Starving Sea Lion Pups and Liquified Starfish — How We’ve Turned the Eastern Pacific into A Death Trap for Marine Species

As of late January, the news reports were coming in hot and heavy. Baby sea lions were dying in droves. More than 15,000 of the pups were already lost due to starvation. And with each passing week, more than 100 of the emaciated, beleaguered, hopeless animals were washing up on California shores.

The pups staggered across beaches, wandered into vacant lots, or tottered, disoriented, along roadways. Refugees all to some unspeakable disaster. Orphans lost or abandoned by parents unable to provide them with even the most basic of sustenance. Source:

GR:  Warming ocean with falling oxygen level may explain this growing disaster.  Maps in evidence are included.  The author points to a more deadly situation that could arise if atmospheric CO2 levels continue to climb to and beyond 800ppm. Then it’s silo (bunker) time folks.

Something really, really terrible is about to happen to our coral

The last time this happened, we lost almost a fifth of world reefs.

“Coral reefs cover just 0.1 percent of the ocean floor, but provide habitat to 25 percent of sea-dwelling fish species. That’s why coral scientist C. Mark Eakin, who coordinates the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Coral Reef Watch program, is surprised that the warning he has been sounding since last year (PDF)—that the globe’s reefs appear to be on the verge of a mass-scale bleaching event—hasn’t drawn more media attention.

“Bleaching happens when coral loses contact with zooxanthellae, an algae that essentially feeds them nutrients in symbiotic exchange for a stable habitat. The coral/zooxanthellae relationship thrives within a pretty tight range of ocean temperatures, and when water warms above normal levels, coral tends to expel its algal lifeline. In doing so, coral not only loses the brilliant colors zooxanthellae deliver—hence, “bleaching”—but also its main source of food. A bleached coral reef rapidly begins to decline. Coral can reunite with healthy zooxanthellae and recover, Eakin says, but even then they often become diseased and may die. That’s rotten news, because bleaching outbreaks are increasingly common.”  Source:

Feds launch ocean biodiversity monitoring network

GR: We should be monitoring the species that define biodiversity in all habitats. It seems foolish for our government to ignore the drastic declines being reported for most animal groups. You can help identify and understand the nature and causes of the declines. Join one of the Citizen Naturalist projects ( Learn more about the issues by following the Nature Conservation News (

Summit County Citizens Voice

A pelican perch along the coast in Englewood, Florida. A pelican perches along the coast in Englewood, Florida.

Florida, California and Alaska sites will host pilot phase of research effort

Staff Report

FRISCO — Federal agencies are launching an ambitious $17 million pilot project to monitor ocean biodiversity, recognizing that fragile coastal and marine ecosystems face increasing threats, including climate change.

“To mitigate and adapt to such threats, we need a fuller, more integrated, picture of how the biodiversity within these ecosystems may be changing, especially since marine biodiversity is a key indicator of ocean health and critical to sustaining natural resources such as fisheries,” the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in a press release.

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No More ‘Hiatus’ — Human Emission to Completely Overwhelm Nature by 2030

“Keep burning fossil fuels at current rates and you can kiss nature’s influence over temperature good-bye. That’s the conclusion of two recent scientific studies.”


GR:  The current global-warming slowdown is predicted to end by 2030 as ocean-stored heat begins to escape.

Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone Now the Size of Connecticut


“We Need To Move Away From allowing these private oil companies to continue the Drilling In OUR Oceans (I assume Everyone Gets that our Gulf’s and Sea’s are part of what our the “Oceans” BTW).

“The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is mostly to blame for the dead zone’s growing size in the Gulf. Scientists now say that the dead zone is the size of Connecticut – a startling 5,052 square miles. The dead zone started forming, though, in our own backyards.

“How do we contribute to the dead zone? Phosphorous and nitrogen fertilizers, pesticides, and other chemicals that we use to encourage plant growth wash into rivers and streams. Streams and rivers drain into the Mississippi River, and then flow into the Gulf of Mexico. The freshwater of the Mississippi then floats on top of the sea-water, keeping oxygen from the atmosphere from getting into the deeper sea waters.”


