Tag Archives: Nature Conservancy

SKI TO SEA 2012 RELAY RACE ~ 93 MILES ~ INCREDIBLE ENDURANCE TEST!

 

 

 

SKI TO SEA 2 PHOTOPAD

 

THE NATURE CONSERVANCY ON THE 2012 SKI TO SEA RELAY RACE

Nature Conservancy teams from Washington State and Canada engaged in friendly competition at this year’s Ski to Sea relay race based in Bellingham, WA at the end of May on the American Labour Day holiday weekend. 

This annual race, a 100-year tradition includes seven legs: Cross-country ski, Downhill ski, Run, Road bike, Two-person canoe, Mountain bike and Sea kayak. The ‘not for the faint of heart’ race will take hundreds of eight-member teams through a gruelling 93 mile journey from snow-covered slopes near Mt. Baker to Puget Sound.
The legendary Ski to Sea Relay Race ~ the origins of the Ski to Sea Race date back to the original endurance race, the Mt Baker Marathon, first held in 1911.

Next year I’ll try to blog the event in time for us to support The Nature Conservancy’s conservation efforts.

YouTube video, “Sea to Ski 2012″ ~ Race information

~ CANADA VERSUS USA ~

‘When Conservation meets Competition’   Video HUMOUROUS QUIPS from the Washington program’s ‘Team Rotten’ video ~
“Canada’s going DOWN“
“Hey are you worried about the Canadians ~ all they do is eat poutine and play hockey”
“You can either be inside watching the Canucks lose or be out here training for Sea to Ski”
AND ‘back-at-chas’ from the Canadian program’s ‘The Average Joes’~
“Well we do live in the great white outdoors”
“We have to ski to pick up our groceries and fetch the mail”
“Bring it on Washington!” (as the guy gears up in cross-country ski equipment and leaves for work)
“C’est fantastique! – I think it’s great that our Americans are dragging themselves off the couch to struggle through this race ~ Bon Chance” ) translated

CONGRATULATIONS TO THIS YEAR’S WINNING TEAM ~  

Ski to Sea web page ‘Results’ comment ~ “May 29th- Race officials have been working since race ended Sunday on correcting times.  There was a timing machine malfunction.  Our apologies to all the racers.  Results are still UNOFFICIAL.”

I guess I’ll have to check the Ski to Sea web site periodically to see the result of our Canadian teams.

Links ~ nature.org/washington

http://www.youtube.com/user/thelegendaryskitosea?feature=results_main

http://www.facebook.com/skitosea

CORAL REEFS ARE IN CRISIS!!!

“Losing Our Coral Reefs

Excerpts from the article published in The Earth Institute, Columbia University, State of the Planet‘s blog, by Renee Cho, June 13, 2011

Before reading this you might like to watch the video included with my blog, “Great Barrier Reef” published March 6, 2012.

I urge you to read Renee Cho’s full article by clicking the link at the end of this blog.  Thank you.

Coral reefs, the “rainforests of the sea,” are some of the most biodiversity and productive ecosystems on earth. They occupy only .2% of the ocean, yet are home to a quarter of all marine species: crustaceans, reptiles, seaweeds, bacteria, fungi, and over 4000 species of fish make their home in coral reefs. With an annual global economic value of $375 billion, coral reefs provide food and resources for over 500 million people in 94 countries and territories. But tragically, coral reefs are in crisis.

Coral reefs are endangered by natural phenomena such as hurricanes, El Nino, predators and diseases; local threats including overfishing, destructive fishing techniques, coastal development, pollution, and careless tourism; and the global effects of climate change… 90% of coral reefs will be in danger by 2030, and all of them by 2050.

Coral reefs are colonies of individual animals called polyps, which are related to sea anemones. The polyps, which have tentacles to feed on plankton at night, play host to zooxanthellae, symbiotic algae that live within their tissues and give the coral its color. The coral provides CO2 and waste products that the algae need for photosynthesis. In turn, the algae nourish the coral with oxygen and the organic products of photosynthesis. The coral uses these compounds to synthesize calcium carbonate (limestone) with which it constructs its skeleton—the coral reef…

Of local threats to coral reefs, overfishing and damaging fishing techniques such as deep water trawling and the use of explosives and cyanide, are the most destructive… The global effects of climate change are also having critical impacts on coral reefs, and “the evidence is overwhelming that the ability of corals and the reefs they build to keep pace with the current rate of climate change has been exceeded” according to a recent study… When El Nino occurred in 1997-1998, widespread and severe coral reef bleaching occurred in the Indo-Pacific region and the Caribbean, killing 16% of the world’s coral reefs in 12 months… bleaching leaves corals vulnerable to disease, stunts their growth, and affects their reproduction, while severe bleaching kills them…

