The New England Ocean Odyssey Photo Contest is Back for the Summer!

The New England Ocean Odyssey photo contest is back! The new contest will run from July 29 through Labor Day (September 7, 2015), exclusively on Instagram, using the hashtag #SeeMySeaStory. Photo contest winner

New Englanders experience the ocean in a multitude of ways. This summer’s contest encourages anyone who has an ocean story to showcase it — whether under, on, or near the water!

Maybe you have a great photo of Acadia, Cape Cod, a fishing or sailing trip, or something else from New England’s long, winding shore? Share them with us! All you need to do to enter the contest is to post your photo on Instagram and include the hashtag. Two winners will be selected throughout the time period, and one after the contest closes.

Winners will receive a photo book from renowned National Geographic photographer Brian Skerry, and/or exclusive New England Ocean Odyssey “swag” — along with the opportunity to showcase your photo on the New England Ocean Odyssey website and social media.

Need inspiration? Check out prior winning images.

If selected, CLF will request the original image be emailed to a staff member, so we can feature a high quality version in our materials.

Questions? Contact Amanda Yanchury at ayanchury@clf.org or 617-350-0990. See official rules.

 

How Do You Enjoy the Northeast Coast?

The following is a message from Surfrider:

Do you love to walk along the ocean beaches, watch the magnificent marine wildlife, surf, sunbathe, kayak, SUP (stand up paddle board), canoe, swim, or engage in any other type of recreational ocean activity?  If so, your help is needed!

The Northeast Ocean Plan is in development and decision-makers need more information on how visitors and residents enjoy the Northeast coast.  This survey is a proactive opportunity for beach lovers who are 18+ years old to provide that missing information, to help identity New England’s recreational areas and uses so they are part of the ocean planning process.

If you don’t identify your special coastal place, who will?

Take the survey today and share the link with your friends!

For more information, contact Melissa Gates or visit northeast.surfrider.org and neoceanplanning.org

 

Image via Shuttershock

International Surfing Day – A holiday my husband can get behind

It’s no secret that my husband is not a huge fan of holidays. The pomp and circumstance confuse and overwhelm him. This is not the case for International Surfing Day—a day that he wholeheartedly embraces and celebrates to the fullest extent every year—a day when it is him, not our children, who rises jittery with the promise of holiday-making swells in the North Atlantic.

International Surfing Day is a global celebration of our oceans and beaches organized by the Surfrider Foundation. Friday, June 20th marks the 10th Annual International Surfing Day, and beachgoers and surfers will host more than 140 events ranging from beach cleanups to surf contests in over 30 countries.

Granted living in New Hampshire does not always mean rideable waves or the warmest of waters, but a day in recognition of the dynamic sport that allows you to interact with the ocean in unique and inspiring ways is enough to celebrate regardless of the conditions. That is why tomorrow afternoon will be particularly sad for my husband—not because our family will be heading to Jenness Beach in Rye, NH to join other local families participating in Surfrider’s beach cleanup and play in the waves, but because he had rotator cuff surgery a month ago and is under strict instructions not to paddle out under any circumstances.

CLF's Jen Felt
CLF’s Jen Felt

We will pack a surfboard anyway, because while he is running around on the beach after our children with his one good arm, I will be out on the water attempting to carve inspiration. Do you want to know why? I love celebrating International Surfing Day too. That’s why I do the work I do as part of CLF’s oceans team—protecting the oceans is vital to ensuring that we can enjoy celebrations like International Surfing Day now and far into the future.

Feature image via CLF’s Jen Felt

Announcing Our February Photo Contest Winner!

Congratulations to Lee Palombo, our winning photographer for February’s contest! We love the vivid color and light of this New England sunset reflected on the water’s surface.

Do you have a great photo of New England’s oceans to share?  Enter our photo contest! Each month, Brian Skerry will lead our team of judges to select a winner, who will receive a copy of Brian’s book Ocean Soul.

Entering is easy! Explore New England’s oceans, take some photographs and then share them with our online community on Flickr™. All you need to do is add your photos to the New England Ocean Odyssey group and tag them “PhotoContestNEOO”. Find out more here.

Be sure to check our our New England Ocean Odyssey Facebook page where we’ll continue to post honorable mentions from the photo contest and other great ocean photography.

We look forward to seeing your photos!

Announcing Our January Photo Contest Winner!

Congratulations to Jay Arbelo, our winning photographer for January’s contest! Jay captured this stunning shot of a rocky, icy shoreline at Rye Beach in Rye, NH.

Do you have a great photo of New England’s oceans to share?  Enter our photo contest! Each month, Brian Skerry will lead our team of judges to select a winner, who will receive a copy of Brian’s book Ocean Soul.

