Category Archives: Marine biology

Wild Canadian Fish Party on Cocaine and Oxycodone

TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY FOLKS!

1-FISH ON DRUGS ONTARIO

The blog title may seem frivolous to you folks, but our drinking water is next in line for these dangerous drugs leaching into our water. The three drugs mentioned are three of many abusive drugs.

The following article link to Munchies_ Food by VICE appeared in Drinking Water Canada’s newsletter,  ~ “Why Wild Canadian Fish Are on Cocaine and Oxycodone” by Alex Swerdloff July 27, 2015

   GRAND RIVERBust out your rhinestone snuffboxes and hit up your favorite restroom, party people. It’s time to head up to Ontario’s Grand River. Cocaine, morphine, and oxycodone—among other drugs of abuse, as the scientists call them—apparently flow freely in the waters there.

JOURNALThat’s right. A study recently published in the journal Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry shows that way more fish have been getting their Tony Montana on than we previously believed.

The study, which comes out of McGill University’s Department of Chemical Engineering, focused on the Grand River Watershed in Southern Ontario. The research shows that water discharged from wastewater treatment plants in the area has low levels of the aforementioned drugs in it, which could affect marine life and contaminate local sources of drinking water.

PLANTHere’s the problem. Households and chemical plants discharge both figurative and literal crap into the river. A wastewater treatment plant is supposed to clean out most of these contaminants. And some distance downstream, the water then goes through an additional water treatment plant that cleans it further and prepares it for human consumption.

DRUGSBut the study showed that small quantities of drugs were found in the river water coming out of the water treatment plant, and their concentration did not decline with distance downstream from the plant. To make matters worse, the drugs were not removed completely during drinking water treatment.

In short, plants, fish and other living things in the river were swimming in water dosed with small amounts of recreational and prescription drugs. Screw Nemo—these fish seem to have more in common with Rick Ross!

YARGOBut there could be a solution. Professor Viviane Yargeau, who was the lead author of the study, argues, “Improving our wastewater treatment processes can help clean up our drinking water.”

FISH BESTWhat’s new about this research is that the scientists found drugs in the water between the wastewater treatment plant and the drinking water treatment plant. Sure, the drinking water treatment plants got most of the drugs out of the water, but not all. Improvements upstream would keep the life aquatic—including plants, insects, and fish—from inadvertently indulging.

It seems to me, however, that the researchers forgot to ask one all-important question: How in the hell does a fish line up a rail without an opposable thumb?

Back to Professor Yargeau. She explains, “We believe that if improvements are made to wastewater treatment plants to protect the sources of drinking water, this will prove a more effective way of dealing with the problem in the long run—as this strategy would also protect the aquatic environment and all the plants, insects and fish that are found there.”

WATERNext to come will be a five-year project to look into improving wastewater treatment to keep contaminants like cocaine out of Canada’s drinking water. But five years is a while away, so the fish will keep partying on in the meantime.

After all, even marine life deserves some booger sugar once in a while.

So folks now the choice is up to you ~ wait for the hammer to fall  ~ or be proactive and protect your family’s health right now.  We have great options for you as a water treatment system company.

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2nd Annual Float for Life Event

COUSTEAUThe day includes a float and a talk by Alexandra Cousteau, the granddaughter of Jacques-Yves Cousteau, the conservationist, filmmaker, photographer, and author who studied the sea. She will talk about her love of the oceans and growing up with her grandfather as her guide. Her father, Philippe, who co-produced numerous projects with Jacques, died when she was 3.
“Our oceans are in trouble,” Cousteau said. “Float for Life gives people an opportunity to reconnect with the ocean be reminded that we all have an important role to play in ocean conservation. After all, people protect what they love.”
SANIBELThe float promotes the environmental, economic, psychological and physical benefits of water as part of a fundraiser for the Sanibel Sea School. The school is a nonprofit focused on marine-based preservation and offers day camps, outings, and adult classes centered on wildlife and habitats in Sanibel.

“One of our favorite things to do with our campers is a soul float,” said Director of Operations Leah Biery.
A soul float is similar to a Float for Life. While being supported by life jackets or laying back on paddle and surf boards, the children float along the beach.
“We feel the water around us, catch the current,” she said. “They are feeling and connecting with the ocean and enjoying it.” And it’s done with the same goal as Float for Life.

