Live like you love the ocean!



Saturday, September 26, 2009


What does "pluckfastic" mean and why do I need to know?

Find out HERE and get your sticker!

Monday, August 31, 2009


From Ric Barry: "I hope you'll join me in this campaign to stop the killing of dolphins in Japan. Most people in Japan don't have any idea that the dolphin slaughter is even happening. If we can spread the word around the world - and especially in Japan - we can expose the secret of Taiji and force the Japanese government to stop it. We can win this issue - but we need your help!"

Monday, August 24, 2009

LIVBLUE: Thinking Like a Coconut

On a small island you’ve never heard of, in a small group of islands you’ve never heard of, in the South China Sea, native coconuts grow. Green sea turtles climb the beach at night. They lay their small round eggs in a narrow, deep hole they carved in the sand with their rear flippers. Then they go back to the sea, across the reef, to wait for another night.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Monday, June 8, 2009

LIVBLUE: Statement on Plastic Pollution (English and Spanish)


World Oceans Day Brings Warnings from Plastic Pollution Council

June 8, 2009, San Francisco, California

Following a presentation to Google employees by Captain Charles Moore, an oceanographer who pioneered the study of plastic debris, the Strategic Council on Plastic Pollution convened at the Google Campus in Mountain View, California on June 4, 2009. It was the first meeting for the council on plastic pollution, which was recently formed to raise awareness of this rising threat to the world's oceans. Said council member and marine biologist Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, “We are finding plastic in the stomachs of sea turtles, birds, and fish all over the world.  I find this extremely disturbing." In honor of World Oceans Day, the council has issued the following statement regarding this increasingly urgent threat to wildlife and human health:

"Do you know where our plastic goes?

Did you know that our oceans are filling up with plastic pollution?

Plastic fragments contaminate even the most remote locations on earth, and harmful chemicals leached by plastics are present in the bloodstream and tissues of almost every one of us.

Plastic pollution harms people, animals, and the environment.  Plastic is not biodegradable. In the marine environment, plastic breaks down into smaller and smaller particles that absorb toxic chemicals, are ingested by wildlife, and enter the food chain that we depend on.

Consumption of throwaway plastics, such as bottles, containers, bags, and packaging, has spiraled out of control.

Recycling is not a sustainable solution. The reality is that most of our plastic waste is landfilled, downcycled or exported to other countries. And tragically, millions of tons of plastic are poisoning our oceans.

Businesses and governments need to take responsibility for new ways to design, recover and dispose of plastics.

Plastic pollution is the visible symbol of our global crisis of over-consumption.  Let's pledge to shift our societies away from the disposable habits that poison our oceans and land, eliminate our consumption of throwaway plastics, and begin embracing a culture of sustainability.

Our health, our children, and the survival of future generations depend on us."

Press contact: (English & español) Manuel Maqueda, +(415)839-7777  (GMT -8 h)

Statement on YouTube:


El Consejo sobre Polución por Plásticos lanza advertencia en el Día Mundial de los Océanos

8 de junio de 2009.  San Francisco, California,

Tras una conferencia impartida a los empleados de Google a cargo del Capitán Charles Moore, el oceanógrafo pionero en el estudio de los residuos de plástico, el Consejo Estratégico sobre Polución por Plásticos se reunió en la sede central de Google en Mountain View, California.  Se trata de la primera reunión de este consejo, formado recientemente para dar a conocer esta creciente lacra que afecta a los océanos del planeta.  El Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, biólogo marino y miembro de este consejo, afirmó:  “Estamos encontrando fragmentos de  plástico en el estómago de tortugas marinas, aves y peces.  Es algo que me parece extremadamente preocupante.”

En honor del Día Mundial de los Océanos, el Consejo emitió la siguiente declaración respecto a esta urgente amenaza  para la fauna y la salud humana:

"¿Sabes a dónde va a parar nuestro plástico?

¿Sabías que nuestros mares se están llenado de contaminación por plásticos?

Incluso las regiones más remotas del planeta se encuentran contaminadas por fragmentos de plástico.  La sangre y los tejidos de la mayoría de nosotros contienen productos químicos nocivos segregados por los plásticos.

