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Douglas Croftnopin

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Whale Poop and Climate Change: Here’s What You Need to Know

Dec 6, 2018.
When whales come up to the surface from the deep ocean, they help cycle important nutrients that benefits the ocean food chain.

When you watch a whale majestically breaching the ocean’s surface, spraying a million sparkling droplets of crystalline water in every direction, we bet you’ve never asked yourself: Hmmm, I wonder how much whale poop there is in that spray. No one can blame you for that– it’s a little gross. Whale poop affords incredible benefits to…

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Celebrating Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

Nov 20, 2018.

By Allie Braun, guest author Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary consist of a nearly 130 mile stretch of Florida’s peninsula. Fringing mangroves, seagrass meadows, hard bottom reigns, patch reefs, and bank reefs come together to create an ideal habitat for more than 6,000 different species of marine life. However, these clear waters weren’t always a…

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What is Blue Carbon?

Nov 8, 2018.
Plants Helping Transform Blue Carbon

The natural world is a delicate balance of millions of plants, animals, and elements. Carbon, while being one of the key requirements for life, can become an issue if too much is pushed into the atmosphere and not enough is pulled out. Carbon dioxide is produced through natural processes such as the decay of carbon-based…

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Creature Feature: North Atlantic Right Whale

Nov 8, 2018.
North Atlantic Right Whale (NOAA)

North Atlantic right whales are massive, weighing up to 70 tons and growing to 52 feet in length. They are large baleen whales characterized by a stocky black body with no dorsal fin. These whales are known by a raised patch of rough skin (callosities) on their heads that appear white. Each whale has a…

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Celebrating 26 Years Of Whale Protection And Research At Stellwagen Bank and Hawaiian Humpback National Marine Sanctuaries

Nov 1, 2018.
Humpback Whale (NOAA)

Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary and the Hawaiian Humpback National Marine Sanctuary are two truly special places on our planet. These two places are extremely unique but share one specific commonality. Both were appointed by Congress on November 4, 1992. They recently celebrated their anniversaries as protected areas that provide a safe habitat for a…

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Creature Feature: Manatees

Nov 1, 2018.
Manatee Family Swimming Underwater

Manatees may seem like slow-moving sea cows, but these large and graceful swimmers are critical to our ocean’s ecosystems remaining in balance. These foragers rely on a plant-based diet, and they can eat up to 150 pounds of food per day! These massive mammals help maintain a high level of coastal blue carbon in our oceans and…

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Creepy, Crawly, and Slimy: Invertebrates in the National Marine Sanctuary System

Oct 25, 2018.

By: Allie Braun, guest author When you hear “ocean conservation”, the image that comes to mind is most likely one of sea otters floating around the waters of Monterey Bay, majestic humpback whales leaping out of the water, or sea turtles gliding peacefully beneath the surface. These animals and the research that surrounds them are incredibly…

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Reducing Risk in Coastal Communities

Oct 24, 2018.

By: Taylor Berry, Development and Office Coordinator   Healthy coastlines are vital to trade and tourism economies in the United States, especially in port cities. In fact, almost 40% of the United States population lives in coastal counties, a staggering 124 million people. In the past eight years, the United States has had twenty-five individual…

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Celebrating 46 Years of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act

Oct 23, 2018.

By: Kris Sarri, President and CEO of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation   On October 23, 1972, the National Marine Sanctuaries Act became law, allowing the Secretary of Commerce to designate and protect nationally significant areas in the ocean and Great Lakes. Forty- six years later, the National Marine Sanctuary System is a network of…

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Creature Feature: Giant Pacific Octopus

Oct 16, 2018.

The Giant Pacific Octopus is one of the most elusive of all marine animals, reaching lengths of up to 16 feet and weighing in excess of 100 pounds. They are the largest known species of octopus, and they play an important part in the world’s ecosystem. For generations, tall tales have been passed down about…

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