Image result for float for lifeThe school is “in hopes that falling in love with the ocean will make them want to protect it,” Biery said.
In the inaugural Float year, 60 people participated, and Lynch is hoping for far more this year.
Participants will form groups of three; as one person floats, the others will support them gently for about 10 minutes. Then they will rotate.
“We believe the positive floating connection to the water will inspire individual calls to action to protect our oceans,” Lynch said. “It is pretty amazing how restorative it is. Some people feel like it’s an hour, others feel like it’s 2 minutes.”
She explained that the Gulf water is roughly the same salt content as human blood, creating a connective bond.
“When somebody is floating, they naturally feel at home because of the lightness,” she said. “When you lay in the water, you feel the quiet. The water is calming to your nervous system, and, along with the likeness of the salt content, the body lets go naturally. Muscles start to let go.”

By enforcing the body/nature connection, she said it leads to action, whether it’s “picking up plastic bags or straws on the beach or voting your conscience at the polls.”
Participants will receive an eco-friendly water bottle and samples of Earth-friendly sun screen.
Biery said the school is enjoying the partnership with Float for Life.
“We’re always amazed about how well the communities of Sanibel and Fort Myers come out to support us,” she said.
COUSTEAU2CROPAlexandra Cousteau
The granddaughter of Jacques-Yves Cousteau, known for his ABC show “The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau” from 1966-76, will speak about her famous family and her conservation work at the second annual Float for Life at Pink Shell in Fort Myers Beach.
Image result for float for life“After our first year, we wanted someone to draw more people and bring awareness to ocean conservation,” said Float for Life founder Shelley Lynch, a mental health therapist from Orlando.
Image result for alexandra cousteau blue legacyAlexandra Cousteau founded Blue Legacy, a non-profit organization to empower people to reclaim and restore the world’s water, one community at a time.
She has co-hosted “Blue August” on the Discovery Channel and was chief correspondent on water issues for Dicovery’s “Planet Green.”
She lives in Washington, D.C., and Berlin.

Connect with this reporter on Twitter @stacey_henson

World Oceans Day 2015 ~ Must See Videos

ocean dayThe following article, “4 Must-See Videos on World Oceans Day” was posted yesterday on EcoWatch 
The PEW Charitable Trusts | June 8, 2015

The ocean covers nearly three-fourths of the globe and is home to nearly half of the world’s known species—with countless yet to be discovered. It helps support more than 250 million people who depend directly or indirectly on fishing for their livelihoods. Still, human activities increasingly threaten its health. Although 72 percent of the world is covered by the ocean, less than 2 percent of these waters are fully protected.

Global Ocean Legacy, a project of Pew and its partners, works with local communities, governments, and scientists around the world to protect and conserve some of our most important and unspoiled ocean environments. These efforts have helped double the amount of protected marine habitat worldwide over the last nine years. That includes two recent achievements: expansion of the U.S. Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument in September 2014 and the British government’s announcement in March 2015 that it will create the world’s largest fully protected marine reserve in the Pitcairn Islands in the South Pacific Ocean.

Research shows that large, fully protected marine reserves are essential to rebuilding species abundance and diversity and protecting overall ocean health. To commemorate World Oceans Day on June 8, we invite you to watch four videos that highlight why fully protected marine reserves are critical to safeguarding these waters and the broader environment.


Caring for the environment has long been an important element of Palau’s culture. For centuries, chiefs have acted to protect these Pacific waters through the traditional “bul,” a moratorium on catching key species or fishing on reefs that provide critical habitat. Commonly referred to as “one of the seven underwater wonders of the world,” Palau’s ecosystems contain remarkable biodiversity, including more than 1,300 species of fish, more than 700 species of hard and soft coral, seven of the world’s nine types of giant clam, and non-stinging jellyfish. Pew was invited by Palau’s president to help create a large fully protected marine reserve in the island nation’s exclusive economic zone.


Located in the southeastern Pacific nearly 2,500 miles (4,000 kilometers) from mainland Chile, Easter Island has a rich cultural and environmental heritage. The island’s monumental sculpted heads have stood sentinel over this natural wonder, known as Rapa Nui in local Polynesian language, for centuries. Ancient Polynesians traveled through Easter Island’s waters for thousands of years using only the stars and the ocean for navigation. While largely unexplored, these seas are known to contain geological hot spots and areas of rare biodiversity that sustain highly migratory fish species. They also are known for ancient seamounts, 8.4 million to 13.1 million years old. Pew is working with the Rapa Nui community and the Chilean government to protect these ecologically important waters.


In March 2015, the British government announced its commitment to create the world’s largest fully protected marine reserve in the waters surrounding the Pitcairn Islands. A small U.K. overseas territory in the South Pacific, Pitcairn has one of the largest exclusive economic zones in the world. Within these waters lies one of the best-preserved ecosystems, a complex community of hard and soft corals that is home to hundreds of species of fish, including two found nowhere else on Earth. Pew, on behalf of the Global Ocean Legacy campaign partners, is working with the British government and the Pitcairn Island community to implement the Pitcairn Islands Marine Reserve to safeguard this important habitat for future generations.


