Photo Credits:

Wolcott Henry

National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA)

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Marine PhotoBank

Jean-Michel Cousteau Ocean Adventures

California Ocean Communicators Alliance

and Eyewire
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In This Issue

Center for Ocean Solutions brings new hope for a healthy ocean
Race for unclaimed seabed
Whales vs. Navy – the sonar battle continues
The carbon crisis: Coral reefs on the brink of collapse
New funding and action opportunities for environmental education
"Communicating Science" workshop report available
Status on the reefs of the deep
JMCousteau's Ocean Adventures continues with grant opportunities
Save the ocean while dropping 41lbs
"Get blue" about cleaning!
SF Ocean Film Festival rolls out blue carpet
World Ocean Day just 143 days away!
Society for Conservation Biology meeting in Tennessee, July
National Marine Educators Association conference in Georgia, July
AZA conference in Milwaukee, September
2008 International Aquarium Congress in Shanghai, October
Partner Spotlight: Teens for Planet Earth at the Bronx Zoo
Special notice to all Partners
Special thanks to the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center!
Seas the Day ocean conservation calendars 50% off!
Center for Ocean Solutions brings new hope for a healthy ocean
Center for Ocean Solutions Monterey Bay Aquarium News Release - January 9, 2008

People have long depended on healthy oceans for food, recreation and commerce. But this irreplaceable resource is in dire trouble, say marine scientists, largely because of human impacts-from pollution to poorly managed fisheries to climate change.

To address these and other major threats to the marine environment, Stanford University, the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) have joined forces to create the Center for Ocean Solutions, a new collaboration that will bring together international experts in marine science and policy to find innovative ways to protect and restore the world's oceans. The Center for Ocean Solutions will be managed by Stanford's Woods Institute for the Environment.

"The Monterey Bay area has a breadth and depth of marine research that is unparalleled in the United States," said Woods Institute co-director Jeffrey Koseff, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford. "The faculty at Hopkins are among the very best marine biologists in the world. Right next door is the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which has a phenomenal capacity to reach people and teach them in a very understandable way about the oceans. Just up the coast is MBARI, which is a world leader in deploying technology for oceanic exploration. And on the main Stanford campus there is a thriving community of oceanographers, engineers and legal scholars working on near-coastal ocean and fisheries challenges. Through the Center for Ocean Solutions, we can bring together all of this science, engineering, policy and outreach expertise and apply it to solving these critical environmental problems."

View the full story from Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Learn more! Visit The Ocean Project's website to explore the major ocean issues.

Do more! Seas the Day and be part of the ocean solution.

The Race for unclaimed seabed
Nautical Charting_NOAA by Owen Bowcott
Mail&Guardian Online - January 9, 2008

The race to exploit the last unexplored wildernesses on Earth is intensifying. Survey ships have been dispatched across the oceans, and marine consultants hired. Submersibles are being lowered into inky depths to record underwater contours and take sedimentary samples. Politicians around the globe, waving their countries' flags, have boasted about securing oil, gas and mineral resources for future generations. However, these extensive sub-sea claims have been condemned by environmentalists as the last great colonial "land grabs" and a menace to undisturbed, submarine eco-systems. They have also been blamed for destabilizing the international treaty regime protecting the Antarctic.

Yet the expansion of state sovereignty across the ocean floor beyond the traditional 200-mile limit does not constitute a breach of international maritime law. It is being conducted through the rarefied proceedings of the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS).

There is a flurry of international activity as the clock counts down for the 50 or so countries that ratified the treaty for which the deadline for presenting submissions expires on May 13, 2009. Scientists are also waking up to the threat of deep-water drilling and excavations polluting sensitive ecological niches and helping raise global temperatures.

View full story from Mail&Guardian Online.

Whales vs. Navy – the sonar battle continues
Gray whale_NOAA Whales thought they had the battle won:
By Kenneth R. Weiss
Los Angeles Times - January 4, 2008

A federal judge in Los Angeles on Thursday ordered the toughest set of restrictions ever imposed on the U.S. Navy's use of mid-frequency sonar off the Southern California coast as part of a protracted court battle to protect whales and other marine mammals from underwater sonic blasts.

The order was the first time the judge has spelled out specific rules the Navy must follow to avoid a court-imposed ban on training missions with a type of sonar that has been linked to the death and panicked behavior of whales and dolphins.

U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper ordered the Navy to refrain from using the powerful submarine-hunting sonar within 12 miles of the coast, a corridor heavily used by migrating gray whales, dolphins and other marine mammals.

