Biomass by sea and by land

Posted by on Apr 14, 2016 in TopStory, Uncategorized | 0 comments

The ocean provides for us. It provides the air we breathe from photosynthesizing algae, the seafood we buy and sell, and the recreational tourism and educational opportunities which are boundless for business owners and educational networks. How much time do we spend thinking about, or informing others, about what the ocean gives us? Did you know the ocean may one day provide a sustainable form of renewable energy? There is incredible research being conducted and many results already shared in the scientific community about garnering alternative energy sources from the ocean, especially that of using algae as a biofuel. The horizons of funding, studying, and collaborating about sustainable and renewable energy sources have grown consistently within the last two decades. Researchers from many esteemed universities such as MIT, Kansas State University, UC San Diego, Texas A&M, and Colorado State University, plus many more, are actively seeking solutions to meet the demand of finding these energy sources and establishing sustainable supply chains from extraction to sale.   “New research could help with the large-scale cultivation and manufacturing of oil-rich algae in oceans for biofuel.” (ScienceDaily)   “Photosynthetic marine algae are attractive targets for the production of biofuels and bio-products because they have the ability to capture and fix carbon dioxide using solar energy and they grow in seawater, thereby minimizing fresh water usage.” (ScienceDirect) What the research referenced above explains is crucial to how we stand up for the protection of ocean health, whether we live on the coastline or not. Amazing amounts of biomass exist in our world’s oceans, just as a forest does. These varieties of biomass are the frontier of renewable energy research and practice. In fact, scientists and educators from our state’s very own Colorado State University are part of a regional alliance called Bioenergy Alliance Network of the Rockies (BANR). Focused on researching how forest biomass can serve as feedstock for biofuels, BANR looks at ways beetle-killed tree biomass can contribute to a sustainable regional renewable energy industry. BANR is funded by the US Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Coordinated Agricultural Projects through Agricultural and Food Research Initiative (USDA-NIFA AFRI CAP) grants. Say that 3x fast! These are currently 7 funded grant projects across the US. How proud we can be of CSU leading collaboration of this national and global initiative in our own backyard!    So – what’s the connection between oceans and forests, you may ask? Why bother writing about the two in the same blog post about sustainable energy? I’m glad you asked!  If you look back to the first paragraph of this post, I think you can easily replace oceans with forest, and algae with trees, and seafood with timber, and so on. Our seas and our lands are bound intrinsically to humans as a resource – what we do to explore, learn from, and sustain them is up to us.   If you are an interested in attending a conference this May in Seattle about Biofuels and Energy Literacy, please see more at:  NARA Conference, SeaTac, May 3-4,2016   More information about the excellent projects and organizations referenced in this post can be found at the following: Bioenergy Alliance Network of the Rockies  USDA-NIFA AFRI CAP grant programs     Sarah Burgess is currently working as a Research Naturalist for University Wisconsin-Extension, and looks forward to transitioning back to the Rockies later this summer. Her thoughts and musings can be followed...

Read More

From Mountain to Shining Sea

Posted by on Jun 24, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on From Mountain to Shining Sea

From Mountain   to Shining Sea There are many reasons to care for the ocean. Whether you live on beachfront property, or high in the mountains of beautiful Colorado. No matter where your exact latitude and longitude is, the oceans affect your daily life. The ocean is a vast expanse of organisms, all working together to create a place that I call my home away from home. Some people think of the ocean as an object- a place where constant waves can bring you on a joy ride to shore. Other people think of the ocean as a food source- the place where their oh-so-delicious dinner came from. And then, there are those who think of the ocean as a miraculous, incomprehensible place that brightens your day, or better yet, enlightens your world. Any way that you view the ocean, there is more to it than the human mind can seek. While some wake up to a constant reminder of the environmentally degrading processes that happen on a daily basis, some of us wake up to a crystal clear world disguised by pristine mountains. There have been questions about why it would be important for someone who lives in Colorado to care about the oceans, and my answer is rather long and complex. So, to break it down quite simply, I am going to list what I have compiled as my top 10 reasons to care for the ocean from experience: I love animals- in fact, orcas are my absolute favorite animal- I want to be able to see them one day (Soon, preferably) I’m actually a fish disguised as a human- I live in the water, I need the water, I want the water. All the time. Which is quite difficult since I’m not presently living in the Carboniferous era- although I do wish from time to time that the sea would reappear in Colorado. There is something so incredibly peaceful about walking up on the beach, being seconds away from the cold water touching your toes- and marveling at the forces that are causing the water to beg at your feet. The blueness- talk about being awestruck- bluer than the eyes of a blonde girl in every country song It holds so many organisms that my human brain would not be able to comprehend every single organism that it nurtures- although, challenge accepted It contributes to the climate of our entire planet- that amazing rain you’re listening to- yeah, thank the ocean It contains the cycle of life within it- WITHIN it- one of the most amazing and inspiring moments of my life was watching a leatherback sea turtle (which happens to be endangered) lay her eggs and go back into the ocean- if you’re interested, look up the Royal Caribbean resorts in Cancun and their effort to help save the sea turtle population                                   **Fun fact: female sea turtles find their way back to the beach they were born on, by using Earth’s magnetic                                        field, to lay their own eggs. You can read a little more about this here.  It is acting as a landfill-when it shouldn’t be- and causing harm to its organisms It covers more surface area than the land we, humans, take up- times two. It doesn’t just get its strength from its mussels- waves and tides are the strongest forces on Earth. Therefore, the ocean is strong. Strong enough to fight...