The Kermadec region, a remote area between New Zealand’s North Island and Tonga, includes some of the most geologically active and biologically unusual features on Earth. Extending in places to a depth of more than 6.2 miles (10 kilometers), the Kermadec-Tonga Trench is the deepest in the Southern Hemisphere, five times deeper than the Grand Canyon. The waters are teeming with birds, whales, dolphins, fish, turtles, and many unique sea creatures, some that exist only there. The area provides important habitat for deep-diving mammals such as sperm whales. Half of the known beaked whales—at least 10 species—are thought to inhabit these waters, perhaps the world’s richest habitat for these rare and elusive animals.

http://ecowatch.com/2015/06/08/videos-world-oceans-day/?utm_source=EcoWatch+List&utm_campaign=bbecb54128-Top_News_6_8_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_49c7d43dc9-bbecb54128-85936497

Tragic! Ocean choking on 8 million metric tons plastic per year

 

Episode 6 Ocean Requiem, uploaded on Jun 30, 2009.  This is a rather slow moving video but the end is very touching. This is a good relaxing video with a message so enjoy and visit seashephard.org to see how you can help. 

February 13, 2015
Plastic in oceanPromo image Lindsay Robinson/University of Georgia
As Maggie recently wrote about, there’s a lot of plastic crap in Earth’s oceans; The latest estimate was that there are over 5 trillion pieces of plastic floating in our seas, weighing over 250,000 tons. That’s about 700 pieces of plastic for every human on earth.

Image result for Jenna Jambeck university of GeorgiaBut a new study paints an even more alarming picture of the situation. Jenna Jambeck and her colleagues at the University of Georgia found that an incredibly large amount of plastic waste is mismanaged by the populations living in coastal area, and that even a conservative estimate of how much ends up in the sea puts adds up to between 4.8 million to 12.7 million metric tons of plastic. Per year. (8 million is the mid-point of the estimate).

Part of the problem is that some of the countries with the largest coastal populations – mostly in Asia – are also developing nations with inadequate infrastructure to deal with all the waste that they generate.

Here one of the authors of the study explains the methodology behind the numbers and also gives a warning about the future if we don’t clean up our act on waste management:

Image result for From there, we looked at what percent of that waste is plasticOur methods for this estimate were to look at per person waste generation rates in 2010 from 192 countries with a coastline in the world. Because people’s activities nearest the coast are responsible for most of the plastic going into the water, we limited our analysis to a 50km strip of the coastline. From there, we looked at what percent of that waste is plastic, and what percentage of THAT is mismanaged waste (which means litter or when waste is not captured and dumped on the land). From there we had three scenarios of input into the ocean: low, mid and high. Our 8 million metric ton estimate is that mid-range scenario. 8 million metric tons of plastic is equal to 5 bags filled with plastic going into the ocean along every foot of coastline in the world. That… is HUGE.

And it can get worse. If we assume a business as usual projection with growing populations, increasing plastic consumption and increased waste generation, by 2025, this number doubles – we may be adding 17.5 million metric tons of plastic per year. If that happens, then our cumulative input over time from 2010 to 2025 is projected to be 155 million metric tons.

The solutions to this plastic pollution problem are known, we just need to actually do it. We need to cut back on plastic production in the first place, so there’s less of it in the system. Then whatever is left needs to all be captured and managed properly. This requires not only better infrastructure (especially in poorer areas of the world), but also social and cultural changes. People need to be educated on what needs to be done with their trash in general, and plastic specifically.

 

World Oceans Day ~ Terrific Video

1-WORLD OCEANS DAY_2014

World Oceans Day ~ June 8th

and today is the day you can help!

But first a let’s watch a terrific Youtube video, “The Ocean”, uploaded on 8 Jun 2010 by The Cube –

…A staggering 80 percent of all the life on Earth is to be found hidden beneath the waves and this vast global ocean pulses around our world driving the natural forces which maintain life on our planet… Without the global ocean there would be no life on Earth…

Helping the ocean and its animals is just a click away.
Celebrate World Oceans Day by showing your support for clean energy.

You can help celebrate #WorldOceansDay! Support wind energy to protect the ocean and its animals http://owl.li/xABhA

 We love the ocean! Do you? Take a selfie for the sea for #WorldOceansDay and share how you want to help http://owl.li/wqwFh
— Click here to tweet now

If you are unable to pledge here are a number of ideas where you can make a big difference!

