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Miyoko Sakashita
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Miyoko Sakashita is the oceans program director at the Center for Biological Diversity, a national conservation group that advocates for endangered species and the wild places they live.

Entries by Miyoko Sakashita

Offshore Oil Drilling and Spilling Is Criminal

(1) Comments | Posted May 19, 2016 | 12:44 AM


This week's criminal indictment of an oil company for its involvement in the Refugio oil spill in California last year comes as no surprise. After all, Plains All-American Pipelines' corroded pipes allowed more than 140,000 gallons of oil to spew into the coastal...

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Corals: Drained of Color, Drained of Life

(3) Comments | Posted April 29, 2016 | 5:34 PM


Snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef a few years ago, I was overwhelmed by the cartoon-like colors: orange clownfish, blue tangs and green sea turtles set against corals that were purple, bright yellow, rusty red and aqua-blue.

It was like swimming into...

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The Atlantic Isn't Enough: It's Time to End All New Offshore Drilling

(0) Comments | Posted March 30, 2016 | 6:00 PM

There were celebrations this month with word that the Obama administration won't be offering new offshore oil and gas leases off the Atlantic Coast.

Sure it's worth celebrating but don't pop the champagne just yet. If we're going to...

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We Can't Let it Be... More Plastic Than Fish in Our Sea

(3) Comments | Posted January 29, 2016 | 11:45 AM

2016-01-27-1453923799-5886522-learn1.JPGPhoto: NOAA

News that plastic pollution will exceed all the fish in the sea by 2050 is beyond appalling -- it's unacceptable. We need bold action to stop plastic garbage from choking out ocean life.

One ocean and two big problems: We...

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Even Whales and Dolphins Can't Escape Our Din

(2) Comments | Posted December 21, 2015 | 10:10 AM

The hustle-bustle of modern life echoes through our oceans -- in the roar of ship engines, the Navy's sonar pings and exploding munitions, and the seismic blasts by searchers for fossil fuels. Along the way we're deafening and disorienting sea creatures who rely on their own subtle sounds to meet...

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Free Trade: The Hidden Costs to Our Oceans and Climate

(2) Comments | Posted November 13, 2015 | 5:34 PM

Shopping at your local supermarket is like touring the world without leaving your neighborhood. There's seafood netted in the South China Sea, wine from Chile, licorice from Australia, produce from India, and store-brand products from who knows where. Cheap labor abroad plus...

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Shell's Gone, Now Let's End Arctic Drilling Forever

(1) Comments | Posted October 1, 2015 | 5:28 PM


The news late Sunday night that Shell was pulling out of the Arctic was a thrill, especially for those of us fighting for years to protect the northern reaches of Alaska. But this huge win will only be a temporary reprieve unless we...

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I Am the Walrus: What 35,000 Walruses Tell Us About Our Future in Warming World

(4) Comments | Posted September 22, 2015 | 1:32 PM


The Beatles were right: "I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together."

We're all the walrus. And right now, things aren't going all that well. Over the past several weeks, some 35,000 Pacific walruses in...

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Obama Undermines His Climate Strategy With More Offshore Drilling

(2) Comments | Posted August 26, 2015 | 2:57 PM

So, say you're the leader of the free world and you're trying to figure out how to get your arms around this climate crisis. There are plenty of good options -- but opening up the Arctic and Atlantic oceans to more offshore oil drilling isn't one of them. It's like...

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Dear Mr. President: Prove Your Climate Rhetoric and Stop Arctic Drilling

(28) Comments | Posted July 21, 2015 | 4:21 PM

Dear Mr. President:

I've often been struck by your soaring rhetoric on combating climate change, transitioning to clean energy sources, and protecting the natural environment. Clearly on some level you get it, as you've demonstrated in speech after speech. That's why I don't understand how you could even consider approving...

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Will EPA Heed the Pope's Call to Save Our Oceans?

(0) Comments | Posted June 29, 2015 | 10:21 PM

When it comes to saving our oceans, I'm wondering: What would Pope Francis do?

With his sprawling encyclical on the fate of our planet this month, the pope became an unexpected revolutionary. I never thought I'd see bold environmental leadership arise from this powerful, historically conservative institution.

By now, everyone...

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The Real Story of World Oceans Day Lies Below the Surface

(0) Comments | Posted June 8, 2015 | 6:32 PM


Today, on World Oceans Day, let's contemplate the state of our seas. Picture yourself perched on your favorite coastal bluff, surveying an endless expanse of blue-green water that stretches beyond the horizon and around the world, covering about three-quarters of the planet's surface....

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Strip-mining the Ocean Floor: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

(5) Comments | Posted May 14, 2015 | 1:39 PM


Have you heard about the disastrous gold rush brewing in our oceans?

Not content with getting minerals from dry land, companies are now aiming to strip mine our ocean floors in search of nickel, copper, cobalt, gold and other valuable metals and minerals....

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Oceans Sound the Alarm of the Sixth Extinction

(2) Comments | Posted May 7, 2015 | 2:43 PM


The Pulitzer Prize for Elizabeth Kolbert's The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History is a watershed moment in the long struggle to wake people up to the dangers plundering the Earth and destroying biodiversity.

But there's another, more specific lesson too: the devastating toll...

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5 Years After: Deepwater Horizon's Lessons Go Unlearned

(5) Comments | Posted April 17, 2015 | 9:10 AM

Remember that helpless, infuriating feeling watching gallon after gallon of oil spew into the Gulf of Mexico in the spring and summer of 2010?

After Deepwater Horizon - the worst oil spill disaster in U.S. history - came the mantra: Never again.

But now, as we mark the fifth anniversary...

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Whales, Dolphins Get a Life-Saving Break From Navy's War Games

(1) Comments | Posted April 3, 2015 | 5:44 PM


Whales, dolphins and other marine mammals in the Pacific just caught a huge break: A federal judge this week invalidated a plan allowing the U.S. Navy to conduct dangerous and disruptive war games that the government admitted would cause about 9.6...

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A Lifeline for Disappearing Cod

(2) Comments | Posted March 5, 2015 | 1:37 PM


Cod were once so abundant in the Gulf of Maine that they propped up many of New England's coastal economies. Those financial boons, though, came with a heavy price.

Gulf of Maine cod have declined 90 percent since 1982 -- and 77 percent...

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Why Is the 'Climate President' Approving More Oil Drilling?

(40) Comments | Posted January 27, 2015 | 7:12 PM


Something doesn't compute here.

Last week, President Obama rightly declared in his State of the Union address: "No challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change."

This week, the Obama administration announced plans open up the Atlantic Ocean...

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Our Oceans Awash in Toxic Plastic Garbage

(2) Comments | Posted December 12, 2014 | 1:23 AM


Scientists just published a paper with the first-ever estimate of all the plastic garbage floating in the world's oceans.

The results were astronomical: More than 5 trillion pieces of plastic debris, weighting 269,000 tons. These bits of garbage are distributed...

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Who's Killing Hawaii's Endangered Monk Seals?

(0) Comments | Posted December 4, 2014 | 1:48 PM


It's happened again. Another endangered Hawaiian monk seal has been beaten to death in Hawaii.

Sunday's death of this young female monk seal -- known as RF58 - is the ninth suspicious death since 2009. Some have been shot, others bludgeoned.

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