La contaminación por plásticos perjudica a las personas, a los animales y al medio ambiente.  El plástico no es biodegradable. En el medio marino, el plástico se va fragmentando en trozos cada vez más pequeños, los cuales absorben productos químicos tóxicos, son ingeridos por los seres vivos, y entran en la cadena alimentaria de la cual dependemos.

El consumo de plásticos desechables, como botellas, recipientes, bolsas y embalajes ha crecido de forma descontrolada.

Reciclar no es una solución sostenible. En la práctica, la mayoría de nuestros residuos plásticos son arrojados en vertederos, son convertidos en materiales de calidad inferior, o son exportados a otros países.  La trágica realidad es que millones de toneladas de plástico están envenenando nuestros océanos.

Las empresas y los gobiernos tienen que hacerse responsables de la tarea de encontrar nuevas maneras para diseñar, recuperar y deshacerse de los plásticos.

La polución por plásticos es un símbolo visible de nuestra crisis global de consumismo.  Comprometamonos a renunciar a los materiales desechables que envenenan nuestros mar y tierra, eliminemos nuestro consumo de plásticos de usar y tirar, y comencemos a adoptar una cultura basada en la sostenibilidad.

Nuestra salud, nuestros hijos y la supervivencia de las generaciones futuras dependen de nosotros."

El  Consejo Estratégico sobre Polución por Plásticos es un grupo de expertos en el estudio, comunicación y paliación de este problema medioambiental, con sede en San Francisco, California. Su misión es acordar estrategias para la correcta comunicación y paliación de la polución por plásticos en todo el mundo.

Contacto de prensa: (English & español) Manuel Maqueda, Consejo Estratégico sobre Polución por Plásticos, +(415)839-7777  (GMT -8 h).


LIVBLUE: World Ocean Day Video Statement on Plastic Pollution

Monday, May 25, 2009

Huffington Post: Your blue marble

The Huffington Post
MAY 25, 2009

Wallace J Nichols
Posted: May 25, 2009 07:26 PM

What will you do with your blue marble?

Read More: Environment, Environmentalism, Ocean, Ocean Day, Pollution, Recycling, Green News

Do you know where to get the best local, sustainable seafood? Do you clean up plastic litter, even if it's not yours and no one is watching? Do you take reusable bags to the grocery store? In other words, do you live blue?
Well then, here's a marble.

If someone hands you a small blue marble don't be surprised. Here's what to do: give it away to someone who is also taking care of our little blue planet. Or give it to someone else along with a tip about how to live blue: where to get the best local organic food, how to avoid plastic waste, or which politicians and businesses are true blue.

Then pause for a moment and consider that tens of thousands of similar recycled-glass blue marbles are passing from hand to hand right now, making their way around the Earth, our big blue marble. If you get one, give one. And then, please share your story with all of us at and inspire others to live blue. Next World Ocean Day, in June 2010, we'll check in on all the stories those blue marbles tell.

Blue Marble is the name given to the most replicated photo ever, it's the one made by Apollo 17 astronauts in 1972 as they pointed their Hasselblad camera back at an illuminated Earth. From up there we looked small, fragile, beautiful...and blue. Sort of like a blue marble.

Understandably, the green patches of our planet get most of the eco-attention--albeit not nearly enough--while the blue expanses quietly take the hit. I've heard it said that less than 1% of eco-funding goes to caring for the blue world. But, the fact is we live on a blue planet, not a green one, or a brown one. Earth is mostly water, surrounded by a light blue or dark blue sky. Life came from the ocean, and most of our planet's life and habitable space is in the ocean. We know all too well that the ocean gives us our climate, the air we breathe, and food to eat.

But we've treated Big Blue like a giant dump. Our chemicals, exhaust, emissions and trash are blown away with the breeze or washed away with the tide. Invisible. Out of sight. Out of mind. Global warming, ocean acidification, toxic seafood and plastic-laden seas and beaches mean that dilution is no longer a viable solution to pollution.

But our hope isn't false or shallow. Soon, the health of the ocean, once the wallflower of the environmental movement, will move to center stage, and not a moment too soon.

