Thanks to the partnership between The Ocean Project, Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and Random House Children’s Books, we were pleased to offer great materials based on characters from the book One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.
The Dr. Seuss World Oceans Day Kit includes:
If you’d like to download a copy of the Dr. Seuss World Oceans Day Kit, please sign up here. By filling out this form you are acknowledging that you are a partner of The Ocean Project. Not a partner? Sign up now – free and easy! Click here to join.
Not sure if you’re a partner? Click here to search on our Partner Map. Please note whether you’re a partner organization of The Ocean Project. Sorry, we’re not distributing the Dr. Seuss materials to individuals!
Divers have a special view of the world – when they dive, they connect with the ocean in a way that people who haven’t can’t understand. Maeva Gauthier and Mike Irvine wanted to bring that world to people on land, so they created the Fish Eye Project to create a “window into the ocean” to connect communities and classrooms to the underwater world. I spoke with Maeva and Mike about their World Oceans Day 2013 event at Fisherman’s Wharf in Victoria, BC, and what advice they have for divers who want to share their world with others.
Mike: “I love diving because it is a part of my family. My mother, father and grandfather were divers, who are all equally fascinated with the ocean. My parents met scuba diving! Through my family I learned an appreciation for the ocean and the way it connects families and communities locally and globally.”
Why is it important for divers to get involved with ocean conservation? Mike told me “Anybody who’s a diver, it’s a lifestyle… why wouldn’t you want to protect the thing that you love so much? When we go diving, it’s phenomenal, it’s serene, you don’t move quickly, everything slows down, and you just take your time and enjoy the view. Having that experience and opportunity gives a diver a different perspective, and they can share that with family, friends, and the public.” As Maeva said “The firsthand experience is very powerful… divers can help connect people with that [underwater] world.”
Fisherman’s Wharf is a coastal destination near Victoria’s Inner Harbour. There’s food, shopping, eco-tourism, and even a community of “float homes” – permanent residential house boats! The wharf held a major World Oceans Day event in 2013 with fun for kids, entertainment, educational kiosks, and more.
On the wharf itself, the folks at Fish Eye Project held several live dive demonstrations designed to captivate adults and kids alike (Maeva: “We want to engage kids – but also big kids!”). The divers wore cameras to capture video of the underwater scenes they encountered, which was broadcasted in real-time on monitors on the dock. Mike said he wanted to use video to get kids excited about the ocean, echoing Sylvia Earle’s calls to “give people an opportunity to see what’s there, so they have a change to care for it.”
Fish Eye Project also partnered with the World Fisheries Trust to introduce guests to underwater critters. Divers brought up hardy species – such as decorator crabs and sea cucumbers – to the surface, for World Fisheries Trust educators to introduce to kids in touch tanks, and taught them about their biology.
Want to hold your own live dive event for World Oceans Day? Here are some tips from Mike and Maeva.
It’s important to make sure that your activities legal, safe, and courteous. Fisherman’s Wharf in particular is also residential community, with float homes, so it was essential to get community approval. Fish Eye Project also worked with the harbor authority to work out logistical issues, such as keeping boat traffic away from the divers.
Schedule your dives
Fish Eye Project did several dives during their event at specific times. That way, they were able to attract a crowd that was not too large, not too small. Also – schedule the dives so that visitors get to watch the divers suit up. Kids love the set up and equipment, Maeva said “The kids get very excited by the divers themselves, seeing them, asking questions about their equipment, and watching them jump in the water.”
Practice, practice, practice! Especially if you are using equipment that is new, or you’re diving in an unfamiliar place. Make sure you have a good power source, and be prepared to troubleshoot any technical issues. Things may definitely come up that you don’t expect. For example, next year Fish Eye Project plans to bring a tent for the dock, since sun glare can interfere with the monitors.
