A year of brutal hurricanes, the wonderful resilience of limpets, talking about meat consumption, and more! The Monday Morning Salvage: December 4, 2017.

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)

  • ‘Extremely Active’ 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Comes to a Close – Here’s the Full Season in One Four-Minute Video:

The Argentine military submarine ARA San Juan and crew are seen leaving the port of Buenos Aires, Argentina June 2, 2014. Picture taken on June 2, 2014. Armada Argentina/Handout via REUTERS

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Surviving a Double Hurricane (a first person report of the Puerto Rico disaster by Heather Cooke)

Heather Cooke graduated with an environmental science degree from George Mason University and studied marine biology. She is now a dive instructor and runs Culebra Divers on Culebra Island. This article was written during brief moments of power on Culebra Island.


As General Manager of Culebra Divers in Culebra, Puerto Rico for the last 2.5 years, I have enjoyed our semi-arid island with its brief storms. Known for one of the safer harbors in the Caribbean, my husband and I watched tropical storm after tropical storm and hurricane after hurricane pass us by. What I am writing is based on our experiences and what others around me have experienced or shared from their families on our sister islands.

Culebra the smallest of 3 islands that make up what you know as Puerto Rico (the “mainland”, Vieques, and us) and we’re 17 miles from the mainland itself.  To get here you fly from San Juan or take a ferry from the mainland’s east coast. We get all our food and fuel via that same ferry system. Our water and power travel under the ocean from the mainland through Vieques and then to us so if anything happens to either of those islands, we are screwed.  The island has a rag tag rental generator and no desalination plant.

As I write this, it has been 34 days since Maria and 48 since Irma and we still lack non-generator power, reliable daily water, and cell service not provided by some other island.

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See a Great White Shark from the inside with OpenROV, Vaquita, Narwhals, and more! Monday Morning Salvage: November 6, 2017

Fog Horn (A Call to Action)

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)

  • Yes, that is the esophagus of a great white shark, in the wild. No, you should not attempt to replicate this experience.

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Deep-sea mining, octopus cities, a world without ozone, and more! Monday Morning Salvage: October 2, 2017

Fog Horn (A Call to Action)

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)

The first successful mining tool.

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How to help our island colleagues in the wake of total devastation.

After three brutal hurricanes, the islands of the Caribbean are hurting. It can be hard, in the wake of catastrophe, to know where your donations can be best spent. We’ve contacted several of our colleagues on the ground to find out who’s doing the work and which aid organizations and groups need help now.

Puerto Rico

Hi, my name is [your name], resident of District [your disctrict], zip code [your zip code] and I don’t need a response.

I’m calling to ask the [Senator/Congressman/Congresswoman] to join the efforts of some of his colleagues in Congress–like Congressman José Serrano, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, Senator Marco Rubio, Resident Commissioner Jennifer González, and others–to put pressure on the federal government to provide more assistance to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands after being hit by Hurricane Maria, and on Congress to allocate the necessary funds/resources to do so. Also, to please join some of these representatives on calling for at least one year exemption from the Jones Act or US Cabotage laws to Puerto Rico.

Thank you!

source.

US Virgin Islands

Antigua and Barbuda

Dominica

Turks and Caicos

British Virgin Islands

Feel free to recommend your favorite organizations providing aid on the ground in the comments below. We would prefer to focus on ground efforts driven by affected communities, rather than large, international aid organizations.

What can we do with an OpenCTD – high resolution hurricane monitoring

Last Friday we launched Oceanography for Everyone–The OpenCTD, a crowdfunding project to develop a low-cost, open-source CTD. This project won’t succeed without your help. To demonstrate how valuable a device like the OpenCTD is, for the next several weeks I’ll be presenting various projects that could be accomplished with access to low-cost CTD’s. First up on the docket is an array of volunteer nodes to measure the effects of hurricanes.

Imagine a category 2 hurricane barreling down the eastern seaboard. As the swirling air mass builds strength, it absorbs heat from the ocean. The powerful winds alter local currents, mixing layers of seawater, and depositing freshwater on the surface in the form of rain. The effects of a hurricane reach far beyond the eye of the storm and changes may take several months to return to the status quo.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if there were a group of enthusiastic (and safety minded) volunteers taking ocean measurements before* and after the hurricane passed? And not just on the regional scale like we do now, but at an extremely high resolution, charting changes in local estuaries, sounds, and dozens or hundreds (or, dare I dream, thousands) of points along the coast? Enthusiastic volunteers with access to their own local waterways and a low-cost CTD could monitor these water bodies for months following the storm, documenting changing sea conditions. Uploaded to a shared database like Marinexplore, this kind of data would provide a massive baseline for assessing hurricane impacts, anticipating recovery, and informing management of affected marine populations.

A low-cost, open-source CTD could help make this kind of large-scale monitoring project possible. With your help, we can make the OpenCTD a reality.

Please visit our Rockethub project page and consider donating (even a few dollars helps!). You can also follow us on our Google+ page–Oceanography for Everyone for project updates and additional media.


*While, of course, maintaining a conservative window of time to evacuate ahead of the storm.