy Harvey!

"Celebrated artist and conservationist Guy Harvey along with his Guy Harvey Outpost organization announced today plans to team with renown dive authority Neal Watson to offer "top of class" dive centers at Guy Harvey Outpost resort properties. Their first dive center will open in mid-October at the newly renovated and rebranded Bimini Big Game Club, a Guy Harvey Resort & Marina.

In announcing Neal Watson's Dive Bimini, a Guy Harvey Outpost Dive Center, the pair noted their excitement in joining forces to bring Neal Watson's legendary diving reputation and world record accomplishments together with Guy Harvey's internationally recognized work in marine research, underwater photography and marine life art.

Known fondly as The Dive God within the Scuba diving community, Watson is considered one of the worlds foremost 'Shark Encounter' divers and a member of the DEMA Hall of Fame. Watson started diving in the Bahamas in the mid 1960s, setting the Scuba depth record in 1968. He opened a Bimini dive operation in 1975, where he lived and worked until the mid 1980s before expanding throughout the Bahamas and Caribbean under the Neal Watson Undersea Adventures brand.

Dive Bimini will open mid-October upon arrival of its 60-foot dive boat. Notes Mark Ellert, President of Guy Harvey Outpost, "Two-decks, a glass bottom and certified for 100 passengers nothing in Bimini will come close to offering the comfort and safety that Dive Bimini guests will enjoy, never mind the chance that Neal or Guy might be on board diving with you."

Neal Watson's Dive Bimini, a Guy Harvey Outpost Dive Center is currently taking reservations and is expected to be operational in October of this year. In addition to equipment rentals and air fills, the center will offer instruction for PADI SCUBA certifications as well as open water referrals and specialty classes.

The legendary Bimini Big Game Club officially re-opened this summer as a Guy Harvey Outpost Resort & Marina following completion of a $3,500,000 renovation that included all guest rooms, the new Bimini Big Game Bar & Grill, and the Outfitter Shop, a retail experience featuring sportswear, fishing supplies and gifts."

Friday, August 20, 2010

Massive Artificial Reef Grows Like Wild

Check out this awe-inspiring article by Sign On San Diego! Our nation's largest artificial reef is helping to enhance our oceans; it will boost habitat for marine life, improve fishing, provide great diving and much more . In addition, the project has achieved 9 of 14 benchmarks in its first year. Keep up the great work!

"A major initiative to boost sea life appears to be paying off in the coastal waters near San Clemente, where power companies spent $46 million to build what is touted as the nation’s largest artificial reef.

Growth of the kelp forest at the Wheeler North Reef is a sign that the artificial reef is thriving.

Independent monitoring by scientists at the University of California Santa Barbara shows that the reef reached nine of 14 benchmarks during its first year of operations. Power company officials said Wednesday they are poised to meet the other standards, perhaps this year.

The Wheeler North Reef is part of a piecemeal strategy by ocean advocates for using artificial reefs to boost habitat for marine creatures, improve fishing and provide more opportunities for divers. It was required by the California Coastal Commission to make up for the ecological damage done by the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in North County, which is owned by Southern California Edison, San DiegoGas & Electric Co. and Riverside."

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Loggerhead Sea Turtles Struggle to Survive

Although efforts to save sea turtles from the oil spill continues, many turtles are continuing the struggle to survive after the oil spill.

Last week, National Wildlife Federation reported that wildlife impacts have gotten significantly worse since the BP oil gusher was capped, especially for sea turtles. According to NWF’s Doug Inkley, the number of sea turtles found stranded on Gulf beaches this year is six times the number reported in previous years.

Yet, even before the BP oil spill disaster, sea turtles in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico were at risk from loss of nesting habitat, degradation of their marine habitats, and entanglement in fishing gear.

“Sea turtles have been struggling for survival for decades,” said NWF’s Doug Inkley. “Now, since the oil spill, we have seen a bad situation get worse.”

Read more at the NWF.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Oil Found! As much as 80% of the oil remains in the Gulf

Read this article! Don't buy the lie! Most of the oil is below the surface thanks to BP spraying chemical dispersants around the clock to hide the oil. Yes we've made progress but let's not forget that BP is responsible for one of the worst ecological disasters of all time. In large part due to their own negligence. Kudos to USF and UGA for having the courage to look into this themselves!

"Researchers are warning that the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is a bigger mess than the government claims and that a lot of crude is lurking deep below the surface, some of it settling perhaps in a critical undersea canyon off the Florida Panhandle. The evidence of microscopic amounts of oil mixing into the soil of the canyon was gathered by scientists at the University of South Florida, who also found poisoned plant plankton -- the vital base of the ocean food web -- which they attributed to a toxic brew of oil and dispersants.

Early findings based on a 10-day research cruise that ended late Monday -- follow a report on Monday from Georgia researchers that said as much as 80 percent of the oil from the spill remains in the Gulf. Both groups' findings have already been incorporated into lawsuits filed against BP.

