Efforts on every scale from international to local, cooperatively and individually, are increasingly responding to this stark reality by setting aside land and regions of the seas as preservation areas which are now being protected to various extents. President Obama has taken again this past week action to invest and conserve America's natural treasures. President Barack Obama commented on the 12th of February 2016 upon designation of millions of acres in three new national monuments in the California desert to bring the land and sea he has protected to 265 million acres.
According a National Science Foundation (NSF), scientific literature and fisheries management and conservation efforts have for years assumed that the survival of adult fish is relatively constant through time. They further held that most fluctuations in the numbers of adults come from variation in the number of young fish that are produced and survive to maturity. Those assumptions have been challenged by new research by the National Science Foundation's Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network.
On October 28, 2015, Tommy E. Remengesua, Jr., President of the Republic of Palau signed into law the “Palau National Marine Sanctuary Act,” creating “the sixth largest marine protected area in the world, while setting aside a zone for domestic fishing.” According to Nature Conservancy Palau supports more than 400 species of coral species and nearly 1,300 varieties of reef fish.
Scientists are studying coral reefs in areas where low pH is naturally occurring to answer questions about ocean acidification, which threatens coral reef ecosystems worldwide. A new study led by scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) found that coral reefs in Palau seem to be defying the odds, showing none of the predicted responses to low pH except for an increase in bio-erosion--the physical breakdown of coral skeletons by boring organisms such as mollusks and worms.
U.K. government establishes world’s largest fully protected marine reserve and sets a new standard for monitoring. The 834,334-square-kilometre reserve (322,138 square miles) is home to at least 1,249 species of marine mammals, seabirds and fish, the new reserve protects some of the most near-pristine ocean habitat on Earth.
Sharks are safer in the Pacific Ocean, thanks to Micronesia's establishment of the world's second-largest shark sanctuary. The protected area, equal in size to India, will help strengthen the marine ecosystem and economy.
A new NASA satellite that will peer into the topmost layer of Earth's soils to measure the hidden waters that influence our weather and climate is in final preparations for a January 29, 2015 dawn launch from California. The Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission will take the pulse of a key measure of our water planet: how freshwater cycles over Earth's land surfaces in the form of soil moisture. This data will be used to enhance scientists' understanding of the processes that link Earth's water, energy and carbon cycles.
“The rate at which the Caribbean corals have been declining is truly alarming…They are a major oceanic ecosystem, this is a tragedy that must be reversed,” says Carl Gustaf Lundin, Director of IUCN’s Global Marine and Polar Programme. But the study, Status and Trends of Caribbean Coral Reefs: 1970-2012, “brings some very encouraging news: the fate of Caribbean corals is not beyond our control and there are some very concrete steps that we can take to help them recover.”
Expanded protections near the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument in the south-central Pacific Ocean will add to the Pacific Marine Protected Areas, Marine National Monuments, designated by President George W. Bush, and the declaration of the Phoenix Islands a protected area to ensure its biological diversity and sustainability by small Pacific Island nation of Kiribati.
Going where larger, human-piloted planes cannot, a new unmanned aircraft system promises to close a key gap in knowledge for climate modelers seeking to measure and eventually predict exactly what's going on underneath Antarctic Ice Sheets.