Seize opportunities to talk about human involvement
Be sure to speak with your audience about what they can do to keep the ocean healthy! These opportunities often arise for divers in the form of ocean trash. Mike told me “Sometimes under Fisherman’s Wharf we do find things people have just dumped in and you see it on the screen. That’s our opportunity to talk about it and why you shouldn’t just chuck that in!”
Mike also mentioned that their interpreters with World Fisheries Trust built in conservation messaging when talking with visitors about the marine animals the divers brought up. This is a wonderful strategy, since people will be face to face with the animal they will be helping with their actions.
What’s next for Fish Eye Project? Maeva says they plan to do many live dives this summer in the Victoria inner harbor, in partnership with World Fisheries Trust. They’re also moving forward on installing artificial reefs in the form of Reef Balls at Fisherman’s Wharf to educate people about marine restoration and the role of artificial reefs.
To learn more about Fish Eye Project, visit FishEyeProject.org
If you’re interested in the technology that Fish Eye Project uses for their events – SubEye Technologies – feel free to shoot them an email.
Today is International Polar Bear Day, a day when Polar Bears International (PBI) focuses attention on the problems polar bears face in a warming Arctic and how each of us can help. For the second year in a row, they’ve organized a worldwide Thermostat Challenge to celebrate the day, one of seven action events in their Save Our Sea Ice (SOS!) campaign. The goal is to keep polar bears in the Arctic, always.
With the Thermostat Challenge, PBI invites people and businesses around the world to adjust their thermostats up or down by at least two degrees—depending on where they live—and to make this action a habit. They also encourage people to invite others to join and to speak up to elected officials in support of energy-saving measures.
“Our research shows that two-thirds of the world’s polar bears will be gone by the middle of the century unless we take action to greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” says Dr. Steve Amstrup, PBI’s chief scientist. “The Thermostat Challenge raises awareness of how our daily actions impact the polar bear’s sea ice habitat. By taking part in this initiative, we can lower our carbon emissions and show our commitment to action on climate change.”
Participants in the Thermostat Challenge are invited to post photos of their actions on the Community Page of PBI’s Save Our Sea Ice campaign. While there, visitors can also commit to additional actions. Choices include those at the individual, community, and policy levels, all of which are needed to stop climate change.
The Thermostat Challenge is the launch event for PBI’s larger Save Our Sea Ice (SOS!) campaign, a series of conservation challenges that begin on international Polar Bear Day, February 27th, and continue through Polar Bear Week in early November. The SOS! challenges include a Power Down Challenge on Earth Hour, a No Idling Challenge on Earth Day, a Bike Commute Challenge on Endangered Species Day, an Energy Challenge on World Oceans Day, a Green House Grocery List Challenge on Arctic Sea Ice Day, and a Shop Wise Challenge during Polar Bear Week. Each challenge includes actions at the individual, community, and policy levels. The goal of the campaign is to motivate greenhouse gas reductions to stop global warming.
“These challenges are a great way to start making every day a polar bear day,” says Krista Wright, executive director of PBI. “We all make countless daily decisions that have an impact, and it’s important to remember that, collectively, they add up.”
Keeping your boat clean is a tradition lasting back thousands of years. As soon as there was someone for the captain to order about, there was someone whose responsibilities included swabbing decks. Whether you have a scalawag all your own, or you get down and dirty to take care of your decks yourself, there are a few of ways to decrease the environmental impact of keeping boats clean.
The EPA in the United States has a Design for the Environment program and Europe had their eco-label. Both of these help identify products that are safer for both humans and the environment. To earn these certifications cleaning products generally need to be made of non-toxic materials and be biodegradable. Thetford Boat Wash is a great option. Also, try to wipe down surfaces that have been cleaned instead of simply rinsing. This will avoid unnecessary runoff into the water.
For those more ambitious, there is always the option of making your own cleaning products. Many effective cleaning products can be made from simple ingredients such as vinegar, baking soda and olive oil. The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has a great list of alternatives to traditional cleaning products.