Today, coral reefs are experiencing warmer ocean temperatures and more acidity than they have at any time in the last 400,000 years. Acidification reduces the water’s carrying capacity for calcium carbonate that corals need to build their skeletons…It’s estimated that by 2050, only 15% of coral reefs will have enough calcium carbonate for adequate growth… Coral reefs provide us with food, construction materials (limestone) and new medicines—more than half of new cancer drug research is focused on marine organisms. They offer shoreline protection and maintain water quality. And they are a draw for tourists, sometimes providing up to 80% of a country’s total income. Losing the coral reefs would have profound social and economic impacts on many countries, especially small island nations like Haiti, Fiji, Indonesia, and the Philippines that depend on coral reefs for their livelihoods.

What can be done to save these precious and beautiful ecosystems?

The Coral Restoration Foundation protects and restores coral reefs through creating coral nurseries and transplanting corals into degraded reef areas. Concerned individuals can adopt a coral through the Coral Restoration Foundation or a coral reef through the Nature Conservancy, which uses the funds to conduct research, promote marine conservation and support the creation of MPAs. MPAs, which are being created worldwide, protect biodiversity and help communities manage resources sustainably.

The Great Barrier Reef is the largest and richest coral reef in the world because it has been protected since the early 1970s. The creation of an MPA off St. Lucia in the Caribbean has resulted in a tripling of the fish population…. by Renee Cho

http://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2011/06/13/losing-our-coral-reefs/

WALKING WATER: H20 AND THE HUMAN BODY

Posted by Brian Richter of The Nature Conservancy and University of Virginia in Water Currents on March 6, 2012

Fourteen gallons of water.

That’s how much water I’m walking around with in my body mass.  Imagine carrying 120 pounds of water –that’s three nearly full 5-gallon water jugs — around with you all day long, every day of the year.

No wonder I’m so tired at the end of the day.

You can do this math for yourself.  An average adult’s body is 60-70% water; for children it’s closer to 75% but it can get as low as 45% if you’re overweight.

Take your body weight and multiply it by the appropriate percentage of water and you’ll see how many pounds of water you’re packing.  If you want to convert those pounds of water into gallons, just multiply by 8.4.

Add another 24 pounds of skin and what you’ve basically got is hundreds of thousands of years of human evolution producing an ambulatory water balloon wrapped in flesh.

University of Chicago scientist Neil Shubin writes in his book Inner Fish that we hiccup because of a design malfunction in our nervous system and a breathing apparatus passed down from fish and tadpoles.  It appears that when our animal ancestors crawled out of the ocean they somehow forgot to purge their water ballast as well.

Fortunately, we also have a three-pound brain that can tell our body balloon where to go.  How to fall in love.  How to launch fellow balloons into space.

Before your brilliant cerebral cortex starts thinking that dehydrating yourself would be a smart diet plan, I’ll caution you that our highly evolved body balloons run on a very thin tolerance for water loss.

During a normal day, we breathe, pee, and sweat out about three quarts of water, amounting to 5-10% of our body’s water. Note that if you’re running the 150-mile Marathon Des Sables across the Saharan Desert in Morocco, you’re likely leaking more than 12 quarts a day.  If you’re not continuously replenishing your body’s water you can run into trouble in a hurry.

With a deficit of as little as one quart you’re likely going to start losing some cognitive function, alertness, and ability to concentrate.  If you lose a gallon you’ll start feeling pretty lethargic, and you’ll likely have a bad headache.  If you’re down two gallons you’re going to be sick enough to be in the hospital.  Three gallons and you’re in the morgue.

Yet our water needs are so much greater than simply keeping our bodies hydrated, and therein lies the great water challenge of the 21st century.  We use water to grow our food, generate our electricity, and manufacture our clothes.  If you visit National Geographic’s Water Footprint Calculator you’ll see that it takes about 2,000 gallons of water per person each day to support an American lifestyle.  That places a lot of strain on the freshwater systems of our planet, a theme that I’ll return to repeatedly in the coming weeks and months in my Water Currents blogs.

Water is at the very core of our being.  John Muir once said, “The rivers flow not past, but through us.”

How right he was.

http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2012/03/06/human-body-water/