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Vibrant Environment

Mitigating Ocean Noise Impacts on Marine Mammals in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction

Underwater noise can cause injury or death to whales (Christopher Michel).
By Greta Swanson, Visiting Attorney
Monday, September 25, 2017

Humans are rapidly increasing their industrial use of the ocean and its resources, resulting in great increases in underwater noise. Commercial shipping, naval sonar, seismic exploration, pile driving, acoustic deterrents for fishing, and seabed mining all produce ocean noise.

Helping Communities Participate in the NEPA Scoping Process

The Mississippi River Delta.
By Amy Reed, Staff Attorney
Wednesday, August 23, 2017

In mid-July, I traveled to Louisiana with fellow ELI Gulf Team member Teresa Chan to host three workshops with the Restore the Mississippi River Delta coalition. Held in three different parishes, these workshops were intended to help the community meaningfully participate in the “scoping” process for the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion by providing some background on the project, explaining what scoping is, and discussing how the public can participate. Nearly 60 people attended the workshops, where there were lots of lively discussions! 

Getting Serious About Playing Games: ELI Designs Award-Winning Educational Game

ELI's Cards Against Calamity board game engages coastal communities in resilienc
By Dave Rejeski, Visiting Scholar, and John Hare-Grogg, Former Research Associate
Monday, July 31, 2017

ELI’s Technology, Innovation and the Environment project targets the market for serious games with our new game, Cards Against Calamity, a multiplayer board game that explores coastal communities’ resilience to crises. Cards Against Calamity was developed in collaboration with 1st Playable Productions and funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Bluefin Tuna: Critically Endangered Species or “World Gourmet”?

Despite having few natural enemies, bluefin tuna are threatened by overfishing (
By Zhou Jinfeng, Secretary General, CBCGDF, Huang Shuya , Researcher, CBCGDF, Linda Wong, Deputy Secretary General, CBCGDF, and Xiao Recio-Blanco, Senior Attorney; Director, Ocean Program
Monday, July 24, 2017

Bluefin tuna, the general group name of several species that belong to subgenus of true tunas Thunnus (Thunnus), are the largest of all tunas and have a natural lifespan of over 50 years. Reaching over two meters in length and weighing 200 kilograms as adults, the species is at the top of the marine food chain. But for great white sharks, bluefin tunas have few natural enemies. Sadly, in the last few decades, a new enemy has appeared: humans.

Working Toward a Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries Solution in Spain

fish
By Xiao Recio-Blanco, Senior Attorney; Director, Ocean Program
Monday, June 12, 2017

In my last blog, I wrote about ACERGA’s lawsuit against the government of Spain over the current criteria for fisheries quota distribution. In addition to the lawsuit, in late March 2017, ACERGA, in cooperation with the Universidade da Coruña (UDC) Law School, organized a conference to bring together government representatives, fishers, and fishing policy experts to discuss the problems with and propose solutions to the current quota distribution system and purse-seine fishing.

Offshore and Still on the Horizon: President Trump's Executive Order on the Outer Continental Shelf

An offshore oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico.
By Jay Austin, Senior Attorney; Editor-in-Chief, Environmental Law Reporter®
Monday, June 5, 2017

Even prior to recent events, the topic of "presidential power" had been trending. There's now an entire law school course devoted to the Trump Administration's first 100 days; several of us at ELI recently assessed the viability of current and proposed executive branch actions in the regulatory arena; and federal court cases on the travel ban and on defunding sanctuary cities are a reminder that executive orders can be swiftly reviewed where they test constitutional or statutory limits.

A Problem in Small-Scale Fisheries Management in Spain and a Need to Rethink Implementation of the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy

ACERGA fishing skipper Marcos Alfeirán during the protest camp in late 2015, NOS
By Xiao Recio-Blanco, Senior Attorney; Director, Ocean Program
Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Galician Association of Purse-Seine Vessel Owners (ACERGA by its acronym in Galician) is the largest association of purse-seine vessel owners in Spain. Over a year ago, ACERGA fishers and many members of their families camped in front of the main building of the government of Galicia (northwestern Spain), demanding that their voice be heard in the regulatory process for determining Spain’s annual fishing quota distribution of mackerel and horse mackerel.

Ocean Policy and the Trump Administration

The Great Wave, Hokusai
Monday, April 10, 2017

When it comes to the global commons, President Donald Trump has made his stance on climate change policy pretty clear. What will be his views on ocean policy? Certainly, given the impact of climate change on ocean acidification, last month’s Executive Order on energy independence was not good news for ocean health. But there are a multitude of marine and coastal issues that the Trump Administration will have to face.

New ELI Toolkit Aims to Turn the Tide on Marine Litter

Marine debris, NOAA News
By Elana Harrison, Assistant Director of Professional Education
Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a collection of marine debris swirling around the north Pacific Ocean, is estimated by some scientists to be roughly the same size as the state of Texas. While the Garbage Patch moniker can conjure images of a physical trash island, in reality, it is almost entirely made up of microplastics not always seen by the eye, turning the sea into a cloudy soup. Around 80% of the debris comes from land-based sources in North America and Asia.

Charting the Course: A Survey on Public Engagement in the Natural Resource Damage Assessment Process

By Teresa Chan, Senior Attorney, and Amy Reed, Staff Attorney
Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Public participation and engagement are easy values to talk about generally, but are difficult to implement meaningfully. In Gulf restoration, the natural resource damage assessment (NRDA) process provides the federal government, states, and the public with an unprecedented opportunity to pursue the difficult actions that put these values into practice.

All blog posts are the opinion of its author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of ELI the organization or its members.