Monday, May 11, 2009

Coral Coldwater and the Finding Coral Expedition!

I am excited to announce that on June 8, 2009, Living Oceans Society will launch the Finding Coral Expedition. On this expedition, a blue-ribbon team of scientists will dive in mini subs to explore the dark depths of Canada’s Pacific in search of some of the most important, yet poorly-understood, organisms in the ocean: deep sea corals.

When most people think of corals, they think of tropical coral reefs. Recently, however, scientists have realized that there are vast amounts of coral growing in cold, dark waters away from the tropics. The deep sea waters off of the coast of British Columbia have these deep sea corals, which are known to provide critical support for many other marine species.

You can join the expedition on Facebook by adding Coral Coldwater (our unofficial expedition mascot) as your friend. Through Coral, you can follow the expedition’s progress - plus learn more about the trials and tribulations of a single, middle-aged deep sea coral just trying to make a go of it in the increasingly difficult world of the deep sea.

You can add Coral as your friend and after becoming friends with her, please invite your other Facebook friends to join the Finding Coral Expedition by adding Coral Coldwater as their friend too. Then, together, we will set out on the sea and search the darkest depths of Canada’s Pacific until we find Coral.

Living Oceans Society is working with Fisheries and Oceans Canada to develop strategies and policies to protect critically important ecosystem features like deep sea corals. However, these strategies and policies won’t be of much use if we don’t even know where those corals are, and what roles they play in the marine ecosystem. Living Oceans Society has spent the past five years asking the government to protect deep sea corals, with little success. This is why we’ve decided to take the initiative by jump-starting deep sea coral research.

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