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Monday, December 22, 2008

Your Plastic Footprint

This may be a bad time to ask, being the holiday season and all, but what's your plastic footprint?

You know what I mean--the amount of disposable plastic stuff your lifestyle generates over the course of a day, a week, a year.

Plastic stuff that you may use for a few seconds or minutes. Then discard into the bin, sending it off into the world where it lasts essentially forever.

A small fraction gets recycled into low grade plastic things, but then lasts forever in that form.

Full disclosure: my plastic footprint is adult-sized. I bring my own bag, avoid drinks in plastic bottles, shun Styrofoam and generally work hard to shrink my plastic consumption.

But it's still amazes me what goes into the recycling bin. And the unrecyclable stuff bugs me even more.

Read more HERE

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Dangerous Beauty

"I imagine the future of the hawksbills in El Salvador depends on our ability to nurture that sense of pride that this is a species that prefers the coast of El Salvador, and should be protected," says Nichols. It doesn't stop with just this one problem and this one solution, Nichols believes. "We are re-inventing the way we interact with the ocean and the environment," he says. "It's possible. In that regard the hawksbill is a powerful symbol."

Read More HERE

Friday, December 19, 2008

LIVBLUE.org Toast to the Ocean 2009


LIVBLUE.org and Ocean Revolution invite you to raise a glass to the Ocean at midnight on New Years 2009.

We have much to celebrate and work towards this year.

The ocean gives us life and health, our air and climate, beauty and inspiration.

Among our other toasts, vows, resolutions and celebrations, we’ll pledge to live like we love the ocean in the coming year.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Trestles, San Onofre State Beach saved: Toll road project rejected



The waves are small and the water's frigid, but it's a glorious day for surfers and environmentalists, and for state parks, and for all who opposed the effort to erect the Foothill South toll road through part of San Onofre State Beach near San Clemente.

The U.S. Commerce Department today decided against the Transportation Corridor Authority's proposed toll road extension, which would have spoiled the aesthetics of one of California's most popular state parks, jeopardized a pristine watershed and the waves at Lower Trestles, which is one of the world's premier surf venues.

"The [Commerce] secretary’s decision confirms just how bad this project really is: Even the Bush administration, under pressure from all the lobbyists money can buy, has refused to endorse the toll road through San Onofre," Joel Reynolds, an attorney representing the National Resources Defense Council, said in a statement.

"In my 30 years experience, I have never seen a project more deserving of rejection. The transportation agency lobbied 20 years for this toll road, spent billions of dollars on lobbyists, and were trying to shove the $1.1 billion for this road onto the shoulders of taxpayers already burdened by the economy.

"You simply couldn't design a transportation project that does more harm to taxpayers and the environment and less good for congestion relief."

Several groups opposed the project and will be issuing statements such as this throughout the day. Congratulations to all who fought against it. The project, which had already been rejected by the California Coastal Commission, never should have gotten so far along.

--Pete Thomas

Photos: A protester (top) expresses opposition to a proposed toll road extension through San Onofre State Beach, which contains one of Southern California's few remaining pristine watersheds (bottom). Credits: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times (top) and Christine Cotter / Los Angeles Times

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Ocean Revolution Gear for Ocean Lovers

Ocean Revolution Gear for Ocean Lovers

Following this link to a message from my brother Joshua, who has created beautiful and unique Ocean Revolution belt buckles and pendants to help you support our work and look good.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Parade Magazine: Can our oceans survive?

Can Our Oceans Survive?

Published: July 27, 2008

As director of The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, Calif., Frances Gulland sees firsthand the effects of the oceans’ deteriorating state. Her patients have included cancer-stricken sea lions whose tumors are thought to be associated with PCBs, sea otters infected by a parasite linked to run-off, and fur seals sickened by toxic algae. These animals act as “an early warning system,” says Gulland. “All these things could happen to us.”

A recent study led by the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis in Santa Barbara, Calif., found that close to half of the oceans are “fairly degraded,” and only 3.7% show little or no impact from human activity. Oceans help keep the environment healthy by absorbing carbon dioxide. But now the results of that intake are evident. The seas have risen, warmed, and acidified worldwide. Those changes, combined with overfishing, have caused 90% of our big fish to disappear, according to Leon Panetta, co-chair of the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative. “Pollution has led to almost 26,000 U.S. beaches being temporarily closed or put under advisories,” he adds, “ and nearly 90% of our wetlands, the nurseries for fish, have vanished due to development. The oceans are in crisis.”

