the channel islands

Things that turn 10 years old this year

Portal
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Wizards of Waverly Place
Super Paper Mario
The Orange Box
Team Fortress 2
Half Life 2: Episode 2(the most recent installment in the Half Life series)
iCarly
Chowder(the cartoon)
Total Drama Island

Think about that for a second.

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(via Samares Manor | tracygray | Flickr)

Watch on the-earth-story.com

Wow.

All eyes on you! The mola mola, or ocean sunfish, is the biggest bony fish in the ocean. 

They can grow up to 10 feet in length and weigh nearly 5,000 pounds! These ocean giants eat jellyfish, and can often be spotted basking on the ocean surface. This one was spotted in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. 

(Photo: Stuart Halewood)

Well excuse me, I’m swimming here! 

Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary visitor Patrick Smith spotted this sea lion swimming through the kelp forest off Santa Barbara Island with an attitude. These playful, acrobatic swimmers are often spotted in the Channel Islands and in other West Coast national marine sanctuaries. 

(Photo: Patrick Smith)

5

Another beautiful part of Guernsey:

“A work of art and a labour of love, the Little Chapel is possibly the smallest chapel in the world. It was built by Brother Déodat who started work in March 1914. His plan was to create a miniature version of the famous grotto and basilica at Lourdes in France. Guardianship of the Little Chapel now rests with Blanchelande Girls College which is run by a Charitable Trust. The Little Chapel is beautifully decorated with seashells, pebbles and colourful pieces of broken china and the College has an ongoing programme of repairs and improvements.”

If anyone ever visits, this is a must see. The detail and dedication is shown throughout, something always catches your eye.

What are scientists up to in your national marine sanctuaries?

In Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, researchers are kicking off an expedition to explore the sanctuary’s deep-sea ecosystems!

Using a remotely operated vehicle, scientists from Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary will explore the sanctuary’s deep-water ecosystems. Photo: Charleston Lab

Located off the coast of Southern California, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary protects remarkable biodiversity, productive ecosystems, and sensitive species and habitats. But more than a quarter of this ocean treasure remains unmapped and little-explored. This month, a research expedition will change that.

Throughout April and May, a team of NOAA-led researchers will explore the sanctuary’s deep seafloor environment. Deep-sea environments like those in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary provide nurseries and habitat for commercially-important species such as lobster, squid, and sea urchins. Some deep coral reefs may also produce chemicals that could be key to the next generation of medicines. However, these habitats are under threat. The two-week cruise on board the NOAA Ship Bell M. Shimada will shine a light on how these ecosystems are impacted by a variety of stresses facing them, such as ocean acidification.

When we burn fossil fuels like oil and gas, we release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. When the ocean absorbs this carbon dioxide, chemical reactions occur that reduce seawater pH and the amounts of available calcium carbonate minerals. This is known as ocean acidification. Calcium carbonate minerals are the building blocks for the skeletons and shells of many marine organisms, including deep-sea corals.

Lophelia pertusa (white coral at left and lower-right) is a deep-sea coral that is sensitive to ocean acidification. Photo: NOAA

2014 survey results indicate that corals in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary are already experiencing effects from ocean acidification, and waters in this area are projected to become even more acidic. Corals support extensive fish and invertebrate populations, including commercially-fished species, so it is important to monitor the potentially harmful effects ocean acidification has on deep-sea corals. Using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), the ocean acidification team will collect samples of Lophelia pertusa, a stony reef-building deep-sea coral found in the sanctuary. Researchers will also monitor water chemistry in and around reefs to help measure local effects of increased carbon dioxide emissions and to assess this ecosystem’s overall vulnerability to ocean acidification.

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Let's get one thing straight:

Badlands National Park is not in defiance of the president, they are in support of the American People. They don’t work for him, they work for US. Climate change is a direct threat to our national resources, and the most severe threat facing our parks today. This is not a political issue, this is not Democrats vs. Republicans, this is data-backed endangerment of our open spaces and federal lands. If a building is deemed structurally unsound, you fix it, you don’t claim that scientists are lying to you about serious fatigue in the load-bearing members, or else it comes crashing down around you. Climate change is no different, nobody has ever tried to claim that forest fires are a myth invented by the Chinese.