November 14, 2011

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November 13, 2011

On Sunday, The Colorado Ocean Coalition celebrated their first anniversary with an impressive lineup of ocean luminaries in a groundbreaking day-long ocean symposium.  ‘Making Waves in Colorado’ focused on how the Rocky Mountains, the ocean and all of us are inseparably linked.  Dr. Earle made it clear, “Even if you never touch the ocean, the ocean touches you with every breath you take.”

Until now, there has never been a unified voice for ocean protection in the Mountain States. The mission of the Colorado Ocean Coalition is to create a strong network made up of ocean enthusiasts. They are engaging scientists, activists, businesses and ocean supporters to address current threats to the ocean, which include overfishing, plastics pollution, ocean acidification, and a lack of marine protected areas. 

Opening remarks from Vicki Nichols Goldstein were followed by an introduction of Dr. Sylvia Earle, life-long ocean champion and Explorer-In-Residence with National Geographic. With a warm Colorado welcome and a standing ovation for Dr. Earle, the symposium was underway. 

Photo: Steve Houwen

 Colorado resident Louie Psihoyos has been a National Geographic photographer and won an Academy Award in 2009 for his documentary, “The Cove.”  He is the founder of the Oceanic Preservation Society (OPS),  a non-profit organization that creates film, photography, and media to inspire people to save the ocean. His work has moved people across the globe to take action, and hearing him speak is always an inspiration. 

David Helvarg packed up his cowboy boots for the trip from California to Colorado to give a talk on his book, ’50 Ways to Save the Ocean,’ with cartoonist Jim Toomey of ‘Sherman’s Lagoon’ fame assisting with live illustrations – a terrific presentation! 

Photo: Steve Houwen

Teens4Oceansand Keep it Clean offered programs for youth of all ages throughout the event, which was hosted at the Boulder Public Library. Learning workshops for teachers were given by Charlotte Vick of the ‘Explore The Ocean Layer’ by Google Earth, as well as by the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences(CIRES).

Participants also included the Colorado chapter of Sea Shepherd, the 5 Gyres Institute, the Oceanic Preservation Society, NOAA and the National Marine Sanctuaries Foundation, the Plastic Pollution Coalition, Windhorse Lightships L3C, Green Apple, and Wild Goose Engineering.  

The Colorado Ocean Coalition is committed to “Help the Ocean from a mile high,” and they are certainly off to a great start!

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