Archive for the ‘Conservation’ Category


November 16, 2015

Interactio Launches Kickstarter Campaign for
New Fuel Saving Device
and Mobile App

View real time boat fuel flow, consumption and range information using your Smart Phone or Tablet. New Optio Fuel wireless sensor from Interactio

November 16, 2015 (Victoria, BC) – Every once in awhile a deceptively simple innovation comes along that just makes sense. Optio Fuel is one such innovation.

Until now, the options boat owners had for monitoring their boat’s fuel consumption were either very expensive or difficult to retrofit, leaving boaters relying on instinct and math!

The Victoria, BC-based creators of Optio Fuel, Interactio Inc., will launch their first product on the popular crowdfunding platform Kickstarter later this month.

This new device makes it easy for boat owners to directly monitor their vessel’s fuel use using a free app on their smart phone or tablet. The fuel sensor and the mobile app is all that is needed to monitor fuel flow and consumption. Further, current range and optimal speed are also displayed on the device’s map in real time.

Preliminary tests show fuel savings in the range of 10-30% or more*. David Burton, Interactio’s co-founder said “In many cases Optio Fuel pays for itself in a weekend of cruising”. (*Numbers will vary depending on your boat, how often it’s used and your cruising style).

“Our goal is to raise $25k to fund the production of the Optio Fuel,” commented Roger Lines, co-founder of Interactio.

With the funds and awareness raised through this Kickstarter campaign, Interactio will offer a series of new products leveraging “Internet-of-things” technology to bring products to the marine market. As a new technology startup company looking to do things in new ways, Interactio is using modern crowd sourcing from Kickstarter to bring Optio Fuel to market. In true Kickstarter style, being an early supporter gets you a big discount when it’s delivered. Lines reports that the retail price for the Optio Fuel will be just US$199, but on Kickstarter, the first 100 units will be $99, the next 200 — $149.

The project launches November 28th and will run until the end of December. You can find out more at: http://bit.ly/Optiofuel.


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Dolphins are some of the smartest beings on our planet.

I have always known the amazing intelligence of dolphin and all cetacean. This video captures an amazing relationship, though brief, between a Bottlenose dolphin and a diver who is there when it mattered.

The Backstory:

A wounded dolphin approaches a man during a night dive.

Its behaviour seemed to point that it’s asking for help.

Attached to its left pectoral fin was a plastic wire (fish line).

The diver removes the embedded hook & cuts the majority of the line, leaving only a very little piece.

Watch the trust that the dolphin shows towards the diver.

It looks as if it knows exactly what the man is doing.

At the end the dolphin swims away, freed from the fish line.



Beautiful and compelling.

Begs the question: What have you done today to help save our oceans?

Here’s a list of a few:


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For at least the past 10 years, I’ve been telling anyone who will listen about the impending catastrophic results of dumping plastic into our oceans. I’ve written about various research projects into the Pacific Gyre –  AKA: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and Project Kaisei, Mary Crowley San Francisco-based expedition team that studies marine debris in the North Pacific Gyre in hopes of cleaning up the pollution that will ultimately cause irreversible damage to oceans. Problems like Acidification, temperature rise and worse, destruction of marine habitats.

They were among the first to study ways in which we can perhaps clean up the garbage and fortunately, many have followed. Scripps Institute of Oceanography, in conjunction with the University of California, San Diego, has also been involved in important research.

A new study, release in May 2012, follows a report published last year by Scripps researchers in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series showing that nine percent of the fish collected during their study in 2009, called SEAPLEX (Scripps Environmental Accumulation of Plastic Expedition), “contained plastic waste in their stomachs. That study estimated that fish in the intermediate ocean depths of the North Pacific Ocean ingest plastic at a rate of roughly 12,000 to 24,000 tons per year.”

It’s enough to make you sick, just thinking about it! The cause… a 100-fold upsurge in human-produced plastic garbage in the ocean, which is altering habitats in the marine environment, according to the study led by graduate students at Scripps.

SEAPLEX concentrated their studies a thousand miles west of California, onboard the Scripps research vessel New Horizon. During the voyage, they documented “an alarming amount of human-generated trash, mostly broken down bits of plastic the size of a fingernail floating across thousands of miles of open ocean.”


LEFT: Examples of a not-yet-hatched sea skater (Halobates sericeus) egg (top), about the size of a grain of rice, and a hatched egg (bottom). Photo: Miriam Goldstein, Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. RIGHT: SEAPLEX researchers collected an alarming amount of small bits of broken down plastic floating across thousands of miles of open ocean. Photo: Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego.


