Biomass by sea and by land

Posted Posted in TopStory, Uncategorized

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.

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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.

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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 at BurgessAdventures.

Colorado – The Inland Ocean (Youth Guest Blog)

Posted Posted in Remi's Blog, TopStory

Local youth and river/ocean lover, Grace, recently interviewed the Colorado Ocean Coalition’s founder, Vicki Nichols Goldstein, to discuss her organization and the reasons why an inland community can affect the health of our oceans. 

Colorado – The Inland Ocean

By: Grace C.

An ocean in Colorado? Well, we are all downstream. In Colorado, we have a special responsibility when it comes to protecting water quality. That’s because we’re a “headwater state,” which means that the snowfall in our mountains is a major source of water for eighteen states and parts of Mexico. (Colorado the Headwater State) I had the chance to go to the Making WAVES conference and learn about what the Colorado Ocean Coalition (COCO) is doing to help not only our water, but the water that flows to other states and eventually the ocean. In fact, Colorado is so important that Rep. Mark Stone from California named Boulder a ‘California Inland Ocean Community.’ Vicki Goldstein from COCO says that, “The health of the ocean is connected to the health of our rivers and waterways. By being good stewards of the water that we have we make the ocean and the planet better places too.” The truth is, no matter where you live your day to day activities end up having an effect on not only your local water supply, but the waters downstream and eventually the ocean.

At the conference I had the privilege to listen to people who love the ocean give lectures about how we can help it. I learned a few things I didn’t know before, like what really happens to plastic in the ocean, how to make trash into art, how to reduce plastic pollution and how I can help the ocean. One amazing opportunity that I had at the conference was to hear and meet Mr. Fabien Cousteau, grandson of the legendary Jacques Cousteau. Mr. Cousteau talked about his Mission 31 and his organization called Plant a Fish which strives to help people protect and marvel at the world around them. His lecture was all about protecting the ocean, “planting marine life and plants in ecologically stressed areas and educating local communities about the ocean.” (Cousteau) I also heard Stephanie from Green Apple Supply talk about plastics in the ocean. Plastic, once thought to take thousands of years to break down, actually breaks down quite fast in the warm ocean water, but it doesn’t go away completely. Instead it turns into tiny bits of plastic that fish eat and then they die, sea birds also eat the plastic as well as larger marine fish and mammals. The plastic can get so bad that it disrupts algae and plankton growth and that makes the whole food web go out of balance. But, plastic is not the only culprit that makes it to the ocean from our water supply. A lot of chemicals and microbeads make their way into our local watershed. Chemicals from pills we take and things we put into our lawns get flushed into the system. Microbeads, which are found in bath and beauty products, also get flushed or washed into the system. The sewage treatment plants are not equipped to take out all of these chemicals and plastic pollution and it ends up getting washed downstream to the next community. If you think that a few pills and microbeads here and there don’t add up, Mrs. Goldstein from COCO has this to say, “The water quality gets worse as it flows downstream. 5,000 square miles at Gulf of Mexico is a dead zone, that is the end of our watershed. This means that nothing lives there, the plastic, fumes and chemicals from upstream make this area a place where nothing grows.“

Recently I interviewed Mrs. Goldstein from COCO, here’s what she had to say about COCO, the ocean and our water supply. What is COCO? COCO is the Colorado Ocean Coalition and is a project of the Ocean Foundation, a non-profit organization. She started COCO because she, “discovered that there was no other ocean oriented organization in the middle of our county that connects our rivers and actions to the health of our planet.” She realized that everyone needs to be involved in the health of the ocean, not just people who live near it. This is especially true since “80% of all of the plastics and trash that end up in the ocean come from inland communities like ours.” When I asked her about things that people in Colorado could do to help the ocean, she said, “We need to reduce our plastic consumption and discontinue using products that contain microbeads.” Our sewage facilities are not equipped to handle the amounts of trash, chemicals and microbeads that we are putting into the system. This pollution gets washed downstream to the next community and so on until it reaches the ocean. As far as how well we are doing in cleaning our water before it goes downstream, Mrs. Goldstein says, “Boulder has done a lot of effort in pioneering extracting things from the water system, but other communities are behind in this area.”