Those in the know say that 2010 is going to be a big year for the blue parts of our planet. Beginning with World Ocean Day this June 8th (now recognized by the UN) a string of ocean events flows outward including the 100th anniversary of the birthday of Archie Carr, the father of sea turtle conservation, the premier of the IMAX film OCEAN, World Ocean Day 2010 and the anniversary of Jacques Cousteau's 100th birthday. Ocean explorer Dr. Sylvia Earle, aka "Her Deepness," has made a global network of marine protected areas her TED Prize wish. Our new administration put an ocean scientist Dr. Jane Lubchenco at the helm of NOAA and is poised to change climate change and energy policies at home and around the world for the better (to put it mildly).

The message is quite clear: we must do more for the ocean, we must do it better and we must do it now.
Your local "blue" organizations--the frontline warriors--need your help. These days "help" means money, so update your memberships at your favorite grassroots non-profit. While you're at it, renew your commitment to the national organizations like Ocean Champions, Ocean Conservancy and Oceana, the people who, day-in and day-out, lobby for and shape the plans and policies that will restore healthy oceans. Without our support these groups are not going to make it, which means neither will we.

If you're not convinced, just consider what our ocean would look like without the people who have fought for it through the years. More oil rigs, an extra few thousand tons of trash, lots more runoff, fewer fish, whales and turtles, lack of public access and poorer ocean illiteracy leap to mind.

But it's not all about what they do. It's also about each of us. Hit the beach, roll up your sleeves and volunteer to pick up that trash even when no one is watching, eat "blue" by making the most local and sustainable choices and shop "blue" by looking for reusables and biodegradables first.

We all owe these ocean saints a world of thanks. Maybe your neighbor, teacher, co-worker or partner is one of them. In fact, I'll bet you're one of them, too. If so, then one day, very soon, I hope someone puts a blue marble into your hand and says, "thank you."

And then, when that blue marble is yours, you'll know exactly what to do with it.

Friday, May 22, 2009

LIVBLUE: Blue Marble Movement

The Blue Marble Movement

Here's a simple, wonderful concept: Send a blue marble to folks who are living a life that preserves OUR blue marble -- this beautiful Planet Earth. Encourage them to "pay it forward" and pass the marble along to others who are doing the same. Collect the stories of these marbles & people as they journey around the planet. (In prose and poetry, in pictures and videos.) Then share the stories on a day of celebration.

Read more at the Monterey Bay Aquarium site HERE

Thursday, May 21, 2009

LIVBLUE: Celebrate World Ocean Day @ Ocean Revolution 5

Ocean Revolutionaries,

Celebrate World Ocean Day on June 5th at Ocean REVolution 5 @ The Catalyst in downtown Santa Cruz, CA

Support our great local ocean advocate at Ocean Revolution, Save The Waves, Save Our Shores, Ocean Conservancy, Surfrider, Ocean Conservancy, FishWise and O'Neill Sea Odyssey

We're proud to announce The Mother Hips and Hot Buttered Rum will be making musical bliss for the ocean.  See for tickets and more info.

For the past five years we have celebrated World Ocean Day with powerful music delivered by ocean-loving musicians, uniting our ocean advocacy efforts and recognizing that the future of the ocean is in our generation's hands.  This isn't a fundraiser or an educational's just really, really good live music for the ocean with our friends. Spread the word about these great organizations and celebrate our accomplishments and the good hard work ahead.

Each year we produce a new concert poster, now sought after collectibles.  The OR5 poster is attached as a pdf.  Feel free to print, post, email and otherwise distribute far and wide.

Thanks to Max Davis for design work and a big thanks to The Mother Hips and Hot Buttered Rum!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Experimental project to clean Pacific Ocean garbage patch

Project Kaisei is a bold attempt to filter out and recycle plastic from the continent-sized patch of garbage in the Pacific Ocean.

Read more HERE

Monday, May 4, 2009

LIVBLUE: Get Outside Yourself

New Volunteer Match Program Connects Travelers with Sea Turtle Conservation Projects

For your next volunteer vacation, how about a close-up and personal encounter with one of the world's most mystical and prehistoric creatures? That is what engagement with sea turtles is all about. There are many projects around the world that work in sea turtle conservation. In order to find the best one for you, check out the new volunteer placement service that SEE Turtles is offering at The free service matches interested travelers with sea turtle projects in Mexico, Costa Rica, Tobago, Guatemala, and Nicaragua.

