Tuesday, December 5, 3 pm US EST/Noon US PST/8 pm UTC. Presented by: Nicola Johnstone of New South Wales Department of Primary Industries Fisheries Marine Strategy Implementation. Description: Marine protected areas (MPAs) have been used for decades to conserve biological diversity and ecological systems, underpinned by knowledge gained from natural science disciplines. However, little consideration has been given to understanding the human element. Oral histories as a research methodology can help address this. They can contribute significant new knowledge and insights to the planning and management of an MPA, and through the research process, build relationships with community, improve trust, and bridge the people-environment-management divide. This was demonstrated in the Solitary Islands Marine Park (SIMP) in northern New South Wales, Australia. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with seventy people from varied backgrounds who have a relationship with the SIMP. Three key themes were explored: the process to declare the SIMP, how and why people connect to the SIMP, and changes in the SIMP observed over time. This webinar will illustrate the substantial benefits of using oral history for MPA planning and management and will provide tips and best practices for using oral histories as a research methodology.
Tuesday, December 12, 11 am US EST/8 am US PST/4 pm UTC. Presented by: Giulia Costa-Domingo and Rowana Walton of the UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre. Description: At least EUR3.35 billion, across 237 projects, has been invested in seascape restoration since 2015. The recent report Endangered Seascapes: Progress, needs and opportunities for seascape restoration by the UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) reveals the locations, primary sources of funding, and beneficiaries of large-scale marine and coastal restoration efforts taking place around the world. It focuses on large, “seascape”-scale projects, recognising the importance of integrated approaches to the use and conservation of coastal and marine socio-ecological systems. The report synthesises the findings from a project, commissioned by Arcadia, which reviewed a non-comprehensive list of seascape restoration projects to provide a high-level overview of the state of seascape restoration that can support evidence-based restoration funding and planning. This webinar will cover the major findings from the project’s report and accompanying database which are both available online for free and contain a high-level analysis of marine restoration work undertaken from 2015-2022.
Wednesday, January 10, 1 pm US EST/10 am US PST/6 pm UTC. Presented by: Louise Comfort of the University of Pittsburgh and Lee Freitag of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Description: Tsunamis are infrequent but terrifying hazards for coastal communities. Difficult to predict, they materialize with little warning, claiming thousands of lives and causing billions of dollars in damage. Developing countries cannot afford costly underwater cable systems, and governments and relief organizations have been forced to rely on flawed warning systems such as deep-sea buoys. Now, a groundbreaking new approach to tsunami detection and warning, which relies on low-cost underwater sensors and networks of smartphone communication, has changed the equation. Developed by an international, interdisciplinary team of researchers, this approach allows at-risk coastal communities to have an economically viable, scientifically sound means to protect themselves. Learn about the science behind this new approach in this webinar with Louise Comfort and Lee Freitag. Discover how this new sociotechnical approach could alert residents to impending tsunami threats in near-real time and how the approach could apply to all coastal cities at risk of tsunamis, sea-level rise, storm surges, and other hazards.
Wednesday, January 17, 11 am US EST/8 am US PST/4 pm UTC. Presented by: Francois Mosnier of Planet Tracker. Description: In many cases, overfishing occurs because fishing companies are financially incentivized to fish as much as they legally can. But what if these incentives were reversed? Planet Tracker’s award-winning ‘Blue Recovery Bond’ concept shows that paying fishing companies to fish less could be both financially and environmentally rewarding. Planet Tracker is now identifying the areas where this concept could be piloted. This webinar will explain how a Blue Recovery Bond works, how to identify a good candidate fishery, and outline the eligibility criteria Planet Tracker has developed. The audience will be invited to comment on the methodology and provide examples of areas of interest.
Thursday, February 15, 1 pm US EST/10 am US PST/6 pm UTC. Presented by: Sara Hutto of the Greater Farallones Association and Greater Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries. Description: The sediments of the vast ocean floor represent the world’s largest non-fossil pool of organic carbon, yet they are not well-studied or protected. The carbon in these sediments can remain stored for thousands to millions of years; however, activities such as mining, oil and gas exploration, and bottom-contact fishing can disturb sediment, resuspending it into the water column and potentially remineralizing carbon into aqueous CO2. Current understanding of marine sediment carbon along the US West Coast is limited, constraining meaningful management and protection of these critically important carbon sinks. The Greater Farallones Association, in partnership with NOAA Office for Coastal Management (OCM) and NOAA’s Greater Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries, conducted the first systematic evaluation of marine sedimentary carbon stocks in North-central California. This webinar will discuss the importance of marine sediments in global carbon sequestration and storage. It will also present the results of this study, including an estimate of the carbon stock within the Sanctuaries’ marine sediments and identification of carbon “hot-spots” on the seafloor based on a novel spatial model of carbon density.