I came away from the conference with some ideas about starting plastic bag recycling on my street and looking into using bags to make plan. I made a video about things you can do to help the ocean, I had the chance to raise money for Save The Whales and to volunteer with Riverwatch. I got to talk to scientists, artists, lawmakers and people who love the ocean. From my interview I gained valuable information about how to inform people about their local watershed and what we are doing right, and wrong, to our water supply. What I realized is that knowledge is power. People are ignorant about their local watersheds, they don’t realize the impact that their daily lives have on those who are downstream and ultimately the ocean and our planet. By letting people know about plastic pollution, chemical pollution and getting lawmakers involved we can make changes about what goes into our water supply. Our actions can not only affect our local rivers, streams and lakes, but every community that receives our water. No matter where you live, your choices have an impact on the health of the ocean. Eventually all water leads to the ocean and the ocean is life, so let’s keep it clean and healthy.

Algae bloom in Lake Ladora
Algae bloom in Lake Ladora
Rep. Mark Stone from CA presenting COCO and Boulder with Honorary CA Inland Ocean Community recognition.
Rep. Mark Stone from CA presenting COCO and Boulder with Honorary CA Inland Ocean Community recognition.
Fabien Cousteau and me at the Making WAVES conference.
Fabien Cousteau and me at the Making WAVES conference.
Sabrina from Riverwatch and me doing water sampling of the Platte river
Sabrina from Riverwatch and me doing water sampling of the Platte river
My local river, the Platte, is just a few miles from my house.
My local river, the Platte, is just a few miles from my house.

 

Works cited

“Colorado Ocean Coalition.” Colorado Ocean Coalition. Web. 1 Mar. 2016. <http://coloradoocean.org

“Colorado The Headwater State.” Growing Your Future. Colorado Foundation for Agriculture. Web. 1 Mar. 2016. <https://www.growingyourfuture.com/civi/sites/default/files/ColoradoHeadwaters_State.pdf>.

Cousteau, Fabien. “Plant a Fish.” Fabien Cousteau. Web. 1 Mar. 2016.

 

Additional Sources

Notes from Making WAVES conference 2013

Phone interview with Vicki Goldstein from Colorado Ocean Coalition on March 2, 2016

 

Photos

All photos used with permission from Liese Carberry

 

The National Ocean Policy is here…but will it stay?

Posted Posted in TopStory

The National Ocean Policy is here...but will it stay?

 

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This past week, two of the Colorado Ocean Coalition (COCO) Ocean Ambassador (OA) Candidate’s, Danielle Duncan and Kara Wiggin attended the Healthy Oceans Coalition’s National Ocean Policy Advocacy Training in Savannah, GA. They learned how to be advocates of the National Ocean Policy to their local representatives and the public. 

​The other trainees included members from the Sierra Club, the Conservation Law Foundation, Island Institute, Ocean Conservation Research, Surfrider, and others. COCO's OA Candidates were invited to attend on behalf of COCO.  Kara and Danielle were the only two inland representatives that participated! With this upcoming election year, the National Ocean Policy (NOP) may be at risk. 

Since the NOP was passed as an Executive Order by President Obama, a new 2016 president has the power to overturn it. But, the NOP's plan is strong and has the potential to be enforced within the states, with or without the executive order. ​​

In July 2010, President Obama signed an Executive Order establishing an integrated National Policy for the Stewardship of the Ocean, Our Coasts and the Great Lakes, know as the National Ocean Policy (NOP). The NOP provides a framework to better coordinate and integrate the 140 laws and 20+ agencies that currently manage our ocean and its invaluable resources. The NOP creates collaborative opportunities for federal and state agencies to work together, uses science-based decision-making, and allows stakeholders a voice. The NOP is good for the environment AND good for the economy.     The NOP creates a set of nine priority objectives and management actions:

Pseudanthias squammipinnis Scalefin anthias female, Taveuni, Fiji (Serranidae), Taveuni, Fiji-6

  1. Ecosystem-Based Management: Adopt ecosystem-based management as a foundational principle for comprehensive management of the ocean, our coasts, and the Great Lakes.
  2. Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning: Implement comprehensive, integrated, ecosystem based coastal and marine spatial planning and management in the United States.
  3. Inform Decisions and Improve Understanding: Increase knowledge to continually inform and improve management and policy decisions and the capacity to respond to change and challenges. Better educate the public through formal and informal programs about the ocean, our coasts, and the Great Lakes.
  4. Coordinate and Support: Better coordinate and support Federal, State, tribal, local, and regional management of the ocean, our coasts, and the Great Lakes. Improve coordination and integration across the Federal Government and, as appropriate, engage with the international community.
  5. Resiliency and Adaptation to Climate Change and Ocean Acidification: Strengthen resiliency of coastal communities and marine and Great Lakes environments and their abilities to adapt to climate change impacts and ocean acidification.
  6. Regional Ecosystem Protection and Restoration: Establish and implement an integrated ecosystem protection and restoration strategy that is science-based and aligns conservation and restoration goals at the Federal, state, tribal, local and regional levels.
  7. Water Quality and Sustainable Practices on Land: Enhance water quality in the ocean, along our coasts, and in the Great Lakes by promoting and implementing sustainable practices on land.
  8. Changing Conditions in the Arctic: Address environmental stewardship needs in the Arctic Ocean and adjacent coastal areas in the face of climate-induced and other environmental changes.
  9. Ocean, Coastal, and Great Lakes Observations, Mapping, and Infrastructure: Strengthen and integrate Federal and non-Federal ocean observing systems, sensors, data collection platforms, data management, and mapping capabilities into a national system, and integrate that system into international observation efforts.

