Got Ocean?

CO Gives Topic for 2015

Bring Live Ocean Exploration to the Mountains!

Posted by on Jan 8, 2016 in Got Ocean?, TopStory | 0 comments

Sitting on a 211-foot ship just off the coast of California this summer, I went down to the studio, put on my headset, and with the help of a stellar production team in Rhode Island, starting talking to teachers at a summer development workshop in Colorado. As live ocean exploration and the power of videoconferencing united us, we discussed how engaging classrooms to science in another realm can have a lasting effect on their students. This past year I was a Science Communication Fellow with the Ocean Exploration Trust for the year, delivering outreach about ocean exploration and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education to audiences around the world. Part of my audience was the 4th and 5th classes in Ft. Collins, CO at Lopez Elementary – A Leader In Me school. Twice during the school year in 2015 I was able to connect with students at this school to talk about the excitement of deep sea exploration, experiment with scientific concepts like pressure and density during hands-on labs, and encourage them to follow along with live undersea exploration during the 6-month long expedition season of E/V Nautilus in 2015. I was thrilled to connect students from Colorado with the excitement of ocean exploration and I know more students are out there in the state ready to apply for the experience of a lifetime. As part of my fellowship I sailed on board Dr. Robert Ballard’s Exploration Vessel Nautilus for three weeks in August off the coast of California. This ship has spent 3-6 months each year since 2008 sailing the world’s oceans, exploring and sharing live exploration with a global audience through www.nautiluslive.org. “The Ocean Exploration Trust was founded in 2008 by Dr. Robert Ballard to engage in pure ocean exploration. Our international programs center on scientific exploration of the seafloor and many of our expeditions are launched from aboard Exploration Vessel (E/V) Nautilus, a 64-meter research vessel operated by the Ocean Exploration Trust. In addition to conducting scientific research, we offer our expeditions to explorers on shore via live video, audio, and data feeds from the field. We also bring educators and students of all ages aboard during E/V Nautilusexpeditions, offering them hands-on experience in ocean exploration, research, and communications.”    – from OET Website The excitement of pure ocean exploration by E/V Nautilus is brought in real-time to your fingertips through a live, streaming feed on the website Nautilus Live. When the expedition is underway questions and answers are addressed from a live chat box and over the air by a Science Communication Fellow and the rest of the team in the control room. From now until the next expedition begins there are highlight reels and footage from 2015 and previous years available at the site. Take a spin around the site – you’ll see highlights from previous years of exploration across the Mediterranean Sea, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and beginning in May of 2015, the Pacific Ocean for the very first time. Watch a timelapse of the historic transit of E/V Nautilus through the locks of the Panama Canal. Marvel at black smokers and incredible lifeforms living in extreme environments. Click on interviews with the Corps of Exploration – a diverse and talented group of over 120 scientists, engineers, videographers, high school students, college interns, and ship crew members who join Nautilus on its exploration of the known and unknown. See more events and get notified for updates about the 2016 season on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Videos galore await you at YouTube. Now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for – how can YOU join the Corps of Exploration? Each season the...

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Gift to the Planet

Posted by on Dec 21, 2015 in Got Ocean?, TopStory | 0 comments

It’s the last week before Christmas – one of many holidays celebrated by people on Earth this time of year. There’s also Hanukkah, Kwanza, and 11 other multicultural celebrations in the month of December alone. With these holidays, many traditions are observed and practiced between family, friends and communities. Today, I’d like to focus on a few parts of a well-known tradition of gift-giving, and wrapping said gifts. Who doesn’t love to open a gift? And, doesn’t it add that much more giddiness when the gift is disguised by wrapping, a box, or a bag? Unless you’re a toddler, you’re probably going to find much more joy in the gift under all the disguise.  But, what about all that wrapping paper and ribbon – is it necessary to exhibit what our gift is about? Does the type or color or design of paper really add to the experience for the person we’re gifting? Maybe…but I lean towards no. Could we challenge ourselves to find alternative, reusable wrapping and remove yet another single-use material from our lives? Can we make small changes that stack up to big change for our Planet, our environment, our Ocean? YES and YES. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, household waste can increase by as much as 25%.  Food scraps, shopping bags, packaging, wrapping paper, bows and ribbons all add up to 1 million tons per week to a landfill (EPA). Many of you are aware of what garbage looks like before, during, and after it goes to the landfill. Think overstuffed bins ready for curbside pickup with a wind gust blowing litter away and eventually into a storm drain which leads to the ocean. About 38,000 miles of ribbon is used each year, and likely thrown out after a single-use. If this was saved, it would be enough ribbon to tie a bow around the Earth (CalRecycle)! The amount of waste we can avoid by making small changes is amazing to think about and act on. Below is a smorgasbord of ideas – pick one, pick many – you can try this holiday season, then work on making the idea a habit year-round. Isn’t generating less waste the least we can give back to the Planet this season and every season? Look for alternative types of “wrapping” around your house – newspaper, magazines, brown paper bags, saved packaging from mail-order products, reusable bags, and baskets are all great ways to give a gift with an extra use on the side. If you buy wrapping paper, please seek responsibly made material, such as paper from a sustainably managed forest, 100% recycled paper, or thicker/heavier gift wrap that is molded easily to be flattened and used again in the future. Cloth wrapping paper is also a great alternative! Don’t forget to recycle unwanted/unusable paper afterwards. Invest in and collect gift bags and responsibly made, durable gift wrap ribbon. Then, make sure your family, friends, and guests know they can leave it with you if they don’t choose to save and use again for themselves. Avoid using ribbon all together – get creative with a simple sprig of evergreen or berries, or snatch up a pinecone to use in your design. As always, use your reusable shopping bags when you’re out and about looking for those special gifts. Many stores give you a small discount for providing your own bag, and depending where you live, this may already be a mandatory practice. Every time you refuse a single-use plastic bag at the store, you’re contributing one less that could eventually end up HERE. Be kind to your wallets by reusing....

