Earth Focus: Tackling Ocean Challenges

Tackling Ocean Challenges

(Earth Focus: Episode 66) Oceans support life, yet they are overfished, polluted, and, with global climate change, are becoming increasingly acidic.

The XPrize Ocean Initiative seeks to solve some of these critical threats by bringing in teams from around the world for high-profile competitions to find the best new technologies and stimulate investment in research and development. After the massive Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Wendy Schmidt Oil Clean up XCHALLENGE in 2011 awarded $1.4 million to a team that demonstrated an oil recovery cleanup rate four times greater than the industry's previous best recovery rate.

A second $2 million Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE is spurring innovators to develop accurate and affordable pH sensors to deepen our understanding of ocean acidification, which threatens the growth of shellfish and coral reefs. Click HERE about the Montana team of chemists and engineers who won the two grand prizes of the Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE in 2015.

 

For more information on the issue and what you can do, visit our Oceans page.

Category:

Upcoming Airdates

Vanishing Coral

“Vanishing Coral” presents the personal story of scientists and naturalists who are working with local communities to protect coral reefs that are being destroyed by warming seas, pollution, and destructive fishing practices. Featured in the documentary is the President of the Biosphere 2 Foundation Abigail Alling, marine biologist and coral expert Phil Dustan, captain of the Mir research sailing vessel Mark Van Thillo, and Nono Suparno, a leading conservationist in Bali.

Neonicotinoids: The New DDT?

Neonicotinoids are the most widely used insecticides in the world. But they've been linked to the decline of honeybees, which pollinate many food crops. And scientists now say neonicotinoids also harm many terrestrial, aquatic, and marine invertebrates. These pervasive insecticides damage sea urchin DNA, suppress the immune systems of crabs, and affect the tunneling and reproductive behavior of earthworms. They kill off insects that many birds, amphibians, and reptiles rely on for food.

Shades of Gray: Living with Wolves

(Earth Focus: Episode 51) Gray wolves once ranged across North America. But by the 1930s, they were nearly extinct—trapped, poisoned and hunted by ranchers, farmers, and government agents. With protection under the 1973 Endangered Species Act, the wolf population rebounded. But wolves lost federal protection in 2011. Now, with hunting permitted in many Western states, the future of this once endangered species may again be in question. Can we live with wolves? "Earth Focus" travels to Montana and Wyoming to find out.

Restoring The Earth

(Earth Focus: Episode 53) It is possible to rehabilitate large-scale damaged ecosystems, to improve the lives of people trapped in poverty and to sequester carbon naturally. John Liu presents "Hope in a Changing Climate," which showcases approaches that have worked on the Loess Plateau in China, Ethiopia and Rwanda. Produced in collaboration with the Environmental Education Media Project (EEMP).

Young Voices for the Planet

This episode features author and illustrator Lynne Cherry's film series "Young Voices for the Planet" about young adults making positive environmental change.

 

Image: Courtesy of Young Voices on Climate Change.