Read More

Become our next Administrator Coordinator!

Posted by on Jun 22, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Colorado Ocean Coalition Administrative Coordinator Position Boulder, CO   Job Description The Colorado Ocean Coalition (COCO), a project of The Ocean Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) seeks an experienced part time Administrative Coordinator. COCO is a rapidly growing socially responsible organization with a strong emphasis on collaboration and community outreach with a mission, “To inspire an inland community to be stewards of our ocean.”   The Administrative Coordinator will work from their home & the COCO office in Boulder, CO approximately 20 hours/week to provide all aspects of non-profit administration and support. The position may grow to full time.   Duties and Responsibilities Heavy emphasis on healthy, open-book operation and management Oversee bi-monthly newsletter: co-write, layout and mail Maintain COCO MailChimp activities Manage COCO contracts and licenses Assist in event planning, i.e. Blue Drinks, fundraising, and social events Administer database – maintenance and data entry Manage Website including updates, calendar, and new information Assist with grant submissions and grant tracking Supervise a selected intern and/or a job specific volunteer Coordinate accounting activities and participate in COCO wide budget planning and management Support COCO Advisory Board activities and implementation plans   Qualifications Must be computer savvy and proficient in Word Press, Mail Chimp, social media platforms, excel and Donor Relationship Management software Positive attitude, resourceful approach, and comfortable with a highly collaborative work environment Self-starter, able to initiate work, complete tasks, pay attention to detail and meet deadlines with minimum supervision Ability to juggle multiple projects with superb accuracy and a smile Keen interest in environmental/watershed/ocean stewardship Strong administrative and database management skills Excellent written and verbal skills Bachelor’s degree or several years of work experience in this field   Please submit a cover letter, resume, and 3 references with contact information by July 3rd, to andrea.biniskiewicz@colorado.edu. Please make the subject line: “AdminCoordCOCO” Hourly rate...