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Watershed Health

Posted by on Nov 18, 2015 in Got Ocean? | 0 comments

Watershed Health The Boulder Creek Watershed is a series of rivers and streams that flow together based on the natural ridge lines of this region. Fortunately for Boulder, the Arapahoe Glacier snow melt is the primary source for this watershed and municipal water supply. We literally reside at the headwater of the ocean. Nonetheless, the Boulder Creek Watershed consists of 50% to 90% effluent based on water flow level. Despite this proximity to pristine glacial melt and the modernized process of the City of Boulder’s Wastewater Treatment Facility, the Boulder Creek Watershed is riddled with products and chemicals that cannot be filtered at this time: 1) microplastics, 2) biochemicals from consumer medications, and 3) nitrous agricultural and lawn runoff just to name a few culprits that compromise our local water supply. aka Kath / Foter.com / CC BY This is as good as it gets. From Boulder, literally the water quality only goes downhill. By the time the Boulder Creek Watershed merges into the Platt River Watershed and ultimately the Mississippi Watershed its refuse exits directly into the Gulf of Mexico. Of the toxins and plastic waste released, scientists estimate that 80% of this contamination comes from an inland source. The final impact is monitored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as this poor water quality has created a “dead zone” due to hypoxia (“water” depleted of oxygen) where life ceases to exist. This dead zone ranges in size from 5,000 – 7,000 square miles, approximately the size of Connecticut. Go Back to the “Got Ocean” Campaign...

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The Shift is Easy

Posted by on Nov 18, 2015 in Got Ocean? | 0 comments

The Shift Is Easy COCO asks this holiday season that you recognize your connection to and impact on the ocean’s watershed.  Please shift your buying habits and purchase products that have low impact on our local water quality.  An easy place to start is with kitchen and bathroom products that are effective, safe, and keep you and our watershed healthy.  Following is a short list of my personal favorites, but please note that COCO does not endorse, promote, receive commission, or non-profit benefit of any kind by suggesting these brands.  The only benefit is to your and our watershed health. Kitchen Bath & Shower Where to Buy                 (alphabetical list) Dishwasher: Biokleen Dishwasher Powder Handsoap: Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Handsoap  Alfalfa’s                                       Biokleenhome.com           Econaturalsoap.com           Honest.com                                   Lucky’s Market                              luckyvitamin.com                      Natural Grocers/Vitamin Cottage                               Pharmaca                                       Sprouts Market                                  Whole Foods Market                                                                                                   Liquid Dish Soap: ECOs Dishmate – Almond Body Wash: Honest Shampoo and Body Wash Counter-top Spray: ECO’s All-surface Cleaner Shampoo: Alba Botanicals (various products for healthy, dry, brittle, treated or curly hair) Sink Scrub: Bon Ami Powder Scrub Conditioner: Alba Botanicals (various products for healthy, dry, brittle, treated or curly hair) Fruit and Veggie Wash: Citrus Magic, The Honest Company Skin Exfoliant: Alba Botanicals Acnedote Face and Body Scrub; MyChelle Natural Enzyme and Exfoliant Wash Go Back to the “Got Ocean” Campaign...

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Three new COCO chapters!

Posted by on Nov 11, 2015 in Got Ocean? | 0 comments

Three new COCO chapters! Great Lakes Ocean Coalition, Salt Lake Ocean Coalition, Prairie Ocean Coalition Support from our past 2014 Colorado Gives Day went to help establish and start new ocean chapters across the USA. As the first NOAA recognized inland ocean organization, we help inspire other states and communities to take action for their watersheds which all lead to an ocean.                       Read more about our new chapters here. If you think that it’s important to inspire other communities to take action for their watersheds and ocean, then consider supporting COCO this year as we develop our new...

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Success at the Blue Vision Summit in Washington, D.C.!

Posted by on Nov 11, 2015 in Got Ocean? | 0 comments

Success at the Blue Vision Summit in Washington, D.C.! Our political leaders now recognize that sustainability impacts our economy, national security, and ecology. Read more about our successes here. If you like seeing COCO head to Washington D.C. every two years for the Blue Vision Summit, then consider giving a donation to our organization so we can continue to be the only inland voice for watershed and ocean issues in 2017. Read more about our most recent Blue Vision Summit...

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