Entering is easy! Explore New England’s oceans, take some photographs and then share them with our online community on Flickr™. All you need to do is add your photos to the New England Ocean Odyssey group and tag them “PhotoContestNEOO”. Find out more here.

Be sure to check our our New England Ocean Odyssey Facebook page where we’ll continue to post honorable mentions from the photo contest and other great ocean photography.

We look forward to seeing your photos!

Announcing Our December Photo Contest Winner!

Congratulations to Andrew Rys, our winning photographer for December’s contest! Andrew took this beautiful photo in Little Compton, Rhode Island. We love how it captures the swirling surf and the serenity of the beach in the early morning.

Do you have a great photo of New England’s oceans to share?  Enter our photo contest! Each month, Brian Skerry will lead our team of judges to select a winner, who will receive a copy of Brian’s book Ocean Soul.

Entering is easy! Explore New England’s oceans, take some photographs and then share them with our online community on Flickr™. All you need to do is add your photos to the New England Ocean Odyssey group and tag them “PhotoContestNEOO”. Find out more here.

Be sure to check our our New England Ocean Odyssey Facebook page where we’ll continue to post honorable mentions from the photo contest and other great ocean photography.

We look forward to seeing your photos!

Learning About Our Shores With Summer Intern Keren Bitan

I’ve always enjoyed swimming in the ocean and taking my dog for walks at a local beach. In the colder months gazing out at the vast ocean from the sand calms my mind, while my fearless dog plays in the water. I love to watch the waves dance on the beach, the white foam form and recede, the sun glitter on the surface.

Two years ago, determined to learn more about the New England shore, I spent a summer at Shoals Marine Lab on Appledore Island. At Shoals, students engage with field work, delving into the science of marine organisms and learning about the rocky coast. Appledore Island is part of the Isles of Shoals, an island chain located off the coast of Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

I saw my first nudibranch in a tide pool on Appledore. Since nudibranchs can be notoriously hard to find, the hunt for the small invertebrate made finding one even more exciting. I was pleased to learn the serene ocean surface I love houses such fantastic small creatures.

Underneath the waves lies an interconnected and intricate web of species. Beautiful invertebrates like nudibranchs rely on other organisms like algae and sponges to live. While we watch the waves ebb and flow, below the surface millions of organisms are foraging and fighting, creating new life and decomposing old life.

The nudibranch I saw at Shoals is used to the cold New England waters. However, there are around 3000 different species, all with diverse and interesting adaptations and capabilities. Some live in tropical, deeper waters, while others make a home in tide pools on the rocky Maine coast. All nudibranchs are short lived (at most one year), but they live brilliantly.

Brightly colored nudibranchs exhibit warning coloring. The colors show predators the animal is poisonous. Some individuals concentrate poison from the sponges they eat in order to become toxic themselves. In an impressive feat, nudibranchs that feed on hydroids which contain nematocsyts (stinging cells) are able to retain the stinging cells without harming themselves. The nudibranchs can then store the cells and later deploy them against potential predators- a tricky maneuver!

Marine organisms rely on certain foods and temperatures in order to survive- just like you and me. For instance, if a nudibranch acclimated to a cool tide pool at Shoals was transported to the tropical sea, it would likely die. As the climate changes, the environment individual marine animals depend on is changing too. As part of a more than 40 year long monitoring project at Shoals, I (and a team of other interns) spent time identifying algae, dog whelks, periwinkles, and other marine organisms in the intertidal (the area between low and high tide). Comparing the information we collected with information from 40 years ago will help to paint a picture regarding long term changes on the shores of New England.

Learning more about interconnected and fascinating marine ecosystems can inspire us to work to protect our ocean in the face of climate change. Like some marine organisms that rely on each other in order to survive, we also exist in an interdependent relationship with the sea; half of the oxygen we breathe comes from small marine organisms called phytoplankton. Healthy ocean ecosystems benefit both the magnificent creatures that live in the water, and the humans on land that depend on them.

With the knowledge I’ve gained at Shoals I see the rocky coast with new eyes. I notice algal blooms, snails in tide pools, and blue mussel shells in the sand. Learning more about marine ecosystems has only enhanced my affinity for the sea. I was fortunate enough to work with a great team at Shoals in researching our ocean; I hope to partner with many more ocean enthusiasts in working to protect the beaches and shores I love.

Coral Transect

Keren is a rising senior at Cornell University studying Biology and Society, with minors in Marine Biology and Science of Earth Systems. She has loved the ocean since she was old enough to walk along the sea shore. Keren recently spent time researching water quality on the Kona Coast of Hawai’i Island with The Nature Conservancy. She has also researched the Maine intertidal ecosystem as it reacts to climate change at Shoals Marine Laboratory. Keren is a native of Southern Maine, where she enjoys taking her dog for walks and exploring the rocky coast. She is excited to spend the summer interning with the Communications Department at CLF!