A fully-grown sea skater

Another new study, this one in the journal Biology Letters, reveals that plastic debris in the area known as the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” has increased by 100 times over the past 40 years, leading to changes in the natural habitats of animals such as the marine insect Halobates sericeus. These “sea skaters” or “water striders”-relatives of pond water skaters-inhabit water surfaces and lay their eggs on flotsam. Naturally existing surfaces for their eggs usually include, for example: seashells, seabird feathers, tar lumps and pumice. In the new study researchers found that sea skaters have exploited the influx of plastic garbage as a new surface for their eggs. This has led to a rise in the insect’s egg densities in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre.


During SEAPLEX, sea skaters and plastic trash were collected with a fine-meshed net called a “manta net,” seen here being deployed from R/V New Horizon by Miriam Goldstein and Mario Aguilera. Photo: J. Leichter, Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego

Such an increase, documented for the first time in a marine invertebrate (animal without a backbone) in the open ocean, may have consequences for animals across the marine food web, such as crabs that prey on sea skaters and their eggs.

“This paper shows a dramatic increase in plastic over a relatively short time period and the effect it’s having on a common North Pacific Gyre invertebrate,” said Scripps graduate student Miriam Goldstein, lead author of the study and chief scientist of SEAPLEX, a UC Ship Funds-supported voyage. “We’re seeing changes in this marine insect that can be directly attributed to the plastic.”

In April, researchers with the Instituto Oceanográfico in Brazil published a report that eggs of Halobates micans, another species of sea skater, were found on many plastic bits in the South Atlantic off Brazil.

“Plastic only became widespread in late ’40s and early ’50s, but now everyone uses it and over a 40-year range we’ve seen a dramatic increase in ocean plastic,” said Goldstein. “Historically we have not been very good at stopping plastic from getting into the ocean so hopefully in the future we can do better.”

Coauthors of the study include Marci Rosenberg, a student at UCLA, and Scripps Research Biologist Emeritus Lanna Cheng.


Microplastic concentrations in 1972-1987 (a and b) and 1999-2010 (c and d) based on new data (SEAPLEX, NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer cruises), Algalita Marine Research Foundation as well as published data based on Wong et al (1974), Shaw (1977), Day & Shaw (1987), Gilfillan et al (2009) and Doyle et al (2011).

To read the entire research article, go to http://scrippsnews.ucsd.edu/Releases/?releaseID=1271

If you’d like to make a difference, here are

10 Things You Can Do To Save Our Oceans:

  1. DONATE to the Ocean Conservancy
  2. Be a part of the expedition
  3. Ditch plastic and use reusable bags, bottles, containers, utensils, and even straws. Try going completely plastic free to appreciate how much of the plastic in our lives goes unnoticed.
  4. Participate in International Coastal Cleanup. Pick up litter on beaches and help reduce coastal pollution. Much of the plastic and debris found in the ocean are first discarded on the beach. Bring a trash bag with you for your garbage, and organize a beach cleanup party with friends and family or local community members.
  5. Recycle as much as you can. The more, the better, so it goes nowhere else than into the virtuous cycle of humans reusing our own junk.
  6. Reduce your energy use
  7. Use less fertilizer -Grow your lawn and garden organically.
  8. Choose your seafood wisely
  9. Tell Congress to Fight Ocean Plastic!
  10. Take a Pledge To Stop Plastic Trash – It’s time!

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Take the Seafood Pledge for Worlds Ocean Day!

Today is World Oceans Day and on behalf of the world’s oceans and the Sea Turtle Restoration Project, I want to acknowledge the hard work these fine folks are doing and ask your support to help protect sea turtles and our precious oceans for all of us. Please join me and my fellow cruisers and help any way you can!

June is worth celebrating!

President Obama recently signed proclamations designating June as Great Outdoors Month and National Oceans Month.

“Both proclamations are an exceptional recognition for the value of our nation’s waterways and reinforce the vital role fishing and boating play in strengthening the U.S. economy and providing a means for Americans to ‘explore, play and grow together,” the National Marine Manufacturers Association said in a statement.

In his proclamation of Great Outdoors Month, Obama says, “This month, let each of us resolve to protect our great outdoors; discover their wonders; and share them with our friends, our neighbors, and our children.”  You can Read the proclamation Here.

West Marine Grants $30K to non-profits who protect marine habitats

In honor of World Oceans Day, West Marine, the largest specialty retailer of boating supplies and accessories, today announced the recipients of their annual Marine Conservation Grants program.  Grants for a total amount of $30,000 are being awarded to non-profit organizations throughout the U.S. who are working to “improve and protect marine habitat,” which is part of West Marine’s mission.  This year’s grant recipients are located in Florida, North Carolina, New Jersey, Maryland and California. For more info and a list of the recipients, go to Conservation Grants.


