A Blue View | WYPR

A Blue View

Tuesdays 5:44 PM

A Blue View, hosted by National Aquarium CEO John Racanelli.  From the smallest plants and animals invisible to the human eye to entire ecosystems, every living thing depends on and is intricately linked by water.

Oceanography and seafloor mapping have been headline news recently in the search for Malaysian Airlines Flight 370. One of the many challenges of finding the missing plane was the fact that the ocean floor has been dark, deep and remote for all of time.

Marine photographer, videographer and environmentalist Bob Talbot has been working in and around the ocean since he was a young man living along the California coastline.

Go with the flow. For some people this is a life philosophy; for oceanographers, it describes the very dynamics of our global ocean.

Most of us probably believe that we do a pretty good job of picking up after ourselves, but the reality is that trash does in fact make its way into our streets, our communities, or shores, and our waterways. To help critical habitats in the Chesapeake Bay area, the National Aquarium's Conservation Team regularly hosts cleanups where Aquarium staff and volunteers pick up what others left behind.

For many parents, raising a child to appreciate the natural world is a priority. And the good news is that the cultivation of this environmental awareness can start from a very early age.

As a world-renowned marine photographer, award-winning filmmaker and dedicated environmentalist, Bob Talbot uses the power of film to advocate for the ocean.

Historically, Atlantic White Cedar forests were common to the Eastern Shore.  Over time, these trees were harvested and the swampy areas they depend on for survival were drained and replanted with fast growing loblollies as part of the forest industry to produce lumber and paper pulp. 

Far south of the Chesapeake, fringing tropical and subtropical coastlines, there exist floating forests of mangroves, whose roots grow in a luxuriant tangle at the ocean's edge.  And there, they thrive. Botanists call the 50 species of mangroves halophylic, or "salt loving."

Blue as sapphires, red as rubies and black as onyx—there are more than 100 species of beautifully colored poison dart frogs. There is even one called "the blue jeans frog," because its bottom half is the color of denim.

One of the most challenging environmental issues in communication across Maryland and in communities all over the world is polluted runoff. As solutions are considered and implemented, what is clear is that we have to do something.
 

Did you know that every species of sea turtle in US waters is endangered? Preserving these amazing and essential sea creatures is of the utmost importance.

Through the winter, woodlands and meadows are mostly quiet at night. But with the arrival of spring rains and warming temperatures, that silence is broken by loud choruses of wood frogs and spring peepers. These are the first frog species to come out of hibernation and begin the year’s amphibian breeding season.

The phrase “impervious surface” is used by city planners, developers, real estate agents, lawyers, and citizens in Maryland and beyond.

In the vastness of the ocean, there are many so-called animal to animal symbionts, seemingly odd-fellow relationships from which both species benefit. But what about symbiosis between an animal and a plant? Or more specifically, a plant-like alga called zooxanthellae?

It’s been said that hope is the most powerful motivator in the world…a principle with which I happen to agree. I came to this, in good measure, due to a remarkable person named Dr. Sylvia Earle, oceanographer, scientist, National Geographic explorer-in-residence, and one of this blue planet’s most ardent champions. 

Spotting seals on Mid-Atlantic beaches at this time of year is a lot more common than you think.

We’ve heard a lot about seafood fraud and why it is detrimental to consumers, but what’s being done about it?

Thousands of feet beneath the surface of the ocean, animals live, even thrive, in conditions that are impossible for most of us to even imagine. Our blue planet is indeed a water planet, yet incredibly, over 90 percent of the ocean remains unexplored and unseen by humans. 

Animals come to the National Aquarium’s Animal Care Center in need. Once they are fully rehabilitated, they often leave our facility with a little something extra—a satellite tracking device.

Over 100 million American adults live with chronic pain—more than cancer, diabetes, and heart disease combined. It is a significant public health problem.

The ocean food web is much more than the dramatic clash of sharks devouring marine mammals and large fish. While many of us know that the ocean food web is complex, it’s easy to focus on the apex predators at the top.

We hear a lot about the seemingly insurmountable challenges facing our ocean, yet the ocean has some powerful friends working on its behalf.

In the ocean’s deepest reaches, sunlight cannot penetrate, and yet, there is light. From softly glowing to dazzlingly brilliant, it is not the light of humans and their machines.

Last winter was an historic year for turtle rescue, with a cold-stun incident stranding hundreds of turtles along the northeast coast.

Coral Reefs

Sometimes called the rainforests of the sea, coral reefs are colorful, intricate ecosystems—among the most incredible natural wonders in the world.

When Maryland became the first East Coast state to ban the sale, trade, and distribution of shark fins into law, it served as a much-needed victory for these essential ocean-dwellers. However, sharks are still facing an uphill battle.

Visiting a zoo or aquarium can challenge the mind, spark curiosity, expand our vision of the world, and challenge what we understand. As zoos and aquariums aim to wow and inspire, it is up to the families to go home and take what they’ve experienced and apply it to their own lives.

The ocean floor is often thought of as a continuation of the land, a featureless sandy plain stretching across the sea to another shore thousands of miles away.  Yet, this could hardly be further from the truth.

Kids are curious, and want to soak up all the knowledge they can about our natural world. Yet the approach one needs to take in order to effectively communicate about the environment is very different depending on the age.

Coral reefs are amazingly diverse ecosystems, serving as essential breeding, nursery, and feeding grounds for countless species. Wetlands, too, are thriving environments, teeming with life and serving as stops for millions of migratory birds.

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