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Carl Safina is author of seven books, including Song for the Blue Ocean, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, Eye of the Albatross, Voyage of the Turtle, and The View From Lazy Point. Safina is founding president of The Safina Center at Stony Brook University, where he also co-chairs the University's Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. A winner of the 2012 Orion Award and a MacArthur Prize, among others, his work has been featured in outlets such as The New York Times, National Geographic, CNN.com and The Huffington Post, and he hosts “Saving the Ocean” on PBS. Safina's seventh book, "Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel," is available in stores July 14, 2015.

A Pacific salmon hub is under threat

The Skeena River snakes out of fir-lined fjords on the misty northern coast of British Columbia, and washes over a thousand-acre sandbar. Flora Bank is a biological bottleneck over which millions of finger-length young salmon enter the sea each spring. Scientist Allen Gottesfeld calls Flora Bank the “Grand Central Station” for the watershed. All streams…

Gaining a better understanding of the seas through citizen science

Co-authored by Erica Cirino Twice a day, every day, Kera Mathes hops aboard a ship that sets off from Long Beach Harbor in California. As education specialist at the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific, she helps visitors aboard the ship identify the animals they see. Mathes also supervises the aquarium’s interns (college students and…

Uncharted Arctic waters: A new opportunity for exploitation, or conservation?

Co-authored by Erica Cirino When thick sheets of sea ice began melting in the Arctic waters around Svalbard, Norway, a few years ago, a new expanse of sparkling blue sea opened up. As climate change continues to drive ice melt here on the previously untouched waters of the North Barents Sea, what many ocean conservationists…

So you live near a coral reef: Why experts say that’s not good news for reef conservation

Co-authored by Erica Cirino My favorite beach on Long Island’s North Shore, where I live, is more than 700 miles away from the nearest coral reef (in Bermuda). This distance may be a good thing: Recent research suggests the further a coral reef is from human civilization, the better. (To get close from far away,…

Pesky plastic: The true harm of microplastics in the oceans

Co-authored by Jessica Perelman Pollution is evidently a major concern when talking about environmental protection in light of human development, but waste that ends up in the oceans is oftentimes overlooked. This is in part because many people do not come face-to-face with it on a daily basis, and the effects caused by contaminating the world’s…

Community-Supported Fisheries: A better way to buy fish?

Co-authored by Erica Cirino It’s about five o’clock on an unusually warm Wednesday evening when I’m driving back home from a friend’s house a few towns over. When I’m nearly home, I pass a particularly pretty strip of beaches and marinas somewhere on Long Island’s North Shore. Some combination of the salty ocean breeze, softly…

Warming seas may cause more disease, Cornell researchers say.

Co-authored by Erica Cirino It’s June 2013: A group of park rangers are walking down a peaceful strip of shoreline in Washington State’s famous Olympic National Park when they spot an alarming sight: dozens of shriveled, gooey-looking purple and orange sea stars trying to cling to a rock. There’s something wrong, but the rangers are…

Plastic pollution plagues NY-NJ waterways—and it’s all our fault.

Co-authored by Erica Cirino Whenever I visit my favorite beaches on Long Island’s North Shore, I look for sea glass. There’s just something about these wave-worn gems—blues, greens, browns, whites and one or two bits of rare yellow glass—that invites me to pick them up. Lately though, I’ve been duped by small pieces of plastic…

More Plastic, Fewer Oysters?

Co-authored by Erica Cirino 2016 started off with a dire prediction for the world’s oceans: By 2050, the seas will contain more plastic—by weight—than fish. There’s an estimated 8 -12 million metric tons of plastic making its way into the oceans each year. And as the plastic mess in the oceans grows, so do concerns…

Changing climate means changing times for fish and shellfish in New England and beyond

Co-authored by Erica Cirino Dr. Jon Hare and his colleagues at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have just published the results of two years’ work: their first assessment of fish and shellfish species living along the New England coast. What Hare and his colleagues have found: climate change is expected to decimate the populations…

Global Shark Conservation: Good News for Some Species, Alarming Trends for Others

Reversing overfishing, climate change, and population growth can seem insurmountable. Safina Center Fellows strive to amplify the global conservation discussion and, in targeted ways and places, they make a difference. Their drive to redefine the future of our planet starts with the belief that progress is possible. —Carl Safina In the following interview, shark experts…

Oil and Walrus Don’t Mix

  I am the walrus. Really. This is no joke. I need ice. My baby depends on me. His world depends on ice. Ice. Water. Clams. Alaska—have you heard of it? It’s warmed twice as fast as the rest of what you call “the nation.” We have only “the world.” Only our world. Our sea…

Breach the Snake River Dams

By Kenneth Balcomb, guest essayist Note: In this guest essay, long-time killer whale researcher Ken Balcomb shows how obsolete but still salmon-killing dams are helping cause the decline of killer whales due to food shortage in the Northwest. The dams do feed us one thing: propaganda. As Ken wrote to me, “I was flabbergasted that…

The Good and The Bad for Atlantic Menhaden

Co-authored by Elizabeth Brown On May 5th the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission met to make pivotal decisions about the management of Atlantic Menhaden – arguably one of the most important fish in the sea. Two keys decisions were up for discussion: 1.) What to set the Atlantic Menhaden catch limit at. Or, in other words,…

A SEA IN FLAMES

Though a bit imprecise, the time, approximately 9:50 p.m. on April 20, 2010, marks the end of knowing much precisely. A floating machinery system roughly the size of a forty-story hotel has for months been drilling into the sea floor in the Gulf of Mexico. Its creators have named the drilling rig “Deepwater Horizon.” Oil…