She also ordered that the Navy spend an hour before it starts any training mission searching for marine mammals in the area and that it continues using shipboard observers and aircraft to monitor for whales and dolphins while the sonar is in use.

If any marine mammals are spotted within 2,200 yards of a ship using sonar, the Navy will have to cease its use immediately.

More (free registration required)

Judge stands by her sonar ban:
By Kenneth R. Weiss
Los Angeles Times - January 15, 2008

A federal judge in Los Angeles declined Monday to set aside her order forbidding the Navy from using powerful sonar in training missions in Southern California waters unless it operates farther than 12 miles off the coast and adopts other measures to lessen the effect on whales and dolphins.

The Navy is expected to appeal Judge Florence Marie Cooper's decision and ask that her injunction temporarily be removed to allow training exercises to begin later this month without the restrictions.

More (free registration required)

Bush intervenes for Navy:
By Kenneth R. Weiss
Los Angeles Times - January 17, 2008

President Bush on Wednesday moved to exempt Navy sonar training missions off Southern California from complying with key environmental laws, an effort designed to free the military from court-ordered restrictions aimed at protecting whales and dolphins.

The battle pits concerns over injuries to marine mammals against troop readiness and national security. The Navy indicated Wednesday that it will not proceed with its training missions unless the injunction is set aside. The Justice Department, representing the Navy, asked a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to set aside the restrictions by Friday.

"We will vigorously oppose the president's illegal waiver of federal law," said Joel Reynolds, a senior attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council. Bush's action was "an end-run" around the nation's environmental laws, Reynolds said.

More (free registration required)

Learn more about the sonar issue.
The carbon crisis: Coral reefs on the brink of collapse
Coral Reef_Wolcott Henry Coral Reef Targeted Research Program (2007, December 14). Global Warming Is Destroying Coral Reefs, Major Study Warns. ScienceDaily.

The largest living structures on Earth and the millions of livelihoods which depend upon them are at risk, the most definitive review yet of the impact of rising carbon emissions on coral reefs has concluded.

If world leaders do not immediately engage in a race against time to save the Earth's coral reefs, these vital ecosystems will not survive the global warming and acidification predicted for later this century. That is the conclusion of a group of marine scientists from around the world in a major new study published in the journal Science on Dec. 13, 2007

"Our study shows that levels of CO2 could become unsustainable for coral reefs in as little as five decades. It's vital that the public understands that the lack of sustainability in the world's carbon emissions is causing the rapid loss of coral reefs, the world's most biodiverse marine ecosystem," said Drew Harvell, Cornell professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and head of the Coral Disease Research Team, which is part of the international Coral Reef Targeted Research (CRTR) group that wrote the new study.

"The livelihoods of 100 million people living along the coasts of tropical developing countries will be among the first major casualties of rising levels of carbon in the atmosphere," says Professor Hoegh-Guldberg, lead author of the Science paper, The Carbon Crisis: Coral Reefs under Rapid Climate Change and Ocean Acidification. "The warmer and more acidic oceans caused by the rise of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels threaten to destroy coral reef ecosystems, exposing people to flooding, coastal erosion and the loss of food and income from reef-based fisheries and tourism. And this is happening just when many nations are hoping that these industries would allow them to alleviate their impoverished state."

View full story in ScienceDaily.

Link to Science article.

Learn more about coral reefs.  

Do more to help protect coral reefs and advocate for better policies.

Celebrate more! Connect with the folks at International Year of the Reef (IYOR 2008) and get ready for World Ocean Day 08.

New funding and action opportunities for environmental education
Earth NOAA's Office of Education (OED) is now accepting applications for environmental literacy grants for K-12 education. Funded projects will be between 1 and 5 years in duration and will promote changes in K-12 education to expand the amount of "Earth System Science" taught in the classroom and improve student learning and application of that knowledge to environmental issues.

Pre-proposals are required and are due February 20, 2008. Full proposals due June 25, 2008.

Visit NOAA's OED website for the full announcement and additional information.
The Omnibus FY08 Appropriations bill finalized by the U.S. Congress in late December provides more funding specifically for environmental education grantmaking than any prior year in history ($26 million compared to $13 million for FY07).

Groups like the Campaign for Environmental Literacy (CEL), dedicated to strengthening national policy and legislation for environmental education (EE), and other Ocean Project Partners have been helping to increase appropriations for EE as well as supporting the No Child Left Inside movement. According to CEL "never in our nation's history has Congress given environmental education so much consideration, discussion, and funding." CEL describes the new totals, however, as "still quite modest compared to other academic subjects," and urges supporters to keep the pressure on over the coming year!

Learn more about the No Child Left Inside movement and why outdoor education is so important.

