My Top Ten U.S. Ocean Stories of 2014

Given the cascading disasters the ocean faces from industrial overfishing, pollution, coastal sprawl and climate change there’s been some surprisingly good news in the United States this year. Here are ten stories – both good and bad – that impacted the blue in our red, white and blue.

  1. Pacific Monument Expanded

President Obama expanded the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument established by his predecessor George W. Bush from 87,000 square miles to close to half a million square miles. This makes it the largest fully protected ocean wilderness park on our blue planet, about the size of California and Texas combined. While few of us may ever sail to Palmyra Atoll or Kingman Reef its nice to know America still has vast frontier seas full of sharks, turtles, whales and healthy coral reefs.

  1. Bristol Bay Salmon Protected

“In Alaska fish are the one thing that can trump oil,” offshore oil activist Richard Charter stated rather succinctly in describing President Obama’s end of year decision to prevent oil and gas drilling in Bristol Bay, the 52,000 square mile ocean zone off southwest Alaska that’s also the world’s biggest sockeye salmon fishery worth some $2 billion a year. The decision was seen as a —> Read More Here

Six Clay Seals Discovered In Israel Linked To Era Of Kings David And Solomon

jimmy hardin

A Mississippi State University archaeological team uncovered six official clay seals at a dig in southern Israel — offering some support for the reigns of King David and his wise son Solomon as found in the Hebrew Bible.

The seals, or bullae, were found at a site near Gaza called Khirbet Summeily and used to seal important documents. Ancient people would wrap a string around a rolled sheet of papyrus, then place a lump of clay on it and stamp it with the seal, according to James Hardin, an associate professor at MSU’s Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures. The only way to read the document was to break the clay.

Jimmy Hardin co-directed a team in Israel that found archaeological evidence from the time of kings David and Solomon. In his MSU laboratory, Hardin examines an Egyptian figurine dating to the 10th or 11th century BC.

Around 1200 B.C., Hardin says that the great states of the Bronze Age collapsed and left a vacuum of power. At the same time, there may have been a period of great climatological disasters, such as earthquakes and storms. The unrest and upheaval may have eventually led to —> Read More Here

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