Blog Archives

Creatures of the Deep

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Monsters? Spaceships? Aliens? No, these are Creatures of the Deep! These strange, odd and fascinating animals live in the waters off our shores, in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and beyond. We speak with Dr. George Matsumoto, Senior Education and

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Get Into Your Sanctuary!

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Kayaking! Diving! Surfing! Wildlife watching! June is the month to explore your national marine sanctuary. Make a splash in the four off California: Greater Farallones, Cordell Bank, Monterey Bay and Channel Islands national marine sanctuaries. Bill Douros, West Coast Regional

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Endangered White Abalone

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White abalone is on the brink of extinction — but what does breeding have to do with it? Our guest is Kristin Aquilino, Manager, White Abalone Captive Breeding Program, UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory. She introduces us to the unique

Posted in Marine Animals, Marine Life Decline Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Vaquita: On the Verge of Extinction

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The enchanting, small Vaquita porpoise is the most endangered marine marine mammal in the world, and the call is out to halt its threatened extinction. We talk with Dr. Barbara Taylor, NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center, who gives us insight

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California Sea Otters

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Everyone loves sea otters — they’re entertaining, interesting, and just so darned cute! But there’s a lot we might not know about these marine animals who populate our coastal areas. Sea otters are an “indicator species” for environmental health, and

Posted in Marine Animals, Marine Life Decline Tagged with: , ,

Sharks in Peril!

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Sharks: exciting, mysterious and dramatic. Although often misunderstood, sharks are a vital part of the ocean’s ecosystem and are in need of protection. We spoke with Ania Budziak, Associate Director for Programs at Project AWARE, who tells us how scuba

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Big Blue LIVE

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The magnificent marine life of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary — gigantic whales, leaping dolphins, soaring seabirds, lively sea lions and playful sea otters — will be the stars of Big Blue LIVE, presented this month by BBC and PBS.

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Every Week is #SharkWeek! With Jean-Michel Cousteau

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It’s #SharkWeek!, when more people watch, share and talk about shark stories than any other time of the year. Some tales are thrilling, some are scary, and some are intentionally silly. (We’re looking at you, #Sharknado!) But sharks play an

Posted in Marine Animals, Marine Life Decline, Ways to Help the Ocean Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Exploring Sea Caves in the “Galapagos of the North”

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Happy World Ocean Day! What better time to celebrate the ocean world right off our shores? Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and National Park are called the “Galapagos of the North” for the untamed beauty, variety of wildlife and unique

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Sea Star Wasting Syndrome UPDATE!

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We have the newest information! Why are sea stars growing sores, losing their arms, and dying within a few days? Over the last couple of years, sea stars along much of the Pacific coast of North America have been experiencing

Posted in Marine Animals, Marine Life Decline, Marine Protected Areas Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Two California National Marine Sanctuaries Doubled in Size!

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NOAA recently announced an exciting milestone: Cordell Bank and Gulf of the Farallones national marine sanctuaries have been expanded to protect more of what is called the “Blue Serengeti” off the California Coast. The sanctuaries are destination feeding areas for

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Whale Rescue!

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How do you help a whale entangled in marine debris? It’s not a job for amateurs, and those who respond are highly-trained to handle a dangerous, tricky operation. We talk with Justin Viezbicke, NOAA Fisheries California Stranding Network coordinator, who

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What’s Happening to California Sea Lions?

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Stranded, starving and sickly sea lion pups are showing up by the hundreds on California beaches, miles from their mothers who would normally be nursing their young. The situation is reaching crisis proportions, and keeping a valiant team of experts

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Jean-Michel Cousteau: Orcas

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“The ruler of the ocean,” orcas are one of the ocean’s most fascinating inhabitants. Found along California’s coast and within national marine sanctuaries, the largest species of the dolphin family is often called “killer whale.” We talk with Jean-Michel Cousteau,

Posted in Marine Animals Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Elephant Seals: Back from the Brink

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Hunted nearly to extinction in the 1800’s, California’s elephant seals have made a remarkable comeback and are now protected by the U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act. One of the largest mainland breeding colonies in the world for the northern elephant

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Ocean and Coastal Photo Contest Winners

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The power of a breaching whale, the luminous mystery of Morro Bay at sunrise, the quiet drama of a surfing memorial and a startling seafloor surprise—all are captured by photographers in the 16th Annual Ocean and Coastal Amateur Photography Contest.

