Previous Oceans and Water News 2014-2021


Meet 3 Women Working on the Frontline of Ocean Conservation 06-08-21

The earliest iteration of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society was founded in 1977 to “defend, conserve and protect our ocean.” Meet three women, featured by Vogue, who are carrying out the organization’s mission. Read more

California to Nestlé: Stop Draining Our Water 04-30-21

As California’s drought conditions are worsening, Nestlé is pumping millions of gallons of water from the San Bernardino forest. Read more

Protect our ocean ‘to solve challenges of century’ 03-17-21

Protecting the ocean has a triple whammy effect, safeguarding climate, food and biodiversity, according to new research. Read more at BBC News

California’s Kelp Forests in Climate Peril 03-16-21

Kelp forests are some of California’s most iconic ecosystems and a new satellite study show they’re almost gone. As the Ocean Conservancy explained, kelp forests are the anchor of nearshore ocean wildlife communities, sustaining marine biodiversity by providing shelter, habitat, and even food for an array of fish and invertebrates. Read more at Our Daily Planet

Why Hawaii’s seawalls are doing more harm than good 03-15-21

Pu‘uloa, a coral-lined stretch of sand along the southern curve of O‘ahu, is a sacred place. To the native people of Hawaii, it is home to an ancestral shark goddess, the spot where humans first stepped foot on the island. Read more at Grist

After Travels West, NC Coast Beckons 02-12-21

A small group of us were headed to Cape Lookout National Seashore to view the historic lighthouse completely illuminated with bright lights. Read more at Coastal Review


RCC and National Coalition Urge Biden to Stop Throwaway Plastics That Are Inundating the Oceans 12-09-20

“The problem is getting much worse very quickly,” said Oregon U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, sponsoring legislation to “Break Free From Plastics.” “Our planet cannot afford inaction.” Read more at RCC

Rise in sea level from ice melt in Greenland and Antarctica match worst-case scenario: study 09-09-20

Rise could expose 16 million people to annual coastal flooding by the end of the century, says study Read more at CBC

Ocean warming has seafloor species headed in the wrong direction 09-07-20

Here’s what we know (and don’t know) about how dangerous PFAS chemicals travel ocean currents and harm wildlife — and what that could mean for humans. Read more at Science Magazine

51 Years Later, the Cuyahoga River Burns Again 08-28-20

The Ohio waterway that so famously caught on fire in 1969, inspiring the Clean Water Act, caught fire again this week Read more at Outside

Are Forever Chemicals Harming Ocean Life? 08-24-20

Here’s what we know (and don’t know) about how dangerous PFAS chemicals travel ocean currents and harm wildlife — and what that could mean for humans. Read more at The Revelator

The muddy waters of US ocean protection 08-17-20

The century began with a great deal of optimism around marine protected areas as tools to protect the oceans. Two decades later, conservation goals and fishing interests remain at odds. Read more at Environmental Health News

How a Blue New Deal charts a course for a sustainable sea change 07-20-20

Last week, a group of activists, scientists, academics and others issued a report calling for policies and other initiatives to generate prosperity while addressing inequity and the climate crisis. Read more at Green Biz

Ocean Justice: Where Social Equity and the Climate Fight Intersect 07-16-20

Marine biologist Ayana Elizabeth Johnson sees her work on ocean conservation as linked to issues of social justice and climate. Read more at Yale Environment 360

Climate change will make world too hot for 60 per cent of fish species 07-02-20

Fish are at a far greater risk from climate change than previously thought, as researchers have shown that embryos and spawning adults are more susceptible to warming oceans. Read more at New Scientist

‘Selling off the future’: Trump allows fishing in marine monument 06-06-20

Administration opening areas off New England coast up to commercial fishing, a move experts say will hurt the environment. Read more at The Guardian

New High Seas Treaty Could Be a Gamechanger for the Ocean 05-09-20

Most of us have never been to the world’s immense last wilderness and never will. It’s beyond the horizon and often past the limits of our imaginations. Read more at EcoWatch

Scientists say ocean life could rebound in 30 years — if we act now 04-05-20

The glory of the world’s oceans could be restored within a generation, according to a major new scientific review. It reports rebounding sea life, from humpback whales off Australia to elephant seals in the U.S. and green turtles in Japan. Read more at Grist

Rising Tides, Troubled Waters: The Future of Our Ocean 04-02-20

The ocean is undergoing unprecedented changes. What does it mean for marine life, the planet, and us? Read more at Rolling Stone