The U.S. government spends relatively little on the sea. Around $18,700 per square mile goes to the National Park System, while $400 per square mile goes to its ocean counterpart, the National Marine Sanctuary System. Private charities show a similar trend. “Close to 99% of conservation dollars donated go to land causes, and 1% to oceans,” says Debra Erickson, executive director of the nonprofit Kerzner Marine Foundation (KMF). “But over 70% of the Earth is covered by oceans.”

Lack of public attention may be due to the sea’s placid appearance. “You look at the surface, and it looks fine,” says Prof. Jane Lubchenco of Oregon State University in Corvallis. “Yet below the surface is a whole different story.” The Blue Project—a collaboration among KMF, other nonprofits, and Kerzner’s Atlantis resort in the Bahamas—is trying to educate people about what’s happening underwater, specifically with coral reefs. Atlantis visitors can go scuba diving or snorkeling and see the stark difference between a healthy reef filled with colorful creatures and a degraded one that contains bleached coral and not much else. “When you see a reef that has the proper number of fish in it vs. one that doesn’t, it takes your breath away,” says Erickson. —Daryl Chen

Sunday, July 6, 2008

OpEd: Do we need sea turtles?

OpEd: Do we need sea turtles?
Santa Cruz Sentinel
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Article Launched: 07/06/2008 01:34:54 AM PDT

In 1996, I was on the first team to attach a satellite transmitter to the back of a sea turtle and track her migration across an entire ocean. Her name was Adelita, after the daughter of a local fisherman. Over the next 368 days, she swam some 7,000 miles from Mexico to Japan, the country where she was born. Adelita swam her way into computers and newspapers and, soon, into the minds and hearts of millions who followed her epic journey.

Earlier this month, the Great Turtle Race II expanded on Adelita's journey. Eleven leatherback turtles navigated the high seas. Thousands of turtle fans monitored their progress online. The race winner and first to cross the International Dateline, traveling almost 4,000 miles, was Saphira, our Santa Cruz hometown favorite.

In a recent New York Times blog covering the race, journalist Andy Revkin dared pose the question, "Do we need sea turtles?" The responses have been passionate and thought-provoking, but inconclusive.

For me, Revkin's query misses the point, begging more important and more provocative questions: Do we need all-you-can-eat shrimp dinners and swordfish steaks that kill so much ocean wildlife? Are endangered sea turtles worth saving at the cost of a few luxury items? How much do we really need?

As a scientist, I understand we know little about the ecological roles of sea turtles. The turtle populations we study are a mere tenth of their former abundance. Stories from before the age of synthetic nets and outboard motors read like science fiction: clippers cutting through seas full of floating sea turtles, fish being raked into boats and psychedelic reefs exploding with life.

In ways we will never fully appreciate, each lost species weakens us all, but the loss of sea turtles goes far deeper than the loss of a single thread in the fabric of life.

For the Seri Indians of Mexico's Sonoran coast, sea turtles are life itself. To them, leatherback turtles are ancestors. They are at the heart of their songs, stories, dances, ceremonies and, lately, ocean conservation efforts. An ocean away, the Kei Islanders believe that their ancestors gave them the leatherback as a source of food to be hunted by hand from open boats. Always to be shared, but never sold. In Costa Rica, where leatherback turtle numbers have crashed hard, former egg poachers now protect turtles and lead ecotours -- a transformation bolstered in turtle hotspots around the world by Ocean Conservancy's SEE Turtles project.

On a recent flight, soaring high above the ocean, my row-mates described personal connections to sea turtles. "They changed our lives," they said. "Swimming with them, seeing them, on their terms, was the best thing we've ever done."

Thinking of them and pondering the question, "Do we need sea turtles?" I can only imagine the look on the faces of the Seri and the Kei Islanders and the millions of kids tracking turtles online, of a Mexican girl named Adelita, those Costa Rican turtle guides and a few strangers I met on a plane. Each would smile gently, shake their heads and laugh at the very question.

If you would like to ensure a world with sea turtles, visit oceanconservancy.org or seeturtles.org to plan a turtle-friendly vacation to see them in the wild, or join the Ocean Conservancy's International Coastal Cleanup to gather trash that threatens turtles, and, while you are at it, join Ocean Conservancy and become an outspoken advocate for sea turtle protections.



Wallace J. Nichols is senior research scientist at Ocean Conservancy and founder of the SEE Turtles conservation tourism project SEETurtles.org. Visit OceanConservancy.org for more information.

Friday, June 6, 2008

OpEd: Live like you love the ocean

World Ocean Day OpEd: Live like you love the ocean

San Jose Mercury News

Everywhere I go, people ask: “What one thing can I do for the ocean?”

