Sea kayaking coaches paddling back from Ram Light in Casco Bay

The Power of Blue

With excerpts from Blue spaces: why time spent near water is the secret of happiness, by Elle Hunt, published in The Guardian, November 3, 2019.

In recent years, stressed-out urbanites have been seeking refuge in green spaces, for which the proven positive impacts on physical and mental health are often cited in arguments for more inner-city parks and accessible woodlands. The benefits of “blue space” – the sea and coastline, but also rivers, lakes, canals, waterfalls, even fountains – are less well publicized, yet the science has been consistent for at least a decade: being by water is good for body and mind.

West Brown Cow, Casco Bay

Proximity to water – especially the sea – is associated with many positive measures of physical and mental wellbeing, from higher levels of vitamin D to better social relations. “Many of the processes are exactly the same as with green space – with some added benefits,” says Dr Mathew White, a senior lecturer at the University of Exeter and an environmental psychologist with BlueHealth, a program researching the health and wellbeing benefits of blue space across 18 (mostly European) countries.

Blue Mind, by Wallace J. Nichols, delves into the effects of water on our health and well-being.

It's all about catching a break from the screen-fueled, fast-paced rhythm of our modern lives, Nichols writes in Blue Mind. White's colleagues agree: While people do experience a range of emotions by the ocean, many cite the way water, weather and sound interact to produce an overwhelming sense of mental tranquility.

Bue Mind, Wallace J. Nichols

"Blue is the new Green."

Water brings you to a calmer, more meditative state.

Blue space seems to have an edge over other natural environments – water has a psychologically restorative effect. White says spending time in and around aquatic environments has consistently been shown to lead to significantly higher benefits, in inducing positive mood and reducing negative mood and stress, than green space does.

Watching the sunset with Sea Kayak Baja Mexico

While we applaud connection with nature in any aspect, sea kayaking provides us with a unique connection to water, bringing us into the realm of blue.

NOAA Arctic Report Card 2018

Arctic Report Card 2018

Effects of persistent Arctic warming continue to mount.

Continued warming of the Arctic atmosphere and ocean are driving broad change in the environmental system in predicted and, also, unexpected ways. New emerging threats are taking form and highlighting the level of uncertainty in the breadth of environmental change that is to come.

Continue reading

Dungeness Crabs

Fishermen Sue Big Oil For Its Role In Climate Change

Excerpted from an article by Alastair Bland, published by NPR, The Salt.

Featured photo Michael Melford/Getty Images.

On November 14, fishermen in California and Oregon filed suit against 30 companies, mainly oil producers, contending that the fossil fuel industry must be held accountable for recent warming-related damages to the West Coast’s prized Dungeness crab fishery.

The fishermen’s lawsuit appears to be the first time food producers have sued the fossil fuel industry for allegedly harming the environment.

Continue reading