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George Leonard is Chief Scientist at Ocean Conservancy. A long-time scuba diver, George knew he wanted to be a marine biologist at the age of 12 when he first watched Jacques Cousteau's TV special on the sleeping sharks of Yucatan in 1975. During his graduate work, he logged over 400 dives in 3 years, studying California's kelp forests, the undersea equivalent of a tropical rain forest.

What’s Needed to Put an End to Ocean Cleanups

This week Ocean Conservancy is releasing its yearly data report highlighting the efforts of the nearly 650,000 dedicated volunteers who removed over 12 million pounds of trash from beaches and waterways around the world during the recent International Coastal Cleanup. The release of these data is a great opportunity to celebrate the success of this…

FDA Misses the Boat in Signaling Approval of Genetically Engineered Salmon

Just as I was getting ready to head out for my Christmas break yesterday, my email Inbox signals that the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released its recommendation to approve the first-ever, genetically-engineered animal for human consumption. For those who track the FDA, they know this isn’t unusual – the agency often makes…

Ocean Acidification: It’s Time to Act

“The cost of responding to ocean acidification may be substantial, but it is still far less than the costs of inaction” – Bill Ruckelshaus, co-chair Washington Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification, November 27, 2012 Consensus is hard. Any time you bring together a range of interests, it’s rare the group can speak in a…

A Requiem for Proposition 37? Just Say No by Voting Yes

The amount of money spent in politics is huge and ever expanding; for the first time, the two main Presidential campaigns raised more than 1 billion dollars. That’s billion with a “b”, a staggering sum. But the role of money extends well beyond big-time presidential politics; it has moved all the way down to state…

Dumpster Diving: What We Leave Behind on the Beach Reveals a lot About Us

  Our trash tells a lot about who we are, what we value and how we behave. Some of the lessons are inspirational and uplifting but many more are troubling. This year’s International Coastal Cleanup (ICC), and a subsequent research project, reveals the full range of trash tales. As part of Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free…