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Whale Alert App!

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Slow-moving whales are vulnerable to ship strikes since feeding and migration areas overlap with shipping lanes. The public and mariners on the West Coast now can use an app to help decrease the risk of injury or death to whales

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Slowing Ships for Cleaner Air, Safer Whales

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Can reducing ship speeds in the Santa Barbara Channel reduce ship/whale collisions while improving air quality? A new trial program in the Santa Barbara Channel gives cargo ships incentives to slow down to reduce air pollution and increase protection of

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Pacific Leatherback Sea Turtles

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What reptile outlived the dinosaurs, is the largest of its kind on earth, can dive to a depth of half a mile, and migrates more than 6,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean? The answer is the Pacific leatherback sea turtle

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Channel Islands Bald Eagle Restoration

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Bald eagles once nested and lived among all of California’s Channel Islands. However, by the early 1960s, bald eagles disappeared from the Channel Islands due to human impacts, including the introduction of DDT. We talk with Annie Little, Montrose Settlements

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California's Whale Trail

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Did you know that more people whale watch from shore than from a boat? But how do you find the best location, and how do you know what you’re looking for? California’s coast offers some of the best whale watching

Posted in Marine Animals, National Marine Sanctuaries

Sea Star Wasting Syndrome

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Why are sea stars growing sores, losing their arms, and dying within a few days? Sea stars along much of the Pacific coast of North America are experiencing a mass mortality event called sea star wasting syndrome. We talk to

Posted in Marine Animals, Marine Life Decline, Marine Protected Areas

Reducing the Threat of Ship Strikes to Whales

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Ships and whales–we need both! We talk with Michael Carver, Deputy Superintendent of Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary, to learn about West Coast ship strikes to whales and what national marine sanctuaries are doing to help solve this problem. Find

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SHARKS! With Jean-Michel Cousteau

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It’s Shark Week and we want you to know that sharks play an important part in the ocean’s overall health. Sharks are thrilling and mysterious, yet are threatened by human actions and need to be protected, rather than feared. Join

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Pacific Marine Mammal Center

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Stranded sea lions and dramatic rescue operations have been in the news more than ever in California. Pacific Marine Mammal Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of marine mammals stranded along the Orange County

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West Coast Ship Strikes

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The U. S. West Coast is a critical feeding destination for endangered whales. It’s also home to busy ports and essential shipping lanes. Where whales and ships overlap, there is an increased risk of ship strikes that can cause serious

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Life's A Beach!

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We’re celebrating our 100th Thank You Ocean Report podcast in style–beach style! It’s summer, and more people enjoy the beaches than any other time. California’s beaches offer a variety of experiences, from quiet coves to broad expanse of sand to

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California Coast: Whale World! (Part II)

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It’s a spectacular year for whale sightings off the California Coast, with blue whales and humpbacks in abundance. Why are they here in such large numbers, and how can we best experience them? We continue our discussion with Mary Jane

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California Coast: Whale World! (Part I)

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One of the best shows of summer can be found right off the California coast with an abundance of whales visiting our shores. Mary Jane Schramm is co-author of the book “West Coast Whale Watching” and is media and public

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Help Give Sharks a Fighting Chance – Winner of the Thank You Ocean Favorite Podcast Contest!

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In celebration of our upcoming 100th Thank You Ocean Report podcast, we launched a contest that let our supporters and fans select their favorite podcast. The winner: sharks! The Project AWARE Foundation is a non-profit conservation organization working with divers

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Wallace "J" Nichols: Sea Turtles and Citizen Science

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Sea turtles are fascinating iconic symbols of the ocean. All species of sea turtles are threatened or endangered, and they connect us with many of the environmental challenges facing the ocean. We talk with Wallace “J” Nichols, research associate at

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Enjoy-But Do Not Disturb-Coastal Wildlife

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While we enjoy observing coastal wildlife, it’s important to avoid disturbing them. Our guest Mary Jane Schramm, Media and Public Outreach Specialist with the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, says failing to be respectful and cautious when encountering

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New California Law Protects Sharks Against Brutal Finning

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Shark finning is a practice of cutting the fins off of living sharks and dumping them back in the ocean to die. The fins are then dried and consumed in costly shark fin soup. California’s historic Shark Protection Act, banning

