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Earlier this month, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) announced that the North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) was moved from Endangered to Critically Endangered status on the IUCN Red List.[1] Less than 250 mature whales remain after a decade of continual population decline, with particularly elevated deaths since 2017.  These extra…

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Recently, Amazon CEO and the world’s wealthiest person, Jeff Bezos, pledged $10 billion to fight climate change, which he referred to as “the biggest threat to our planet,” via the creation of the Bezos Earth Fund. The vast opportunities created by such large philanthropic initiatives prompt thoughtful deliberation about the necessary actions to minimize and…

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Marine protected areas (MPAs) are a vital tool for conserving marine biodiversity and ocean health in the face of human-caused threats, such as habitat destruction, overfishing, and climate change. They provide a wide range of benefits, such as increasing biodiversity and biomass, protecting endangered species, recovering overfished populations and sequestering carbon, justifying their inclusion as…

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As we approach 2020, we see little change in marine protected areas (MPAs) in United States waters. At the end of 2019, 23.1% of U.S. waters are in strongly protected areas. 1.3% of state waters are strongly protected, compared to 23.9% of federal waters. These numbers are unchanged since the administration change in 2017.  Despite lack of progress, based on numbers alone, the U.S. has achieved and exceeded protecting 10% of…

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