Clean Water Wanted: Contaminated Wells And The Legacy Of Fossil Fuel Extraction 03-01-20

“You seen that one with the tombstone up there?” seven-year-old Timothy Easterling asks, looking toward the grass just uphill from his home. “That’s my papaw.” Read more at Resource

Washington State to Ban Bottled Water Operations 02-19-20

Bottled water manufacturers looking to capture cool, mountain water from Washington’s Cascade Mountains may have to look elsewhere after the state senate passed a bill banning new water permits, as The Guardian reported. Read more at EcoWatch


Is the tide turning in favor of a Blue New Deal? 12-11-19

Oceans are having a moment in climate science. On Saturday, the International Union for Conservation of Nature presented the largest peer-reviewed study ever conducted of ocean deoxygenation at the U.N.’s Climate Change Conference in Madrid. Read more at Grist

As Sea Levels Rise, So Do Ghost Forests 10-09-19

Up and down the mid-Atlantic coast, sea levels are rising rapidly, creating stands of dead trees — often bleached, sometimes blackened — known as ghost forests. Read more at The New York Times

Nestlé plan to take 1.1m gallons of water a day from natural springs sparks outcry 08-26-19

Opponents fighting to stop the project say the fragile river cannot sustain such a large draw Read more at The Guaridan

As High-Tide Flooding Worsens, More Pollution Is Washing to the Sea 03-14-19

As sea levels rise, high-tide flooding is becoming a growing problem in many parts of the globe, including cities on the U.S. East Coast. New research shows that as these waters recede, they carry toxic pollutants and excess nutrients into rivers, bays, and oceans. Read more at Yale Environment 360

It’s time for California to let some of its thirsty farmland go 02-21-19

Some half a million acres of the most productive agricultural region on the planet — California’s San Joaquin


Trump Prepares to Unveil a Vast Reworking of Clean Water Protections 12-10-18

The Trump administration is expected on Tuesday to unveil a plan that would weaken federal clean water rules designed to protect millions of acres of wetlands and thousands of miles of streams nationwide from pesticide runoff and other pollutants. Read more at The New York Times

Water Protectors Take Action to Keep Pipeline Out of Black and Indigenous Communities 08-20-18

Over the weekend, local police arrested a journalist and three Water Protectors protesting the Bayou Bridge Pipeline on private property. Read more at Truthout

Corporate Food Brands Drive the Massive Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico 08-01-18

Whole Foods bills itself as “America’s healthiest grocery store,” but what it’s doing to the environment is anything but healthy. According to a new report, the chain is helping to drive one of the nation’s worst human-made environmental disasters: the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. Read more at EcoWatch

As North Sea Oil Wanes, Removing Abandoned Rigs Stirs Controversy 06-26-18

With thousands of North Sea oil wells soon to be shut down, ecologists are warning that removing the gargantuan platforms could be more environmentally harmful than leaving them. The rigs have nurtured cold-water corals and other marine life. Read more at Yale Environment 360

The Ocean Is Getting More Acidic—What That Actually Means 06-15-18

Thanks to carbon emissions, the ocean is changing, and that is putting a whole host of marine organisms at risk. These scientists are on the front lines. Read more at National Geographic

Straw Wars: The Fight to Rid the Oceans of Discarded Plastic 05-23-18

Americans use 500 million straws daily. Citizen activists want to shrink that number.

Of the eight million tons of plastic trash that flow every year into the world’s oceans, the plastic drinking straw is surely not a top contributor to all that tonnage. Read more at National Geographic

We can now see how humans have altered Earth’s water resources 05-16-18

For millennia, humans have harnessed rivers, built dams, and dug wells to quench our growing civilization. Now, for the first time, we have a picture of what all those generations have wrought on our blue planet’s most defining resource. Read more at Grist

10 Most Endangered U.S. Rivers of 2018 Ranked​ 04-10-18

American Rivers released its America’s Most Endangered Rivers report Tuesday identifying ten rivers under imminent threat. Read more at EcoWatch

A swim in the Potomac? The river’s remarkable recovery makes that a possibility, report says. 03-27-18

The Potomac River is healthier than it’s been in decades, according to an annual state-of-the-river report. Read more at The Washington Post

Ocean Plastic Projected to Triple Within Seven Years 03-21-18

If we don’t act now, plastic pollution in the world’s oceans is projected to increase three-fold within seven years, according to a startling new report. Read more at EcoWatch

Impact of Warming Seas Felt by Northeastern Fisheries 02-26-18

CAPE ENRAGE, New Brunswick — It is here in the upper reaches of the Bay of Fundy that nature flexes its tidal muscles while sending a surge of 160 billion tons of seawater in and out of the funnel-shaped bay. Read more at the Toledo Blade

An international plastics treaty could avert a “Silent Spring” for our seas 02-08-18

It was welcome news when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada will use its year-long G7 presidency to turn the global spotlight on ocean plastics and pollution. Read more at The Conversation


State largely ignores role as seas grow more acidic 11-19-17

Despite a bipartisan recognition of a threat to Maine’s shellfish industry, leadership on the issue has fallen to a group of concerned volunteers.

