Our Top Five Ocean Stories of 2016

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We wrote a lot about ocean and fresh water issues in 2016. It was a good year for ocean protection but it was also a devastating year for water rights and for a fresh water future in the hands of mismanagement and misguided state and local governments and apathetic government officials. Here we offer a compilation of some of our best ocean, climate, fresh water, Arctic, and environmental stories published in 2016. While we take this moment to reflect back on the year, we are simultaneously looking toward 2017 and the many challenges and opportunities ahead of us. World Ocean Observatory remains committed to building public awareness of ocean health and the ocean as provider of food, energy, fresh water, and so much more. We are proud to be here on the Medium platform offering news of ocean policy; highlighting the work of ocean advocates through small programs and big efforts around the globe; and of conservation projects being undertaken by organizations working toward a sustainable ocean future. Thanks to you, Citizens of the Ocean, for finding us, staying with us, and supporting our work for the world ocean in the years to come.

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david liittschwager, national geographic

LIFE IN A DROP

(Originally published Aug. 10)
What do we see in a single drop of ocean water? This image captured by David Liittschwager for National Geographic, then magnified 25 times, reveals an impressive abundance of many types of microscopic organisms. In this post we describe some of the marine creatures discovered there, and the larger systems at work in the vast cosmos of a single drop of ocean water.

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nunavut territory, canada

AN OPEN LETTER FROM NUNAVUT

(Originally published Feb. 24)
The indigenous people of Arctic Canada have long endured unresolved discussions about issues such as environmental sustainability, economic and educational opportunity, access to technology and basic services, and more. The Honorable Peter Taptuna, Premier of the Arctic territory Nunavut, wrote a letter to candidates for the Canadian federal election in advance of the vote late in 2015. In it, he asked each to outline their vision for the future of the Arctic. That letter may have helped shape an election, further a debate, and generate a response toward a more sustainable Arctic.

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jeff sheldon, unsplash

WHERE DOES WATER COME FROM?

(Originally published Aug. 30)
At both ends of the water cycle, a healthy, sustainable ocean is essential for the fresh water future that each of us on this earth relies upon in equal measure each day.

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tbo.com: tampa bay seagrass beds herald environmental recovery

A CLEAN WATER SUCCESS STORY: SEAGRASS IN TAMPA BAY

(Originally published Oct. 25)
In the 20th century, U.S. waterways had become dumping grounds for industrial, urban, and agricultural waste. Today many of these waterways are getting cleaner. Here we highlight Tampa Bay, Florida, whose revival of seagrass and commitment to cleaner waters serve as an example of engagement, cooperation, determination, and leadership. What can be learned from this success as a means to meet environmental challenges and solve today’s problems?

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iconic imagery after a bad year for water in michigan and beyond

THE FLINT WATER CRISIS

(Originally published Feb. 12)
The water crisis in Flint, Michigan points to tragic mismanagement of the city’s water supply in an effort to save funds — a decision destroying a community and costing millions to fix. What can be learned from the crisis? What are the consequences of a deliberate governmental decision to put corporate and political interests before the health of the governed?

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Dedicated to sharing information about ocean issues: climate to trade, culture to governance. The sea connects all things. Online at WorldOceanObservatory.org.

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