Blue Vision Summit

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Blue Vision Summit, Uncategorized

By Christine Evans

Fourteen members of the Inland Ocean Coalition attended the Blue Vision Summit in Washington, DC, from May 8-11. The biennial Summit brings together ocean conservation leaders and advocates from around the world. The key areas of the action agenda for the 2017 Summit were:

  • Putting an end to offshore drilling by 2030
  • Ridding the ocean of plastic and other forms of pollution
  • Building coastal resiliency through smart ecosystem-based planning

The Summit included the largest Healthy Ocean Hill Day in US history, with over 150 people participating from 25 states.

The Summit opened with a screening of Chasing Coral on Monday night, followed by a day of panels on Tuesday. Panels included topics like stopping offshore oil drilling, engaging corporations in solutions to plastic pollution, the future of fish and fishing, the inland ocean movement, marine protected areas, ocean acidification and the blue economy.

Sylvia Earle giving part of the keynote address.

Blue Vision Summit Panels 

Sylvia Earle was among those to give the keynote address, which was followed by an opening plenary entitled “Ocean Strategy Under Trump,” featuring Ralph Nader and three other panelists. Nader told the audience that politicians don’t know how to game the system when liberals and conservatives unite, and protecting our ocean and coastlines is such a unifying issue. Ocean conservation unites civic, commercial, recreational and environmental interests.

Nader also discussed how having less than 1% of the population engaged on an issue reflecting the majority opinion is enough to turn things around. If a movement has a right/left alliance and engages less than 1% of people, the movement will be successful.

Panelist John Racanelli, CEO of the National Aquarium, said that we must resist the current administration’s policies and stand up for science, while also encouraging a more collaborative conservation atmosphere, for this is “not a time for silos and competition.” Farah Obaidullah, Founder & Director of Women4Oceans, said we know what we need to do, we have the solutions, and we need to reach people everywhere. There isn’t one message or one messenger that’s going to reach everyone. She said her main message is that you don’t have to be a marine biologist or work for an organization to make a difference.

From left to right: Moderator Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, Ralph Nader, John Racanelli, Farah Obaidullah, and Chad Nelson.

Surfrider Foundation CEO Chad Nelsen said that he is optimistic, because our policies are popular, unlike the policies being put forward by this administration. Furthermore, people are more interested in getting active than he has ever seen. He compared resisting the policies of this administration to running a sprint and a marathon – there are the short-term issues that we must address – for instance the review of many terrestrial and marine monuments – while also not losing sight of the longer haul – like putting an end to offshore drilling and plastic pollution.

Moderator Ayana Elizabeth Johnson of Ocean Collectiv then asked each of the panelists, “What is your sprint and what is your marathon?”

Marathons included creating an urban conservation ethic as 85% of Americans now live in cities, making this movement akin to the NRA of the ocean in order to make politicians think twice before passing harmful legislation, and increasing the participation of women globally in ocean conservation in order to harness our full potential as a species. Obaidullah said she meets more women working on ocean issues, but at conferences it’s mostly men. It is women, however, who tend to think about the future more, while men are more focused on providing in the here and now. It’s not a good idea, she said, to leave out the half of the population that is most concerned about and interested in the future.

Want to get involved?

Call your members of Congress. Encourage them to do the following:

  • Vote against any bill or amendment that significantly cuts funding to NOAA and the EPA
  • Vote against any bill or amendment to expand offshore oil and gas drilling
  • Support the bi-partisan S. 756 Save Our Seas Act in the Senate
    • Introduce a House version of S. 756

Sign this letter in support of marine sanctuaries.

“Take the DYPP” With COCO This Winter!

Posted Posted in Event, Ocean Ambassadors

February has been a busy month for COCO and the Ocean Ambassadors between working on OA projects and setting up for some fun events!

Film Festival Flix – “North of the Sun” Screening 
On February 18th, there was a live screening in Denver of this film, where our Ocean Ambassador Kelsey Bartling participated in a live discussion following the screening.  You can still watch ‘North of the Sun’ when you purchase an all event pass for the Online Mountain and Adventure Film Festival, which will run throughout the month of February (You still have one day left to stream over 40 films!). To register for your pass, sign up at Click on Mountain and Adventure Film Festival and COCO will receive a 25% donation of your pass purchase, when you enter the code “OCEAN.”

Blue Drinks  
This month’s event was held at the Hotel Boulderado and COCO supporters shared with us their love for the ocean! Check out the photos from this fun event here!  

Follow our Facebook page to keep up with the fun and educational events we put on or participate in!

Mark your calendars:
March 15th- Stream clean up!
COCO has adopted a portion of Boulder Creek between 30th and Folsom in Boulder. Ocean Ambassador, Jeff Radwick coordinated this project and will be holding monthly clean-ups and riparian restoration projects. The next cleanup will be March 15 and we will have a barbecue after at Rocky Mountain Anglers. Learn more about the event here!



OA_Audrey_Tobin-df70779f5a8075a95fe2296bf4ec62f3Ocean Ambassador Audrey Tobin is working on a unique pledge that asks people to actively help the state of the oceans both from their home and while on vacation. Learn more about this pledge below.

 How did you get involved with COCO OA Program?

“I heard about the OA program from my boss, Steve Weaver. He has always been involved with the Colorado Ocean Coalition and I had been to Making Waves (link) two years in a row. I knew that COCO was a reputable organization with a great mission, so I applied! I am so happy I was accepted.”

What was your favorite part of the program?

“My favorite part was definitely the time we spent in class. Being around a group of like-minded individuals all striving to achieve a common goal is always exhilarating.”

Tell me about your OA Project. 

“My OA project is called “Take the DYPP.”  DYPP stands for “Do Your Part Pledge”. I am asking individuals to pledge to actively help the state of the oceans by pledging to do certain things while on dive vacations or at home. There is a one-page guide that gives people some tips on what they can do in order to help protect the oceans. People can then sign and tell us what they are going to do to help. “Take The DYPP” will be launching on and very soon, so make sure to check it out!”

Check back in March for more COCO news and events!

Green.Beer.Fest: a chance to celebrate craft beer and clean water!

Posted Posted in Event, Ocean Ambassadors

Coming from New Hampshire, I was familiar with a slogan from the Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership (PREP) that said “Clean Water, Tasty Beer.” Many local breweries were on board and used this slogan to promote advocacy for clean water. When I came to Colorado, I was excited to see this same attitude applied in many local breweries.

On September 27th, 2014, Green.Beer.Fest kicked off its second year. This fest is a “day long Colorado craft beer, creative mashup, and indie music festival hosted in Boulder, Colorado” that celebrates “clean water and all its uses from farming to Colorado craft beer.”