Support the National Ocean Policy!

Bring Live Ocean Exploration to the Mountains!

Posted Posted in Got Ocean?, TopStory

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 E/V Nautilus sails, a new group (and several lucky returnees) is chosen to become part of the Corps of Exploration. Applications are open now to students of all ages, from high school to recent graduates, to join the exploration in 2016. Find the application details and requirements here – 2016 Opportunities with Ocean Exploration Trust (deadlines are Jan. 18, 2016 for internships and Feb. 1, 2016 for high school honors program).

I am grateful to the students in Ft. Collins for joining the adventure with me and I know there are many more out there who want to bring the ocean to the mountains, so submit your application today!

 

 

Written by Sarah Burgess. Sarah had the Nautilus adventure in 2015 and looks forward to many more by land and by sea. Read more at BurgessAdventures

Follow the Waterways

Posted Posted in TopStory, Watersheds

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A recap of my first week at the mountain research station includes the following:

  • Endless bottles of lake water, containing a variety of zooplankton and phytoplankton
  • Awareness of what I deposit into surrounding areas (trash, etc.)
  • A heightened sense of adventure
  • A conquered hike to Rollins/ Corona Pass and the Needle Eye Tunnel (which if you haven’t read about- you should)
  • A continuous love for the ocean- as well as lakes and streams
  • An increase in motivation to combine freshwater and marine science studies in graduate school

 

With that said, I have decided to show through pictures rather than text, the effects of alpine watersheds on the ocean, and why it is important to keep them clean!

 

Start:

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Finish!

Save our Sharks

Posted Posted in TopStory

Duhhh nuh. Duhhh nuh.  It’s Shark Week and we’re vouching to save our sharks! These beautiful creatures may look scary to the outsider, but they make for amazing companions on our deep-sea dives!

 

Dangers of sharks

Many people assume that sharks are one of the most dangerous predators on Earth. If you go into more research, you’ll find that out of the 480 (and counting) species of sharks, only four of them are considered dangerous. These four species are the great white, tiger shark, bull shark, and oceanic white tip. That means that less than one percent (0.83% to be exact)- of these sharks are dangerous- and only if you provoke them!  If you’re diving or swimming in sharky waters, be sure to stay calm! Remember: sharks don’t have arms- they get to know their surroundings by poking their heads around. We’re in their territory- be respectful!

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Why sharks are being killed

There are many reasons why sharks are being killed. They threaten humans with their aggressive behavior. Another reason is shark fin is seen as a delicacy in some European countries, as well as shark oils being used in many products. What is interesting about shark fin soup is that the fin isn’t used for the taste of the soup, rather it is used as a thickening agent for the broth. That is a lot of shark waste for a small bowl of soup! When fisherman aren’t decapitating sharks solely for their fins, they may be collecting cartilage, which can be found in pills and powders of health-related issues such as, asthma, eczema, hemorrhoids, etc. In order to determine whether your medication has to contribute to the declining of shark populations, look for chondroitin on your ingredients label. Sadly, these aren’t the only reasons sharks are being hunted. Another is for their liver, which is used in anti-aging creams, lotions, deodorants, hair conditioners and many other beauty products. These products include shark-based squalene, although many companies have vowed to switch to vegetable-based, so be sure to do your research before purchasing your beauty products! Not only are we unknowingly supporting the sharking industry while getting ready for a date, but we may also be eating it! Shark may be combined with other whitefish products for foods such as fish patties and fish sticks! Depending on the type of purse or shoes you’re wearing on your date, you may even be wearing shark! Many high-end designers like Jimmy Choo have used sharkskin as leather as it is unusually durable. Over 10 shark species are being used for this type of material, and can even be used by companies such as Nike! That’s not all. The use of sharks has extended to our pets- it has been found in pet supplements, specifically for joint health, and even chews toys. (Maybe your dog is as tough as it thinks it is- chewing away at shark parts)

 shark-fin-soup

 

