Keynote Speaker Fabien Cousteau to Address Boulder Community at 3rd annual Ocean Symposium and Film Festival
Colorado organization mobilizes grassroots ‘inland ocean movement’ to protect the Earth’s oceans
Boulder, CO—Fabien Cousteau, aquatic filmmaker, oceanographic explorer and grandson of the noted oceanographic explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, will present opening remarks at Making WAVES 2013 taking place September 20-22, 2013 in Boulder, CO. This weekend-long Ocean Symposium, Mile-High Blue Exposition and Ocean Film Festival is hosted by the Colorado Ocean Coalition and the Colorado Scuba Retailers Association at the University of Colorado at Boulder to engage the local community in a dialogue on some of the most important ocean issues that affect us all. Cousteau’s presentation comes just two months before his notable Mission 31, where he will venture to live under water for 31 days at a depth of 63 feet—taking a 50-year old legacy left by his grandfather Jacques Yves-Cousteau to new depths. Registration to see Cousteau speak is free and is available online at www.coloradoocean.org.
“We are delighted and honored to have Fabien Cousteau share his ocean adventures and insights with us here in Colorado,” says Vicki Nichols Goldstein, Colorado Ocean Coalition’s executive director. “You don’t have to be near the ocean to care about it and to make a difference. From our food choices to our energy use, each of us can make a positive impact.”
The Speakers Symposium on Saturday is free for the public to attend and will address a broad range of issues including eco-tourism, adventure travel, sustainable seafood, and the impacts of energy production on the ocean. The film festival on Sunday will feature a selection of films from the San Francisco International Ocean Film Festival. Tickets for the film festival may be purchased in advance for $13 per showing for adults, $7 per showing for youths 12 and under, or $35 for a full-day pass. The full film lineup and tickets are available online at www.coloradoocean.org.
“As a scuba community, we are committed to sustainable travel options and protecting our oceans through responsible diving,” said Ali Miller, president of the CSRA. “It takes us all working together to leave a legacy for the next generation.
More than 50 dive shops, tour retailers, non-profit organizations and NGOs from around the world will be exhibiting at the Mile-High Blue Expo throughout the weekend. An interactive Youth Area at the event will have a schedule of educational activities for the younger generation of divers and ocean stewards. Participants will have a chance to win prizes from exhibitors during live drawings throughout the weekend.
Friday, September 20
6:30-8:30PM Making WAVES Blue Drinks (Restaurant 4580)
Saturday, September 21
8:00AM-5:00PM Mile-High Blue Exposition/Ocean Symposium (CU Boulder)
6:30PM-12:00AM Mermaid Masquerade Ball (Hotel Boulderado)
Sunday, September 22
10:00AM-5:00PM Mile-High Blue Exposition (CU Boulder)
11:00AM-7:00PM Ocean Film Festival – 3 showings (CU Boulder)
Registration for this free Ocean Speakers Symposium is available online at: www.coloradoocean.org.
About Colorado Ocean Coalition
Colorado Ocean Coalition is a project of The Ocean Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, and has a mission to create, unite and empower the Colorado community to promote healthy oceans through education and community engagement. Until now, there has never been a unified voice for ocean protection in the Mountain States. Colorado Ocean Coalition is creating a movement to protect oceans from a mile high. For more information, please visit: www.coloradoocean.org.
About Colorado Scuba Retailer Association
The Colorado Scuba Retailers Association is an organization designed to express commitment to dive retailers and provide passion and inspiration for a growing community of dive customers, employees and associated instructors. CSRA proactively helps grow the dive industry by sharing experience, input and solutions with retailers, manufacturers and industry stakeholders. Learn more at: www.divecolorado.com.
Vicki Nichols Goldstein
There is an Ocean Movement surfacing all across the land. People are becoming more concerned about protecting our ocean surrounding us.
Back in Rachel Carson’s days, during the 195os and early 1960s, the ocean was seen as an enormously vast body of water untouchable by human hands. Today we are beginning to think differently. We see the effects of day after day after day of the stream of human contaminants reaching our ocean waters.
In Colorado, the Colorado Ocean Coalition is helping make people living a mile high or so above the seas more aware of the ocean’s importance. From coast to coast and points in between, all kinds of people are joining the movement. Be it in places like Port Orford, Oregon, off the coast of Massachusetts, in the Florida Keys and the Gulf of Mexico down stream of places like Iowa and Colorado.