Read More HERE

Thursday, April 30, 2009

5th Annual Ocean Revolution World Ocean Day Concert

June 5th

Save the Date!

Details to be announced soon!

FEATURED COLUMN: Message in a Bottle: The Problem is Plastic

FEATURED COLUMN: Message in a Bottle: The Problem is Plastic

By Dr. Wallace J. Nichols
Monday, April 27, 2009 1:19 AM EDT

"Walked out this morning, don’t believe what I saw, a hundred billion bottles, washed up on the shore." -Sting

Last month, the leaders of a global coastal cleanup network 400,000 strong, spanning 104 countries and 42 states, met in Washington, DC coinciding with the release of the expansive report, "A Rising Tide of Ocean Debris."

After almost a quarter-century of garbage and data collection from creeks, bays, lakes, reefs, beaches and oceans of the world, the results are crystal clear: The problem of debris in the ocean is not "debris," but plastic. Debris is what blows off trees onto the grass, or the driftwood and kelp that have naturally washed up on our beaches for millennia. The term "marine debris" is a euphemism—an Orwellian framing device promoted by plastics industry public relations pros.

The mess in our ocean is made almost exclusively of plastic—plastic ropes, fishing nets and traps, plastic bags and bottles, plastic food containers, bottle caps, rubber ducks, flip-flops, plastic syringes, toothbrushes, diapers, tampon applicators and condoms, plastic cigarette filters and lighters. Gazillions of nurdles—those little tiny pellets that are the raw industrial material for many molded plastic items—are mixed with seawater and sand wherever the currents can take them. Depending on where you are in the world, plastic makes up nearly 100% of what washes up on the beach both in terms of the number of items and their mass.

While the public involvement and growing attention on this issue so evident in "A Rising Tide" are hopeful signs of a solution, plastic in the ocean remains an expanding threat to both human and animal well-being. In his new book, "Flotsametrics," oceanographer Curt Ebbesmeyer writes that samples of just about everything ever made of plastic can be found washed up on the beaches of the world.

Plastic and water just don’t mix for two main reasons: plastic floats and it doesn’t go away for a very long time. By plastic, of course, I’m referring to the wide range of synthetic organic solid materials used to manufacture myriad consumer products. They are typically polymers of high molecular weight that often contain additives to improve things like flexibility and/or reduce costs.

Plastic comes in many shapes, sizes and uses; it originates from every corner of the globe; and, it is a ubiquitous product of most every industry. Since the 1950s, one billion tons of plastic has been discarded. In the past two decades, plastic use has simply exploded across the planet. It is a blight on coastal villages around the world, invading in thousands of new forms, without an exit strategy. Since the 1960s, the number of plastic items in the stomachs of leatherback sea turtles, minke whales and Laysan albatrosses has spiked.

Recently, on a research expedition to Indonesia, I witnessed a line of plastic on remote island beaches that are nesting grounds for endangered sea turtles. I saw walls of burning plastic sliding down cliffs into the sea. I found plastic fishing gear wrapped around reefs. Plastic bags clogged the intake of our outboard motor every fifteen minutes.

In the bluest heart of ocean biodiversity floats a sea of plastic.

Granted, plastic "falls from our hands, not the sky," but manufacturers who churn out more and cheaper plastic at an alarming, increasing pace are spreading the problem irresponsibly. Recycling has proven difficult. The biggest problem is the labor-intensive sorting of plastic waste into its various types for reprocessing; the costs far exceed the value of the recycled plastic. The plastic foam polystyrene, for example, is rarely recycled because it is just not cost effective.

We could just wait on Mother Nature for a solution. Two types of nylon eating bacteria were found in 1975, raising the hope that other bacteria will evolve the ability to consume other synthetic plastics. But Mother Nature is slow and plastic is piling up in the ocean by the day, particularly in the North Pacific Gyre, or the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" or the "Pacific Trash Vortex" as it is sometimes known.

So, what is the solution to plastic in the ocean? Simple answer: Don’t use petroleum-based plastic.

