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Top 15 Ocean Conservation Wins of 2015

Overfishing, climate change, habitat destruction, and pollution remain major threats to the world’s ocean. But amidst all that there is some seriously good ocean conservation news worth celebrating. So, to continue the tradition started last year with listing 14 Ocean Conservation Wins of 2014, here’s a rundown for 2015 that will hopefully fill you with…

Blue Guardians: A New Clinton Global Initiative Partnership

Two and a half years ago, the Waitt Institute launched the Blue Halo Initiative, through which we partner with governments and communities as they envision, design, and implement sustainable ocean management for their waters. In the time since, we supported the Caribbean island of Barbuda in passing meaningful legislation that zones the island’s entire coastal…

Fishers and Divers Agree Coral Reefs Need Stronger Management

Policy change, even at its most efficient, is often difficult and slow. This can be especially true for conservation policy, which often involves curtailing private sector business practices. On the flip side, the policymaking process can be sped up by clear public support. That’s why the recent consensus between the Caribbean fishing and SCUBA diving…

Hope for Curaçao’s Corals and the Future of Journalism

When New York Times Dot Earth reporter Andrew Revkin got in touch with me seeking a documentary topic for the environmental journalism course he co-teaches at Pace University, he walked right into my trap. I rarely pass up an opportunity to twist someone’s arm to share optimistic stories of ocean conservation (#OceanOptimism!). Curaçao has some…

Blue Halo Initiative Expands to Montserrat and Curaçao!

VERY EXCITING NEWS! The Waitt Institute has expanded its Blue Halo Initiative to Montserrat and Curaçao, building on the recent success in Barbuda. The new partnerships with these two innovative island governments and communities will help envision, design, and implement sustainable ocean policies for their waters. With the launches of Blue Halo Montserrat and Blue…

Can Behavioral Economics Help Save Coral Reefs and Fisheries?

It’s not that people don’t care about the environment; it’s that more pressing needs like feeding their families and paying their bills trump environmental concerns. As a marine biologist, I worry about how poverty can hinder the sustainability of fishing, and therefore endanger the future of fishing communities. The “teach a man to fish” adage can only hold…

Geography in the News: Curaçao, Newly Independent Micro-State?

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM Curaçao: The Western Hemisphere’s Newly Independent Micro-State Curaçao became a quasi-independent country Oct. 10, 2010, making it one of the world’s 195 recognized countries, according to the U.S. State Department. In a change of constitutional status that dissolved the Dutch Antilles, Curaçao (pronounced “cure…

Classrooms Under the Sea: Descending into the Deep Reefs of Curaçao

One thousand feet below the surface of the ocean, below the reach of the sun’s warmth and light, deep water corals thrive. Standing tall in front of the black backdrop of their environment, colorful corals and deep sea organisms are part of my inspiration to bring deep sea exploration live to classrooms.

Solution: Escape Gaps for Fish Traps

Bycatch. That’s the fish that fishers didn’t mean to catch but did – baby fish, species people don’t like to eat, fish no one will buy. High levels of bycatch make fishing unsustainable, not to mention it’s a huge waste. So what can be done about it? Well, that depends on the type of fishing gear…

The Good, Bad, Ugly, and Hope of SCUBA Diving on Barbuda

I hear the SCUBA instructor say: “Buddy check! Weights? Mask? Snorkel on the left. Don’t touch the coral; it is a living thing and you will kill it. Don’t touch anything underwater! Hover.” We recently ran a SCUBA certification course on Barbuda as part of the Blue Halo Initiative there. Building local capacity for monitoring the…