Here’s a few things you can do…

to participate in World Oceans Day and to help celebrate World Turtle Day on June 16th.

  1. Celebrate World Turtle Day June 16 with sea turtle scientists at the Cal Academy Night Life in Golden Gate Park. Pacific leatherback expert Scott Benson will reveal the latest findings about these rare and mysterious sea turtles. Join the Sea Turtle Restoration Project community at a party for the sea turtles at the incredible California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco! If you can help STRP and volunteer, send an email to info@seaturtles.orgturle_caught_in_plastic
  2. “I pledge to protect myself against mercury”

    Sadly, capture and drowning in shrimp trawl, swordfish and tuna fishing gear is the leading cause of deaths of sea turtles from human activity. By not eating this fish we can reduce demand for it and the need for more fishing. Much of this fish is also high in mercury. Join the over 1,100 ocean lovers and –  Take the Pledge Here!

  3. Visit Your Local Aquarium
    Many aquariums do fantastic research an advocacy for oceans, and the funds they receive from patrons can help them keep afloat, so to speak. Not only that, but you learn so much about local and exotic sealife. It’s hard to visit an aquarium and not walk away with a soft spot for marine ecosystems and fish.
  4. Donate to a Favorite Ocean Advocacy Group
    There are a range of nonprofits working to help the ocean, and they need your help. Why not send a little something (or a lot something) to one or a few groups making a difference. I recommend SeaTurles.org, Conservation International, or Save Our Seas, just to name a few.
  5. Sign the Care2 “Save Sharks” Petition
    As many as 73 million or more sharks are killed every year for shark fin soup. Around the world populations of these important predators are collapsing and species are going extinct. Many species such as the oceanic white tip and great hammerhead have dropped by 99% in just the last 50 years. They may strike fear in many, but we really do need them in the big picture! Sign Care2’s petition to help save sharks today, and protect this vital species from extinction.


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10 Green Boating Tips for Cruisers, Alternative Cleansers, Protecting the Waterwaysgreen-boating-leafboat

1. Choose Green Products: Look for the EPA-certified “Design for the Environment” (DfE) label, which assures you that the product has minimal environmental impact and is safer for the person using it. Benefit: Safer products. Reduce water pollution.

2. Use The Right Prop: Use a prop with the right pitch so your engine reaches its designed wide-open-throttle RPM. An adjustable-pitch propeller allows you to dial in the optimum pitch angle in single degrees. Modular props, let you swap props while keeping the same hub. Benefit: Reduce fuel consumption, improve performance. [ flexofold.com ].

3. Add Alternative Energy: Solar panels and wind generators are getting more affordable and smarter. Most systems can be self-installed and will reduce your fuel costs significantly. Benefit: Reduce Carbon footprint & Reduce fuel consumption. Go to www.emarineinc.com for good comparison of the two options.

4. Keep The Bilge Clean: Avoid the accidental discharge of oily water by using a sorbent in each bilge area. Consider a bioremediation product designed to convert hydrocarbons into safe compounds. Benefit: Safer products. Reduce water pollution

WestMarine.com5. Retire That 2-Stroke Outboard: Although it may be possible to get a few more years out of your old-technology outboard, you’ll be much happier with the reduced noise, fumes, fuel consumption, and pollution of a modern injected four-stroke outboard. For an even quieter ride, try an electric outboard. Benefit: Save gas and reduce water pollution.

6. Recycle your Lead-Acid Batteries: 12V batteries are among the most recycled products in the world. Benefit: Save money and conserve resources. [ earth911.com ].

7. Prevent Fuel Spills: Use or install a device to prevent overboard discharges from your tank vent. Benefit: Save gas and reduce water pollution

8. Use an autopilot: Modern autopilots can steer better than most helmspersons—and they don’t have a limited attention span. Benefit: Reduce fuel consumption

9. Recycle Your Monofilament Fishing Line. If your harbor doesn’t have a recycling location, see the website [ fishinglinerecycling.org ].

10. Eat Responsibly Harvested Seafood: Choose sustainable seafood at a restaurants or grocery stores to ensure that the fish stocks are plentiful for your children and for generations to come. Go to eartheasy.com/eat_sustainable_seafoods.htm  for informational guide.


Support Yacht To Be Green!