Finally, the most environmentally friendly to clean topsides of boats utilizes grease. Most specifically, elbow grease! Using a soft brush (to avoid scratches) scrub away at your deck. Though grog costs for the ordinary sailors will be higher, you will find yourself using lower amounts of cleaners and only on the really stubborn stains. A win for you and the ocean!
What does it mean to be an eco-friendly diver?
Even when it comes to recreation, it is important that to consider the potential impacts on the spaces that we use. A quick diving trip may seem harmless, but can have consequential outcomes if proper diving etiquette is neglected.
Here are few of the many practices divers can follow to ensure dives with little environmental impact:
Leave your environment in the same or better condition than it was when you got there
When you enter the water you’re immediately in someone else’s home. Never leave trash or materials from outside the ecosystem in your diving environment, leave the natural environment intact, and remove any trash or debris you can without harming the habitat around you.
Respectfully observe marine life
For the safety of both you and the marine animals around you, do not harass or feed marine life.
Be wary of where you enter and exit reefs
If you are anchoring your boat, be extremely careful of where you are putting your anchor. If possible, use already available moorings, as anchors can be very damaging to corals. Think about entering and exiting the water away from reef habitats.
Practice good diving skills – particularly away from reefs!
To avoid accidental contact and maintain good body control in reefs, maintain neutral buoyancy and practice good finning techniques. Making sure that your diving gear is all properly attached can also prevent accidents from occurring.
Support eco-friendly practices in the water as well as on land
Be a steward of the ocean environment when you are also on land! Volunteering to remove marine debris, making sustainable seafood choices and supporting organizations with green initiatives are a few of the endless possibilities.
Interested in learning more? Check out the Green Fins Project!
Green Fins is a project initiated the United Nations Environmental Programme that works with dive and snorkel operators to establish environmental standards. The Green Fins Code of Conduct applies to Green Fins members and aims to eliminate environmental threats stemming from the tourism industry. Members are guided through the Code of Conduct and are given annual assessments, training and feedback.
“I would rather see somebody try to make a difference in some tiny way, than to just say, ‘screw it,’ because I think we can [make a difference]” -Keith Malloy, from the award winning surfing documentary BlueGreen
Are you a surfer? How would you feel if the picture above was taken on your beach? Even if you take good care of your beach, tides and currents are great at moving trash from one place to another, meaning even the most remote, pristine beaches can end up covered in litter just like the one above.
Today, more and more surfers and surfing organizations are becoming aware and active in the movement to prevent marine debris. Surfrider, for example, has over 50 campaigns happening nationwide to help address ocean trash among other issues.
So, what can you do to contribute? Here are some steps you can take to minimize your impact on the ocean:
Most of the surf boards on today’s market are produced from toxic materials which are harmful to our planet. Thanks to Decarbonated Sports, you can calculate your board’s carbon footprint here! Even worse is the fact that the typical board is not constructed to last for long, a problem which only contributes to waste, but ends up costing you more money in the long run when you have to buy a new board.
Fortunately, there are options. Of course, everyone loves getting a new board, but have you considered buying one second-hand? You might be able to find the perfect board for the perfect price while at the same time reducing waste and being more environmentally friendly. Don’t like the idea of a second-hand board or can’t find the right one for you? There’s good news. There are a number of companies such as FCD, Hess, EnviroSurfer, WaveTribe and many others who have begun to manufacture eco-friendly boards and surf gear.
Try walking or maybe even cycling. Are you too far away or have too much gear? Try carpooling or starting a ride share. Not only is it more environmentally friendly, but you can always score a few bucks from your friends so you can save up for that new piece of eco-friendly surf gear you’ve been wanting to get.
Maybe you’ve heard the saying, “every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want”. So, the next time you’re headed out to catch some gnarly waves, make sure you bring non-plastic reusable water bottles and food containers or if you stop by the store, try not to buy anything with lots of unnecessary packaging that you’ll end up having to throw away.
