The Thank You Ocean Report focuses on interesting and exciting California ocean topics such as marine mammals, the latest news on ocean health, timely ocean issues and fascinating ocean facts. Stories feature interviews with ocean experts, explorers, scientists, conservationists, government and business leaders. Listeners learn about ocean activities and recreation, surfing, fishing, boating, and the many ways we all can thank the ocean through conservation and stewardship.
Personal care products such as the shampoo, facial cleanser, and even toothpaste you use at home can contribute to a massive plastic pollution problem. We talk with Anna Cummins, Executive Director of The 5 Gyres Institute, who explains the dangers of plastic “microbeads” that enter the ocean and endanger aquatic life as well as humans. Find out how you can help end this unnecessary pollution problem.
Everyday Action: Check the labels of the personal care products you use in your home and stop using products containing polyethylene or polypropylene microbeads. Send any products with microbeads to 5 Gyres to help bring awareness to this important issue.
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 — California’s official state marine reptile. This fascinating but critically endangered species is essential to the state’s marine ecosystem. We talk with Scott Benson, marine ecologist with NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center, about Pacific leatherback sea turtles, threats to their survival, and what you can do to help.
Everyday Action: Bring your own bags to the store since sea turtles will mistake plastic bags for jellyfish. Also, never release balloons outside. They also can end up in the ocean and be eaten by sea turtles and other marine life.
California’s beaches mean summer fun and beautiful views. The beach is a great place for recreation and relaxation…alone, or with family and friends. We all need to do our part to protect our beaches and coastline. In this report, we share some outstanding beach photographs, along with some tips on what you can do to help keep our beaches clean and beautiful, including a special message from actor and activist Edward James Olmos!
Everyday Action: Get out and enjoy California’s beaches, and find out more at thankyouocean.org.
Want to make a difference in your community? Are you passionate about the ocean and conservation? Follow the lead of local California students in Ocean Guardian Schools who have made a commitment to protecting the ocean and preserving local watersheds. Naomi Pollack of the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries highlights these everyday actions students are taking to protect the ocean and their local watersheds. Learn more about the positive impact these actions are having on the students, their families and local communities.
Everyday Action: Follow the lead of Ocean Guardian Schools and fill up a reusable water bottle at home, work or school to reduce your use of single-use plastics. And keep those balloons inside, so they don’t end up in the ocean.
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 Restoration Program Bird Biologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, about a successful program to restore bald eagles to the Channel Islands. Find out how you can watch these magnificent birds live online through the “eagle cam” and follow their return to populate their former home.
Everyday Action: Avoid the use of toxic chemicals and keep trash and chemicals out of storm drains. Polluted water from storm drains flows into the sea and can harm marine life and the environment.
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 in the world, and now it’s part of the “Whale Trail.” We talk with Bill Douros, regional director for NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, about this series of coastal sites where people can view whales and other marine mammals from shore. The Whale Trail is designed to raise awareness of marine waters, connect visitors to marine life, inspire stewardship, and promote land-based whale watching.
Everyday Action: Visit a coastal Whale Trail location, your local aquarium or National Marine Sanctuary Visitor Center to learn about California’s whales.
Where will California’s future ocean scientists and policy experts come from? We talk with Shauna Oh, Associate Director of California Sea Grant, about the California Sea Grant State Fellowship Program where fellows acquire “on the job” experience at various state and federal agencies in the implementation of marine and coastal resource policies and programs. Find out more about this unique program that helps foster the next leaders in ocean management.
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 seals is in California at Año Nuevo State Park, adjacent to Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. We talk with Terry Kiser, Año Nuevo State Park superintendent, about these fascinating marine mammals and what we can do to help protect them.
Everyday Action: Get out and enjoy the beautiful coast and ocean. Respect your local marine life. Tread lightly, or not at all, on tide pools and rocky shore habitats, and keep your distance from marine animals as you can disturb their feeding or resting.
California is experiencing record-breaking drought and we all need to take action. Governor Brown has urged us to reduce our water consumption by 20%. We speak with John Laird, California Secretary for Natural Resources, about this issue and what long-term drought could mean for the state. Find out what we all need to do to reduce our use of water at home and outdoors.
Everyday Action: Reduce your water consumption by 20% every day, indoors and out! Take shorter showers, wash only full loads of clothes, fix any leaks and don’t let the tap run. Outdoors, check your sprinklers, water less frequently and in the early morning or late evening, or re-landscape with native plants. More tips at Save Our H2O.
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 Dr. Pete Raimondi of the University of California, Santa Cruz about the coast-wide effort to track the extent and cause of the syndrome and its impacts on sea star populations.
Everyday Action: If you’re curious about sea stars and other rocky intertidal creatures, practice tidepool etiquette when visiting tidepools. Watch where you step, look closely, touch gently and return things to where you found them. You can also download a free app called “California Tidepools” for your smart phone or tablet to enhance your tidepool experience.