And in places like the concrete jungles of New York City, modern high tech pioneers, like Academy Award winning animator of Avatar Andy Jones, are working on educating people across the lands about our treasured oceans through “the Blu”—a new way to experience the underwater world.
In the heartlands, in the high mountain areas, along our coasts people of diverse backgrounds are seeking to become more educated about our ocean and solve real life problems together as part of this Ocean Movement.
“Ocean Frontiers: The Dawn of a New Era in Ocean Stewardship” is an independent film via Green Fire Productions (founded in 1989), thanks in large part from a grant by the Campbell foundation for the environment (a private foundation).
Karen and her husband Ralf Meyer designed, researched and directed/produced the film. Says Karen Anspacher-Meyer,
The film takes audiences on an inspiring voyage to seaports and watersheds across the country. From the busy shipping lanes of Boston Harbor to a small fishing community in the Pacific Northwest, from America’s coral reefs in the Florida Keys to the nation’s premier seafood nursery in the Mississippi Delta where we meet a number of unlikely allies who are all working on a new approach to ocean management and new course of cooperation in defense of the seas that sustain us.
Solution oriented stories speak to real problems people are facing. Through the many examples in the film, a future of collaboration to get the best gains is clear to Karen Meyer.
Karen hopes that people who see the movie learn from today’s ocean pioneers, getting ideas from them and find a sense of hope that solutions are possible. She sees people from very different areas working together–escaping from “the us vs, them” mentality –and discovered people can have a positive impact upon our Ocean.
Karen Meyer finds sincerity in such pioneers as Billy Causey, SE Regional Director, as he makes connections in the Florida Keys Marine Sanctuary and his often said words of inquiry, “What can I do locally and what can I do regionally and how can I influence what’s happening on a global scale?” The film talks of a common sense approach of preserving life through ecosystem management and ocean planning.
Karen Meyer positively points to the new National Ocean Policy, the outcome of two commissions: the Pew Ocean Commission and US Commission on Ocean Policy. A policy whose core approach, the first lady of Oregon (Cylvia Hayes) and her colleague (Leesa Cobb) purport,“. . . is to improve marine stewardship by directing government agencies with differing mandates to work together better.”
To learn more about this blossoming movement to take better care of the ocean and a new philosophy of marine stewardship of prosperity through preservation, all are invited to the movie’s premier in Boulder, Colorado June 21st at the Diary Center for the Arts (2590 Walnut St. #1, Boulder). Blue Drinks 5:30-7 p.m. Movie starts at 7.
Watch the trailer:
The Meyers want to make people aware of how to host an event. Check out “host a screening” at http://ocean-frontiers.org/host-a-screening/ .
In New York City’s Time Square on May 4, “the Blu” was officially launched to the public.
The original idea for the Blu was conceived 12 years before by Co-founders Neville Spiteri, CEO of Wemo Media (Credits incl. Apollo 13, Medal of Honor and Terminator), and Scott Yara (Co-founder of Wemo Media and Senior V.P. with Greenplum). They actively started working on the project only within the last 2 years. It is a multi year project in its infancy.
The Blu is an online application to socially explore our beautiful underwater world. Its co-founder, Neville Spiteri, says,
The Blu is an experience. It’s an experience inspired by the ocean. It’s a experience you engage in online on your computer. Turns the internet into a 3-D underwater world where as an individual you can connect with other people around the world also diving into the Blu in this social exploration of the ocean.
Forbes Magazine writes, “The Blu is a global mission to create—on the web—an interactive world where every species and habitat is a unique work of art created by digital artists and developers around the world, as a social online experience.”
The Blu celebrated World Oceans Day, June 8, with the release of Big Blu–a whale created by Academy Award winning Andy Jones–swimming around the world. Andy Jones won an Oscar for his work as the Animation Director of the movie Avatar.
“Out of sight, out of mind,” Jones explained is perhaps how most people view the ocean. He thinks the ocean is extremely important. “Without the oceans we wouldn’t be here,” he says.
The award winning animator sees the Blu as part of the Ocean Movement. He hopes to educate people and help them see what makes the ocean work. His role with the Blu is as an animation consultant fielding questions by the many contributing artists, working on the artificial intelligence of the fish, and overseeing the animation assets.
