The Blue Economy
In an Ocean Week speech on Capitol Hill in 2009, Jane Lubchenco laid out the goals: “Americans want clean beaches, healthy seafood, good jobs, abundant wildlife, stable fisheries and vibrant coastal communities … . This collection of services depends on healthy, productive and resilient ocean and coastal ecosystems.”
Changes in the Wind
Melting glaciers and crumbling ice sheets are contributing to sea-level rise across the globe, says Oregon State geologist Peter Clark.
In Japan, nearly 20,000 people died in the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. The tragic aftermath struck home in the Pacific Northwest, which faces a similar risk from the Cascadia subduction zone. But we often forget the silver lining. In Japan, there were nearly 200,000 people in the inundation zones, so 90 percent of the people effectively evacuated those areas before the tsunamis arrived.
Coral Bleaching Goes Viral
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has estimated that by the end of last year, almost 95 percent of U.S. coral reefs were exposed to ocean conditions that can cause corals to bleach.
Microbeads Pose Pollution Threat
Doing something as simple as washing your hair may raise a new threat to aquatic health. Many personal-care products have been formulated with plastic beads the size of a sand grain — known as microbeads — which add a gritty texture. Microbeads are designed to be flushed down the drain.
Many seashore dwellers face a tough question: How should they protect their property from rising seas and pounding waves? They can try to keep the surf at bay by building walls, or they can adjust to the slow but steady encroachment of the ocean.