Visit The Ocean Project's website for other great environmental education resources.

Take action: Tell the U.S. Congress to support Environmental Education in the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act.

Report on OCA's 2007 "Communicating Science" workshop
OCA Ocean Communicators Workshop The California Ocean Communicators Alliance (OCA), a group of over 200 communications professionals who are "creating a strong voice for the ocean in California," held their first two-day workshop "Communicating Science" last August in Santa Barbara. Over 50 communicators representing ocean-related agencies, organizations and businesses in California were present.

The workshop identified key messages for top ocean topics in California as well as provided workshop participants with expertise and experience in communicating those messages through new and traditional media outlets. Even though the OCA focuses on California, the workshop report should be helpful to all Ocean Project Partners striving to better communicate ocean science and conservation with the public.

The report can be downloaded from (or in PDF) along with all handouts and presentations from the workshop.

Visit The Ocean Project's website for more environmental communication resources.

Status on the reefs of the deep
The State of Deep Coral Ecosystems of the US 2007 The Coral Reef Conservation Program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released The State of Deep Coral Ecosystems of the United States. The report provides new insight into the complex and biologically rich habitats found in deeper waters off the U.S. coast including its Caribbean and Pacific territories. The report is organized into regional chapters each written by experts in the field of deep coral research.

The report was called for in the President's Ocean Action Plan and illustrates that deep corals, also known as "deep sea" or "cold-water" corals, are likely much more extensive and important to ocean ecosystems than previously known. The report also discusses the vulnerability of deep corals to human activities and responsive management actions by NOAA.

Read more online or download a full color copy of the report.

Request a printed copy or CD of the report by contacting:

Celebrate our world's reefs! Connect with the folks at International Year of the Reef (IYOR 2008) and get ready for World Ocean Day 08.

Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ocean Adventures continues in 2008 with grant opportunities
Jean-Michel Cousteau A generation ago, Jacques-Yves Cousteau revealed the ocean's mysteries to millions of landlocked television viewers, and inspired a groundswell of public awareness of the unique problems faced by the world's ocean. Cousteau is legendary in the work that The Ocean Project and our Partners continue today.

Now, 30 years later, Jacques' son Jean-Michel Cousteau and his expedition team continue this legacy in Jean-Michel Cousteau: Ocean Adventures - a national PBS high-definition television series that takes us on a global journey through spectacular seascapes and enlightens us on the delicate balance of the ocean's ecology. The series premiered in 2006 and has so far included four episodes.

Follow the adventure in 2008 as they continue their exploration, this time on the world's mightiest river. Return to the Amazon, a two-part episode, will air in the US on April 2 and 9 on PBS. Return to the Amazon's April premiere presents a great opportunity in advance of World Ocean Day on June 8th to raise awareness about our close connection to our blue backyard through mighty rivers like the Amazon, small streams, and our household drains.

The Ocean Adventures educational team will be offering outreach grants to PBS stations across the country to form partnerships with a local zoo, aquarium, or other environmental organizations to introduce educators to Ocean Adventures' resources. Stations and their partner organizations will also plan and host World Ocean Day events.

If your organization is interested in participating in this grant program, please contact your local PBS station. Grant proposals will be submitted by stations the first week of February.

Please contact Andrea Swensrud at with questions or for more information about the Ocean Adventures educational outreach campaign.

Visit the Ocean Adventures website.

Learn more about World Ocean Day.

Photograph courtesy of Ocean Futures Society.

Save the ocean while dropping 41lbs
41pounds.org_logoDid you know that the average American adult receives 41 pounds of junk mail per year? All this adds up to more than 100 million trees cut each year, plus 28 billion gallons of water, and enough energy to power 2.8 million cars. Enough already! makes it easy for you to do your part. Help stop your junk mail and catalogs and keep trees in the forests doing what they do best: providing clean air for us to breathe, taking in C02 to keep our planet cooler, and keeping watersheds and, ultimately, the ocean healthy.

For just $41, the folks at do all the leg-work to reduce your junk mail by 80-95% for five years including almost all credit card applications, coupon mailers and magazine offers, plus any catalogs you specify.

Sign up to slim down by 41 pounds today, and in the process you can also choose to have $15 of the paid amount go to helping The Ocean Project continue to do our work with and for you and our other Partners!

It's simple and effective! Sign up online to stop your junk mail or call (866) 417-4141.

