Showing posts from January, 2019

How You Can Help Save the Endangered Right Whales

North American Right Whale and Calf Image Credit: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission,  NOAA Research Permit #665-1652  The North American right whales are the most endangered large whale species. Less than 400 of these majestic whales remain. The coastal waters off Georgia and Florida are the only known calving areas. In fact, the first right whale calf of the 2018-2019 season was spotted on December 28 near the mouth of the St. Johns River, swimming north. Right whales were nearly hunted into extinction, but today the major threats are from ship strikes or becoming entangled in fishing gear. Aerial surveys are conducted by the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute from December through March to help reduce ship strikes, but whale spotters can relay information to a central number to notify boaters, harbor pilots and ships' captains of their locations. Become a Right Whale Spotter The Nassau County Sierra Club and the Amelia Island Right Whale

A Setback for Cleaning the Ocean of Plastic

Dolphin at Marineland, FL Photo by Donna Kaluzniak My last blog post was about The Ocean Cleanup , a massive project for removing plastic debris from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP). After successfully completing Pacific trials in September 2018, the long trip to the GPGP began. On October 16, 2018 System 001, nicknamed "Wilson," was deployed. After tweaking and testing Wilson through November and December, it appeared the system was attracting and concentrating plastic, but could not retain it. At the end of December, the crew found that an 18-meter end-section of the system became detached. The December 31, 2018 Project Update noted the crew planned to return to port earlier than planned, and as soon as weather permitted. This allows them to make necessary upgrades to the system. Even with the malfunction, Wilson and the crew are bringing back 2,000 kilograms of plastic recovered by the system and from ghost net fishing. Some setbacks are to be exp