Human behavior is remarkably flexible when it comes to finding alternatives to plastic. Recently, new biodegradable plastic substitutes have come on the scene. Many of the items removed from the world’s beaches have reusable or non-plastic, biodegradable and compostable substitutes such as those made from plant-based bagasse, the fibrous residue remaining after sugarcane or sorghum stalks are crushed to extract their juice. Seek them out when you need a container, they go by the names of EcoTainer, NatureWorks and Worldcentric and can be easily found online. Encourage local leaders and businesspeople to follow China, India, Ireland and dozens of U.S. cities, by banning certain disposable plastic items and taxing others. Reusable bottles, utensils and shopping bags are a simple solution. Wax paper is a good choice for many household and lunchbox needs. Avoid plastic "to go" containers. See if you can make it through a single day without using any disposable plastic. It’s not as hard as you might think.

Who knows, if we succeed, maybe one day our beaches will be full of real, old-fashioned marine debris. The kind the original beachcombers used to collect: driftwood, kelp, seashells and the occasional message in a bottle—a glass bottle, of course.


Dr. Wallace J. Nichols is a Research Associate at California Academy of Sciences.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Mission Sea Turtle

Here’s your mission should you choose to accept it: hold you breath for a month, eat an entire salad bar, swim a marathon a day for 2 weeks, while figuring out how to get to a place you haven’t been to since you were a baby 30 years ago, without the help of signs, GPS, maps, helpful policemen or Google Earth, then at your destination mate non-stop for a few weeks, lay a few hundred eggs at night in a hole you dug with your back feet without looking, now swim back to where you came from to eat some more salad bars and get ready to do it again. Each year. For the rest of your life. Which is long.

I forgot to mention that all along the way you need to be sure that the food you eat isn’t made of plastic that just looks like food (which can mess you up real bad), you should avoid getting run over by a speeding boat (which can crack your shell), you better not get caught in a net or on a hook (which are everywhere these days), and last but not least you have to hope and pray you’re not eaten as turtle soup (sounds gross, but some people like it A LOT).

Did I mention that you are a sea turtle (and your brain is the size of a pea)? Impressed? You should be. Sea turtles are AMAZING animals!

Read More HERE

Friday, April 10, 2009

LIVBLUE: Save the Date for Jacques' 100th B-Day!

Join us for World Ocean Day 2010 by celebrating the 100th anniversary of Jacques Cousteau’s birth. It’s no exaggeration to say that Captain Cousteau inspired millions of us to learn more about our ocean planet and some of us to make exploring it our life’s work.

Jacques-Yves Cousteau (11 June 1910 to 25 June 1997) was a French naval officer, explorer, ecologist, filmmaker, innovator, scientist, photographer, author and researcher who studied the sea and all forms of life in water. He co-developed the aqua-lung, pioneered marine conservation and was a member of the Académie Française. He was commonly known as "le Commandant Cousteau" or "Captain Cousteau".

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Family Fun Magazine: Volunteer Opportunities

Family Fun: Four Ideas for Volunteering

by Melissa Gaskill

Read the whole article HERE


What Needs To Be Done

Who has fun on vacation when the beach is covered with trash? No one -- so national organizations need volunteers all year-round to clean up our shores.

How Families Can Help

Ocean Conservancy sponsors the International Coastal Cleanup event on the third Saturday of September. In 2007, some 378,000 volunteers worldwide collected 6 million pounds of garbage.

California marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols took daughters, Grayce, age 7, and Julia, 4, to a cleanup event in Big Sur. "The girls are big on cleaning the beaches," Nichols said. "They'll tell you, 'The trash goes down to the ocean, the animals eat it and get sick.' " During the cleanup, the family also helped rescue a pelican with a hurt wing. 800-519-1541,

Families vacationing in Maui any time can grab a beach cleanup kit from Hawaii's Pacific Whale Foundation, complete with directions to a local beach, rubber gloves, trash bags, and instructions for disposing of the litter. 800-942-5311,

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

NeuroConservation: The Battle for the Brains

Were you paying attention during the presidential election?  Obama’s team combined brilliant, resonant language with an appealing patriotically-hued "O" logo and impeccable social networking tools for fundraising, messaging and get-out-the-vote. They topped it all with follow-up communications with a personal flair. Using the tools of modern marketing better than anyone imagined possible, they put a long-shot candidate in the White House.