Free postcards about this new service are available in bulk for distribution at Earth Day, World Ocean Day, and other events. If interested, you can contact Bill Mott at The Ocean Project anytime at 401.709.4071 or

Got the cleaning blues? It's good to "get blue" about cleaning!
Epic Cleaning ProductsAs part of our ongoing efforts to help our Partners and the public lead healthier, more ocean-friendly lives, The Ocean Project encourages you to "get blue" about your cleaning with EPIC - Environmental Products for Important Causes.

As featured in many leading magazines, EPIC has an ocean-friendly line of household and janitorial cleaning products that are biodegradable, all natural, made with renewable raw materials (no petroleum based products), and affordable. For our Partner institutions, concerned entrepreneurs and employees please check out their janitorial line. Also check out how you can make your home cleaning ocean-friendly! 

EPIC stands apart from other all-natural cleaning companies; they donate 100% of their profits after taxes to environmental causes. For each "Starter Kit" or "Save the Seas Kit" you purchase you can direct EPIC to contribute $5.00 directly to The Ocean Project to help us continue our conservation education work with our Partners around the world.

The Ocean Project would like to extend an ocean of thanks to Environmental Products for Important Causes (EPIC) for their recent contribution from their sales of ocean-friendly cleaning products.

SF Ocean Film Festival rolls out blue carpet
San Francisco Ocean Film Festival 2008 Swimmers braving the waters of the North Pole, sea birds coming back from extinction in Bermuda and eco-savvy fishermen in Papua New Guinea are just a few of the stars that will be gracing the giant screen when the SFOFF returns to the Cowell Theatre at Fort Mason on February 1-3, 2008.

Now in its fifth year, SFOFF 2008 will feature more than four-dozen documentary, and animated films from around the world, including deep dives into marine science, coastal cultures, ocean exploration and saltwater sports. As in the past, programs will include talks by filmmakers and content experts.

Tickets available online at

World Ocean Day just 143 days away!
World Ocean Day_logo With World Ocean Day 2008 just over four months away - on June 8th - there is still time to plan a World Ocean Day event!

World Ocean Day allows us to collectively engage the global audience in protecting and conserving the ocean we all share. In order to better make the connection between climate change and the health of our world's ocean, we are encouraging Partners to focus on "helping our climate/helping our ocean" with a special focus on coral reefs for World Ocean Day 2008. This themed focus also allows us to strategically take advantage of International Year of the Reef (IYOR) 2008 and all the attention that will be focused on coral reefs this year.

In 2008, we are continuing our collaboration with the World Ocean Network in promoting World Ocean Day. Together, we are striving for its official recognition by the United Nations as an international day of celebration and have a petition that we hope you will not only sign, but also use at your organization or facility throughout this year to generate public support for our world's ocean. We continue to translate it into different languages and if you are able to help with that, please contact us.

Remember to visit the World Ocean Day Website at for more information, resources, and tools, including a suite of event ideas. Once you have your plans for World Ocean Day please list your event on the Website so that we can help to promote it with all our Partners and the media. We will be creating many more web features and tools, including an interactive map for World Ocean Day events around our blue planet. For more information on coral reefs, located in both tropical and colder waters, and their incredibly diverse life forms, please visit our recommended resources on coral reefs as well as on climate change.

From the Mountains to the Sea: Society for Conservation Biology meeting, July
Society for Conservation Biology_logoIn the spirit of John Muir's famous quote, "When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe" the 2008 meeting of SCB will take place in Chattanooga, Tennessee USA from July 13-17, 2008 under the theme "From the Mountains to the Sea."

The SCB meeting will explore land conservation and terrestrial diversity, freshwater ecosystems, and coastal and marine conservation both as separate and connected entities.

The meeting is recognized to be the most important international meeting for conservation professionals and students. It is a venue for presenting and discussing new research and developments in conservation science and practice, and is a forum for addressing conservation challenges.

Registration for this event opens January 23, 2008.

For more information visit the Meeting website.

One World, One Water, United in Marine Education: NMEA conference, July
NMEA One World _One Water_Conference logo Join marine education professionals from across the nation and around the world, July 21-24, 2008 in Savannah, Georgia for the National Marine Educators Association (NMEA) 2008: One World, One Water, United in Marine Education conference.

The conference will showcase cutting edge marine research, methods and creative ways to inspire and educate the public about the ocean. The NMEA program committee seeks a diverse group of presenters including researchers, educators, resource managers and a host of others to share ideas, programs, and current trends in marine/aquatic education and research.

The call for presenters form is now online.

Deadline for proposal entries is February 15, 2008.

For more information visit the Conference website.

Save the Date! AZA Conference in Milwaukee, September
Association of Zoos and Aquariums_logo The Association of Zoos and Aquariums' (AZA) 84th annual conference will take place September 15th - 18th , 2008 in Milwaukee, hosted by the
Milwaukee County Zoo.
Don't miss your chance to take part- the AZA Program Committee is now accepting program proposals for sessions and posters.