My daughter, a kindergartener, answers simply: “pick up your trash.” Of course, using energy efficient light bulbs or driving a hybrid are good answers, since global warming is fundamentally an ocean issue. Then again, the simple act of choosing to eat only seafood that is sustainable and healthy can help the ocean.

But our ocean is in serious trouble. Reading recent news and scientific papers is enough to make your head spin. They tell us that there is no corner of our vast ocean that is not free of human fingerprints.

As an oceanographer, I’m quite familiar with the relentless bad news. Keeping up-to-date on it all is a part of my job. Since the ocean holds the majority of life on Earth and governs our air, our climate, and our food, that means we’re in real, big trouble.

As daunting as it appears, the ocean crisis can be boiled down to three problems: we’ve put too much in, we’ve taken too much out, and we are wrecking the edge.

Who wouldn’t be concerned about the ever-expanding Texas-size “garbage patch” in the Pacific Ocean, the shutdown of West Coast salmon fishing, right whales and sea turtles drowning in fishing gear, and the summer closure of beaches due to toxic pollution?

Obviously, there is no silver bullet … or, is there? If I had one answer to give to those who ask, “What can I do for the ocean?” it would be this: “Live like you love the ocean.” Living like we love the ocean means putting less in, taking less out, and protecting the ocean’s edge where so much life lives.

Less in. Less out. Protect the edge.

Simple.

Rather than wringing our hands, hope is on the horizon. We can live like we love the ocean in many ways.
First, shop like you love the ocean.

Buy products that are ocean-friendly. Use a canvas bag to get your stuff from the store to your car to your house, rather than a plastic bag that will stick around forever. Drink filtered tap water from a refillable glass or steel bottle instead of buying water shipped halfway around the world.

Second, eat like you love the ocean.

When you choose seafood, be sure it’s caught sustainably. That’s gotten a heck of a lot easier lately as Whole Foods, thousands of local restaurants, and even WalMart are going organic and sustainable.

Third, vacation like you love the ocean.

This summer, hike in a coastal park or visit an aquarium. Go on a sea turtle or whale watch where your visit supports conservation. Surfing, kayaking, and snorkeling are all ocean-friendly activities. Why not join Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup and make a day of it with your friends?

Lastly, vote like you love the ocean.

Many local, state, and national politicians support bold efforts to tackle global warming, create ocean parks—our so-called “Undersea Yosemites” that Ocean Conservancy is helping to build—and better fund cutting-edge ocean science. With our votes, we must be perfectly clear: we want leaders who bring about sea change.

We are entering a decade of progress in the culture of conservation and sustainability. Millions who care deeply about the ocean are joining to transform our relationship with the sea … they are starting a sea change.
Each of us must be part of this ocean revolution -- each in our own way, each as part of a connected whole.

Join for yourself. Join for others. Join for the ocean. But, when you join, please remember to live like you love the ocean.

June 8th is World Ocean Day. Find out more at www.oceanconservancy.org

Dr. Wallace J. Nichols is a senior scientist at Ocean Conservancy and a research associate at California Academy of Sciences. He was featured in the documentary film The 11th Hour. On World Ocean Day he will be speaking in Baja California Sur, Mexico, on the shores of the Bay of Loreto National Marine Park.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

LIVBLUE: OR IV: The Mother Hips


Ocean Revolution IV: The Mother Hips rock SC

June 14, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

OCEAN REVOLUTION IV HITS SANTA CRUZ JUNE 14

The fourth annual Ocean Revolution celebration will be held at Moe's Alley in Santa Cruz on June 14, to celebrate World Ocean Day. The Mother Hips will be headlining with special guest Matt Butler, starting at 9:30 pm. The event will offer a chance to get up-and-close with local, national and international ocean conservation groups and their leaders, to celebrate the ocean in a rocking atmosphere and to explore ways in which we can all live like we love the ocean.

The event is organized each year by Santa Cruz locals Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, OCEAN REVOLUTION founder and Ocean Conservancy Senior Scientist, and Will Henry, renowned photographer and Save the Waves Coalition founder, who are joined this year by many other ocean activists.

"After four years this celebration is something lots of ocean-loving people look forward to. There's no better place to celebrate World Ocean Day than Santa Cruz, the heart of the Ocean Revolution," says Nichols.

"The Mother Hips' lead singer and guitarist Tim Bluhm has proven his ongoing dedication to ocean protection over the past few years," adds Henry.

The band has headlined three out of four OCEAN REVOLUTION shows and also played at the May "Life is a Wave" benefit concert in San Francisco. The event raised over $25,000 for Save the Waves Coalition.