At last week’s United Nations Climate Change Conference in Germany, an issue of vital importance to Maine fishermen and shellfish growers took the international spotlight: the increasing acidity of the sea, which is making it harder for some shellfish to grow their shells. Read more at the Press Herald

State largely ignores role as seas grow more acidic 11-19-17

Despite a bipartisan recognition of a threat to Maine’s shellfish industry, leadership on the issue has fallen to a group of concerned volunteers.

Rep. Mick Devin, D-Newcastle, a marine biologist at Darling Marine Center in Walpole, a village of South Bristol, lays the blame for lack of official action on ocean acidification on Maine Gov. Paul LePage. Read more at the Press Herald

Ocean acidification is deadly threat to marine life 10-23-17

If the outlook for marine life was already looking bleak – torrents of plastic that can suffocate and starve fishoverfishing, diverse forms of human pollution that create dead zones, the effects of global warming which is bleaching coral reefs and threatening coldwater species – another threat is quietly adding to the toxic soup. Read more at The Guardian

A 1775 Map Reveals the Extent of Human Impact on Florida’s Coral Reefs 10-2-17

More than 240 years ago, the mapmaker George Gauld put pen to paper and drew the Florida Keys. The scant frill of islands curls across the ocean, surrounded by minute notations of depth—and surprisingly detailed descriptions. Read more at The Atlantic

Against the Stream: The Future of the Federal Clean Water Rule 8-10-17

High up in Washington’s Cascade Range, snow feeds the creeks that descend toward the coast, flowing intermittently in summer and gaining strength again the following spring as they coalesce into the Cedar, Snohomish, and Stillaguamish rivers that dump into Puget Sound. Read more at Undark

The Fight Over the ‘Waters of the U.S.’ Rule: What You Need to Know 07-24-17

The Waters of the U.S. rule, which the Trump administration is planning to undo, improves federal protection for about 22 million acres of wetlands in the contiguous U.S., as well as upwards of two million miles of streams. Read more at Men’s Journal

Chesapeake losing its oyster reefs faster than they can be rebuilt 01-29-17

There aren’t enough shells to go around for wild fishery, aquaculture and sanctuaries

The Chesapeake Bay has an oyster problem — but more fundamentally, it has a shell problem. Read more on Bay Journal


Soaring ocean temperature is ‘greatest hidden challenge of our generation’ 9-5-16

IUCN report warns that ‘truly staggering’ rate of warming is changing the behaviour of marine species, reducing fishing zones and spreading disease

The soaring temperature of the oceans is the “greatest hidden challenge of our generation” that is altering the make-up of marine species, shrinking fishing areas and starting to spread disease to humans, according to the most comprehensive analysis yet of ocean warming. Read more on The Guardian

Mussels Disappearing From New England Waters, Scientists Say 8-29-16

New England is running out of mussels. A 2016 scientific study said the mussels, which are beloved by seafood fans, have declined dramatically in the Gulf of Maine. Read more on ABC News

RC Campus Network member Saint Leo Survey Finds Water Contamination Cases & Supply Questions Worry the Public 7-6-16

After hearing about contaminated public drinking water supplies in Flint, Mich., and a handful of other communities, more than half of respondents in a national poll say they are very or somewhat concerned about the safety of their own hometown’s water supply, the Saint Leo University Polling Institute found. Read more at

Florida Just Flushed Its “Toilet” Lake Onto Its Beaches 2-23-16

Just in time for tourist season, both of Florida’s coasts are being flooded by dark, polluted water that’s killing ocean creatures and turning away would-be swimmers, fishermen, and other visitors. Last month was South Florida’s wettest January since 1932. Because of the heavy rain, the water levels in Lake Okeechobee in central Florida rose to about a foot above what’s normal for this season …Full article