Check us out next week for tips on how you can make a difference by getting others involved!
Enjoying the ocean recreationally and promoting sustainability are far from mutually exclusive
When surfing ocean waves there is perhaps no doubt of an ultimate connection between man and nature. The sport has continuously attracted ocean lovers, and surfing events have allowed individuals to showcase their unique talents to the world. Taking their passion for the ocean even a step further, coordinators of surfing events have been facilitating “ocean-friendly” surfing events with the help of Sustainable Surf. In partnership with the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), the non-profit Sustainable Surf runs The Deep Blue Surfing Event, which provides guidelines for the operation of greener surfing events. The guidelines address not only environmental issues, but seek to provide for the social and economic benefit of the community.
The program approaches the issues of environmental impacts by assessing five main categories: waste, energy, transportation, community support, and climate change. For an event to obtain the designation as a Deep Blue Surfing Event, the minimum goals for two of the five categories must be met, and the event much show a commitment to reducing impacts and establishing sustainable strategies for facilitation of the event. Big surfing events such as the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, Volcom Fiji Pro, Volcom Pipe Pro, and Rip Curl Pro Search San Francisco have implemented the “Green Guidelines” as Deep Blue Surf Events, and the success of such events is not overlooked. After the 2011 Rip Curl Pro Search in San Francisco, the event was referred to as the “greenest ASP surfing contest in history.”
A few strategies employed for greener events:
The positive environmental impact these events can facilitate extend beyond the time of the actual surfing competitions. Through partnerships with local organizations, a strong relationship with the community has been established. The surfing competitions have partnered with organizations such as Boy & Girls Club of Hawaii, Save the Waves Film Festival, and Give Clean Water to help engage a larger part of the community. Videos from Volcom Pipe Pro 2013 and Van Triple Crown 2013 (which is a little lengthy, but still awesome) give a little insight into the success of the Deep Blue Surfing Event program, and is definitely worth checking out!
It’s a new year and we’re getting excited for World Oceans Day 2014! We have a few plans we’d like to share for this year’s celebration under the theme Together we have the power to protect the ocean.
What to look out for in the new year:
It’s going to be a great year, stay tuned for more info soon. If you have any feedback or ideas about how we can make World Oceans Day better, please feel free to send us an email. We appreciate your thoughts!
We’re excited to announce our end-of-year crowdfunding campaign to support World Oceans Day! Our goal is make World Oceans Day bigger and better – in 2014 and beyond. Whether you’re able to contribute $1 or $1,000, every donation will help us increase the reach and impact of this annual day of celebration. Join us in our mission to create a healthy, thriving ocean that continues to connect people everywhere – from every country, culture, and creed across the planet. The funds we raise from this campaign will go towards growing the community and supporting the people who make this day possible – with free educational tools, personal support, a better website, and more.
June 8th is World Oceans Day – when thousands of people around the world celebrate and take action to create a healthier ocean for everyone. Last year’s World Oceans Day again was an inspiring experience. People around the world came together and took action for the ocean’s healthy future in a big way, with over 600 events in 70 different countries, held by aquariums, zoos, schools, businesses, local governments, moms, surfers, and so many more. These are people are reaching out in their own communities to do something to help protect the ocean and what it does for each one of us.
Even though many of us don’t see the ocean daily, the ocean affects us and we affect the ocean. Our actions help protect it and the animals that call the ocean home. World Oceans Day is an opportunity to create widespread action and discussion about what we each can DO to keep it healthy.
Your personal contribution will help support our community of event organizers, and build World Oceans Day into a bigger global rallying point for celebration and action; it will be an even better day to unify organizations and capture people’s imaginations around the world to create important changes, locally, nationally and internationally.
By supporting us with a gift for the ocean, we’ll be able to:
And much more. With your help, we can collectively grow this event into a real force for change. Thank you!