Our Blue Planet

Over 70% of the world’s surface is covered by water.  From this water comes life, made possible by a complex network of animals and plants - all playing a role in maintaining balance.  From the great white shark to plankton, they all have a role to play.

Oceans and the life contained therein is under attack from us.  We are stripping fish from the seas - and using oceans as our global trash heap.  We are basically trying to kill our oceans - and doing it quickly!  We are overfishing the seas with factory ships and indiscriminate fishing practices. We pour pollutants from our factories, farms and storm drains that literally decimate wildlife in the affected areas.  Our plastics have ended up washing into the ocean, taking a journey to the world’s biggest trash heap, the Pacific Gyre. Global climate change threatens to melt our polar ice caps changing life on this world as we know it today.

It’s a growing mess - and something needs to be done about it if we are going to hand over healthy oceans to the future citizens of earth. This area of VoiceYourself is devoted to illustrating some of the issues - and focusing on the people making a positive difference.

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In The News

Message in a Bottle

Source: http://www.sierraclub.org

Seabirds are starving with bellies full of trash. Fur seals in New Zealand poop shards of yellow and blue. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is twice the size of Texas. Now the bad news: Plastic never goes away, and scientists are finding that it absorbs toxins with spongelike efficiency. The fix? Cut it off at the source. Read the article by David Ferris.

Video on TED: Capt. Charles Moore on the seas of plastic

Capt. Charles Moore of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation first discovered the Great Pacific Garbage Patch -- an endless floating waste of plastic trash. Now he's drawing attention to the growing, choking problem of plastic debris in our seas. Click here to watch the presentation.

Project Kaisei consists of a team of innovators, scientists, environmentalists, ocean lovers, sailors, and sports enthusiasts who have come together with a common purpose. To study the North Pacific Gyre and the marine debris that has collected in this oceanic region, to determine how to capture the debris and to study the possible retrieval and processing techniques that could be potentially employed to detoxify and recycle these materials into diesel fuel. Click here to read more...

Rising ocean acidity

Source: http://www.usatoday.com

Seabirds are starving with bellies full of trash. Fur seals in New Zealand poop shards of yellow and blue. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is twice the size of Texas. Now the bad news: Plastic never goes away, and scientists are finding that it absorbs toxins with spongelike efficiency. The fix? Cut it off at the source. Read the article by Doyle Rice.

By Romeo Gacad, AFP/Getty Images

ACID TEST: Protecting Our Oceans' Economic Vitality from Global Warming

Source: http://nrdc.org

Here is how you can help:

Click Here to Tell Your Lawmakers to Pass a Strong Climate Bill: This fall, the Senate will be considering a clean energy bill that will reduce the global warming pollution falling into our oceans.

Click Here to Tell Your Lawmakers to Pass a National Healthy Oceans Act: This bill would be like a Clean Air Act for our oceans--a comprehensive approach to sustaining our marine resources.

Click Here to Learn More By Watching ACID TEST: You can find local show times and more information.

Corals In A Warming World

Source: http://www.npr.org

Coral reefs are the rain forests of the oceans, teeming with diverse and postcard-perfect fish, towering sponges and multicolored coral. And like rain forests, they are in jeopardy.

Global warming is a long-term threat to the world's coral reefs. And this summer, the risk to Caribbean corals could be acute. Federal scientists warn that the seas could be unusually warm. And warm water can be deadly for corals. Read the article by Richard Harris.

Mark Vermeij

ProFile/ A Man On A Mission

This is a story about filmmaker Rob Stewart’s crusade to save the world’s sharks from their greatest enemy, ourselves.  Countless books, films and sensationalized headlines have made the mere idea of “shark” synonymous with images of vicious attacks by indiscriminate killing machines. The truth is that sharks have much more to fear from us, says Rob, who has spent years and hundreds of hours of videotape, trying to prove just that to a skeptical public.  Read more...

FunFile/ Darrell Wong Photo Album

With no formal training in the arts or photography he set out to shoot his friends surfing… just for the fun of it. Several years later during the late 70's, his career took off as one of the premier photographers in the sport.  Take a trip down memory lane and enjoy images from one of the sport’s legends.  Click here to see the photographs...

Exploring Oceans: Video Overview

The ocean produces 70 percent of the Earth's oxygen and drives our weather and the chemistry of the planet. Most of the creatures on Earth live in the sea. But our knowledge of the ocean is far outstripped by our impact on it. Watch now...

Come explore the ocean with us and find out how you can help.

View now...

"Ocean of Truth"

"Blue Ocean"

HD video from the Maldives, Alaska, California, Cocos Island Costa Rica, and Mexico. View now...

Check out the legendary photographer’s images of waterSun_Star_on_VoiceYourself.html

H2O Photo Albums

Rob Stewart’s exploring of sharks began as an adventure. What it turned into was a dangerous journey into the balance of life on earth. Driven by passion, Stewart debunks stereotypes and media depictions of sharks as bloodthirsty monsters and reveals the reality of sharks as pillars in the evolution of the seas. Sharkwater takes you into the most shark rich waters of the world, exposing the exploitation and corruption surrounding the world's shark populations in the reserves of Cocos Island, Costa Rica and the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. Watch the video about how the film was made.

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US Fishing More Sustainable

Source: http://www.care2.com

Responding in part to the strength of a wildly popular Care2 petition, the US government’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association implemented restrictions to commercial and recreational fishing throughout the US, setting fishing limits for every species of fish it oversees. Read the article from Care2.