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Seal and Sea Lion Recovery

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There has been a dramatic recovery in seal and sea lion populations around the north Pacific where the animals have found protected places to recover, such as the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. Anthropologist Todd J. Braje, Ph.D., Assistant

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Tide Pool Treasures

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California’s rocky intertidal shores are dotted with tide pools. Filled with water at high tide and exposed to air at low tide, tide pools are home to a variety of sea life. Pat Krug, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at

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The Ocean, Sea Slugs and Medicine

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Did you know that the ocean is a source of medicine for a variety of diseases? Pat Krug, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at California State University-Los Angeles, has devoted 20 years of his life studying one kind of herbivorous

Posted in Marine Animals, Ocean Facts Tagged with: ,

California’s Most Dangerous Catch

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Larry Collins, President of the Crab Boat Owners Association, talks about this year’s crab season and of the challenges crab fishermen are facing. (Photo courtesy of Valerie Termini) For more information, visit: Crab Boat Owners Association Larry Collins Bio and

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In the Wake of Giants

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This story is about the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary and an extraordinary film about the people who rescue whales from fishing line entanglement. For more information, visit: Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Akua Films

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Help Give Sharks A Fighting Chance

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The Project AWARE Foundation is a non-profit conservation organization working with divers around the world to conserve underwater environments. On this report, Director Jenny Miller Garmendia talks about one of their projects that is aimed at protecting sharks. For more

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Decommissioning Oil and Gas Rigs

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Skyli McAfee, Executive Director of the California Ocean Science Trust, offers a perspective on decommissioning oil and gas rigs that sit off the coast of California. (Photo credit: Platform Irene, North of Point Arguello: Linda Snook) For more information, visit:

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Pacific Marine Mammals

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The warmer waters of an El Nino can cause fish to move to colder waters removing the food that sea lions need to survive. This report focuses on the impact of an El Nino on marine mammals. Kelli Lewis, Education

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Protecting Great White Sharks

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Great white sharks are an important part of the ecosystems off California’s coast. Media and Public Outreach Specialist for the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary Mary Jane Schramm discusses new regulations to protect great white sharks in this

Posted in Marine Animals

Marine Mammal Center

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The Marine Mammal Center recognizes human interdependence with marine mammals and their importance as sentinels of the ocean environment, the health of which is essential for all life. Learn more about this unique hospital for marine mammals that cares for

Posted in Marine Animals, Ocean Health

Thank You Ocean Report: A Retrospective

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This report covers some of the big issues that we’ve covered on the Thank You Ocean Report over the past year. If you have topics that you would like us to report on, send them to info@thankyouocean.org. We’d love to

Posted in Marine Animals, Ocean Facts, Ways to Help the Ocean

Killer Whales

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On this Thank You Ocean Report, our guest Jean-Michel Cousteau of Ocean Adventures talks about killer whales, the most complex marine species on the planet and our counterparts in the sea. On April 22, 2009 PBS will be airing “Call

Posted in Marine Animals

TOPP – Tagging Of Pacific Predators

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Scientists are now able to look beneath the surface of the ocean with the latest electronic tagging technology. Learn more about TOPP from Shana Miller, Policy Coordinator for the Tag-A-Giant Foundation. (Photo of tagged Laysan albatross; (c)Michelle Kappes, courtesy of

Posted in Marine Animals, Ocean Facts

Red Abalone

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Here’s a status report about the red abalone, large marine mollusks living along the California coast, from Ian Taniguchi, a biologist with the California Department of Fish and Game. (Photo courtesy of John Ugoretz, California Dept. of Fish and Game)

Posted in Marine Animals

California Sea Otters

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Congressman Sam Farr discusses legislation that he has introduced concerning sea otters (H.R. 3639, the “Sea Otter Research and Recovery Act”). He explains why sea otters are a keystone species in the ocean and what this bill intends to accomplish.

Posted in Marine Animals

Sharks at the Farallon Islands

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The Farallon Islands off the coast of San Francisco are a haven for seals, seal lions, seabirds and sharks. Mary Jane Schramm, Media and Public Outreach Specialist for Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, shares the natural history of the sharks

Posted in Marine Animals

Observing Wildlife Along the Coast

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Mary Jane Schramm, Media and Public Outreach Specialist for Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, suggests ways to respectfully observe the natural behaviors of harbor seals and their pups along our beaches. She also shares tips for ways to

Posted in Marine Animals