BAGI promise to use reusable bags at the
grocery store

 

BOTTLEI promise to use a
reusable water bottle

 

MEATI promise to not eat
meat on Mondays

 

SHOWERI promise to take shorter showers

 

BUSI promise to take public transportation
to school/work once a week

 

FOODI promise to only eat sustainably caught
or farmed seafood

 

THRIFT STOREI promise to shop a thrift store first
instead of buying new

 

UNPLUG

I promise to unplug my electronic
chargers when not using them

 

 

TURN OFFI promise to turn off all the lights and
the heat or A/C when I leave my house

 

BIKEI promise to bike instead of drive for at
least one errand a week

 

 

LITTERI promise to participate
in a litter cleanup

 

 

PESTICIDESI promise to not use toxic pesticides
on my garden or lawn

 

“Bet you didn’t know water sponges are animals”!!!

SEA SPONGES

ROPE SPONGE2The title quotation, “Bet you didn’t know sponges are animals” is from Dr. Jonathan Bird, on his studies of living sea sponges.
TUBE SPONGESponges live at the bottom of the ocean attached to the surface – never moving.
ENCRUSTING SPONGESSponges look like plants, but are multi-cellular animals.
Sponges are found in the Arctic, Antarctic oceans and the tropics on many coral reefs. These ancient animals have been around for 1/2 billion years.
BARREL SPONGEThe most common is the barrel sponge, some of which can grow larger than a person.
According to Jonathan these sponges are “not as cool as sharks, but still fascinating animals.”

youtube video “Jonathan Bird’s Blue World: Sponges!” published on Mar 11, 2014

BASE SPONGEA sponge might not look like much, but these simple animals with no brain or ability to move have lived on Earth for hundreds of millions of years. They can hunt prey and spawn, and Jonathan demonstrates how in this fascinating segment about the biology of sponges!

There are more than 14,000 videos and webisodes on Jonathan Bird’s Blue World’s site and Youtube – all entertaining, amazing and thrilling!

Friday’s ‘Aw… and Wow’ Factor ~ Amazing!

PENGUIN NURSERIES

The following article, “Hey, I think that’s our kid, 3,233rd from the left: Stunning pictures of island where penguins have created the world’s largest crèche” by Emily Allen, was updated 2 June 2011, on http://www.dailymail.co.uk.

I thought you might also enjoy this great Youtube video, “King penguins – Attenborough: LIfe in the Freezer” – BBC, uploaded Mar. 7, 2012. In a fantastic clip from Attenborough’s 1993 series ‘Life in the Freezer’, Sir David demonstrates how inquistive baby penguins are. A great glimpse into the life of king penguins and their parental instincts.

These stunning aerial images of a King Penguin colony in South Georgia show just how extraordinary penguin parenting really is.
In what looks to be the world’s largest crèche, thousands of King Penguins instinctively herd their recently born young into giant huddles to stop them freezing to death.
Parental instinct takes over in the inhospitable climate of the South Atlantic and the chicks with their long, brown, downy coats are made to crowd together to retain their body warmth in the equivalent of bird crèches – visible as brown swathes on our photo.
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Birds of a feather: Thanks to these stunning aerial images we can see penguin parenting in action. The brown swathes are the young penguins herded together.

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P-p-p-peckish? A King Penguin feeds its baby in the colony in South Georgia.

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The young brown penguins are clearly visible in their huddles.

IMAGE4Meanwhile their extraordinary parents waddle down to the shore to bring back dinner for their offspring. The chicks, which take between 10 to 13 months to raise – cannot regulate their body temperature and the parents care for them round the clock for the first three weeks.

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Extraordinary patterns emerge as the brown baby penguins are herded into crèches.

The penguins look after their young around the clock for the first three weeks. They then put the chicks in one of the crèches, returning every two or three days with food. 

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A King Penguin protects a female from another male as the sun sets.

MAPNEW
South Georgia is a British territory close to the Falkland Islands and is one of the main breeding colonies for the birds.

IMAGE9The King Penguin is the second largest species of penguin, weighing up to 35 lbs. The Emperor penguins are the largest. They eat small fish – mainly lantern fish, and squid and repeatedly dive to more than 100 metres to find lunch. A full penguin breeding cycle lasts more than a year and pairs generally breed twice every three years.
There are an estimated 2.23 million pairs of King Penguins with numbers increasing.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1393379/King-Penguin-colony-South-Georgia-Stunning-pictures-worlds-largest-cr-che.html#ixzz2qaj35Ki1