Saturday, 25 December 2010

Ed the Bear wishes you all a happy Christmas

Hi all

Wishing you a happy Christmas and a happy and healthy 2011. I am also wishing for a healthier ocean in 2011 too.
Here I am in the snow, dreaming of some of the warmer places I have visited this year.

I hope you will continue to follow my travels in 2011 and learn with me about some of the amazing marine life and how we can all help the oceans

Bye for now, Ed the Bear

See you in 2011

Monday, 18 October 2010

More from the Aquarius Live Broadcast

I have not had the chance to watch every day but is has been great to catch some of the live broadcasts.

The children had some great question and some of the schools sent in artwork.
This was part of a great art section of each broadcasts.

I watched the live programme where the TAP Youth took part and asked some great questions of the aquanauts.

During the broadcast they encouraged people to take a pledge to help the oceans. This is similar to the pledge that I am asking people to make too. Read the list above and see how you can help the oceans. Have you made your pledge yet? I know Captain Cousteau, mentioned above was an inspiration to my buddy Steve when he was younger.

One of the great thing about these live broadcasts was the way they really captured the sense of mystery and excitement of ocean science. The ocean really is an exciting place.

I have really enjoyed this programme.

Bye for now, Ed

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Aquarius live broadcast, If Reefs Could Talk

Hi everyone

I have been watching the live broadcast from Aquarius, Wow it is an amazing place. Scientists called aquanauts live on the Aquarius habitat for several weeks at a time and they are studying the nearby reef. 
The air in the undersea habitat is at the same pressure as the surrounding ocean so they can live there quite happily.
It is also this air pressure that stops the water coming into the habitat through the moon pool, the entrance for the divers into the surrounding water.
Today is the day for my question. At the beginning of the programme they gave me a shout out and showed a picture of me on the screen behind the person hosting the live broadcast.
The host is reading out my question for the scientist to answer

My question was.

“While I was travelling in the US earlier this year investigating global environmental issues with NOAA I learned about a very scary problem called ocean acidification. Is the reef near "Aquarius" showing any signs of damage from acid oceans”?

Bye for now, Ed

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Aquarius undersea laboratory

Hi all

I have been invited to take part in a live broadcast from the Aquarius habitat which is on the seabed 9 miles from the Florida Keys. You will probably member I visited Florida a few times on my travels. I came very close when I was at the NABS Youth Summit earlier this year. We were due to dive near the Aquarius and look in through the window, but sadly it was too stormy so we changed to another safer dive site.

Ken Stewart, who I met at the Youth Summit, is also working with this NOAA project with the National Association of Black Scuba Divers and the Multicultural Education for Resource Issues Threatening Oceans program. African-American schools and Latino public schools will be taking part. In fact all the shows will be broadcast in English and Spanish. It was Ken who invited me to join in with one of the live broadcasts.
During these live broadcasts, schools who are watching can send in questions and have them answered live during the broadcast. Ken has invited me to send in a question too.
Scientists on the Aquarius

Monday, 27 September 2010

Isn't It Bonkers

Hi all

Well I have been very busy since I have been back in the UK preparing for a special event called “Isn’t it Bonkers” which we took part in yesterday. The aim of this event was mainly is to raise awareness of global issues, highlight the crazy things we do that waste resources and show people how we can all do small thinks to reduce our impact on the environment. When I heard about it I knew we had to take part as this is definitely my kind of event.

This is the display we took

1. What’s important about Shoreham Beach, focusing on the rare vegetated shingle habitat and the wildlife that it supports. It also mentions how Shoreham Beach (my local beach) may also be threatened by climate change (which is the reason for my travels - to investigate global issues)
2. One World One Ocean – my message about how we all rely on the oceans every day.
3. Some pictures from my travels – where I met a nesting turtle with Fred the Happy Face Monkey, Scooter a rescued turtle, my visit to the youth summit and dives on a reef, a ship wreck and with dolphins using my diving bell.
4. Some pictures from my travels – a selection of marine wildlife I had the privilege to see first hand.
5. How we are all contributing to the damage of the beautiful oceans and threatening marine wildlife. This inlcuded marine litter, sea temperature rise killing corals and disrupting food chains (latter even in the UK), oil pollution, and acid oceans (caused by oceans absorbing too much carbon dioxide from the air)
6. How can I help – looks at simple ways that we can reduce our impact on the marine environment.

We also gave out a sheet about global issues linked to the last two panels. Side one included info about global issues. On the second side, children (and parents) made a list of all the things they do which might impact on the environment. They then made a list of how they could do things differently and then signed a pledge to me (at the bottom) to promise they would do the things they had listed. The aim is that they pin their pledge on the wall so they can see it everyday.