Andy loves looking at fish. He has been in love with ocean since the age of five, watching Jacque Cousteau. He remembers snorkeling and being out in the ocean for hours and hours.
He just couldn’t get back out of the water. He would be exploring every crevice. He just loved to look at the sea life…seeing how strange it looked. Years later and after living in Hawaii, Andy honeymooned in the warm water reefs of Bora Bora with his bride—exploring the many species living there new to him.
Andy Jones went to UCLA with the Blu’s other co-founder Scott Yara, and introduced Scott to Neville. The three of them spent quality time diving together in the Pacific.
Why should people be interested in the Blu? Andy Jones, Neville Spiteri and John K. Bates, the Blu’s Evangelist, cite numerous reasons.
Adults find it of interest. Kids often push their parents aside and speedily pick up the in’s and out’s faster. The Blu is beautiful and relaxing, and many utilize it as a screen saver. It is an educational device and high schools to museums like the Smithsonian and higher education schools such as Scripps are taking interest.
There is also a donation aspect where people buy fish for their marine habitats and monies are given to the creating artist donated and various organizations to help protect the marine life. And this is a global art project with hundreds taking part and the potential for thousands of artists to join in.
Neville Spiteri quotes Sylvia Earle saying, “You have to know something before you can care about it and respect it.” And the Blu’s goal is to “Raise awareness and instill a sense of awe and wonderment and appreciation for the ocean.”
See the Making the Blu video:
Inland Ocean Movement
And along side the Ocean Movement, an Inland Ocean Movement exists in places like Colorado where the Colorado Ocean Coalition is setting the pace as a role model for other states says Ocean Frontiers’ director Karen Anspacher-Meyer. Added organizations such as Sea Shepherd has a high mile presence with a Colorado Chapter too.
Colorado Ocean Coalition (COCO)’s founder and Director, Vicki Nichols Goldstein, believes “Strong partnerships are key in moving the ocean movement forward, especially in the middle of the country.” She thinks, the whole movement is driven by awareness, engagement and subsequent action.
Vicki Goldstein expresses a strong interest in such educational tools as the Blu in educating people in land locked areas hundreds and in Colorado’s case a thousand miles away from the ocean’s waters. She also says films like “Ocean Frontiers” allow COCO to reach out to the community–having a time to network at Blue Drinks, the show the film and engage in a Q&A after the film to bring home the message of working together for our Ocean and providing added opportunities for further action.
Sea Shepherd’s Colorado Chapter has also been active along Colorado’s front range and elsewhere. When Captain Paul Watson, their founder, was recently arrested in Germany in the middle of May, they were active in numerous Free Captain Watson awareness events. They hosted a fundraising event that brought out hundreds of people just before Captain Watson left for Germany. Their Colorado Coordinator and on-shore volunteer staff helped spread the word and educate those interested in joining a Sea Shepherd campaign on the High Seas.
And let’s not forget to help Free Captain Watson, who is still in Germany, on bond, waiting extradition to Costa Rica. Captain Watson is a hero, a true Ocean Warrior for our oceans and the wildlife found within.
