Post your “ocean health” topical homework here:

  1. Note any important points from your book reading that connect with or inform your research topic.
  2. Post a link or citation for at least one article per week on your topic (you should have actually read it, and it will help your teammates if you add some comment as to what interested you).

Folks on other topic teams are welcome to make comments, suggest links, or anything else that would be helpful to this team.


14 Responses to “Ocean Health”

  1. ahimsa9 Says:

    The following links to an executive summary of Environmental Defense’s report “Sustaining America’s Fisheries
    and Fishing Communities.” This report details the decline of fishing stocks and the communities that are affected by them and argues that providing economic incentives is the key to resolving these problems.

    The full report can be accessed at this link:

  2. sflaniken Says:

    OOps, here is the link to the fishing derby results.

    The above link, near the bottom says this:

    Less than 2 percent of the wild salmon population of the Columbia River Basin (including parts of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and British Columbia) remains and only one individual sockeye salmon returned to the Snake River in Idaho in 1994.

    Coho salmon in the Snake River have been declared extinct by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as have 106 other salmon populations on the West Coast.”


  3. sflaniken Says:

    Monterey Bay STEP (Salmon and trout education program)

    It’s kind of interesting to look at this site… the recorded weights of the top fish catches in their annual derby have taken a dive in the past 3 or 4 years. You can particularly see it for 2007 numbers. The top 21 fishes are listed and the lowest “heavyweights” are in the teens. A year or two ago, there were many more fish caught and no fish in the “contenders” with fish weights in the teens. This is not a scientific study, but I thought it was an interesting observation… there could have been many things that kept the weights low… perhaps the number of entrants, the location of the fishing. None of those are stated, so perhaps it’s just anecdotal.

  4. sflaniken Says:

    I’ve been finding Science Daily,, a great source of info on the affects of anthropogenic runoff on the ocean environment. Here are a some of the articles:

    These relate to toxic algal blooms…
    The first speak of urea (yes, the component of urine) being a more potent fertilizer for plankton than inorganic sources found normally in the ocean.
    The next is about a test, new in 2000, that traced the death of 400 sea lions in Monterey Bay to toxic blooms.
    The third is the first study (Stanford doctoral student) tying crop fertilization and irrigation to algal blooms.

    I’m having a harder time finding easy stuff to read about local efforts to make a difference… maybe it’s just because I’m not much of a policy wonk… but there are several links to those I’m getting ready to buckle down to:

    About “California’s Model Urban Runoff Program”

    About a UC farm extension advisor who is also a surfer and is concerned about runoff-

    About California Watershed Council volunteer water quality monitoring efforts and results-

    OK, back to work! 🙂

  5. sameerabal Says:

    Oops!!! here is the correct link

  6. sameerabal Says:

    Surf foundation of Santa Cruz has this amazing website with loads of articles on different kinds of issues related to ocean health, I have pasted a link for the website below… You’ll should check it out. 😀


  7. ahimsa9 Says:

    The following link presents a 5-part series/ multimedia presentation on the decline of ocean health by the LA Times.,0,7842752.special

  8. sflaniken Says:

    Hey Look! Our author is speaking!


    Monday, March 24, 8:00 p.m.
    Herbst Theatre
    401 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco [map]
    For more information please call 415.392.4400
    $19 |

    Environmentalist and writer Bill McKibben discusses the importance of civic engagement on the issues of global warming, alternative energy and human genetic engineering in a talk presented by the California Academy of Sciences. In 2006, McKibben organized the nation’s largest-ever civic demonstrations against climate change. He also founded, a group that pressures Congress to curb carbon emissions.

  9. sflaniken Says:

    This week I’ve focused my reading and info gathering on kelp forest health. There are several articles that look like they will be of benefit, but they are on the JStor online journal at a prohibitive cost. I am planning a trip to the Cabrillo Library to see if I can get access there … if not, I’ll try the UC library system.

    One of the best resources I’ve found is the syllabus for the Fall 2007 Kelp Forest Ecology class at UCSC:
    It has links to many great studies — and they are free and accessbale at this point.