This webinar originally aired on Thursday, March 2, 2023. Presented by: Ben Halpern of the University of California, Santa Barbara. Description: Feeding humanity puts enormous environmental pressure on our planet. These pressures are unequally distributed, yet we have piecemeal knowledge of how they accumulate across marine, freshwater, and terrestrial systems. This webinar will present global geospatial analyses detailing greenhouse gas emissions, freshwater use, habitat disturbance and nutrient pollution generated by 99% of total reported production of aquatic and terrestrial foods in 2017. These results have also been rescaled and combined to map the estimated cumulative pressure, or ‘footprint’, of food production. On land, five countries contribute nearly half of food’s cumulative footprint, and just 10% of the planet contributes 93% of this footprint. The pressures that drive these footprints vary substantially by food and country. Importantly, the cumulative pressure per unit of food production (efficiency) varies spatially for each food type such that rankings of foods by efficiency differ sharply among countries. These disparities provide the foundation for efforts to steer consumption towards lower-impact foods and ultimately the system-wide restructuring essential for sustainably feeding humanity.
This webinar originally aired on Thursday, February 23, 2023. Presented by: Katie Lebling of World Resources Institute. Description: The ocean is already a major carbon sink and plays a crucial role in global climate regulation. At the same time, as the urgency of the climate crisis worsens, attention is turning to the ocean for its potential to play an even bigger role in addressing this. Part of this could be through ocean-based carbon dioxide removal (CDR), which is receiving increasing attention and investment. However, most approaches are still in the early stages of development, have a high degree of uncertainty about their efficacy and impacts, and lack sufficient governance to ensure responsible deployment.
This webinar will present key findings from a recent WRI report on ocean CDR, including a summary of prominent ocean CDR approaches (coastal blue carbon restoration, seaweed cultivation, ocean fertilization, alkalinity enhancement, electrochemical approaches, artificial upwelling, and artificial downwelling), an overview of the governance landscape, and recommendations for a pathway forward that balances the urgent need for emission reductions with a precautionary approach to avoid further harm to ocean systems, ecosystems, and coastal communities.
This webinar originally aired on Tuesday, January 17, 2023. Presented by: Joachim Claudet of the French National Center for Scientific Research. Description: Marine protected areas (MPAs) are increasingly being promoted as an ocean-based climate solution. These claims are controversial, however, because the literature on the climate benefits of MPAs is diffuse and poorly synthesized. To address this knowledge gap, we conducted a systematic literature review of 22,403 publications spanning 241 MPAs and analyzed these across 16 ecological and social pathways through which MPAs could contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation. Our meta-analysis found that marine conservation can significantly enhance carbon sequestration, coastal protection, biodiversity, and the reproductive capacity of marine organisms as well as fishers’ catch and income. Most of these benefits are only achieved in fully or highly protected areas and increase with MPA age. This webinar will present these results and discuss the extent to which MPAs can be a useful tool for mitigating climate change and adapting social-ecological systems.
This webinar originally aired on Tuesday, December 13, 2022. Panelists: Julie Angus, CEO of Open Ocean Robotics; Emily Charry Tissier, CEO and Founder of WhaleSeeker; and Anna Sanders, Product Development Director for Global Fishing Watch. Description: Existing and emerging ocean technology have tremendous potential for helping global MPAs address critical management needs. In this webinar, experts from three leading ocean technology organizations – Open Ocean Robotics, Whale Seeeker, and Global Fishing Watch – will share how their technology products can help MPAs and address questions from webinar participants. In addition, webinar participants will be encouraged to share their own experiences with ocean tech for MPA management via the webinar chat, enabling knowledge and experience sharing across global MPAs.