The deadline for submitting proposals is March 28th, 2008.

Proposals can be submitted in one of the following program tracks:
  • Animal Management and Conservation
  • Business Operations (includes Gift Shops, Concessions, Technology,
    Guest Services and Human Resources)
  • Public Relations and Marketing
  • Development/Fundraising and Membership
  • Volunteer and Docent Management
  • Other

Get more information about the 2008 conference.

Get more information about submitting a proposal.

Register Now! 2008 International Aquarium Congress in Shanghai, October
IAC 2008_LogoThe International Aquarium Congress (IAC) is an important and prestigious event for the public aquarium industry held every four years. The IAC gathers professionals from public aquariums all around the world to share and learn about new developments in conservation, research, technology, management and other related issues for the industry. A mini exhibition is also held concurrently during the event, for businesses that offer products or services for the public aquarium industry.

The Shanghai Ocean Aquarium is organizing the 7th IAC to be held October 20th - 24th, 2008 at the Shanghai International Convention Center under the theme, "Progress and Conservation: The role of aquariums in protecting the aquatic environment."  The Ocean Project will be there and hope you will make the event, too! Registrants get a 14% discount before January 31, 2008. Presentation requests are due by the same date.

To register, submit a presentation proposal, and learn more visit the IAC 2008 website.

Partner Spotlight: Teens for Planet Earth at the Bronx Zoo
Teens for Planet Earth The Wildlife Conservation Society's Teens for Planet Earth (TPE) is an international program developed by the Bronx Zoo's Education Department. TPE helps teens learn more about our environment and conservation, develop a service-learning project that will impact their corner of the globe, and gain recognition with its annual Service Awards. TPE also supports educators and adult leaders who are interested in working with teens.

Check out Teens for Planet Earth's website packed with great resources to make a real difference!

Special notice to all Partners
TOP_logo 220x88 The Ocean Project receives voluntary contributions from time to time from our Partners, and we thank you very much!

This past year we invested heavily in a number of initiatives that we feel will significantly aid the conservation efforts of our Partners. We launched a new interactive and dynamic Website to provide our Partners with the latest information, resources, and tools to help you do your job even better, and to better connect Partners to build synergies. Additionally, we are expanding our environmental communications research initiative to develop more effective conservation communications strategies and tools for you to use; we also received multiple-year funding from the Federal government to conduct national public opinion research that will help Partners better understand their audience and develop effective messages and programs; the grant also allows us to develop proactive outreach initiatives with Partners, to be determined, in 10 key cities. In addition, we continue to provide creative action ideas for you to adopt through the Seas the Day initiative, as well as provide the latest news, resources, events, and opportunities for action through our electronic communications.

To help continue these exciting initiatives that will be increasingly valuable to all our Partners, we are requesting that each Partner consider making an annual contribution to The Ocean Project. Partner contributions also help us leverage further funding resources from private foundations, individuals, corporations, and government sources.

Any amount, from $50 to $5,000 is most welcome! A Partner that contributes $500 or more to The Ocean Project becomes a Supporting Partner and one contributing $5,000 or more becomes a Sustaining Partner. Partners that contribute will be prominently featured in all our materials, on our new Websites, and with our foundation and corporate funding contacts. These special Partners receive other benefits, based on their level of giving, such as highest priority in our information brokering and proactive dissemination of important resources, tools, and research, as well as the opportunity for closer partnership on joint fundraising opportunities.

We are pleased to help Supporting and Sustaining Partners with ideas, information, resources, and connections in developing or expanding any programs, presentations, exhibits, or other related public education and outreach initiatives. Sustaining Partners additionally have the opportunity to receive a one-day conservation communication workshop for your staff and/or docents, including an audit of your institution’s effectiveness at conservation education.

We can provide an invoice to expedite the contribution process and ask that institutions give based on their annual budget or annual attendance level but appreciate any level of support. Please email the Director at: for more information on becoming a contributing Partner. Thank you!

Special thanks to the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center!
Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center_logo The Ocean Project extends an ocean of thanks to the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center for their continued contribution to The Ocean Project as a Supporting Partner.

Supporting Partner contributions go directly toward helping us continue our conservation education work with you and our other Partners around the world!

Check out the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center.

Learn more about becoming a Partner in The Ocean Project's growing global network.

Learn more about becoming a Sustaining or Supporting Partner, too
Last chance to buy! Seas the Day ocean conservation calendars 50% off!
2008 Calendar Front and Back