Read More

The Blue Ocean Summit

Posted by on Jun 18, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Register/ Sign in to The Blue Ocean Business Summit and learn about what is damaging the ocean and how we can fix it! The Blue Ocean Business Summit is a free, virtual experience that streams online until June 19, 2015. The first few sessions include talks on solutions for the ocean, changing business models to become more sustainable, coral reefs and what exactly is affecting them, and how to provide outreach to those who aren’t aware of the everyday issues we encounter.  It also includes the insights of the ocean from those who have spent over 50 years diving the vast expanses of diverse marine life. These talks feature many of our most fearless ocean leaders, including our very own Vicki Goldstein, Jean-Michel Cousteau, Dr. Sylvia Earle and many more. They offer up to an hour of how our oceans are being depleted, as well as innovative advice on how to reduce the detriment the oceans are experiencing. Vicki offers an interview discussing one of her new collective initiatives, Blue the Dive, and how the efforts for this program will in turn help save our marvelous blue waters. An inland movement is a very important movement, as many who live mountainside only see the pristine wilderness around them. What most do not realize is that what we deposit in our waterways high up in the mountains of Colorado will eventually find its way to our coastal waterways, and therefore the ocean. Fortunately, Boulder is a rather advanced and environmentally aware location, although outreach needs to be provided for those who are unlike the Boulder area. Many of us who enjoy our log homes on the top of hills also love to explore the cold, salty water that is ever so slightly drawing us to move away from our pristine environments. In order to continue to reach new depths on our dives, we need to be aware of how our daily lives are affecting areas further away than we expected. With that said, Vicki discusses her newest collaborative initiative, Blue the Dive, and how the outreach that this effort provides will spread throughout the diving community.   Blue the Dive is a collaborative effort within the diving community to provide education and outreach on sustainable ways to dive. The main idea of Blue the Dive is for dive shops and dive instructors to sign the pledge, which states the following, as provided by bluethedive.org: Improve dive industry sustainability and conservation practices Create a more informed and educated consumer to improve the way our communities interact with the ocean Improve dive industry manufacturing and supply chain sustainability business practices to reduce waste and increase efficiencies and profits Support scientific research and actions that protect our ocean resources   Ways that these goals can be reached include, and are not limited to: Stay in an eco-friendly hotel if scuba diving further from home Volunteer to dive and help an organization with research- (Reef Environmental Education Foundation offers fish survey and lionfish research trips for scuba divers) Don’t feed the organisms in the water Dispose of trash found in water properly Reduce your single use plastic    Talk to your local dive shop about what “blue-ing” the dive means to them, and how they can partake in this headstrong initiative! Take this short survey here to let us know!  Also looking to get a little more inspiration? Read this blog from the initiative, Ban the Bottle, to learn how you can help keep our oceans safe, and celebrate World Oceans Month!      ...

Read More

Happy World Oceans Month!

Posted by on Jun 12, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

We have seen so much improvement since the proposal of World Oceans Day in 1991 by the Government of Canada at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. The first World Oceans Day was declared by the United Nations in December 2008, to be the date of June 8th, and since then we have continued to celebrate the beauty of the oceans, and the innovative and inspiring ideas of our ocean leaders. Although, on May 29, 2015, President Barack Obama declared that for 2015, June would be the World Oceans Month, therefore expanding our celebration and discussion of the impacts on the ocean. This also provides an incentive for fellow citizens to recognize that the oceans are in grave danger, and provide their insight on how we can become a community of one (inlanders and coastal dwellers) in order to save our oceans. So, in light of President Barack Obama proclaiming that June will be World Oceans Month (a whole month of ocean love- yay!) and being one whom loves to create lists, we have compiled a list of our favorite ways to help improve the ocean from inland areas, as well as coastal areas.  To read the full proclamation created by the President, click here.   Inlanders (mountaineers, plain-dwellers) Reduce plastic waste- use reusable bags Shop at Lucky’s Market for their Bag for Change and proceeds will go to one of the non-profits- including COCO! Personal tip: Many ocean-loving organizations are providing the public with reusable bags that are discounted for worlds ocean month, will show others that you care about the ocean, and also help support these amazing organizations in everything that they do! Use water bottles (Polar water bottles are a personal favorite), and reusable mugs! Personal tip: in order to decrease the chance of BPA leaking into your water bottle- especially during these hot months of summer- buy a water bottle made of glass, use mason jars (you can buy lids with straws designed to fit them at Target), or again- buy a Polar water bottle! Get involved in any of our four events that we are supporting! You can find a brief description in our newsletter, or below. Eat safe fish! To find a list of endangered species of fish due to overfishing that should not be consumed, go to this website! Beach-bummers Organize a coastal trash pick-up in your area by clicking on this link Join an organization that provides outreach to those in your area on the status of our oceans and how we, as a community, can help! Reduce your plastic by reducing the use of plastic bags and plastic water bottles! Personal tip: use glass, or mason jars, especially during warmer months to eliminate the risk of BPA being leaked into your water! Buy reusable bags from an organization that you feel shares the same intrinsic ideal as you toward the ocean! Learn/ continue to scuba dive at a dive shop that practices eco-friendly ways, which are described in this article here     Our Inspiring Events to Help Show Your Ocean Love: Sea Love Be Love campaign- an invitation by one of our own ocean ambassadors, Danni Washington, to write a love letter to the sea in whichever presentation truly demonstrates your love! The love letter varies from photographs of the ocean, videos, written letters, etc. Describe to us how the ocean has incorporated moral value into your life! As an individual who has absolutely been impacted by the ocean, I invite you to look at my love letter to the sea, whether it serves as an example for yours, or...

Read More

A Big Thank You to Our 2014 Donors 

Posted by on Feb 26, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments


Read More

Make a Donation!