At the White House on Aug. 4, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration chief Jane Lubchenco said, "At least 50 percent of the oil that was released is now completely gone from the system, and most of the remainder is degrading rapidly or is being removed from the beaches." That is not what the scientists from South Florida and Georgia found. "The oil is not gone, that's for sure," University of South Florida's David Hollander said Tuesday. "There is oil and we need to deal with it." University of Georgia's Samantha Joye said: "It's a tremendous amount of oil that's in the system. ... It's very difficult for me to imagine that 50 percent of it has been degraded." Marine scientist Chuck Hopkinson, also with the University of Georgia, raised the obvious question: "Where has all the oil gone? It hasn't gone anywhere. It still lurks in the deep. NOAA spokesman Justin Kenney defended his agency's calculations, saying they are "based on direct measurements whenever possible and the best available scientific estimates where direct measurements were not possible."

To read the full story click on the Herald Tribune

The Secret Life of Eels

Great photo gallery over at National Geographic about eels. Take a look.

Toxic Levels of Oil Found in Area Crucial to Fish

We all knew this was a story waiting to happen. Although the well may be capped these stories will continue for a time to come.

"Scientists have found evidence that oil has become toxic to marine organisms in a section of the Gulf of Mexico that supports the spawning grounds of commercially important fish species.

Researchers from the University of South Florida said Tuesday that, in preliminary results, there appear to be droplets of oil among the sediments of a vital underwater canyon where clouds of oil from the BP spill were found.

"So, indeed, the waters have a level of toxicity that needs to be recognized, and I think these were some of the first indicators that the base of the food web — the bacteria and the phytoplankton — may be affected," said David Hollander, chief scientist on a research vessel that just returned from a 10-day trip in the gulf."

Continue the read.

Good News for Saved Turtles

Some good news for these ssea turtles rescued from the oil spill. Thanks to the Florida Aquarium for it's hard work and efforts.

"Freshly scrubbed, fed, measured and weighed, a group of Kemp's Ridley sea turtles rescued from the oily waters near Louisiana two weeks ago, were expected to be on their way to Cedar Key this morning, set for release in the western Gulf of Mexico.

The turtles were flown to Tampa after their rescue in the oil slicked waters of the northern Gulf two weeks ago. Normally, rescued turtles should be released in the same area where they were captured. But that area still is contaminated from a massive oil spill that has plagued the northern Gulf waters for months.

Eight of the turtles, many juveniles, were cared for by veterinarians and marine biologists at The Florida Aquarium, one of several facilities in Central Florida that has cared for sea turtles plucked from the oily Gulf waters since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in April."

Continue the article and take a look at more pictures.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Penguins Chasing Butterfly

Check out these Humbolt penguins at the Philidelphia Zoo chasing a butterfly.

Today's Sharks: Smart, Tagged, and in Short Supply [Slide Show]

An interesting article by Scientific America, giving us some brief information on how sharks and how our knowledge of sharks has evolved greatly in the past twenty years!

Sharks have remained relatively unchanged by evolution for 400 million years, but shark science has evolved significantly in just the past few decades. In 1987 when Discovery Channel's now-famous Shark Week series debuted, researchers had few means of studying the animals beyond underwater cages and crude acoustic tracking devices. Twenty-three years later, marine biologists studying elasmobranch (the subclass of cartilaginous fishes that include sharks, skates and rays) animals employ satellite tracking, genetic analysis and high-definition cameras to broaden their knowledge of shark biology and behavior. This research is revealing, among other things, that even sharks like the great white are intelligent, curious animals with cognitive abilities worth studying.
"Many sharks have good learning capacity, which is one way we measure intelligence," says Samuel Gruber, a marine biologist at the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS), who discovered in 1975 that lemon sharks could learn a classical conditioning task 80 times faster than a cat or rabbit. "I was shocked to find that they could learn so rapidly," he says. Gruber's National Science Foundation–supported Bimini Biological Field Station in the Bahamas, known as Sharklab, is now planning to start a doctoral research program on shark cognition. But the biggest shift in shark research has been its provision of data for conservation efforts. The first large-scale study to document shark populations in the Atlantic Ocean revealed in 2003 that both bull and smooth hammerhead sharks have declined up to 99 percent in the past three decades. Whale sharks (the world's largest fish, but harmless to humans), scalloped hammerheads and basking sharks are particularly at risk, with more than 80 other species listed as vulnerable or endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resource's Red List of Threatened Species. And great whites may now be rarer than tigers, with fewer than 3,500 left in the wild according to data made public by a Stanford University research team earlier this year.
Because many shark species are slow to mature and reproduce, overfishing to supply the thriving Asian market for shark fin soup is the prime threat to shark populations globally. Some shark fin soup consumers assume that finning doesn't hurt the shark, or that fins grow back; neither is true. Standard finning procedure usually involves shearing off all the fins at once (most sharks have eight; the dorsal fin is the most valuable) and pitching the maimed animal overboard to drown or be eaten. “Shark fins can be sold in Asia for up to $1,300 per fin or up to $100 per bowl of shark fin soup," says Elizabeth Griffin, a marine scientist at Oceana, a Washington, D.C.–based ocean advocacy group. Despite the research progress, marine biologists still know much less than they would like to about many shark species. Click through the following slide show to learn more about the latest in shark research—from technology to ecology.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Free Divers Leave Tanks Behind

Extreme free diving is hardcore and becoming more mainstream. Although there are considerable risks, with the right training and breathing exercises you can minimize these dangers.