Editor: Ryan Pinkard
Thursday, June 14,2012
Why ocean conservation is exactly what this state needs
No, really, take a breath in. And then another. And then one more. At least one of those three breaths was supplied by the ocean.About half of the air we breathe comes from phytoplankton in the ocean.Just in case you weren’t convinced that what’s in our water matters, think about that — all our waterways are connected, and our water and our air are connected. And think about the plastic bottles that you’ve tossed in the trash ending up in the ocean, where they collect in gyres and slowly break down to microparticles that can no longer be separated from the phytoplankton around them. That stuff making the air we breathe? It’s fighting for real estate with plastic we threw away. And then the plastic gets eaten by the little fish, which are eaten by bigger fish, which are eaten by us. The mercury and the PCBs all those organisms up the food chain have eaten — that ends up in us.That’s stressful, right? So just think about the ocean. The waves, the lapping water, the endless blue. Feeling calmer? More creative? There’s some science on that connection, too.Even landlocked Colorado residents are connected to the ocean — but making people here more aware of how we’re connected to the watery 70 percent of our planet and what we can do to protect the ocean from here, on land, is the mission of Vicki Goldstein, founder of the Colorado Ocean Coalition. It’s the only ocean conservation organization in a land-locked state in the country, she says. And she looked.Before Goldstein moved inland, she spent a career teaching people about the oceans on either coast, working for the College of the Atlantic and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and running Save Our Shores, an ocean conservation organization in California. Then she took some time off to raise her kids before her husband’s career brought the family to Boulder.“By the time I got here, I honestly felt like a crustacean ready to molt, bursting with the need to get back to my career,” she says.So Goldstein went back to it — ocean or no ocean.“I launched the Colorado Ocean Coalition a year and a half ago with the idea that you don’t have to see oceans to take care of them,” she says.Oceans don’t just belong to coastal nations. And neither is it possible to care for them only from the states around the edges of the continent.“No matter where you live on this planet, it all flows to the ocean and the animals there consume it,” she says.Raising awareness and political will leads to more of both of the methods oceans need to protect them: Day-today choices by consumers that keep our waters in mind, and legislation to better protect them.Three main issues compromise the health of our oceans, and all of them can come from anywhere in the country: problems with fish, plastics and ocean acidification.“We’ve depleted about 90 percent of big fish species since about 1950,” says Synte Peacock, an ocean and climate research scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. “The question is, can we preserve those, or are those going to go the way of the dinosaur and become extinct?” What’s left of these fish are becoming increasingly toxic, Peacock says. Fish are bioaccumulating toxins like mercury that have run into the ocean, and the bigger the fish, like a mackerel, marlin or orange roughy, the bigger the dose of mercury.
“If we put toxins into the ocean, it comes back into us if we eat fish,” Peacock says.
There’s also the issue of garbage, and most of the garbage in the ocean is plastic. Plastics don’t biodegrade, they only break down to pieces small enough to be consumed by fish and other organisms — and can eventually end up being consumed by humans as they eat fish.
“If we throw our plastic into the ocean, it’s not gone forever,” Peacock says. “It’s a cycle. It doesn’t go away, so as we pollute the ocean with plastic it comes back to haunt us.”
An estimated 90 percent of the trash in the ocean is plastic, which collects in gyres, where there are six pounds of plastic for every pound of plankton, Peacock says. The most well known of these, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, is estimated to be the size of Texas.
It sounds like the job for a big net and some garbage barges, but it’s not that easy.
“Much of it you can’t even see because plastic breaks into little pieces. … It’s this soup of plastic and plankton that you cannot separate,” Goldstein says. “You can never really clean up these gyres. You have to stop it at the source, and the source in all of this is on land.”
A ban on single-use plastic bags shouldn’t even be a question.
Another issue facing the ocean is acidification. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere — emissions from cars and coal power plants — also ends up in the ocean. Though the ocean has often been viewed as endless, the chemical composition of the ocean shifts as it intakes more carbon dioxide, and the water becomes more corrosive.
“It’s bad news for anything with a shell,” Peacock says. More acidic waters can dissolve shells and corals, which has implications that work their way up the food chain.
Individually, people can only change so much. Consumers always have the option to make smarter choices when buying seafood, and can look to the apps and pocket guides available to help. Single-use plastics are also a daily decision.
Acidification is where legislation, and international cooperation, come into play. The U.S. isn’t even the top emitter for carbon dioxide anymore, and while every little reduction from a new bike or bus rider helps, global changes can only come through changes to industry, likely mandated by legislation here and in other countries around the world.
“It’s truly global,” Peacock says.
“The plastics is too, but that’s something that we can really be conscious, you can really start making a difference instantly, like, today. … The CO2 problem, the acidification problem, that’s going to require international policy to make difference.”
Because everything eventually washes downstream, many of the choices we make for a healthier planet have repercussions in our oceans.
“People don’t often think you are protecting the environment by going to the farmers’ market,” Goldstein says.
But what’s on our farms and lawns makes a huge affect. Nitrogen-based fertilizers pouring into the oceans create dead zones. Phytoplankton bloom in response to the fertilizer, but then die in massive quanities, and when they decompose, they remove oxygen from the water, creating low oxygen or zero oxygen areas. Anything that swims into one of those areas can suffocate. Divers who pass through a zero oxygen area might see belly up dead crabs, schools of dead fish and water thick with sediment.