Scientists now link massive starfish die-off, warming ocean 2-21-16

Scientists studying what is killing starfish from Alaska to Mexico are beginning to put some of the pieces of the puzzle together. They’ve linked warmer ocean temperatures to the devastation of the wasting disease. It was the starfish arms walking off on their own that alerted biologist Steven Fradkin that something was terribly wrong at Starfish Point at Olympic National Park …Full article

January Was Record Warm, and That’s Bad News For Marine Life 2-18-16

Ocean temperatures are soaring — and that is bad news for many forms of marine life, including rock lobsters, according to two new studies from Cornell. Indeed, one of studies warns that the same warming-driven disease that was “a contributing factor to lobster fishery collapse in southern New England,” may soon threaten Maine since coastal waters are warming rapidly …Full article


Agriculture is Big Threat to Water Quality These Farmers Are Doing Something About It 12-27-15

Agriculture, with its fertilizers, has emerged as the biggest threat to water quality in many parts of the U.S. Some farmers are trying new conservation strategies …Full article

Farms Near Lake Erie Get Millions 11-30-15

Waste-producing operations receive funds despite algae fears …Full article

7 Important Ocean Trends, and What We Can Do About Them 6-8-15

More than 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered in water. About 97% of it exists in our oceans. But the oceans aren’t just full of aquatic creatures and colorful coral that comprise the perfect snorkel scenery. Major problems lurk on top of, and especially beneath the surface – problems that need our attention. That’s why we need World Oceans Day …Full article

Ocean Assets Valued at $24 Trillion but Dwindling Fast 4-22-15

A new report highlights the economic value of Earth’s marine environments According to a new WWF report Reviving the Ocean Economy: the case for action—2015, the goods and services from coastal and marine environments amount to about $2.5 trillion each year. That makes the ocean the 7th largest economy in the world in terms of Gross Domestic Product …Full article

Chesapeake Bay Recovering But Still Under Stress 2-3-15

Report Finds (Reuters) the ailing Chesapeake Bay is slowly recovering from pollution and overfishing but still has problems that include a drop by half in a key segment of the blue crab population, a report on the largest U.S. estuary said. The health snapshot from the Chesapeake Bay Program said the 64,000-square-mile watershed covering 6 states and the District of Columbia was threatened by rising sea levels, warmer water and urban development …Full article

Something Terrible is About to Happen to the Ocean’s Coral 1-28-15

Coral reefs provide habitat to 25% of sea-dwelling fish species. Coral scientist C. Mark Eakin, coordinator for the Coral Reef Watch program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has been sounding a warning since last year that the globe’s corals appear to be on the verge of a mass-scale bleaching event. Bleaching happens when corals lose contact with an algae that feeds them nutrients. When water warms above normal levels, corals tend to expel their algae lifeline and in doing so, lose their brilliant colors-hence the term “bleaching.” During the last mass bleaching event, we lost almost a fifth of the world’s coral reefs …Full article

New Video from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Shows Perennial Sea Ice is Melting 1-21-15

Perennial sea ice stays frozen year round but is melting at a steady rate since 1979. the chart below show the decline using measurements taken every September, when the ice reaches its minimum for the year.

Ice is relective and helps beam much of the sun’s energy back into space. The darker ocean aborbs the heat and this contributes to the warming of the world’s oceans …more


2014 State of the Nation’s River Report: River Friendly Growth

Potomac Conservancy’s 2014 State of the Nation’s River report calls for urgent action to preserve local water quality in the face of rapid urbanization and deforestation. The report draws attention to several threats facing the Potomac including:

  • Loss of Healthy Forests in the rural parts of the region
    • Sprawl in growing suburban communities
    • Aging sewer infrastructure in the urban area Full article and reportGroundbreaking Maps Detail Acidity of the Earth’s Oceans 11-11-14

A team of scientists at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the University of Colorado at Boulder have published a groundbreaking set of maps that offer a comprehensive picture of the acidity of the Earth’s oceans as they absorb climate change-causing cargon emissions, causing changes to marine ecosystems …Full article and maps

Groundbreaking Maps Detail Acidity of the Earth’s Oceans 11-1-14

A team of scientists at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the University of Colorado at Boulder have published a groundbreaking set of maps that offer a comprehensive picture of the acidity of the Earth’s oceans as they absorb climate change-causing cargon emissions, causing changes to marine ecosystems …Full article and maps

July Ocean Temperature Hits Record High—Again 8-18-14

As Jellyfish Come in Waves Off Maine Coast, Questions Follow 7-16-14