Reef Environmental Education Foundation is a grass-roots, non-profit organization of recreational divers who regularly conduct fish biodiversity and abundance surveys during their dives.
View collection data for Massachusetts
The Massachusetts Bays Program is a partnership of citizens, communities and government that strives to protect and enhance the coastal health and heritage of Massachusetts and Cape Cod Bays
The New England Aquarium's hotline for any stranded marine animal is (617) 973-5247
All reports of living or dead marine animals should be reported to the hotline #, which is manned 24/7. Land animals and marine birds should be reported to town/city animal control.
What to do
More info
Northeast Seafood Watch
A program of Monterey Bay Aquarium designed to raise consumer awareness about the importance of buying seafood from sustainable sources.
NEW: Seafood watch by text message: text the word: "FISH" and the fish type to 30644 (normal text rates apply)
Environmental News

   Coastsweep 2007

Great Family Event! Beach and Underwater Cleanup and Marine Lab Open House Nahant MA

Saturday October 6, 2007 10am-3pm Canoe Beach, Nahant MA (East Point)

Contact: or Gloves/Bags will be provided Extra catch bags will be available for divers to collect underwater trash

Guided Tide Pool and Solar Observatory Tours and other activities provided by NEU Marine Lab. Free Parking

Restrooms, Free Food/Beverages for beach cleanup participants


       Stellwagen Bank Report Card      
NOAA's Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary has released the sanctuary's first-ever *Condition Report*, a "report card" on the status of sanctuary resources, the impending release of the draft management plan which we anticipate will be available for public comment in the early summer. The documents can be accessed at

The sanctuary appears to be working toward their goals, - the only declining conditions are the invasive [MORE INFO]species and the the negative impacts of fishing gear on maritime archaeological resources.


   Cleanups across America

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (June 7) - Smokers are littering shorelines and waterways worldwide with millions of cigarettes, and their filters topped the list of trash items culled during last year's annual international coastal cleanup, according to a new report.

More than 350,000 volunteers removed about 7 million pounds of debris from 34,500 miles of coastlines and waterways, along with ocean, river and lake bottoms, The Ocean Conservancy said in the report, released Thursday.

Sixty-eight countries participated in the daylong cleanup last September. This year's cleanup is set for Sept. 15.

Of the 7.7 million items of debris collected worldwide in 2006, cigarettes and cigarette butts accounted for roughly 1.9 million, the sixth consecutive year they have topped the list. Coming in second at about 768,000 items were food wrappers and containers that can be extremely dangerous to wildlife.

"A plastic sandwich bag floating in the ocean may look like a jellyfish, a favorite food of sea turtles," said Sonya Besteiro, the cleanup project manager. "If a sea turtle ingests a plastic bag it may feel full and stop eating, which results in starvation. Or the bag could block the animal's digestive system and cause death."

During the 2006 cleanup, volunteers found 1,074 animals entangled in debris, including fishing line and nets. Only one of those animals survived - a female seal found in Hobe Sound.

Discarded fishing gear and plastic debris kill an average of more than 1 million sea birds and more than 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles each year, the conservancy estimates.

Last week, an endangered Hawaiian monk seal drowned after becoming entangled in a fishing net off Oahu. In October, Hawaiian wildlife officials found a 5-month-old monk seal dead in another net.

"With only 1,200 monk seals left, this is such a terrible loss," said Christine Woolaway, who coordinates the coastal cleanup in Hawaii, the state with the most threatened and endangered species at 329.

Since 1986, more than 6.5 million volunteers in the project have removed 116 million pounds of trash from beaches and waterways in 127 countries, according to the conservancy, a Washington-based environmental advocacy group.

The United States had the most participants in 2006, according to the report, with 182,100 people cleaning about 4.1 million pounds of trash from 10,550 miles of waterways and coastlines.

Canada saw the second best participation with about 26,550 people, followed by the Philippines, where 25,500 volunteers helped out.

California and Florida saw the most participation in the U.S., with about 56,000 and 28,000 people participating, respectively. The two states collectively removed about 1.5 million pounds of debris over 4,600 miles of shorelines and waterways.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. Accessed 2007-06-07 14:54:53

    Do Marine Protected Areas Really Work?

Here's an interesting aticle from Wood's Hole's Oceanus Magazine about whether closing parts of the ocean to fishing really works to preserve fish stocks. It specifically focuses on George's Bank

"These closures have given us a unique opportunity to examine a marine protected area in a temperate system under a “macroscope”—to examine how marine ecosystems are structured and how they function and recover. The long history of research on Georges Bank adds a foundation of scientific knowledge that makes the Georges Bank MPA an ideal system to test the effects of year-round fishery closures."


  Changes to the rec. lobster fishery


Recreational lobster fishing (by pot and SCUBA divers) will be regulated
under area-specific rules concerning the release of v-notched female lobster; minimum and maximum sizes; and trap escape vent minimum sizes. Also a state-wide 15 lobster daily bag limit was approved. Two management areas have been created: 1) Gulf of Maine Recreational Lobster Area and 2) Southeastern Recreational Lobster Area that generally coincide with the commercial management area boundaries. Since the May public hearings, DMF has amended the Southeastern Recreational Lobster Area boundaries to include
nearshore waters around Provincetown.

Regulations approved by area are listed in the table below. All regulations are effective July 2, 2004, except escape vent minimum size increases in the Southeastern Recreational Lobster Area, which will not go into effect until the 2005 season.

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Marine Fisheries website