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Michael Conathan is the Director of Ocean Policy at the Center for American Progress.

The Top 5 Challenges Facing the New NOAA Administrator

This article was originally published by the Center for American Progress. As former astronaut Kathryn Sullivan takes over NOAA, she faces challenges worthy of a rocket scientist. Today, the Senate confirmed the appointment of Dr. Kathryn Sullivan to be the new administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. She replaces Dr. Jane Lubchenco, who…

Who Wants to Bring Back Overfishing?

This article was originally published by the Center for American Progress. Reading headlines about the declining state of the world’s fisheries is enough to turn any carnivore to a steady diet of beef, pork, and chicken. But the reality is, particularly here in America, regulators and fishermen have done an admirable job ending the practice of overfishing and made…

Establish the National Endowment for the Oceans

This post originally was originally published by the Center for American Progress. Politico reported last week that Congress seems to be done legislating for 2013. While such an outcome wouldn’t be shocking for an anemic legislative body with a 9 percent approval rating that spends more time talking about a broken website than its own…

Sea Level Rise: A Slow-Motion Disaster

By Andrew Satter and Kiley Kroh The following was originally posted by the Center for American Progress. Sea-level rise is a slow-moving threat that presents a tremendous risk to some of America’s most populous cities. The Center for American Progress visited Norfolk, Virginia, a city on the front lines of the fight against rising seas,…

Fukushima Fallout Not Affecting U.S.-Caught Fish

This article was originally published by the Center for American Progress. In recent weeks, there has been a significant uptick in news from Fukushima, Japan. Officials from the Japanese government and the Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, admitted that radioactive water is still leaking from the nuclear plant crippled by the 2011 earthquake and…

Space Exploration Dollars Dwarf Ocean Spending

This article was originally published by the Center for American Progress. “Star Trek” would have us believe that space is the final frontier, but with apologies to the armies of Trekkies, their oracle might be a tad off base. Though we know little about outer space, we still have plenty of frontiers to explore here…

An Ocean Champion in the White House

  This article was originally published by the Center for American Progress. It should come as no surprise that a president who grew up in Hawaii and has been known to enjoy the occasional vacation on Martha’s Vineyard would prioritize policies that result in the improved management of America’s oceans and coasts. In the past…

Top 5 Ocean Priorities for the New Secretary of State

By Michael Conathan and Shiva Polefka This article was originally published by the Center for American Progress. When President Barack Obama convenes his cabinet in the White House’s Roosevelt Room, one might be left with the impression that defenders of our oceans are rather pointedly underrepresented. The Department of Commerce, which oversees the National Oceanic…

Oceans ’13: The Post-Election Future of Ocean Policy

This article was originally published by the Center for American Progress. On November 7 the American people woke up to a post-election Washington, D.C., that looks an awful lot like pre-election Washington, D.C. President Barack Obama earned a four-year extension on his lease at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) and his Democratic colleagues…

Fish on Fridays: Hurricane Sandy, Climate Change, and the Future of Fish

The following piece was originally published by the Center for American Progress. Hurricane Sandy’s terrible toll in lost lives and decimated communities is still being measured. But as we start to sort out the pieces, it’s also worth noting that the storm sent shockwaves through the mid-Atlantic region’s fishing industry. Harbors and infrastructure were pummeled…

Climate Change and Seafood Supply: Developing Countries Most Vulnerable to Ocean Acidification

  The following piece originally appeared at ClimateProgress.org. By Tom Wittig Developing countries that rely on nourishment from the oceans will soon find their sources of food and way of life threatened, according to an Oceana study released last week. The report, Ocean-Based Food Security Threatened in a High CO2 World, ranks the top 50…

Fish on Fridays: Omega 3s vs. Mercury—Is Seafood Good for You?

The following piece was originally published by the Center for American Progress. It seems there’s a never-ending see-saw battle in scientific research about certain consumables. Red wine will decrease incidence of cardiovascular disease! No it won’t. Dark chocolate will lower your body mass index! Or not. Seafood is no different. For every report that Omega…

The Great (Dwindling) Barrier Reef Loses Half Its Coral Cover In Under 30 Years

The following piece was originally published at ClimateProgress.org. If half the Grand Canyon crumbled to nothing in less than three decades, would we stand up and pay attention? If Teddy and Abe’s heads eroded off Mount Rushmore would we step in to save George and Tom? Sadly, that’s what is happening to one of the…

Fish on Fridays: Innovations to Increase and Stabilize Fishing Profits

The following piece was originally published by the Center for American Progress. Earlier this week the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released its annual report on the state of U.S. fisheries and overall, the news was fairly positive. U.S. fishermen caught 10.1 billion pounds of fish in 2011, up nearly 20 percent from 2010. They…

Oil and Ice – The Risks of Drilling in Alaska’s Arctic Ocean

Earlier this year, it seemed almost a foregone conclusion that Royal Dutch Shell would begin drilling for oil in the Arctic Ocean off Alaska’s North Slope. Since then, a litany of factors including difficulty handling its drilling rigs, failure to secure Coast Guard approval of a key spill response vessel, and the lingering presence of…