Impacts on sharks

Aside from declining shark populations, there are many other reasons that shark hunting is a problem. The stability of marine ecosystems is declining due to the fact that sharks are an apex predator.  Foreign fishing vessels that will capture other marine organisms and possibly damage those populations as well are invading local, pristine waters. These fishing vessels that capture sharks only us 1% of the shark (the fin/ cartilage), while the rest of the shark is thrown away and unused. In fact, while finning, the shark is captured and kept aside the boat. The fisherman will then cut the fin off and the shark will sink to the bottom, unable to swim.

 

What we can do

Spread the word! Help campaigns all around the world save the sharks! Go to loveanimals.org and support any of the campaign’s being presented to help save the sharks! Our campaign is to raise money for our Ocean Ambassador Certification Program to educate our new Ambassadors about sharks!

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Reef-Safe Sunscreen: The Craze for the Rays

Posted Posted in TopStory

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Reef-Safe Sunscreen: The Craze for the Rays  

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It is a known fact around the world that sunscreen is used to protect your skin from harsh UV rays that can cause skin cancer. There is an immense variety of sunscreens that you can choose from varying on activity level, SPFs, etc. However, how many sunscreens are out there that are environmentally friendly? What researchers have found is that the chemicals in sunscreen are having a direct effect on the health of coral reefs through a process that happens when specific ingredients are released into the water. The two main components of sunscreen are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, both of which never biodegrade. Mineral oil and petroleum, are also found in some sunscreen, which slowly dilutes into solutions. However, there are solutions to this. For example, a mineral-based sunscreen.

 

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To look more into this product and to purchase your own bottle of environmentally-friendly, reef-safe sunscreen for your next tropical vacation, go here, and a portion of your proceeds will go to Colorado Ocean Coalition.

An inactivate virus living within the environment of corals and their symbiotic algae becomes activated in the presence of chemicals found in sunscreens. This virus causes a rather bad outcome, as do most viruses, resulting in either the release or the destruction of the algae living within the coral, therefore destroying the coral’s only source of nutrients and food.

 

Without the mutual symbiosis with the algae, the corals turn white, also known as coral bleaching, as a result of the nutrient-rich corals starving. Although, it isn’t the zinc oxide and titanium oxide that is causing this to happen, it is the chemicals added into a mixture that disrupt the corals. The ingredients that do cause this to happen include: oxynenzone, butylparaben, octinoxate, 4-methylbenzylidine camphor, and cinnamate. With that said, not only are the reefs themselves being effected, but so is the surrounding water with other ingredients that are being diluted into oceanic waters.

 

So how can we, as ocean loving and adventurous people be able to continue to explore the vast diversity of the ocean without simultaneously killing it off? Well, researchers have found the main ingredients in the most popular sunscreens that can activate this virus, and others have created sunscreens lacking these chemicals. Rather than absorbing the sun’s rays like chemical-based sunscreen does, a mineral-based sunscreen reflects the sun’s rays. Also, mineral sunscreen has been found to be better for those with sensitive skin, as it is less irritating. So, not only are you getting a sunscreen that is great for sensitive skin, it is just as protective as other sunscreen, and it serves as a relief to the beautiful corals and rainbow fish that you long to see.

 

Recently, there have been many companies that have started creating mineral-based sunscreen, and quite successfully too. A company called Beautycounter (which you can check out here), specializes in creating beauty products free of toxic substances. Their mission is to create products with safe components, due to the increase in health issues occurring from toxic chemicals put into everyday necessities. According to their research, the US has only banned 11 ingredients used in personal care products, while the European Union has banned over 1,300 ingredients. Beautycounter has successfully banned more than 1,500 ingredients, as stated on their “our mission” portion of their website, which you can view here. Their company has truly been an inspiration to our society today. With that said, they have created a sun-shying, coral reef-sighing sunscreen that lacks the unsafe ingredients that the most popular sunscreen brands use! AND they use a non-nano zinc oxide as the sun protector, which simply means a tiny version of zinc oxide that will not enter the bloodstream as a nano zinc oxide would. Every single ingredient, I mean every, is listed on their website when you select this sunscreen, as well as any of their other products. With constant and accurate testing, researchers for Beautycounter are able to determine which ingredients fit within their extremely strict guidelines and are allowed to be used in their products. Just looking at the ingredients list for the Protect All Over, I see that none of the coral damaging ingredients are listed, and are otherwise substituted by Citrus Limon Oil and Mimosa Tenuiflora Bark Extract- both of which sound much more natural to me.

suncreen
To look more into this product and to purchase your own bottle of environmentally-friendly, reef-safe sunscreen for your next tropical vacation, go here, and a portion of your proceeds will go to Colorado Ocean Coalition.