The dead zone at the mouth of the Mississippi River is 3,000 to 5,000 square miles. At 3,000 square miles, both Delaware and Rhode Island could fit inside it. There are an estimated 400 dead zones in the world, and they’re expected to increase in count and size as population and subsequently food production increase. But dead zones often depend on that supply of fertilizer.
“If you stopped putting the fertilizer in … you’d see an immediate response in the ocean,” Peacock says. As soon as those waters are reoxygenated, they come back to life.
It’s not impossible. It’s not even unlikely that, once people understand these issues, they’ll take action. The documentary Ocean Frontiers tells stories of collaborations among fishermen and conservationists, shipping lanes and whale researchers, to work toward greater ocean health. One of the stories they tell is of a group of Iowa farmers who went to the Gulf of Mexico. They boarded the boats of local fishermen. They fished. They talked with those fishermen about their shared dependency on the whims of Mother Nature to provide. They heard about those dead zones. And they went home and created wetlands near their fields, natural water filters that would remove almost half the nitrogen from the water they sent downstream.
“For many of them it was the first time they’d been to the Gulf of Mexico, and they really were just blown away by what they saw, and they realized immediately how important of a resource it was and how important the fishing economy was to the area,” says Karen Meyer, producer of Ocean Frontiers. “They felt an enormous sense of responsibility to do whatever they could to help out their counterparts, basically, in the Gulf.”
The consistent doses of news that show our oceans are in trouble and facing increasing demands caused Meyer to look for what answers people were coming up with to handle the issues. She and co-producer Ralf Meyer spent two years working to record those stories of collaboration among biologists, global shipping companies and energy executives, fishermen and conservationists. Their film will be shown at the Dairy Center on June 21 in an event hosted by the Colorado Ocean Coalition.
The stories in Ocean Frontiers illustrate the point that Goldstein and Peacock have argued.
“What we do, wherever we are in the country, makes a huge difference and is of huge importance as we work to turn the tide of ocean health,” Meyer says. “Whether you’re a farmer in Iowa or in Colorado or you’re just a homeowner, there’s concerns about over-fertilizing our lawns and the runoff that comes from our parking lots and our cities. All of that makes its way into our oceans.”
Connecting the pieces to collaborate and apply an ecosystem-based approach is key to protecting oceans and the life they support, including us.
“It doesn’t matter what the state of Mississippi does in terms of cleaning up the runoff and what goes into the river — it does help, but they have 36 other states that are draining into the Mississippi as well,” Meyer says. “That’s why they realized all of the Gulf states need to work together because we all depend on this same body of water, the Gulf of Mexico. Then they took it a step further and said we need to bring the Mississippi River basin states into this. … In terms of how all of this relates back in to Colorado and the Midwest, the Mississippi River basin, what that example shows clearly is that there are issues that are so big that not one state can address them.”
What Ocean Frontiers tries to do by film is what projects led by Wallace J. Nichols, Ph.D., like The Blue Marbles Project, have tried to do between people. BlueMarbles.org collects photos of people with blue marbles, a symbol of our blue planet, as a gesture of gratitude. Nichols, research associate at the California Academy of Sciences, has done the hard science and the research, and his questions have led back from sea turtles to people. Why do humans respond to the ocean the way they do? He’s come back to an emotional core, skipping the scare tactics, to get people talking about the blue portion of our planet.
“Getting people to care about the ocean when they’re in Los Angeles or Colorado, for that matter, is hard,” he says. “Just out of sight, out of mind, if you’re not a scuba diver you kind of go, what does it matter, and that’s the base state of most people in the world.”
People get loaded up with statistics, like that three-fourths of the planet is covered with water, 80 percent of the biodiversity in the world is in the oceans and more than 90 percent of the habitat on our planet is oceanic. Then they wander away with information overload and not a lot of thoughts about what to do with all those numbers. But tap into the personal and you start getting somewhere.
“When you explain something so personal as how you feel when you’re next to or in or on water and your memories of that, that grabs people and they remember, ‘Oh yeah, when I walk on the beach I feel good and relaxed and I think new thoughts,’” Nichols says. “And that’s a really good starting point for building empathy from more of an environmental point of view. Loading people up with facts and scary scenarios is a really terrible starting point. … But love and empathy are probably more powerful. That’s why Coca-Cola uses happiness as their tag line and McDonald’s uses love in their tagline.”
