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Coral Die-Off Reveals Truths About Our Interconnected World – June 14, 2013

To save reefs we need to first fix the quality of our air and water

In June 2012 author and illustrator Liz Cunningham visited the Turks and Caicos Islands – a tiny crescent of windblown, handkerchief-sized coral islands just north of Haiti and the Dominican Republic – to research her upcoming book on ocean conservation, Ocean Country. While she was there, she witnessed a dramatic coral bleaching event in less than a week's time.  That month NOAA documented record-breaking temperature highs for the North Atlantic and Caribbean Sea. This excerpt, from the chapter “The Truths of the Islands,” describes what Cunningham experienced.

I loved mornings, the metallic clank of dive gear being attached to aluminum tanks, the thwap-thwap air-bursts of regulators expelling air when… more

by: Liz Cunningham

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Seagrass Meadows — Underwater Carbon Sinks More Efficient Than Forests – May 25, 2012

The Greatest Threat to Seagrass is the Very Phenomenon It Counteracts, Global Warming

Adapted from the upcoming book, Ocean Country

Humor me: take the deepest breath you can, inhaling deep into your abdomen. And hold it as long as possible. When you finally can’t hold it any longer, exhale and take a new breath. Last October I witnessed something that dramatically changed that experience: breath. Even I, the ever-so-keen conservationist, found my eyes glaze over when I read about how the oceans support the air we breathe, discussions of things like photosynthesis and carbon-sinks. But then I saw something that drove it home in such an immediate and tactile way I would never forget it.

Photo by Liz CunninghamPoisidonia oceanica,… more

by: Liz Cunningham

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