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.

October 21, 2009

International Day of Climate Action on October 24

Hopefully by now you have heard about 350.org's efforts around the world this weekend and are planning to join an action to draw attention to climate change. As of today there are over 4,000 events planned in 170 countries.

The reason for the group's name? Scientists say that 350 parts per million CO2 in the atmosphere is the safe limit for humanity. Many believe it needs to be even lower. Regardless, we are currently at 387 ppm and we need to move faster on lowering that number.

Join an activity where you live (or start one) and take action this weekend!

Learn more about why 350 ppm is so important for coral reefs and our world's ocean.

October 16, 2009

Sigourney Weaver Takes on Ocean Acidification

ACID TEST, a film produced by NRDC, was made to raise awareness about the largely unknown problem of ocean acidification, which poses a fundamental challenge to life in the seas and the health of the entire planet. Like global warming, ocean acidification stems from the increase of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere since the start of the Industrial Revolution.

View the film (22 minutes) and learn more about "the other CO2 problem."

Watch Sigourney Weaver deftly steer an interview on Fox News toward this important topic and film, rather than focusing on her upcoming (blockbuster-to-be, Avatar).

Then do more to help: Seas the Day!

A Blueprint for Restoring the World’s Oceans to Health

Sylvia Earle - also known as "Her Deepness" and featured earlier this year in this blog when she won a coveted TED Prize - has written a book, The World is Blue: How Our Fate and the Ocean's Are One, published earlier this year and in which she discusses the huge changes in the world's ocean she has witnessed over the decades and offers her hopeful thoughts on how we can restore the health of our shared world ocean.

In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Earle provides her wise take on the state of our world ocean and what can be done, summarized nicely here: “We get to choose. We either get to choose by conscious action or by default because we are complacent... thinking somebody else will look after this. But nobody else will take care of these issues.”

Read the interview with Sylvia Earle, watch her on Colbert Nation (after the :30 commercial, you'll get a 5:47 interview by Stephen Colbert with Sylvia Earle) , and then remember to take action to help our world's ocean: Seas the Day!

October 15, 2009

NOAA Announces Ocean Education Grants to Aquariums

On October 5, NOAA announced 11 grants totaling more than $9 million that will create new education projects in aquariums across the nation. The projects will educate visitors about the ocean and encourage better stewardship of the marine environment.

Read NOAA's full news posting.

October 12, 2009

Act now to improve environmental literacy

The Ocean Project is working with a diverse coalition to secure broad bipartisan in Congress to help advance ocean conservation by improving environmental literacy and, as a result, American competitiveness in the global economy.

Representative Lois Capps (Democrat from California’s 23rd congressional district) recently introduced a bill, HR. 3644, the Bay-Watershed Education and Training Regional Program and National Environmental Literacy Grant Program Act. This bill authorizes and strengthens NOAA’s (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) existing Bay-Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) and Environmental Literacy Grants (ELG) programs.

These two programs - B-WET and ELG - have funded many valuable activities including The Ocean Project’s recent public opinion research – America, the Ocean, and Climate Change – made possible with support from the ELG program. Without NOAA funding, our Partners and other friends would not be receiving the latest - and ongoing - market research providing insights into how to more effectively reach and engage Americans for conservation.

How to Help:

We are collaborating with others to help secure more support for this bill by getting additional co-sponsors. The bill has been referred to the House Natural Resources Committee and on October 15, the relevant subcommittee, the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Oceans, Wildlife, and Insular Affairs, is holding an important hearing.

Anyone in the United States - Ocean Project Partners and individuals - can help by letting your congressional representative know you care about this issue, and, ideally, asking them to co-sponsor the bill. Action in the Senate will be forthcoming and we will inform you of opportunities as they arise but certainly let your Senator know of your interest now to get it on their radar screen.

You can see a list of co-sponsors, learn more about this bill, and track its progress at the govtrack.us. The website has lots of valuable information and resources to improve civic involvement, including finding out whom your congressional representatives are in case you are not sure.

More info:

This effort is about how informal science can significantly supplement science education beyond what is being provided for in our schools.

As recommended by many, including the National Academy of Sciences, investments like these can greatly help to turn around America’s relative decline in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) when compared to other nations that are generously funding these types of educational programs.

It is important to now establish these programs – B-WET and ELG – in law, consistent with the education mandates provided to NOAA in both the America COMPETES Act (PL 110-69, Sec.4002) and the Omnibus Public Land Management Act (PL 111-11, Sec. 12304).

By passing this legislation with broad bipartisan support we can significantly improve STEM education and environmental literacy, will help enhance American competitiveness, and help create healthier communities and watersheds around our country. Ultimately, all this will improve the health and abundance of our shared world ocean.

October 5, 2009

The Ocean Picture Of the Day

Due to the overwhelming success of both the Earth Science Picture of the Day (ESPOD) and Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) daily picture sites, The Ocean Project has rolled out the Ocean Picture of the Day (OPOD), available to you since September 1, 2009.

While the ESPOD and APOD sites connect us to scientific principles that indirectly bring out the awe in our respect for planet Earth and space, the OPOD is a place for world citizens to proclaim love for our world's shared ocean. Why don't you submit an ocean-related (or Great Lakes related) photo and tag the emotion that came along with participating in that photo shoot. The Ocean Project staff will contact you via the e-mail address you provide to let you know when your picture has been selected.

We can all be mindful of the ocean so we can consider its conservation more often in our day-to-day lives. Images have amazing power to stir individuals to action and by participating in the OPOD service, you can tell part of your story. Share your favorite ocean image to help remind everyone of why it's important to protect and conserve our oceans and coasts.