Coca-Cola has the benefit of a lab of neuroscientists to formulate that stuff, but the ocean will probably never have the marketing budget of the world’s biggest soft drink company. So a few lessons have to come by example.
What it boils down to is the need to have a URL and to get some people together. That was the advice Nichols gave Goldstein when she sat down with him and was just talking about starting the Colorado Ocean Coalition (the two knew each other from conservation work in California). Right then, he started aFacebook group page for her, and she set off getting people together with Blue Drinks, monthly gatherings at Boulder bars and restaurants of everyone from ocean scientists to divers to moms who just love the beach.
Even if the ocean isn’t accessible, rivers and lakes — or just your bathtub — can provide a sense of calm and comfort.
“It seems like water puts us in a mildly meditative state, but you don’t need to know how to practice meditation to do that,” Nichols says. As a scientist, he says, he’s curious about the basic questions that tie people to the ocean.
“Why are the favorite screen savers of people in the Midwest ocean scenes and why is the favorite sleep aid sound the sound of the ocean?” he says. “If you say the word ‘ocean’ in a crowded room, just the word changes every body’s mood, and it makes them feel generally good and generally relaxed.”
Neuroscientists, who have studied the human brain on red wine and chocolate, haven’t yet studied your brain on the water.
The Journal of Science did release a paper in 2009 that indicates that looking at the color blue doubles creativity.
“When you’re looking at water, you relax, your heart rate slows, your stress decreases and your creativity increases,” Nichols says. “People get insights when they’re walking on the shore or just resting in the bathtub. It’s really no surprise, you put your brain into an optimal state for creative insights, versus just kind of chaotic stress of the day.”
Trying to understand what happens physiologically to us when we look at the ocean connects to the overall conversation of the ocean, including how to protect it.
“Our planet is an ocean planet, so it doesn’t really matter where you are, you still live on an ocean planet,” Nichols says. “Everything we do impacts the ocean, and the ocean is downstream of our entire economy. It’s as simple as that.”
“Let’s get active, let’s try to save this ocean,” Goldstein says. Boulder’s enthusiasm for the outdoors and the environment may translate to increased awareness of these issues, and then other states could catch on.
“My fantasy would be to have a Kansas Ocean Coalition and an Iowa Ocean Coalition,” she says.
Her main event for the year, held Oct. 21-22, is “Making Waves,” which features TED Talks-style presentations from those with the ocean on their minds. This month, she’s hosting Blue Drinks at the Dairy Center and following it up with the screening of Ocean Frontiers, which Meyer will be attending. The screening will be followed by a Q&A panel discussion.
More information on the Colorado Ocean Coalition can be found at coloradoocean.org.
Karma Points: Saving the Sea
by ASHLEY MCCREDIE on Jun 7, 2012 • 3:37 pm
With 2/3 of ocean species being over fished, climate change killing coral reefs, and human waste and 26million tons per year of plastic being dumped into the water, our oceans are constantly at war to keep themselves clean and liveable for years to come.
Tomorrow is World Oceans Day, and while Denver is landlocked there are still ways to do good and help the oceans fight. Because clear, clean water is of the utmost importance when vacationing to the coast of Mexico or Southern California. From projects that take two seconds to those taking a whole day, here are suggestions for upping karma while helping to save our oceans.
- Wear Blue and Tell Two. World Oceans Day has started a campaign asking people to spread awareness by “wearing blue and telling two.” Whether it’s emailing friends and family, posting on Facebook, tweeting or running down the 16th Street Mall with a sign screaming “save our oceans,” spread the facts. Links to informational videos and photos to share can be found here.
- Donate. If your weekend is booked and you can’t physically help, lucky for you a monetary donation goes just as far and ensures your part in saving the sea. Donate here.
- Clean up. Denver isn’t near the beach, but all water eventually ends up in the ocean. Host a group clean up or grab a friend for an hour of picking up trash and litter around water. Some possible locations are Sloan’s Lake, the Platte River or the Colorado River. For more information on river clean up, visitEnvironment Colorado Rivers Project page.
