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On top of everything else, global warming could actually make the oceans louder. Seriously.

The world’s marine animals are up against some big challenges, including everything from climate change and ocean acidification to pollution and overfishing. And in the past several decades, conservationists have grown increasingly concerned about another threat, one that’s both pervasive and invisible in the water: the danger of sound.

Scientists and activists alike have pointed to a growing body of research suggesting that many marine animals rely on sound for communication, navigation and awareness of their surroundings — and that the noises generated by human activities, such as shipping, industrial work and military exercises, may be more disruptive to their natural habitats than we ever thought.

Now, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)  is helping to address these concerns with a new “strategy roadmap” — the first of its kind — for researching and managing ocean noise and its impact on marine life. The agency released the strategy in draft form last week and will leave it open for public comments through July.

Source: This is the Obama administration’s new plan to stop devastating ocean noise pollution – The Washington Post

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Source: Ocean News & Technology

There’s been huge interest and controversy over how much of the sea we really need to protect in order to safeguard life there and the benefits it provides to humanity. The science says we should raise our ambitions and protect something of the range of 30 to 40 percent of the oceans from exploitation and harm.

This is well above the United Nations target of 10 percent protection by 2020, set under the Convention on Biological Diversity. But it is consistent with the recommendation of at least 30 percent protection made by the World Parks Congress in 2014. Currently, approximately 6 percent of the global ocean has been set aside as marine protected areas (MPA) or is earmarked for future protection, according to the MPAtlas.

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Sometimes in research you have a finding that’s bigger than you or your lab can tackle. If we can answer these questions, we will understand the whole relationship of microbiology in the oceans better and be able to treat this layer of life in the upper ocean like a layer of skin. We’ll know when it’s healthy, when it’s not, and how it functions. Understanding how our planet works at those fundamental levels is critically important.

Source: Major Source of Methanol in the Ocean Identified

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Climate-related changes are affecting the nation’s valuable living marine resources and the people, businesses and communities that depend on them. From warming oceans and rising seas, to droughts and ocean acidification, these impacts are expected to increase with continued changes in the planet’s climate system.

Marine and coastal fisheries generate approximately $200 billion in sales and support 1.7 million jobs in the U.S. each year. Coastal habitats help defend coastal communities from storms and inundation, and provide the foundation for tourism and recreation-based economies in many coastal communities.

Source: NMFS Climate Science Strategy

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From Prozac to caffeine to cholesterol medicine, from ibuprofen to bug spray, researchers found an alphabet soup of drugs and other personal-care products in sewage-treatment wastewater and in the tissue of juvenile chinook in Puget Sound.

Source: Cocaine, Prozac, other drugs found in Puget Sound salmon from tainted wastewater | The Seattle Times

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NOEP_National_Report_2016

New data on the economic health of the ocean and coastal economies suggest that future growth will largely take place in the narrow band of coastal lands threatened by climate change and sea level rise. The forecast is contained in the latest report from the National Ocean Economic Program (NOEP), a unit of the Center for the Blue Economy (CBE) at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, CA.

Source: Center for the Blue Economy – 2016 NOEP Report