Upcoming Events

The impact of human-caused ocean noise pollution on fish, invertebrates, and ecosystem services

Event Date: 
Tuesday, April 30, 1 pm US EDT/10 am US PDT/5 pm UTC

Join us Tuesday, April 30, 1 pm US EDT/10 am US PDT/5 pm UTC for a webinar on The impact of human-caused ocean noise pollution on fish, invertebrates, and ecosystem services

Presented by: Lindy Weilgart of Dalhousie University and OceanCare

Most fish and invertebrates use sound for vital life functions. This presentation will summarize highlights from 115 studies showing impacts from noise on 66 species of fish and 36 species of invertebrates. These impacts include decreased growth, body condition, feeding, reproduction, abundance, immune competency, nutritional condition, catch rates, school coordination and structure, nest-caring, and territory defense. Noise caused permanently damaged ears and sensory organs, developmental delays and malformations, and increased stress, metabolism, masking, and mortality. Impacts extend beyond individual species to include communities of species and how they interact, compromising ecosystem productivity, and ecological services (sediment mixing, nutrient cycling) with commercial consequences. Conservation and management implications of these findings, and possible policy solutions, will be discussed at the end of this presentation. This work was sponsored by OceanCare.

Co-sponsors: OCTO (OpenChannels, The Skimmer, MPA News) and the EBM Tools Network (co-coordinated by OCTO and NatureServe)

China's Underwater Cultural Heritage in the South China Sea: Nanhai #1, A Window on the Maritime Silk Road

Event Date: 
Thursday, May 9, 3 pm US EDT/ noon US PDT/ 7 pm UTC

Join us on Thursday, May 9th for a webinar on China's Underwater Cultural Heritage in the South China Sea: Nanhai #1, A Window on the Maritime Silk Road presented by Hans Van Tilburg of the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.

Underwater Cultural Heritage can inform us about past events and seafaring cultures in powerful ways. China's ambitious Nanhai #1 excavation project has achieved a new milestone in the recovery of underwater cultural heritage artifacts. The discovery of a 900-year old Song dynasty merchant vessel initiated the removal of the adjacent seafloor along with the intact wreck, allowing for meticulous "in situ" excavation under environmentally controlled conditions within a specially-built lab. The wealth of porcelains and trade goods found with the vessel demonstrates the extensive and vibrant past of the Maritime Silk Road, and archaeologists are only now reaching the lower levels of the vessel’s cargo holds. The project is also relevant to today’s resource and management issues in the South China Sea. 

Co-sponsors: NOAA National MPA Center, MPA News, EBM Tools Network (co-coordinated by OCTO and NatureServe)

Current Actions of the West Coast Marine Debris Plans – a project of the West Coast Marine Debris Alliance

Event Date: 
Thursday, May 16, 1pm EDT / 10am PDT / 5pm UTC

This webinar will provide insights and information on progress made along the US West Coast as a result of the creation of Marine Debris Action Plans within the states of Washington, Oregon, and California. The webinar will provide a brief overview of the West Coast Marine Debris Alliance, along with summaries of the three action plans themselves, and will then highlight actions taken within the three states to help fulfill the goals of the action plans.

Speakers will include representatives from:

- The West Coast Marine Debris Alliance
- Three West Coast States (NOAA / California Natural Resources Agency)
- The Nature Conservancy – Washington State
- Surfrider Foundation – Oregon Chapter
- The California State University System

Actions will highlight outreach and education, cleanup and collaboration, and policy efforts undertaken as a result of the development of marine debris action plans.

This is the first of a regular series of semi-annual webinars planned to provide updates to the marine debris community along the US West Coast and to spur ideas and actions in other parts of the world.

Co-sponsors: OCTO (OpenChannels, The Skimmer, MPA News) and the EBM Tools Network (co-coordinated by OCTO and NatureServe)

Building Knowledge, Capacity, and Collaborations to Develop Indicators for Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management in Case Studies across the World

Event Date: 
Wednesday, May 22, 2019 at 7pm EDT / 4pm PDT / 11pm UTC

Join us for a webinar on Building Knowledge, Capacity, and Collaborations to Develop Indicators for Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management in Case Studies across the World. 

Presented by: Beth Fulton of CSIRO and Keith Sainsbury of the University of Tasmania

Collaborations of managers, policymakers, and scientists are currently developing useable indicators of ecosystem structure and function in four case study regions: Bering Sea – Alaska, US; Marine waters off of Southeast Australia; Marine waters off of Southwest India; and the Humboldt Current upwelling system – Chile. Funded by the Lenfest Ocean Program and CSIRO, the purpose of this project is to develop indicators along with guidelines for applying them in a variety of ecosystems and management contexts. Now two years in, Drs. Fulton and Sainsbury will share their progress on developing indicators of structure and function and building the capacity and partnerships needed in the case study regions to evaluate their use in incorporating ecosystem approaches into fisheries management.

Co-sponsors: Lenfest Ocean Program and the EBM Tools Network (co-coordinated by OCTO and NatureServe)

Finance Tools for Coral Reef Conservation: An Overview

Presented by: David Meyers of the Conservation Finance Alliance and Venkat Iyer of the UN Environment

This webinar will be offered at two different times:

Description: The Wildlife Conservation Society, in collaboration with the Conservation Finance Alliance and in support of the 50 Reefs initiative, recently released "Finance Tools for Coral Reef Conservation: A Guide" as a resource for protected area managers and others charged with managing and financing reef conservation. The report describes 13 types of finance tools which have either been proven successful at or have great potential to support reef conservation and sustainable management. Some of the finance tools to be covered in this overview webinar include various tourism-based fees, biodiversity offsets, bonds, debt swaps, and conservation trust funds. This webinar will share key findings and recommendations from the report and invite discussion from participants. This webinar is sponsored by the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI), an informal partnership which strives to preserve coral reefs and related ecosystems around the world, as part of its collaboration with the Conservation Finance Alliance for promoting innovative financing for coral reef conservation.