- Enjoy. Visit the Downtown Aquarium to enjoy and learn about creatures of the sea from sharks to sea turtles.
- Participate with the Colorado Ocean Coalition. The Colorado Ocean Coalition will set up a booth at the Boulder Farmer’s Market on June 9 from 8 am to 2 pm with information and inspiration to help save the oceans. Also, check out their monthly “Blue Drinks” night. Happening June 21 at 5:30 p.m. in the Dairy Center for Arts in Boulder, this month’s night will consist of discussions about the planet and the ocean, plus a screening of “Ocean Frontiers.”
Vicki Nichols Goldstein has always been, what she calls, an ocean junkie. So it only seemed natural to establish an ocean advocacy organization in a land-locked state.Nichols Goldstein grew up surfing the Jersey Shore. She studied marine biology and marine policy and planning. She served as the director of research and policy for Save Our Shores, a marine conservation organization. She joined the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to develop national oil spill contingency plans and worked on Monterey Bay’s National Marine Sanctuary Designation.
She even traveled across New England with a 20-foot-long whale skeleton for a project called Whales on Wheels.
But then, Nichols Goldstein got married, had kids and eventually moved to Colorado. As Kipling might have said, mountains are mountains and sea is sea and never the twain shall meet. Or so one would think. After being in Colorado for a year, Nichols Goldstein got the itch.
“My true passion is about ocean awareness and citizen involvement and engagement,” she said. “…You don’t have to see the ocean to
So, about a year ago, Nichols Goldstein developed the Colorado Ocean Coalition to educate the community about climate impacts on the ocean environment. She started Blue Drinks, an ocean-focused version of Green Drinks, social meet-ups for those who work in the environmental field. And
in November, she hosted Making Waves in Colorado, which brought together some of the nation’s leading ocean experts for panels, workshops and education on ocean issues. That included speakers such as Sylvia Earl, chief scientist for NOAA and explorer-in-residence at National Geographic.
“I’ve had a lot of support from people across the country,” she said. “There is really nothing like this in the middle of the country. And there is a need.”
The coalition’s goal is to create a supportive ocean movement in Colorado, looking at ocean issues and addressing them. She even took a delegation to the Blue Vision Summit in Washington, D.C.
“We brought a big Colorado Ocean Coalition banner to D.C. with us, and people were like, ‘What the?’”
Now that the coalition has spread information and awareness of issues and grown a network of supporters, it’s time to determine the goals and outcomes for the fledgling organization. She said she’s not sure what exactly it looks like, but Nichols Goldstein sees good in the coalition’s future.
“Colorado residents have an outdoor ethic. People love to be outdoors and they love the idea of protection and conservation,” she said.
In her own words:
On Colorado: “We are a network of ocean-loving people a mile high. …Every week, I get so excited to meet different people here who are linked to the ocean. We can be a powerful force for conservation.”
On her following: “Many people in the area come from the coasts. They have a longing for a coastal connection.”
On conservation: “What we do has an effect on the environment. We need a higher level of awareness.”
On motivation: “Every third breath we breathe comes from the ocean. I think it’s appealing for people to do something to give back. There is a primordial connection to the ocean. There is something deep within us that connects us to the ocean. There is something that motivates and something that intrigues people.”
Why should Coloradans advocate for the ocean? “If you like to breathe, you care about the oceans. If you eat seafood, you care. …In Colorado, we have direct ties back to the ocean, and a lot of what we do ties directly to the health of the ocean. Even something as simple as how often we use plastics. It’s our lifestyle choices that impact the planet.”
COLORADO OCEAN COALITION EVENT A MASSIVE SUCCESS….THANK YOU SYLVIA EARLE, ELEPHANT JOURNAL! AND ALL THE GREAT ORGANIZATIONS THAT PARTICIPATED!
Reprinted from original publication Nov 10th, 2011 at http://www.elephantjournal.com/2011/11/making-waves-in-colorado-sunday-november-13th–joseph-chisholm/
Ocean minded people in Boulder, CO Making Waves!!! Colorado Ocean Coalition hosts a first anniversary symposium and celebration of the oceans!!!
Greetings to all the conscious people of ELEPHANT!! I am truly honored to be here and to have been invited to share stories and experiences, some amazing and some sad, regarding the state of our oceans, the people taking action and organizing in their communities to bring awareness, education and ACTIVISM to CREATE THE CHANGE THAT THEY WANT TO SEE!!!