  10. sflaniken Says:

    This week in Good Times Weekly there is a list of marine conservation nonprofits from our area… It was such a great idea that someone got to it before we did! 🙂

    A few of the articles I found based on Michelle’s links, and a couple from the New York Times lead to:

    1. A movement of thinking about conservation and protection of endangered species (around since the 1970’s) based on the idea of resiliency. Thinking in this field encourages study in the wild to see where species are thriving despite ecological challenges to learn what elements protect them. One of the findings that has come out of this is that coddled species or species grown in hatcheries and released en-mass at the same time don’t have aren’t populations flexible enough to survive the challenges of the natural world. And, last but not least, farmed salmon has more toxins in its flesh than wild salmon…

    2. Another chain that follows the ocean acidity challenge I learned about last term can also be found there:

    The ocean absorbs about 1/3 of the CO2 that we create through our lifestyle. Much of that is absorbed in the cold Antarctic waters. Global warming may decrease the amount of CO2 that can be absorbed (CO2 can dissolve better in cold than warm water), leading to more CO2 in the atmosphere, and more warming, and less CO2 absorbed, etc.

    Ocean water is already 30% more acidic than it was before the industrial revolution. It is projected to rise 3 times that by 2100.

    When ocean water absorbed CO2 it becomes more acidic. Shells of many ocean animals, from planktonic animal, clams, mussels, crabs, lobsters, etc, are made of calcium carbonate which dissolves in acidic water. Since the zooplankton form the base of the ocean food web, a loss of these animals has ramifications that it would be nice to avoid. There have even been questions raised about how algae and fish larva are affected by acidity… we are, so it makes sense that they would be, too. Although there is a link to a NYT article below that speaks about CO2 affecting calcifying algae which also help with coral reef formation.

    One of the carbon offsets that has been proposed was to fertilize the ocean with iron dust. Turns out this is one of the limiting factors to plankton blooms in the ocean. The last link is to an article questioning this method. The point brought up is that this approach has many unknowns, such as:
    A. Plankton blooms are not always healthy for humans and other ocean animals;
    B. Although plankton blooms (the plant variety) use up CO2 we don’t know how long that gas is sequestered in the ocean… does it really become part of a long term ocean storage or, does the plankton die returning the CO2 to the atmosphere again? What else would be released by this that might cause more harm?
    An article from 2/14/08 in the NYT reports that Planktos, a Silicon Valley based firm selling carbon credits to business, has run out of cash and is going out of business.

    Resilience Science Is Promising Approach To Marine Conservation:

    For Salmon And Human Communities, ‘Resilience’ Emerging As Key Concept

    Wild Salmon Endangered By Failure To Contain Sea Lice From Salmon Farms

    Farmed Salmon More Toxic Than Wild Salmon, Study Finds

    Climate Change Has Major Impact On Oceans:

    More Acidic Ocean Hurts Reef Algae as Well as Corals:

    The Energy Challenge: Recruiting Plankton to Fight Global Warming

    Sending Carbon Dioxide To Sea

    Venture to Use Sea to Fight Warming Runs Out of Cash

  11. Links I’ve found regarding sustainability and oceans:

  12. sflaniken Says:

    The first chapter of Deep Economy raises the well known idea that the engine powered by cheap fossil fuel has driven the technological changes that has brought us our standard of living, as well as our environmental crisis. An article that I was introduced to last term raises the specter of ocean acidification as atmospheric Carbon Dioxide is dissolved in surface water. Life survives in a narrow range of pH values… and this article speaks of changes in the animals at the base of the food chain that may have widespread effects on the ocean. The following link to the article is to Nicole Crane’s webpage.

    Another article of interest to our group may be the article on the attempts to “domesticate” bluefin tuna in order to avoid failure of their population due to overfishing.
    ‘Bluefin Tuna, Are We Eating These Fish to Extinction?’ Richard Ellis, “Scientific American” March 2008. Volume 298 Number 3, page 70.

    Another article in the same magazine on page 32 is “Fishing Blues.” The problem of crashing fisheries, attempts at education, and the ultimate power of the marketplace are all briefly discussed.

    The last article that I read this week on ocean health was ‘Sea Greens,’ “Nature Conservancy” magazine, Spring 2008 issue, page 32. It describes an experiment that Nature Conservancy, UCSC, and a giant kelp harvesting company did to see how to best provide habitat for fish frye and invertebrates while still allowing kelp harvesting for abalone farming.

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