GR:  Cleaning up environmental disasters such as this is the responsibility of the companies involved.  Why don’t businesses feel any responsibility for harm caused by their actions?  How did we ever let the companies take control of our government to the extent that the two collude to destroy our environment?

Red tide bloom moves in on Florida

“A monstrous red tide bloom, the largest seen in Florida since 2006 is advancing on the state’s beaches. It has already killed thousands of fish in the Gulf of Mexico, and officials are now concerned about health risks if it washes ashore.”  Source:

GR:  August 11 (latest update:  August 9, map)  According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, “Satellite images from the Optical Oceanography Laboratory at the University of South Florida show a patchy bloom up to 60 miles wide and 90 miles long, at least 20 miles offshore between Dixie and northern Pinellas counties in northwest and southwest Florida. This bloom has caused an ongoing fish kill.  FWC’s Fish Kill Hotline has received reports of thousands of dead and moribund benthic reef fish including various snapper and grouper species, hogfish, grunts, crabs, flounder, bull sharks, lionfish, baitfish, eel, sea snakes, tomtates, lizardfish, filefish, octopus, and triggerfish. Water discoloration and respiratory irritation have been reported offshore in the bloom patch. Forecasts by the Collaboration for Prediction of Red Tides show little movement of the surface bloom and slow east/southeast movement of bottom waters, which should keep the bloom offshore within the next few days.”

GR:  Red tides have occurred in the Gulf of Mexico for at least 400 years.  There is evidence that they have become larger and more frequent over the past 50 years (Wikipedia).

Algae has now (August 11) fully covered the smallest of my three ponds.  Previous blooms killed all the fish, this one will have to be content with the smaller organisms.  The larger ponds are threatened, but the abundant waterlilies on those ponds are holding on for now.  By occupying the surface of the ponds the lilies physically block the algae. The excess nitrates that enrich the pond water and promote excess algae growth come from the farm just upstream of my place.  Or perhaps there is a huge bat guano deposit on the floodplain of the river, or perhaps prehistoric settlers polluted the area, or maybe it was just the Martians dropping flying saucer wastes.

White House OKs Underwater Seismic Surveying

By Karen Garcia, Sardonicky

Photo by Hannes Grobe (talk)

Photo by Hannes Grobe (talk)

“This is the propaganda that lulls the public into thinking that a meaningless balanced approach which juggles the rights of polluters to profit and the rights of helpless animals to live is tantamount to ethical policy.

“And here’s the part where the oil cartel hilariously pretends to be very, very miffed at the government’s outrageous strong-arm “humanitarian” tactics:

“The American Petroleum Institute, the National Ocean Industries Association and other groups were unable to persuade the Interior Department to scale back proposed time-outs to watch for animals before starting testing and requirements that companies shut down activities when dolphins and other animals are nearby.”


GR:  Harsh? I don’t think so.  This administration seems to hold no love for animals or the Earth environment.  As Karen Garcia points out, it isn’t really negotiating when the argument is over profits vs. life.  It’s pseudo negotiating intended to convince the masses that our leaders are being fair and balanced.

The King’s Decree of 7-28-14, “Regarding the United States Navy and the destruction of Hawai’i’s marine environment”

This letter (decree/edict) was written by Ali’i Nui Mō`ī Edmund K. Silva, Jr. Selected highlights are below (bolding is the King’s).

“…the U.S. government has no spiritual or ancestral ties to these islands, as myself and my people do, they have raped and pillaged these lands and our oceans with absolutely no regard for the effect such heinous actions will have on our future generations. This abhorrent behavior will no longer be tolerated, as the Kingdom cares deeply for the land, the oceans, and all walks of life, both human and animal, which inhabit this archipelago.

