I’d like to share some insight on what I’ve learned from a great organization called The Online Ocean Symposium founded by Andrew Kornblatt. I met Andrew at the SXSW Eco conference in October of 2014. This online forum functions as a global space for discussion, interaction, and outreach specifically dealing with ocean issues.
Through the use of Google Hangouts on air, Andrew invites inspirational ocean leaders and representatives around the world to join a live streaming forum to talk about their individual efforts. This is a great way to bring together all of these influential leaders in policy, science, and exploration for the protection of our oceans in one space, not only to showcase their work, but also to encourage citizens around the world to take action from home.
Recently Andrew sent me the Top 5 Ocean Hangouts of 2014. Let’s dive right in and take a look at some of the most inspiring information I walked away with. Andrew put together an impressive panel for his “Our Ocean’s Conference” Hangout including Fabien Cousteau from the Aquarius Reef Base of Mission 31, Kip Evans underwater photographer of Mission Blue, Sylvia Earle, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence and more.
Streaming live from his underwater world, Fabien stressed the importance of looking at our ocean as a Natural Resource Bank Account. Healthy oceans serve as a natural resource bank for current and future generations. Our oceans need to be highlighted and included on every front so we can begin to make the necessary strides for healthy oceans. Check out more information on Fabien Cousteau’s 3-week underwater exploration at Mission 31.
Growing up in Atlanta and now living in Austin, one question asked during the panel that struck me as very important was“How can people, who live in landlocked cities or states, take immediate action to help our oceans?” The panelists came up with a variety of solutions:
- If you eat fish always make sure you ask if the fish was sustainably caught so you aren’t supporting unsustainable fishing practices. Use the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Guide Watch to make smarter decisions on what seafood you’re purchasing.
- Say no to plastic bags and plastic bottles. Always carry your reusable bags and water bottle with you. A million pounds of plastic makes its way into our oceans every hour of every day according to Fabien Cousteau.
- Write or call your congressmen and tell them your concerns for ocean issues, every voice counts.
- How you throw away your trash is extremely important. Even if you live inland, it’s incredible how everything we use can make its way back to our oceans at some point. Always recycle everything you can and start composting if possible!
I gained great advice and learned about some exciting actions taking place for our oceans from Andrew’s “Our Ocean’s Conference” Hangout. Make sure to check out his Top 5 Ocean Hangouts of 2014 for more ocean related news and 2015 updates!