Ocean Victories

Two New Underwater Wilderness Preserves

The first interstate system of marine parks is now approved, stretching from North Carolina to the Florida Keys. According to Environmental Defense, which helped design the 500,000- acre network, the eight tracts of deep-water corals will protect 73 species of grouper, snapper and tile fish that have been overfished for a century.

An Environmental Defense-led coalition is also celebrating a new 3,240-acre Northeast Ecological Corridor along the eastern corner of Puerto Rico’s main island. It will preserve one of the Caribbean’s last great wild areas, including coral reefs, wetlands, beaches, nesting sites for the endangered leatherback sea turtle, and the adjacent El Yunque rainforest. Nearly 100,000 messages of concern from citizens helped determine the positive outcome.

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More from Natural Awakenings

Migrating Trees

Three-quarters of American tree species have shifted to the West since 1980 due to dryer conditions in the East and changing rainfall patterns.

Plutonium Problem

To safely dispose of 56 million gallons of nuclear waste dating back to the Second World War, the Department of Energy might replace a glass-log encasement plan with a cement option.

Bat Banter

Computer algorithms helped Israeli researchers decode the language of Egyptian fruit bats and discover that bats exchange information about specific problems.

Tuna Turnaround

Levels of toxic mercury in Atlantic Bluefin tuna declined 19 percent between 2004 and 2012, a drop that scientists attribute to a shift from coal to natural gas and renewable energy.

Buzzing RoboBees

Harvard researchers have invented tiny robotic bees that may be able to eventually pollinate the crops that are under threat because of vanishing bee colonies.
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