Seashore quiz
This was a fun quiz about our local beaches. We chose a selection of objects from the beach, each had a label, and a picture of me saying “guess what I am”.
The answer was on the reverse side, plus a picture if necessary – e.g. for the cuttlefish bone, included what a cuttlefish looks like.

We also had an acid oceans experiment, using a seashell placed in a jar of clear vinegar, to show the affects that a weak acid can have on sea creatures.

My buddy Steve put together a special PowerPoint, a celebration of the oceans and highlighting global issues. The presentation started on Shoreham Beach and then looked at global locations. Steve demonstrated this talk once early afternoon and then left it running in a loop.
We spoke to lots of people about the oceans and my adventures. I think people visiting the exhibit and the other stands at the event learned a lot of important stuff.

It was a busy day, but it was lots of fun talking to all those people.

Bye for, now

Monday, 23 August 2010

Good Bye to Tenerife

Hi all

Just a last quick look at the spectacular scenery before I return back to England tomorrow.

These are the stunning cliffs of Los Gigantes. They look very different from up here rather than in a small boat with the cliffs towering above me. I have learned so much here about this beautiful island, the indigenous wildlife and also how fragile these ecosystems can be. I even learned some yoga which I hope to continue.

Bye for now, Ed

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Watching Garden Wildlife

Hi all

While there are many great places on the island to visit, my holiday was coming to an end so I decided to have a nice relaxing weekend.
 I sat on the balcony and kept an eye out for birds as they visited the garden
 First to arrive was a blue tit. It looks a bit like the blue tit I see back home but the colours seem brighter and this one has a black line on its chest (like a great tit). These blue tits are endemic which means they are only found on Tenerife and neighbouring islands.  
Then I spotted a kestrel on the telephone wire. It was having a good look around in search of prey which could be a small mouse or a lizard.  Like the blue tit, this is also an endemic species of kestrel.
After a while the kestrel took flight and landed on the telephone wire further down the road.
When animals like these are only found on a few small islands, they can easily become endangered, like the wonderful Nee Nee (Hawaiian Goose) which I saw while on the Hawaiian Islands with Fred the Happy Face Monkey and Ron Hirshi. Either natural, or more often human activities, can reduce the numbers of a particular endemic species and their numbers can become so low they cannot recover and may become extinct.
After all that bird watching I decide to have a snack and then a peaceful doze in the garden.
In the afternoon I have a look for other animals too. I spot a movement on one of the rocks. When I looked closer I could see it was a lizard sunbathing.
 There are lots of spiders in the garden, this one plant is full of spider webs
 I also came across this spider. It had made its web across the path, so I decided to go the other way, just in case!
 This grasshopper locked like a dead leaf until I got up close
I decided to end the day with a bit of tree climbing
 There is nothing like a spot of tree climbing
Bye for now, Ed

Friday, 20 August 2010

The impressive Mount Teide and the fascinating National Park

Hi all

A nice sunny morning
 We spent the morning relaxing on the beach because later today we would be taking a trip to see mount Teide. I have been looking forward to taking a closer look at mount Teide and today’s the day. The Canary Islands were formed in a similar was as the Hawaiian Islands, by volcanoes, So I was really excited. Teide is the highest point in Spanish territory and is the third biggest volcano in the world. It looks peaceful but Teide is still an active volcano which last erupted in 1909 and is expected to erupt again one day.
The journey to Teide was amazing too. We passed thorough a huge pine forest. I discovered that these clever tress collect the moisture on to their pine shaped leaves which then drips to the ground and waters the tree. As we travel higher the road twists and turns and soon we are driving through a volcanic landscape and soon we see Teide.

We stop and get out and have a walk around and there is Teide in all its splendor. We are walking in the Caldara formed 170,000 years ago following a huge volcanic eruption. Not only is Teide and the area surrounding it a National Park, but it is also a World Heritage site because its so important.

We look down at a vast area below (which we had previously driven past).
It was breathtaking and not just because we were so high up. It was a strange eerie landscape which could have been on another planet.
I noticed a large green rock. It must have been from a rock like this that the green pebble I found on San Yuan Beach must but have come from.

I noticed a strange plant, like a giant feather. An information board said it was called Tajinaste rojo.
Soon the sun is setting. Althought we are in full sun at this height, down on the coast it will be getting dark soon, so we head off back down the mountain. As we drive down, the neighbouring islands can been seen above the clouds.
Its was a beautiful sight
As we continue down the mountain we drive through the cloud layer and as we get down toward the coast it is already dark. As we arrive back at Xena's I spot a gecko on the wall. Geckos are great animals to have living around the house because the eat mosquitoes
It was a very exciting day, but very tiring. Time for bed.
Bye for now, Ed zzz