The Obama campaign tapped into a phenomenon that marketers (and more than a few “instinctive” politicians) have long known: that decisions are driven not by rationality but by emotion.  And, sometimes, when the stars align, emotions produce elections of unlikely candidates.

However, did you know that “smaller” everyday acts can trigger the very same mirror neurons, like those that produce yawns when we see others yawn, and dopamine rushes, like those that follow pleasurable experiences, as voting for a charismatic candidate? Acts as simple as declining a plastic bag at the checkout counter, or spending an hour cleaning a beach, or buying local, or hopping on a commuter train.  Science shows that when we participate in activities we think are “cool,” we feel cool and a rush follows.  These acts carry an additional bonus in that there’s no credit card bill pending (nor years shackled to a blundering president).  In the end, the earth is healthier for it.

Brain science has taken some exciting leaps forward recently and, in the coming decade, we expect increasingly mind-blowing research and insights.  Like it or not, according to the new book “Buyology” by Martin Lindstrom, technologies like MRIs and brain scans are now a fixture of politics and consumerism in the U.S.  Lindstrom points to new research that describes all decisions as emotional, makes clear links between left/right brains and left/right politics, and shows that fear-based anti-smoking campaigns may actually increase desire to light up. Combine brainscoping with new social marketing tools, toss in a 100 million dollars or so and you've got millions craving Coke, iPods, SUVs, and all things Obama.

Here's the good news. When not wedded to science for science’s sake, leading neuroscientists believe in improving the human condition through better understanding of how the brain works. My advice to to a new graduate student would be to get a degree in Neuroscience, with one foot in Environmental Studies and the other in Communications/Marketing. If I could create my own program, I’d call it NeuroConservation.

These same insights about our emotional brains and social networking tools that major corporations and campaigns are using to drive our decision-making are available to the conservation community as we try to head off the looming environmental catastrophe.  First, we need to let go of some things we thought we knew, we need to use the new tools at our disposal wildly, and we must share what works with everyone who’ll listen. 

For those of us working in the environmental field there is promise. We can harness mirror neurons and dopamine rushes for the good of the planet. Neuroscience offers great hope: positive emotion trumps fear, inclusive beats exclusive, and short-and-emotional tops lengthy-and-rational. The eco-community, however, is not learning these lessons.

Case in point: many eco-orgs use nearly identical unimaginative, unemotional taglines, slogans and logos.  In a single month, I encountered no less than eight ocean protection organizations using some version of the phrase "sea change.”  Logos melt together in a swirl of blue, green, ocean animals, and wave motifs. It’s like showing up for the prom in the exact same dress as all the other girls.  Oops.

The similarity suggests unfamiliarity with the latest in brainwork and hints at the lack of collaboration between groups.  Don’t get me wrong; I'm an avid supporter of several of the groups. Perhaps it's just that originality in the sector is just too risky.  If true, that’s sad and we all lose in the end.

So, here's the plan.  If you are a role model to someone (anyone!) or possess an ounce of cool, it's time to flex it for the planet.  Be seen, be proud, and strut your LIVBLUE street-cred wherever you are.  Say things like, "Dude those reusable shopping bags and water bottles are so cool" or "Riding the metro rocks!" or "Eating local, organic food is awesome!"  And remember, when you say it, say it real loud so people can HEAR you. 

Let your passion show. Creatively share messages by email, Facebook, YouTube, company listservs and Twitter.  Share what works and what doesn't, widely and wildly. Let’s give preachitivity and eco-fact-itude a break and try some NeuroConservation and social-network-iness for a change.

Let’s not confuse NeuroConservation with the shallow trends of fashion or music.  Think of it more in terms of the un-evolution (the “re-volution”?) of our wasteful, disposable, plastic-ridden past through cutting-edge science and technology. By making living blue super cool, we can make living brown uncool.  One brain at a time.
“Our national obsession with buying and consuming is just going to escalate as marketers become better and better at targeting our subconscious wishes and desires.”
–Martin Lindstrom, Buyology
“The hallmark of revolution is that the goals of the revolutionaries cannot be contained by the institutional structure of the existing society.” 
-Clay Shirky, Here Comes Everybody