Co-sponsors: OCTO (OpenChannels, The Skimmer, MPA News), the EBM Tools Network (co-coordinated by OCTO and NatureServe), and the Reef Resilience Network

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Conservation targets and how much of the world do we need to protect?

Event Date: 
Thursday, July 11, 1 pm US EDT/10 am US PDT/5 pm UTC

Join us Thursday, July 11, 2019 for a webinar on Conservation targets and how much of the world do we need to protect?

Presented by: Harvey Locke of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas Beyond the Aichi Targets Task Force

What should global conservation targets be beyond 2020? The Beyond the Aichi Targets Task Force, appointed by the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas, is trying to answer this question and is developing a framework for potential use by the Convention on Biological Diversity to help implement post-2020 targets set at the next Conference of the Parties in China. The Three Global Conditions for Biodiversity Conservation Framework proposes to divide the world into three conditions: 1) heavily used areas, 2) intermediate areas, and 3) wild areas. Each of these global conditions requires different conservation and restoration strategies to restore or maintain biodiversity and ecosystem function. The Task Force is currently exploring the applicability of this framework to the world ocean. Dr. Harvey Locke, Chair of the Beyond the Aichi Targets Task Force, will present the results of a global scientific survey on area-based conservation and explore the idea of the Three Global Conditions framework.

Co-sponsors: NOAA National MPA Center, OCTO (MPA News, OpenChannels), and the EBM Tools Network (co-coordinated by OCTO and NatureServe).

Financing Coral Reef Conservation and Management with Tourism-Related Tools

Presented by: David Meyers of the Conservation Finance Alliance

This webinar will be offered at two different times:

Description: Coral reefs provide enormous economic value to humanity, and their value for recreation is one of the easiest to capture financially. This webinar will explore the range of existing and emerging tools that protected areas and site managers can use to capture funds from tourism for conservation and management. Specifically the webinar will discuss the use of: 1) entry, activity, and special use fees; 2) commercial concessions; 3) departure taxes; 4) partnerships with hotels; and 5) voluntary donations. This webinar is sponsored by the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI), an informal partnership which strives to preserve coral reefs and related ecosystems around the world, as part of its collaboration with the Conservation Finance Alliance for promoting innovative financing for coral reef conservation.

Co-sponsors: OCTO (OpenChannels, The Skimmer, MPA News), the EBM Tools Network (co-coordinated by OCTO and NatureServe), and the Reef Resilience Network

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New technologies to revolutionize sustainable fishing in the digital age: EDF’s Smart Boat Initiative

Event Date: 
Thursday, August 22, 2019 at 1 pm US EDT/10 am US PDT/5 pm UTC

Join us Thursday, August 22, 2019 at 1 pm US EDT/10 am US PDT/5 pm UTC for a webinar on New technologies to revolutionize sustainable fishing in the digital age: EDF’s Smart Boat Initiative. 

Presented by: Katie Westfall and Rod Fujita of EDF

Pioneering technologies and new platforms can turn fishing vessels into "smart boats" and redefine fishing and how we manage fisheries – leading to greater efficiency, profitability, and sustainability. This webinar will explore EDF’s vision for revolutionizing sustainable fishing in the digital age, share lessons learned from testing technologies on the water, and provide a glimpse into the Smart Boat Initiative’s next steps. The webinar will also offer a deeper dive into some of the resources and tools available to fisheries practitioners as part of the Smart Boat initiative, including new sensors, data analyses, and apps. EDF is excited to share updates and information on this exciting new initiative, and we look forward to hearing from participants about how they are using technology to solve sustainability challenges in their own fisheries.

Co-sponsors: OCTO (OpenChannels, The Skimmer, MPA News) and the EBM Tools Network (co-coordinated by OCTO and NatureServe)

Sargassum Watch System warns of incoming seaweed

Event Date: 
Tuesday, August 27, 1 pm US EST/10 am US PST/6 pm UTC

Join us Tuesday, August 27 for a webinar on Sargassum Watch System warns of incoming seaweed. 

Presented by: Chuanmin Hu of the University of South Florida

The Sargassum Watch System (SaWS) uses satellite data and numerical models to detect and track pelagic Sargassum in near-real time. Sargassum is a pelagic seaweed that floats on the ocean surface and is abundant in the Intra-Americas Sea, the Atlantic, and along the coast of Europe. In the ocean, it provides an important habitat for many marine animals. On shore, it serves as fertilizer for sand dunes and biomass for food and fuel. Excessive amounts of Sargassum on beaches in populated areas can cause problems, however. Sargassum decomposition on beaches smells bad, attracts insects, smothers turtle nesting sites, and causes fish kills, in addition to diminishing tourism. Annual Sargassum inundation events are currently occurring annually along the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean coasts. SaWS monitors Sargassum distribution and abundance in the ocean to aid the study of ocean ecology, help fisheries management, and forecast Sargassum beaching events

Co-sponsors: OCTO (OpenChannels, The Skimmer, MPA News) and the EBM Tools Network (co-coordinated by OCTO and NatureServe)