 

 

 

Letter To The Editor – Largest Ever Ocean Conservation Lobby Day

Posted Posted in TopStory

Dear Editor,

 Last week, an Inland Delegation of businesspeople, divers, one-time coastal residents and others who believe that every state is connected to the sea went to Washington, DC to attend aBlue Vision Summit and the largest ever ocean conservation lobby day.   Along with fellow citizens from 23 other states 20 Coloradans met with our congressional delegation to oppose new off-shore oil surveys and drilling.  A week later we’re seeing the beaches of Santa Barbara California fouled with spilled oil just as the Gulf of Mexico was 5 years ago by BP’s deadly Deepwater Horizon blowout.

The federal government is currently considering opening up the East Coast to new offshore drilling for the first time ever, as well as planning to authorize new drilling in the rough frontier waters of the U.S. Arctic Ocean.

The spill off the coast of Santa Barbara, with its images of dying oil covered sea birds reminds us of a much bigger spill that took place there in 1969 and that helped launch the modern environmental movement. Even though Colorado is a thousand miles from any coast, we have a vested interest in the health of our ocean that provides us with half the oxygen we breath, the weather and rain that feeds our crops and the occasional ocean escapes that can feed our soul.  Coal and oil were important energy sources of past centuries.  In the 21st century we ought to be able to generate clean energy without putting our coastlines, ocean, climate and economy at risk.

Sincerely,

Vicki Nichols Goldstein

Founder & Director, Colorado Ocean Coalition

Read More At Daily Camera

 

 

 

Introducing the Colorado Ocean Coaltion

Posted Posted in TopStory

The Colorado Ocean Coalition…what? That doesn’t make sense. Did the Colorado River become the sixth ocean?

Don’t worry you haven’t missed anything, the Colorado River is still a river. And while hearing the name Colorado Ocean Coalition for the first time might throw you for loop, the reality is an inland based ocean organization makes perfect sense.

Living along the coast isn’t a requirement for caring about our oceans. In fact, it doesn’t matter where you live; we are all impacting the health of our oceans. Thanks to modern technology and a global economy, a fish caught off the coast of South America can end up on a dinner plate in Colorado. But should you be eating that fish?

Well…that depends. Is the fishery sustainable? Did the fishing method destroy other ocean habitats? Does that fish contain a heavy dose of mercury? Aren’t these things you would like to know before digging in? And you certainly can’t ask a baked fish those questions.

The Colorado Ocean Coalition is filling an inland ocean void by raising awareness of ocean issues and getting more people to start asking questions. This is very exciting because the more people ask questions the more they begin to make conscious consumer choices and the more power we all have to affect change.

Now with an ocean coalition in place, Colorado and other inland states can work with coastal states to develop healthy ocean policies and legislation inland. Hawaii passed a statewide ban on plastic bags this summer that becomes effective July 1, 2015. Wouldn’t it be great if an inland state did the same?

The possibilities are endless and every move in the right direction helps our oceans. Executive Director Vicki Nichols Goldstein sums it up best with her favorite question, “Do you really need to see the ocean to save it?” Definitely not! So join the Colorado Ocean Coalition on their quest to save our oceans and check out their website to start learning more about hot ocean topics. Because whether you live a mile high or at sea level you can be part of the solution.

Colorado Ocean Coalition’s 2nd Annual Event, Making WAVES is coming up on October 20th and 21st! Held in Boulder, this multifaceted symposium and celebration highlights ocean issues, solutions and is a change making event for engagement and national action. Making Waves provides the general public access to and opportunities to interact with cutting edge researchers, well known speakers, award winning film makers and advocates creating an upwelling of supporters and inland ocean activists. Jean-Michel Cousteau, son of Jacques Cousteau, will be the keynote speaker for the weekend.

Click here for 2012 Making Waves symposium information.

Click here for REGISTRATION and TICKETS to Making WAVES 2012.

Pre-registration for the Ocean Symposium is free, but required. Also, don’t forget to order a box lunch from The Purple Bus !

Carolyn Kraft is a freelance writer, content developer and social media manager for Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, and whale watch naturalist. She blogs at oceanwildthings.com.

Image Credit: Claudio Garzon