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Photograph taken Sunday, October 1, 2017 facing north on Jupiter Island at the Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge beach access showing seagrass rhizome wrack. Photo credit: Mark Fonseca.


Hurricanes Irma and Maria passed over or sent large waves over broad geographic extents of seagrass habitat in Florida, the Caribbean Leeward and Windward Islands and the Bahamas. There have been reports of large rafts of floating seagrass.

Coral reef near the Line Islands.


Coral reefs harbor an incredible diversity of life, both sea creatures we can see and microbial life that we cannot. These organisms generate an enormous number of molecules as they eat food, photosynthesize, reproduce and ward off infections.

Hurricane Maria approaches Puerto Rico, as visualized using NASA satellite technology. Image created by the Visualization Studio at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.


Let’s get right to it. Understanding the dynamics of our Earth, including disasters like hurricanes and droughts, has never seemed more important. As if on cue, we have a confirmation hearing for the NASA Administrator nominee coming down the pike. Is President Trump’s nominee, Representative Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), the right fit?

Radiation isn’t the only pollutant unleashed by the massive 2011 earthquake that killed around 18,000 people and caused three nuclear reactors to melt down at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. The resulting tsunami also washed 5 million tons of debris into the ocean, carrying invasive species as far as the coast of Oregon.

The life cycles of many Antarctic species, such as krill (Euphausia superba), are closely linked to sea ice.


A new multidisciplinary study led by scientists at British Antarctic Study (BAS) stresses the need for an integrated approach to understand the effects of climate change on Antarctic marine ecosystems. The paper is published October 2017 in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science, and features as a research highlight in the journal Nature Climate Change.

The new study revealed a previously unsuspected pathway for radioactive material to be transported, stored for years, and subsequently released far from the site where it was initially discharged. Illustration by Natalie Renier, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.


Scientists have found a previously unsuspected place where radioactive material from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster has accumulated—in sands and brackish groundwater beneath beaches up to 60 miles away. The sands took up and retained radioactive cesium originating from the disaster in 2011 and have been slowly releasing it back to the ocean.

Rocky coastline at Gros Morne National Park on the west coast of Newfoundland.


On behalf of Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard, Ken McDonald, Member of Parliament for Avalon, announced on 11 October 2017 that the World Wildlife Fund Canada (WWF-Canada) would receive over $3 Million through the Coastal Restoration Fund.

The European Commission has announced over €550 million of EU-funded initiatives to tackle global oceans challenges, at the Our Ocean Conference 2017 in Malta, co-hosted by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini and Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.

Dredge ship Liberty Island and pumpout. Photo courtesy of BOEM.


The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has announced final regulations that define the process used by its Marine Minerals Program for issuing negotiated, noncompetitive agreements for sand, gravel, and shell resources on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).

A harpoon gun aboard a Japanese “whale research” ship.


In a flouting of international conservation values, Japan just announced that its latest hunt, which concluded Tuesday, 26 September 2017, has claimed the lives of 177 minke and sei whales – adding to the toll of thousands that its whalers have claimed in an era when just about the entire civilized world has abandoned the practice.

Sand mining in Laos. Photo credit: Aurora Torres, iDiv.


Sand and gravel are the most extracted group of materials world-wide, exceeding fossil fuels and biomass. In a new paper published in Science, researchers assess the negative consequences of sand mining and transport on biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Deep sea coral in the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument. The monument provides protections for ecological resources and marine species, including deep-sea corals; sperm, fin, and sei whales; Kemp's ridley sea turtles; and, deep-sea fish.


According to a 19-page memo obtained by the Associated Press, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke recommends reducing the size of multiple national monuments and opening them up to commercial development.

A narrow road along the Irish coast. The OSPAR Commission serves to protect the marine environment in the North‐East Atlantic Ocean.


OSPAR is looking for a new Deputy Secretary to oversee work related to OSPAR’s Committee on the Environmental Impact of Human Activities.

Shell donated $1 million to the Coastal Louisiana’s Oyster Shell Recycling Program in 2013 to help launch and support Louisiana’s first Oyster Shell Recycling Program. In the photo, 27 volunteers from Shell and Dickie Brennan and Co. bagged more than 1,300 tons of oyster shell that was used to build a half mile long reef in the Biloxi Marsh during the spring or summer of 2016.