“The governments of the world continue to operate within 2nd and 3rd dimensional thinking, and continue to destroy our world with stupid conflicts created by man… It is difficult to find words to adequately characterize the the behavior of the United States foreign military forces now using Hawaiian waters for their war games, with little to no regard for the destruction such behavior is causing to our delicate ecosystem and marine life. A dead whale washing up on the beach, turtles with their legs blown off, and coral reefs reduced to rubble, – the horror continues.

“We have known about the effects of high energy sonar on Whales and other marine life for years. It was fifteen years ago that whale watch boat captains and shore observers documented that the Whales had fled from the U.S. Navy low frequency sonar testing area off the Island of Hawai’i. The Navy has been killing or injuring Whales and other marine life for decades while issuing one denial after another.

“These are not respectful people. They have no respect for the creatures living in the ocean. They have no respect for the future of the oceans. They have no respect for life. They only worship their imperial goals and the death that accompanies pursuit of those goals.

As Sovereign of this Nation, I therefore issue the following edict: ‘RIMPAC 2014 is the last time foreign armies will be allowed to abuse the Hawaiian environment.

“Of particular concern is the use of high-powered sonar at low, middle, and high frequencies. The history of such sonars killing or harming marine life, especially Whales, is sufficient to conclude they cannot be used safely…. Such sonars are now banned from all Hawaiian waters.

Therefore, in conclusion, I am not directing but ordering you to cease and desist in your war games, for it is my kuleana and sacred duty to protect this Sovereign Nation and all its resources. The ocean is our source of life and your activities are not welcomed. The Kingdom of Hawai’i is a non-aligned nation and has no use for your Military campaigns and war games. You are to cease and desist in your activities immediately.

“I am sending this letter to Governor Abercrombie and the Trustees of OHA because they have failed miserably in their duties to protect the Hawaiian ‘aina from the destructive actions of the occupying nation.”


The NOAA Ocean Acidification Program

Too much acid in the ocean is bad news for sea life. Acid eats away at calcium carbonate, the primary ingredient of shells and skeletons that many ocean animals depend on for survival. The shell pictured here is a victim of this process.

“Since the sToo much acid in the ocean is bad news for sea life. The shell pictured here is a victim of this processtart of the industrial revolution, the ocean has silently absorbed roughly 30% of the carbon dioxide that people generate through industry and agriculture.  Now ocean chemistry of the seawater is rapidly changing in a process known as ocean acidification. These changes in seawater chemistry affect animal growth, survival and behavior, and they are depleting the ocean of calcium carbonate, a nutrient vital for shellfish to build shells. Marine organisms with calcium carbonate shells or skeletons – such as corals, oysters, clams, and mussels – can be affected by small changes in acidity. That’s important, because shelled organisms are essential throughout the marine food chain. They are also vital to our economy, as shellfish hatcheries on the brink of collapse just a few years ago, struggle to adapt.

“The U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System, or IOOS, is helping mitigate economic impacts with real-time data that signal the approach of acidified seawater one to two days before it arrives.  An early warning helps hatchery managers take action – such as shutting off intake valves or treating the water – to save crops.

“Ocean acidification has the potential to fundamentally change the ocean, its habitats, food webs and marine life. The implications of this sea change to our environment and our economy are endless, and the current rate of change of ocean acidification is faster than any time on record.  We need to better understand what is happening so we can develop tools to help slow the rate of change.  Efforts like IOOS and NOAA’s Ocean Acidification Program will help our nation begin to understand how to address this problem on a global scale and help reverse it.”


World’s Oceans Face “Irreparable Damage”

Rashid Sumaila: Global Ocean Commission gives world leaders a five-year window for intervention before overfishing and climate change negatively impact the world’s food supply, clean air, and climate stability.


GR:  Giving world leaders a five-year window to save the oceans is like giving a falling rock five seconds to stop falling.  It appears that our world leaders serve as minions of world commerce.  Saving the oceans would take an immediate threat to profits or the appearance of sapience.  Both are unlikely.