This is not my first adventure with Waylon and Elephant. We have a history of sharing office space (read booth at the Trident or any number of hip Boulder libation locations!) Elephant Live events have introduced me to amazing people and projects in the last ten years as well as helped to inspire me along my own path….What an opportunity, to bring ocean minded issues, events, forums and philosophy to the people in the Elephant Journal community! As everyone knows this is the right place to find activated and engaged people that are passionate about life and helping to create a more optimistic and positive future.
When the film I was lucky enough to work on started reaching audiences here in CO, across the country and around the world, Waylon helped shine the light on the ocean and what some friends and I were up to in Japan. http://www.elephantjournal.com/2009/05/the-cove-a-cross-between-flipper-and-the-bourne-identity/. Turns out the readers here are very interested in ocean issues and the plight of our rivers and lakes, mountains and meadows. It’s all connected.
So it is with great pleasure to introduce an impressive and ever growing community here in CO, the Colorado Ocean Coalition! http://coloradoocean.org/ , http://www.oceanfdn.org/ocean-conservation-projects/listings/colorado-ocean-coalition and https://www.facebook.com/ColoradoOcean .
In association with The Ocean Foundation http://www.oceanfdn.org/ amazing people like Vicki Nichols Goldstein are bringing ocean issues to audiences in CO. Although Colorado is far from the salt and sea water on our coasts, people from all over the planet have chosen to make this mountain state their home, and are aware of and want to become more informed about how the decisions we make can effect the oceans so far away. Consumption of all our natural resources including the snow that falls and waters carried in the rivers that swell in spring all lead to the ocean. We are surrounded by opportunities to observe, engage and act in ways that have a positive and collective shift toward more conscious consumption and more inspired and involved community. The Colorado Ocean Coalition is working to bring information and opportunity to Boulder and beyond.
There are some amazing people out there bringing the message of conservation and the responsible caretaking of our oceans. One of the most vocal (read fabulous) is Dr. Sylvia Earle, National Geographic Explorer in Residence, http://thesealliance.org/ andhttp://ocean.nationalgeographic.com/ocean/missionblue/. Dr. Earle is coming to Colorado next week to join the Colorado Ocean Coalition to help celebrate the ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY of a group of ocean minded young people, students from our local secondary schools, the University of Colorado, Naropa, dive communities, filmmakers, intellectuals, environmentalists and activists.http://coloradoocean.org/docs/Invite_final_b.pdf
COLORADO OCEAN COALITION
1ST ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
Join all of the speakers and guests on the 13th including:
David Helvarg, ’50 Ways to save an Ocean’
Dan Basta and Billy Causey from National Marine Sanctuaries
Charlotte Vick from Google Ocean
Earth Gaurdians , great kids from right here in Boulder!
Louie PsihoyoDirector of ‘The Cove’
And many more….For more details and a schedule of events for November 12th, 2011 at the Boulder Public Library all day long check this out,http://coloradoocean.org/docs/Schedule_Symposium_c.pdf
The day’s events will then evolve into a more formal affair and the Colorado Ocean Coalition would like to invite everyone to join us at the Rembrandt Yard at 13th and Spruce in Boulder http://coloradoocean.org/docs/Invite_final_b.pdf for a special event, conversation and fundraiser for Colorado’s own Teens for Oceans and the Sylvia Earle Alliance. http://www.teens4oceans.org/ & http://thesealliance.org/
Please jojn us and help these thoughtful people continue to work on behalf of all of us.
We are looking forward to an inspired weekend of events and invite all those interested in creating more consciously motivated decisions and directly involve themselves in the collective consciousness to join us!!
Thank you for the chance to bring this special event to your attention…If there are issues mentioned above that you would like to know more about, offer opportunities and suggestions, or perhaps some editing I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org www.wavesofaction.org . We work to bring great films and filmmakers to ever growing audiences in classrooms in Boulder, across the state, throughout the USA and around the world encouraging everyone to go out in the world, document the things you see and share your messages, concerns, dreams and ACTIVISM!!
Joe Chisholm is a production coordinator and wanna be filmmaker residing in Boulder, CO. USA www.wavesofaction.org