This webinar originally aired on Thursday, December 8, 2022. Presented by: Jeff Young of EDF. Description: Climate change and overfishing are increasingly straining fisheries and the marine ecosystems that support them, putting marine biodiversity, the nutrition of people in coastal communities, and the global food supply at greater risk. To help address these critical issues, EDF’s Fishery Solutions Center has worked closely with hundreds of stakeholders, researchers, and practitioners from around the world to synthesize their collective expertise into user-friendly tools. The resulting Climate-Resilient Fisheries Toolkit features over 30 tools and resources can help assess conditions and prioritize interventions; examine governance gaps, climate impacts, ecosystem threats, and food and nutrition security needs; integrate available data and knowledge into management action; and design and implement fishery solutions. Tools are designed for use by fishers, researchers, managers, NGOs, communities, and local officials and can help make informed fisheries decisions even in limited data situations. This webinar will introduce participants to the tools in the toolkit and invite input on how the toolkit can be strengthened and improved over time.
This webinar originally aired on Thursday, December 1, 2022. Presented by: Carolyn Kousky of the Environmental Defense Fund. Description: The frequency and intensity of natural disasters—such as hurricanes, floods, and storms—are on the rise, threatening our way of life and our livelihoods. Insurance, an often confusing and unpopular tool, is critical to recovery from these crises. Yet, as it becomes ever more essential, insurance markets are under stress, many are uninsured, and insurance often seems divorced from efforts to improve the resilience and sustainability of our communities. How can we improve insurance to provide consistent and sufficient help following all disasters? How do we use insurance not just to help us recover, but also to help us prevent disasters in the first place? And how can insurance help us achieve broader social and environmental goals? Associate Vice President for Economics and Policy at the Environmental Defense Fund and author of Understanding Disaster Insurance, Carolyn Kousky, will present on why traditional insurance markets fall short in meeting the needs of a world coping with climate change and how new insurance and risk transfer markets can help create thriving and resilient coastal communities and ecosystems.
This webinar originally aired on November 16, 2022. Presented by: Steven Mana‘oakamai Johnson of Cornell University. A fundamental challenge in ocean conservation is translating the results of climate models into forms that managers and others can use to plan for the future. Using techniques from information theory, the Ocean Novelty (ONo) Index provides a simple and intuitive way to understand how climate change will alter key ocean biogeochemical variables. This measure can help MPA managers know what they need to prioritize in their planning and design policies and regulations that help their MPA keep pace with expected shifts in the ecosystem state. This webinar will share how the ONo Index is calculated and walk through an application for large MPAs.
This webinar originally aired on November 2, 2022. Presented by: Matt Simon of Wired magazine. Description: Matt Simon, science journalist at Wired magazine, has published the first book to fully explore the threat of microplastics. Publishers Weekly describes the book as a “lucid, distressing look at a growing environmental concern.” In this webinar, Simon will share how the study of microplastics began in the sea but has now moved to land, the atmosphere, and human health. This presentation will give a brief overview of the current science of microplastics and the scientists who travel to the ends of the earth and the bottom of the ocean to understand plastic pollution.
This webinar originally aired on Tuesday, October 4, 2022. Presented by: Chris Clapp of The Ocean Sewage Alliance. Description: Roughly 80% or more of the world’s sewage enters the oceans completely untreated or poorly treated, stressing many ecosystems to the point of collapse. This challenge goes largely unnoticed until a crisis happens – a fishery is lost, beaches get closed, or, worse, people get seriously ill. The Ocean Sewage Alliance was formed to break the silence about ocean sewage pollution and bring a sense of urgency to public discourse on the issue. We do so by simultaneously raising awareness about the problem and highlighting the many opportunities that arise from addressing sewage pollution – opportunities in the form of resource recovery, job creation, and risk avoidance.
This webinar originally aired on Wednesday, July 13, 2022. Presented by: Sari Tolvanen of Ocean Eye. Description: Global studies have shown that stakeholder buy-in is the number one success factor in marine conservation, but too often coastal communities lack incentives to support conservation initiatives. Ocean Eye is a data collection and financial transfer platform that collects wildlife sighting data and transfers ecosystem service payments. The animal sighting reports are directly linked to small payments from tourists that go to coastal communities to incentivize the protection of endangered and vulnerable species. By connecting profit to purpose for the tourism operators and communities, it will shift the focus from the current unsustainable behavior of fisheries and coastal communities towards a sustainable, regenerative, and profitable new focus industry that will provide positive livelihood for the future.