More Tips:

Clean Boating at BoatUS Foundation

Florida Depart of Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Boating Practices

Vessel Cleaning:

Alternatives to Toxic Products

Product ➛ Alternative
Bleach ➛ Borax
Detergent & Soap ➛ Elbow grease
Scouring Powders ➛ Baking soda, or rub area with one-half lemon dipped in borax, then rinse
General Cleaner ➛ Baking soda and vinegar, or lemon juice combined with borax paste
Floor Cleaner ➛ One cup vinegar in 2 gallons of water
Window Cleaner ➛ One cup vinegar + 1 qt. warm water. Rinse and squeegee
Aluminum Cleaner ➛ 2 Tbsp. cream of tartar + 1 qt. of hot water
Brass Cleaner ➛ Worcestershire sauce, or paste made of equal amounts of salt, vinegar and water
Copper Cleaner ➛ Lemon juice and water, or paste of lemon juice, salt, and flour
Chrome Cleaner/Polish ➛ Apple cider vinegar to clean; baby oil to polish
Stainless Steel Cleaner ➛ Baking soda or mineral oil for polishing, vinegar to remove spots
Fiberglass Stain Remover ➛ Baking soda paste
Mildew Remover ➛ Paste with equal amounts of lemon juice and salt, or white vinegar and salt
Drain Opener ➛ Dissemble or use plumber’s snake, or flush with boiling water + one-quarter cup baking soda + one-quarter cup vinegar
Wood Polish ➛ Olive or almond oil (interior walls only)
Hand Cleaner ➛ Baby oil or margarine
Head & Shower ➛ Baking soda; brush thoroughly
Rug/Upholstery Cleaner ➛ Dry corn starch sprinkled on; vacuum


Support Sailors Without Borders

Protect the Oceans!

According to the Ocean Conservancy, there are five general ways boaters can protect our oceans and waterways, and conveniently enough, each of the five tips starts with a letter that ends up spelling the word “BOATS”.

Be a leader in your community. Talk about marine litter prevention with members of your boating community, from your neighbor in the next slip to boating clubs and marina managers.

Offer your time. Volunteer in boat and marina cleanup programs, especially at sites only accessible by boat. And participate in Ocean Conservancy’s annual International Coastal Cleanup, the largest volunteer effort of its kind for the ocean.

Accidents happen. Be prepared with absorbent pads to clean oil or fuel spills. Dish soap doesn’t work. It just causes those liquids to sink and contaminate the bottom.

Take it all back to shore. Don’t allow cigarette butts to go overboard; small but significant, they are the most prevalent marine litter item found during the International Coastal Cleanup. Dispose of them properly onshore.

Set the pace. Recycle everything you can, from beverage containers to propeller-snarling fishing line or plastic bags.

Read more at the Daily Boater

Of course the greenest thing sailors can do is to just…………Sail!

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I’d like to pass on a direct appeal by the Sea Turtle Restoration Project as it is close to my heart. Please use the link below to voice your support.

“The horrific BP oil spill began one year ago, and no new sea turtle protections or restoration plans have been put in place! Our legal actions stopped the burning of endangered sea turtles and launched a new investigation into the deadly effects of Gulf shrimp trawls, and now we need your help to call for immediate action to save Gulf sea turtles.


Oil Covered Turtle. Photo courtesy of seaturtles.org

Click below to send a letter urging immediate action to protect and restore Gulf of Mexico sea turtles

Then, read our newest press release “U.S. Earns Failing Grades for BP Oil Spill Response and Repair in Gulf of Mexico – Environmental Report Card Finds Business As Usual in Gulf One Year After the Biggest Oil Spill in U. S. History” and download the color pdf Enviro Report Card from the BP Spill. Read and share it!

Finally, dig deep and donate!
Turtle Island Restoration Network, home to the Sea Turtle Restoration Project, is THE leading organization fighting for sea turtle justice in the Gulf of Mexico. Our small staff can use all the help we can get!

Chris Pincetich – Sea Turtle Restoration Project”

And here’s more things you can do now to help the cause:

* Visiting the Sea Turtle Restoration Project Action Center [ http://seaturtles.org/article.php?list=type&type=71 ] and taking MORE action
* Stop using plastic bags and replace them with cloth or paper bags. Sea turtles are known to mistake plastic bags for food which can result in their death
* Make a tax-deductible Donation! [ http://seaturtles.org/article.php?list=type&type=60 ] With offices in California, Texas, and Costa Rica, we are leading the international fight to save sea turtle populations worldwide by partnering with activists and communities to protect nesting beaches, establish marine conservation areas and reform fishery policies.

After living on Earth since the time of the dinosaurs more than 100 million years ago, the survival of sea turtles depends on us. Working together, we can save the sea turtles.

In an attempt to get you motivated, please take a look at these disturbing photos from Costa Rica at the immense devastation that locals are reeking on the turtle population by harvesting eggs to sell.









Thanks to dear friend Ginny for sharing this with me.

Please distribute widely 

The Turtle eggs are stolen to be sold.

The planet is thankful for the forwarding of this email.

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