Musk Ox mother with calf
Musk Ox mother with calf less than 1 week old, photo: Rob Moir 
 
Tis the Season, Year and Decade for Megafauna Fortitude
 
“The quintessential example of megafaunal fortitude in the face of really bad weather is the musk ox,” writes Natalie Angier in the New York Times December 13, 2010, “or Ovibos moschatus, a blocky, short-legged, highly social ungulate with distinctively curved horns and long hair that looks like shag carpeting circa 1975." With great respect, the Inpiaq speaking Eskimos of Alaska call the musk ox "Oomingmak", which means "animal with skin like a beard."
 
I believe megafauna fortitude is the answer to what scientists are investigating. Angier writes: "Scientists are now seeking to understand how, exactly, the animal has managed to persist through repeated climate shifts and habitat upheaveals." There is  demonstrated evidence that musk ox have an "elephantlike social structure." Musk ox stand tough and are impressive.
 
This week, I reflect on the year's impressive accomplishments and I write to give thanks to you for your fortitude in facing into elements and actions detrimental to wildlife with the Ocean River Institute.  
 
Like a musk ox, you stood stoic for wildlife, ocean, rivers, and watersheds.
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Musk Ox Calf, less than 1 week old
Musk ox calf, less than one week old, naps after a meal of fresh aspen leaves at the Anchorage Zoo 
 
 Support Wildlife and Healthy Environments - Give To ORI!
  
We need your support right now! (It's easier than standing with musk ox into the windblast on the Arctic Steppe.) Your gift enables ORI to educate the public and influence local and national decision-makers to protect our precious rivers and oceans.  With your help we:
  • Fight to protect Indian River Lagoon dolphins from toxic slime
  • Advocate for a strong national ocean endowment to support ocean science and stewardship
  • Support Chelsea Creek Action Group's efforts to give East Boston locals their salt marsh 
  • Mobilize individuals and groups for effective environmental rules and policies
  • Lend a hand to the Virgin Island Environmental Council's volunteer efforts to save their coral reefs, salt ponds, mangroves and for a greener Tortola, BVI.
ORI is fighting to save critical habitats and wildlife. We can win these battles, but we need your support for these vital efforts. Please donate now.
 
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Musk Ox calf reaches for tasty leaf with mother ox
 
 
You reached out and wrote the most letters (5,612 or 21% of ORI letters) in support of belugas, the magnificent whistling and chirping white whales of Cook Inlet, Alaska. You demanded critical habitat designation of their home waters.  That decision is still pending. 
 
Our Indian River Lagoon (FL) campaign to save dolphins suffering from excessive nitrogen and phosphorus pollution was second with 5,130 (18%) letters.  Participation was 4,275, 15% of all letters were for Green Slime, Red Tide Nevermore.  Nearly tied for second with 4,845 (17%) letters was No New Drilling combined with Let’s Federalize the Clean Up.  A three way tie for third was for the National Endowment for Oceans, a National Ocean Policy and Take Harmful Chemicals Out of Drinking Water.  You also wrote letters in 2010 to build a salt marsh on Chelsea Creek, protect blue fin tuna and Atlantic wolfish, save the British Virgin Islands, the Westfield River and Stellwagen Bank. 
 
When you join with ORI’s efforts and write letters decision-makers listen. They listen because many took the time to put the issue into their own thoughtful and heartfelt words. Decision makers do not always decide the way we want. However, we are informing decisions by speaking up from across the nation.  Thank you for enabling ORI to make positive differences for oceans, rivers, and wildlife!
 
When you donate to the Ocean River Institute, you become and ORI Steward. Your financial support helps ORI to fulfill our mission. Listen to ORI's mission to the tune of "All Together Now" streaming MP3 file.
 
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Lewis Brower and Rob 25 miles east of Barrow AK
 Lewis Brower and Rob Moir on the shores of Cooper's Island 25 miles east of Barrow AK
 

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Discover how, with the knowledge of Rachel Carson and the courage of Achilles, individuals are making a difference for healthier oceans, rivers, watersheds and skies. Choose from thirty-four podcast episodes of Moir's Environmental Dialogues, Ocean River Shields of AchillesAlso available free on iTunes, search "Moir's".
 
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Rubber Duck for ORI
Ocean River Institute
12 Eliot Street | Cambridge, MA 02138 | 617.661.6647