About Me

This blog is primarily geared toward staff at the zoos, aquariums, museums (ZAMs), and other conservation education organizations that are part of our growing global network. We aim to provide you with cutting edge, challenging, and creative information, ideas, and tools to become as effective as possible at communicating about and for conservation with your visitors and the public.

See our ongoing communications research, or join our growing network, at The Ocean Project's website.

February 18, 2013

We've moved!

The Ocean Project blog has officially moved to our main website. You can catch up with the blog at http://theoceanproject.org/blog . Feel free to re-subscribe for email updates on the side bar of the blog! Thanks for following and supporting The Ocean Project.

February 14, 2013

Ocean lovers unite!


The Ocean Project has a large database of conservation action tips and related content for our partner Zoos, Aquariums, and Museums (ZAMs) to freely use and tailor for your own purposes.  


This content is meant for ZAMs to use as you like! Let us know if it's helpful or if there are other action-able types of information and resources we can provide for you. It's also for any interested individuals. As part of our "Seas the Day" initiative, please feel free to use any or all of our action content verbatim and re-post on your own blog, social media channels, website, or newsletter. 

Each month for the "Seas the Day" initiative, we will provide a few quick actionable tips on our blog, related to a specific theme. February's theme is "Be a local leader for ocean protection!" Next month's theme will be "Become a conscious commuter" so cruise back here again in March for more actionable ideas and tips!

 


Seas the Day in February


This Valentine’s Day month, show your love for the ocean and its great diversity of life by becoming a local leader for ocean protection. One person can really make a difference, and by joining with others in your community, you can multiply your positive effect for the ocean! 

Organize for our ocean! Find or start your own ocean conservation Meetupgroup, or find out which organizations in your community are already organizing local cleanups, habitat restorations, and other hands-on opportunities to improve your local environment. Even if you live far from the coast, the ocean is downstream from everyone, so if you can participate in a community cleanup at a nearby stream, river, or lake, it will help protect the ocean! Chances are your local zoo, aquarium, or museum is involved in community actions and you can find one through The Ocean Project's partner network of 1,700 partner organizations in all 50 US States and 80 other countries.



Time to celebrate coming soon! Help plan an event for World Ocean Day on June 8th. The new two-year theme for World Oceans Day is "Together we have the power to protect the ocean" and now is the perfect time to start organizing. Explore World­OceanDay.org to find out more about you can join this growing global event and rally people around you to help protect the ocean! Last year there were 600 registered events; with your help, we can reach the goal of over 1,000 events around the world! 

Please let us know how you're taking ocean conservation personally so we can share with others!

February 8, 2013

Communicating Conservation: Weekly Resources and News

The Ocean Project posts weekly roundups of the key strategic ocean and climate communication resources we’ve been tweeting. Each link will be posted with a short description of what you’ll find—please feel free to ask us any questions and share!

News & Discussion


Check out these timely articles and essays which may be helpful for framing various environmental issues, connecting with specific audiences, or otherwise informing your storytelling and communications.

  • Sounds of Silence
    A depressing set of numbers: weekly science sections in newspapers have dropped from 95 in 1989 down to just 19 in 2012.

  • Why We Need Solutions Journalism
    On the heels of that last item: this is a serious issue. David Bornstein explains the important role of the media as a feedback mechanism and how, when we focus on solutions as well as problems, it can help encourage social change.

  • Inspiring the Next Generation of Ocean Advocates
    Check out our guest blog post by Dave Glenn of Seattle Aquarium - he talks about his experiences encouraging the aquarium's young volunteers to go beyond their typical duties and start on a journey of making change.

Resources


Some studies, market research, toolkits, and strategies that may be helpful when communicating about conservation and climate change.

February 6, 2013

Inspiring the Next Generation of Ocean Advocates



“I want to tell you about how the Aquarium changed my life…” In a darkened ballroom along the Seattle waterfront last June, Anja, an 18-year-old high school volunteer stood in the spotlight and told the story of how the Seattle Aquarium changed her life’s path. A room full of donors absorbed every word, inspired by the young ocean conservationist’s story.


Nearly two decades ago, the Seattle Aquarium made a commitment to involving youth in its mission of Inspiring Conservation of Our Marine Environment. High school students were invited to volunteer their time as teen naturalists, educating Aquarium visitors about our collection and providing customer service. The program focused on workplace skills and learning “fish facts,” which youth volunteers could relay to the public. 


