EDFish

Selected tag(s): Conservation

U.S. and Cuba, Working Together to Protect Shared Resources

Cuba lies just 90 miles from the tip of Florida. The two areas share a large expanse of ocean – and the huge array of biodiversity contained within it. That’s why EDF staffers are in Cuba this week to discuss ways to eliminate overfishing, protect coral reefs, conserve coastal areas, and tap potential ocean energy in our shared backyard.

Already, in September, EDF hosted a Cuban delegation in a move towards creating greater scientific exchange between the two countries. “The U.S. and Cuba share many ecological resources, but have different ways of managing them,” says EDF’s Dan Whittle. “Fishing, coastal development, and offshore oil and gas exploration in Cuba can have impacts in the U.S., and vice-versa. The sooner we work together to manage shared resources and find solutions to common problems, the sooner we’ll see benefits for the people, the environment and the economy in both countries.”

We’ll have a follow up post to report on the trip when our scientists return.

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Kemp’s Ridley Comeback (Part II)

Kemps ridley sea turtleEarlier this summer I reported on the revival of the Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle, the smallest of all the sea turtles, which I’m happy to report has now had another record breaking nesting year! 197 nests have been spotted along the Texas coast and more could still be discovered, though August typically marks the end of the turtles’ nesting season. In 2001 fewer than ten turtles were found on the Texas Coast, but in part due to protections that government, industry and EDF and other conservation groups helped win for the turtles, this year marks the sixth year in a row of increased nestings.

A similar trend for this turtle has also been reported south of the border.  In the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, nestings back in 1985 numbered as few as 700 (down from 40,000).  Through Mexican efforts to protect the nesting sites, there are now upwards of 20,000 annually.

Check out a recent news story on how many interests came together to make this recovery a reality and stay tuned for next season!

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EDF Participates in Environment and Development Convention in Cuba

Three fishermen, El Malecón, Havana, Cuba: Photo by MissMass (http://www.flickr.com/photos/missmass/)Last week, EDF’s Dan Whittle and Denise Stetten attended and presented at the 7th International Convention on Environment and Development in Havana, Cuba. The convention brought together scientists, government officials, entrepreneurs, NGOs, and others to discuss solutions to various issues, including environmental education, protected areas, environmental management, ecosystems and biodiversity management, and climate change.

Dan Whittle, EDF’s project director on Cuba, participated in the convention’s colloquium on environmental law, which focused on public participation in environmental decision-making. He also gave a presentation entitled “Shared Ecosystems: Opportunities for Increasing Environmental Cooperation and Collaboration,” in which Dan emphasized that partnerships between U.S. and Cuban scientists, NGOs, and government agencies can result in the production of better information that in turn should result in better policies and decisions.

Denise Stetten, Latin America program manager at EDF, also participated in the conference and worked with our Cuban partners on an assessment of coastal conservation in Cuba.

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