OCEAN REVOLUTION is an international program designed to grow a creative network and inspire a new wave of young leaders, united in their quest for innovative solutions to protect our oceans.

Save the Waves Coalition is a non-profit that works to preserve surf zones internationally, and is based in Davenport.

For more information, contact Will Henry at will@savethewaves.org or 831-818-9292

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Check out Project BLUE!


BLUE is a growing wave...

Surfider's Project BLUE builds support for their global effort. Check it out at Project BLUE

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Birth of BLUE


A speech by Adam Werbach

Download it HERE

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

NZ dolphin rescues beached whales

The bottlenose dolphin, called Moko by local residents, is well known for playing with swimmers off Mahia beach on the east coast of the North Island.

Mr Smith said that just when his team was flagging, the dolphin showed up and made straight for them.
"I don't speak whale and I don't speak dolphin," Mr Smith told the BBC, "but there was obviously something that went on because the two whales changed their attitude from being quite distressed to following the dolphin quite willingly and directly along the beach and straight out to sea."

He added: "The dolphin did what we had failed to do. It was all over in a matter of minutes."

Back at play

Mr Smith said he felt fortunate to have witnessed the extraordinary event, and was delighted for the whales, as in the past he has had to put down animals which have become beached.

He said that the whales have not been seen since, but that the dolphin had returned to its usual practice of playing with swimmers in the bay.

"I shouldn't do this I know, we are meant to remain scientific," Mr Smith said, "but I actually went into the water with the dolphin and gave it a pat afterwards because she really did save the day."

Read the article and see a video of Moko HERE

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

China bans plastic bags!

China announces plastic bag ban

The Chinese government says it is banning shops from handing out free plastic bags from June this year, in a bid to curb pollution.
Production of ultra-thin plastic bags will also be banned, the State Council said in a statement.

Instead, people will be encouraged to use baskets or reusable cloth bags for their shopping, the council said.

The move comes amid growing concern about pollution and environmental degradation in China.

China was using huge quantities of plastic bags each year, the State Council, China's cabinet, said in its directive, posted on the main government website.

"Plastic shopping bags, due to reasons such as excessive use and inefficient recycling, have caused serious energy and resources waste and environment pollution," it said.

Easily discarded

Of particular concern were cheap, flimsy bags that many shopkeepers routinely handed out to customers.

"The super-thin bags have especially become a main source of plastic pollution as they are easy to break and thus disposed of carelessly," the statement said.

Shops that violated the new rules could be fined or have their goods confiscated, it said.

The council also called for greater recycling efforts from rubbish collectors, and suggested financial authorities should consider higher taxes on the production and sale of plastic bags.

In recent years, China's rapid development has triggered concerns over pollution and use of resources.

But correspondents say that there is a growing awareness that more needs to be done to protect the environment.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/asia-pacific/7178287.stm

Published: 2008/01/09 07:38:14 GMT

© BBC MMVIII

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year’s Resolution: LIVBLUE (Live like you love the ocean)

Notwithstanding a major NYC ad agency, The Economist Magazine, The New York Times, and the Pantone Corporation all declaring that 2008 is the year of Blue, my resolution is to LIVBLUE.

Oceanographers have been saying this for a very long time: ours is a blue planet. Most of its surface, habitat and biological diversity is oceanic. 99% of the livable space on Earth is Ocean.

Global warming is fundamentally an ocean issue. Everything we produce on land eventually ends up in the ocean. We take our food, and increasingly our fuel and our water, from the ocean. And we love to go to the ocean’s edge for renewal.

So, 2008 looks to be the year blue breaks through.

A prediction for the upcoming year: an avalanche of BLUE. Magazine covers, TV programs, advertisers and the global environmental movement will pay even more attention to the ocean, it’s life giving potential as well as it’s urgent problems.

Green will still be strong. Some of the Earth is green, after all. In particular the part most humans are most fond of and call home.

The resolution to LIVBLUE, is simply a gentle reminder to myself. I resolve to live a little more like I love the ocean. To eat more sustainably and locally, cut more plastic out of my life, make my travel count for conservation whenever possible, get even further away from fossil fuels, vote for candidates who care about what I do, support and work with blue organizations, and spend more time in/on/under the ocean with my friends and family.

I’ve started a blog at LIVBLUE.org where I’ll post thoughts on living like you love the ocean. I invite you to LIVBLUE and to send your ideas along to share or comment on the blog. Look for the LIVBLUE.org group on Facebook as well.

Here’s to a very bright, blue 2008 (PANTONE #18-3943 TCX, to be exact).