In 2010, we realized we had the opportunity for our youth to be more than just walking signs throughout the Aquarium. We could, if we chose, inspire the next generation of Ocean Advocates. Inspired by The Ocean Project research findings that youth were increasingly viewed as “opinion-makers” in their households and youth’s strong interest in environmental issues, we embarked on a plan to help teens create environmental change in the community. 


Perhaps most impressive is our youths’ outreach efforts. Partnering with The Ocean Project, Deb Kerr and youth liaisons from YouthMuse, our teen volunteers planned and implemented the Puget Sound: We Love You campaign, which aims to inspire others to take action to protect Puget Sound. This youth-run effort has an impressive social media following and has implemented wonderful events like local beach cleanups and “An Hour for the Ocean” on World Ocean Day. 


In addition to reaching people in the community and via social media, youth volunteers have continued their work inspiring visitors at the Aquarium, logging more than 23,500 hours of interpretation during 2012. They’ve also been impressive fundraisers, gathering $20,000 in support of Aquarium programs through a youth-run face-painting booth. 


As Anja said so eloquently that night back in June, “The Aquarium has taught me that, to save the world, I need to save the oceans.” We’ve provided unique opportunities for youth to view themselves as conservation leaders, and it has paid off. Youth are change-makers in waiting, and zoos, aquariums and museums are positioned to be both young people’s inspiration and their platform. When we consciously change how we engage youth in our missions, we provide an opportunity for our audience to help us fulfill our mission. 

Submitted by Dave Glenn
Youth Engagement Coordinator
Seattle Aquarium

February 1, 2013

Communicating Conservation: Weekly Resources and News

The Ocean Project posts weekly roundups of the key strategic ocean and climate communication resources we’ve been tweeting. Each link will be posted with a short description of what you’ll find—please feel free to ask us any questions and share!

News & Discussion

Check out these timely articles and essays which may be helpful for framing various environmental issues, connecting with specific audiences, or otherwise informing your storytelling and communications.




  • It’s time to make the connection on carbon
    Good news: US oil consumption fell by 1.5% in 2012, and coal use fell by 14%. Even better? A recent poll shows that Republicans and Democrats alike support revised environmental standards “would reduce pollution from cars, trucks and SUVs, would protect public health and would create jobs by encouraging innovation.” It kind of seems like the time is ripe for messaging on carbon emissions!  Bonus: 67% of Americans would rather the government tax carbon pollution rather than cut spending to balance the budget.



  • Turning Left?
    To follow up on those heartening stats, along with the recent finding that 68% of Americans see global warming as a “serious problem,” why are these issues still being framed as partisan?






Resources

Some studies, market research, toolkits, and strategies that may be helpful when communicating about conservation and climate change.


  • That picture of One Direction won’t save your climate comms
    Very interesting article from The CarbonBrief breaks down some new research. Scientists found that the type of photo run in newspaper articles on climate change affected how the readers felt about climate change. Images of impacts, like a dry riverbed, made people feel the issue was important but that they were helpless to stop it. Photos of clean energy futures and efficiency measures made readers feel empowered, like they could do something. However, pictures of celebrities and politicians made the readers feel climate change was just silly and unimportant.

January 25, 2013

Communicating Conservation: Weekly Resources and News



The Ocean Project posts weekly roundups of the key strategic ocean and climate communication resources we’ve been tweeting. Each link will be posted with a short description of what you’ll find—please feel free to ask us any questions! 

News & Discussion

Check out these timely articles and essays which may be helpful for framing various environmental issues, connecting with specific audiences, or otherwise informing your storytelling and communications.


  • Surprise: global warming ranks last as a public priority in the US… again.
    Only 28% say climate change should be a top priority for the president and Congress. Matthew Nisbet asks: Why and where do we go from here? To sum it way up: it’s the economy. Keith Kloor says that this hints that messaging connecting extreme weather to climate change/using a public health frame has not been effective. We note that while most climate communicators have been aggressively “betting on this meme” (as Kloor puts it), acknowledgement of the link in popular media, though significantly higher than last year, is still pretty minimal.

  • Climate Change is a Risky Business
    A survey conducted by the Carbon Disclosure Project and Accenture found that 70% of companies surveyed were concerned about climate change negatively impacting their business. The International Finance Corporation (the private sector arm of the World Bank Group) also notes that "Almost 80% of our clients say they find our environmental support is important to their business" and "... we’ve found there’s an 11% higher return from companies that demonstrate high environmental and social standards." 

Resources

 
Some studies, market research, toolkits, and strategies that may be helpful when communicating about conservation and climate change.


  • How is MY world warming?
    This interactive map from NewScientist shows exactly how your region has been feeling the heat from climate change.