"Waves crash against a 45-foot charter boat as three men prepare themselves, and their lungs, for the challenge and exhilaration of the extreme sport known as "free diving." The divers eschew the air tanks used by scuba divers and instead wear only wetsuits and flippers . To prepare for a dive deep below the surface without any breathing apparatus, they inhale for 10 seconds, hold the air for five, let it out for 10. After 30 minutes of lung work, the men fall like planks into the tumultuous Gulf.

With a few sharp kicks, Rush propels himself down 35 feet and stays there for about three minutes, examining the floor of the Silvertooth dive site gilded with concrete rubble from an old bridge. The sport is all about freedom and the feeling of being one with the sea. Yet one mistake can be fatal. At least three people have died while free diving in the Gulf off Southwest Florida in the past year.

Free diving has a long history. Hunters and pearl divers throughout the Pacific, Australasia, the Mediterranean and the Caribbean have descended without gear for thousands of years. In the 1940s, free diving began to grow as a sport primarily in Europe and Asia. Rivalries formed as divers competed to hold their breath the longest and swim the deepest. With each record, free divers also broke scientists' beliefs that humans could not survive at depths greater than 160 feet. Experienced free divers of today are descending between 300 and 700 feet. Most scuba divers hover about 130 feet deep or less for fear of nitrogen narcosis. Breathing exercises aid people in pursuit of deeper, longer dives.

The free dive depth record is held by an Austrian man who completed a 702-foot no-limits dive in 2007 in Greece, according to the International Association for the Development of Freediving's website. The longest breath hold sanctioned by the association is by a Frenchman for 11 minutes and 35 seconds in 2009."

To read the full article please visit the Herald Tribune.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Divers capture smiling pilot whale on camera

Smile you're on camera! Awesome article provided by The Telegraph

"The small channel of water, which is busy with huge cargo ships entering and leaving the Mediterranean, is rarely dived but Rory Moore, 28, a British marine biologist, and his fellow free-divers were granted permits.

Mr Moore, from Crickhowell, Wales, said: "Some of the whales came up to the camera and started to blow bubbles and 'bark' loudly. It was an amazing thing to witness but it was actually a clear sign to keep our distance. He said: "We think these pilot whales will have had minimal contact with humans. It's great because they are very curious and they were very keen in coming to investigate us and were looking at their reflections in the camera lens.

"But they must be treated with the upmost respect and you have to be very aware if they become aggressive. "As toothed predators, they are more like orcas than say blue whales. There have been stories about divers being drowned after having an arm grabbed and taken into the deep. "But I think this will only happen if you are foolish enough to touch them. You should never make physical contact and take a non-invasive approach towards them to stay safe.
"One of the mothers in this pod had a calf so we had to be particularly careful in case she felt threatened. "As soon as there are any signs of aggression it's time to back off.

"There are risks, but the opportunity to see these creatures up close was a dream come true."

Pilot whales are found between South America, South Africa and Australasia, and further north between North America and Europe."

Friday, August 13, 2010

Beach Cleanup at Fort Zachary Taylor

Neptune's Defenders recently held a small beach cleanup at Fort Zachary Taylor. If your out on the water this summer pick up a few bottles, cans, and other things that just don't belong. If everyone did a little bit, it would make a world of a difference. Thanks to everyone who participated. Remember to leave with more than you came with.

For the Shark Enthusiast Who Has Everything

The Sharky Tea Infuser by Argentinian designer Pablo Matteoda. Where do you get one? Not sure, but we'll keep you updated.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

SurfExplorer USA app for iPhone

This app is a great tool for any surfer, just remember iPhones aren't waterproof.

"This is a precision tool designed to help you find the best waves each time you go surfing. It combines a comprehensive and accurate database of surf spots with live swell, wind and tide data. Every thirty minutes our proprietary algorithms score the quality of the waves at each spot based on the current conditions, so you can see when it’s best to check specific spots.

Access to the Spots section of the app is only available to premium members, while the rest of the app is available for everyone to use.

Automatically record current conditions and photos when you check the waves and share your reports instantly with your friends. Each log entry teaches SurfExplorer how to find waves that meet your personal preferences, so the more you log, the more accurate your personal scores will be."