Shell makes monetary grants to nonprofit organizations within the U.S. Priority consideration will be given to organizations in or near communities where Shell Oil Company or its affiliates in the United States have a major presence.

The National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) is making changes to its core program solicitations as noted below, effective in calendar year 2018.

Palau islands.


Colorado State University seeks a postdoctoral research fellow to join a social science project examining the role of philanthropic foundations in environmental governance. The project focuses specifically on marine conservation governance in the Pacific Islands, and will include fieldwork in Fiji and Palau as well as at foundation offices in the U.S. The project embraces academic and applied objectives, and offers a unique opportunity to advance both scholarship and practice.

The Naval Research Laboratory is interested in receiving innovative proposals that offer potential for advancement and improvement in technical topic areas listed here.

The National Science Foundation seeks the services of a qualified organization to manage and operate an Ocean Bottom Seismometer Instrument Center established and sponsored by Marine Geology and Geophysics research programs within NSF’s Division of Ocean Sciences.

A consortium led by exactEarth Europe and comprising OceanWise, UK Satellite Applications Catapult, Pole Star Space Applications and TeamSurv has completed the demonstration of a new global maritime machine-to-machine (M2M) and Internet-of-Things (IOT) platform/service. The project was funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) Integrated Applications Promotion Programme.

The autonomous ocean vehicle Wave Glider was deployed on the central Great Barrier Reef from the AIMS research vessel Cape Ferguson. (From left to right) Scott Bainbridge (AIMS) with Daniel Merritt (Liquid Robotics), Ricardo Puig (Liquid Robotics), Michael de La Chapelle (Boeing) and Shahmi Suhaimee (Liquid Robotics).


In partnership with Boeing, the world’s largest aerospace company, the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) has demonstrated how a revolutionary high-tech autonomous ocean vehicle, the Wave Glider, can improve monitoring of the Great Barrier Reef and coastal waters.

The Wave Glider near Antarctica’s Palmer Station in December (that’s summer for this region) before starting its epic voyage on the Southern Ocean. Photo credit: Avery Snyder, University of Washington.


The Southern Ocean is key to Earth’s climate, but the same gusting winds, big waves and strong currents that are important to ocean physics make it perilous for oceanographers.

The killer whales around Vancouver Island need our help to protect them from the effects of human activity. Ocean Sonics has stepped up to the challenge with its novel hydrophone network.

Cortland, global designer and manufacturer of engineered synthetic ropes, has won a significant new order from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) to supply a single 12,000-meter length of 9/16” Plasma® HiCo synthetic rope.

CEMAC Offshore Track Tensioner.


MacArtney’s offshore cable handling equipment named CEMAC is designed for power and telecommunication cables and for cable handling operations within the renewable energy industry, in particular the offshore wind sector.

A project to improve navigation at Rhodes Point on Smith Island, Maryland and to rebuild part of the shoreline is expected to get underway in November. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently awarded a $6.88 million contract to a Virginia company to begin the project.

Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) has started work on a pilot project to design the first ever Environmental Impact Bond (EIB) for wetland restoration. The Wetlands Restoration and Resilience Pay-for-Success Environmental Impact Bond project will evaluate the feasibility of using an EIB to finance a wetland restoration project from Louisiana’s Coastal Master Plan. The results of the feasibility analysis will be ready next summer.

Commercializing wave energy is a formidable task, and the technology companies active in this space are truly pushing the limits of modern engineering.

Welcome to a new kind of science communication training, made to fit around you:

Custom Endura ROV from Aquabotix.


UUV Aquabotix Ltd has added four new distributors to its global network. The partnerships will help support the company’s global expansion and sale of its underwater robotics products, including its Endura ROV, Hybrid AUV/ROV and AquaLens Connect underwater camera system. To date, Aquabotix has sold more than 350 vehicles in more than 40 countries.

These coral fragments are being grown at Mote's Elizabeth Moore International Center for Coral Reef Research and Restoration using a technique that Mote scientists honed for restoring wild coral colonies. Photo credit: Mote Marine Laboratory / Conor Goulding.


Mote Marine Laboratory was recently awarded a $300,000 grant from the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation to support Mote’s efforts in restoring the rapidly declining reef habitats within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

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