Summer Greetings

The Ocean Project provides this e-newsletter as a free service to 2,045 contacts at zoos, aquariums, museums, conservation organizations, schools, agencies, and others involved in our Partner network. We hope you will find it inspiring and useful in your work and life.

Please forward widely and encourage colleagues and friends to subscribe!

In this issue...

  • Feature : No child left inside
  • News from the Seas : Species discovery - Climate change poll and report - Help the penguins
  • An Ocean of Opportunity : Nonprofit governance resource - Global reef celebration - Shark Week - Sharkwater coming - Under the Mystic Sea released - World Ocean Day Update
  • Special Thanks

  No Child Left Inside
Environmental Education - Kids sampling river

Environmental education - so critical to helping develop environmentally concerned children and responsible
citizens - is facing a national crisis as a result of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and a dwindling of federal funding for environmental education.

Enacted in 2002, NCLB is unintentionally forcing many schools to scale back or eliminate environmental education programs in order to funnel more resources into preparation for high-stakes math and reading tests. Environmental education is also jeopardized nation-wide by a serious lack of funding. Campaign for Environmental Literacy (CEL), an Ocean Project partner, and several other groups have been leading the charge on these issues to help promote environmental, ocean, conservation and sustainability education at all age levels.

Ocean Project partners have an opportunity to help right now. Congress is rewriting NCLB and has the chance to include environmental education in the new version. A positive reauthorization of NCLB could hold exciting potential for aquariums, zoos, and conservation organizations across the nation to become active partners in the delivery of an improved environmental education for our children. Visit ee to learn more about the proposed changes.

Just in! On July 12, Representative John Sarbanes introduced the No Child Left Inside Act of 2007 (H.R. 3036), which urges Congress to include critical environmental education measures in the No Child Left Behind law. Additionally, Representative George Miller, chair of the pertinent committee, will introduce his NCLB bill very soon, and it is expected that Senator Jack Reed will introduce a Senate bill similar to Representative Sarbanes'.

Let Congress know how important environmental education is to your institution or organization and your visitors. Your Representative can help by co- sponsoring the No Child Left Inside Act of 2007 and fully supporting inclusion of environmental education in NCLB. Take e-action today! You can also go to ww for a sample letter that you can email and/or fax. Forwarding this information to your board members to act upon would be especially effective at this important time.
  "Treasure Trove" of Marine Life Discovered
spiney thing from NGS
Recent deep ocean explorations by a German scientific vessel may have discovered the seed of all marine life. More than 20,000 feet below, in the dark and cold of the Southern Ocean researchers entered a stunning world of marine diversity previously unknown to science. Researchers were astonished to uncover 700 plus species, including shrimp-like isopods, carnivorous sponges, free swimming worms, and molluscs.

The expedition was part of the Antarctic benthic deep- sea biodiversity project, and its discoveries could hold the key to an important unanswered question about the origin of marine life: did shallow water species colonize the deep ocean, or vice versa?

Research suggests there has been an intermingling of species of shallow and deep water origin with the advancing and retreating of sea ice. Characteristics of the species discovered in the deep Southern Ocean suggest they may have been the source of many modern forms of marine life.

Angelika Brandt, lead author of the research findings, recently published in Nature , commented, "The Antarctic deep sea is potentially the cradle of life of the global marine species. Our research results challenge suggestions that the deep sea diversity in the Southern Ocean is poor. We now have a better understanding in the evolution of the marine species and how they can adapt to changes in climate and environments."

Read more regarding this Antarctic "treasure trove" on the BBC's site.
See some images of these " weird new animals " on National Geographic's site.
ice sheet
A recent survey by ABC News, The Washington Post, and Stanford University found that the vast majority of Americans (some 84%) now believe that global warming has been occurring, while almost all Americans (94%) say they are willing to change some of the things they do to help the environment. In the same survey, one of every three Americans cited climate change as the biggest environmental problem facing the world, up dramatically from just one year earlier. Climate change was the most frequently cited problem in answers to this question, by a large margin. The poll also found that 7 out of 10 Americans want the federal government to take more action on global warming.

The survey took some first steps toward measuring public attitudes toward specific policies at particular costs, and the results of the poll challenge some common preconceptions. They show clearly that policies to combat global warming can command majority public support in the US, as long as they don't hit people's pockets too hard. Americans turn out to be suspicious of policies that use market forces to help bring down emissions, and are much more likely to support prescriptive regulations that tell companies exactly how they must achieve cuts. What's more, given the probable costs, action seems more likely to win public support if it targets electricity generation rather than private vehicles.

Read the full report: Americans' Evaluations of Policies to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions .

Read full article in New Scientist .
Climate change in NE report cover
The Northeast Climate Impact Assessment (NECIA), a collaboration between the Union of Concerned Scientists and a team of independent climate experts, continues to provide some of the best available science and information on climate change with its new July 2007 report: Confronting Climate Change in the U.S Northeast: Science, Impacts and Solutions . This easy to read and fully illustrated report considers the future Northeast climate under a high and low global greenhouse gas emissions scenario and provides matter-of-fact details on the resulting impacts to the region's freshwater supply, agricultural activity, winter recreation, human health, and coastal, marine, and forest ecosystems. For instance, the report paints a dismal picture regarding New England fisheries, once among the most abundant fisheries in the world: "As ocean temperatures continue to rise, the range of suitable habitat in the Northeast for many fish and shellfish species such as cod and lobster is projected to shift northward. Cod are expected to disappear from the region's waters south of Cape Cod during this century, under either emissions scenario. With higher emissions, the renowned fishing grounds of Georges Bank will likely lose its cod stocks. The lobster populations in Long Island Sound and the nearshore waters off Rhode Island and south of Cape Cod are expected to be lost by mid-century under either scenario." The report does, however, affirm that there are real solutions to reduce the extent of global climate change and urges readers to take action to see these solutions implemented. Read the NECIA press release to learn more and get state by state climate change fact sheets. These information sheets may be helpful in conveying information on this pressing issue to your visitors and members.

Extra on climate change : Additionally, one of the most concisely informative pieces of information on the issue of climate change was published recently in the journal, Science . The brief article, entitled Recent Climate Observations Compared to Projections , states: "The data available for the period since 1990 raise concerns that the climate system, in particular sea level, may be responding more quickly to climate change than our current generation of models indicates."
Climate change is having dire effects on all animals, from polar bears to penguins. Penguins have become closer to people's hearts for many reasons including most recently due to the films, March of the Penguins and Happy Feet. And penguins need your help. If your zoo, aquarium, museum or other type of educational organization can rally some of your visitors and members, we can help turn the tide for these beloved species!

Unusually warm ocean temperatures linked to global warming are putting a big damper on penguin food supply as the krill they depend on are quickly disappearing as a result of melting sea ice and industrial overfishing.

The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), a partner of The Ocean Project, is taking action to protect these magnificent creatures and needs your help. On November 28, 2006, CBD appealed to the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the 12 most vulnerable penguin species under the powers of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Last week FWS said it would officially consider 10 of the 12 species proposed for listing.

You can help keep those penguin feet (and bellies) happy! This summer encourage your visitors and members to speak out for the penguins they love so much! A 90-day public comment period has begun that will help determine if the penguin ESA listing proposal will be taken to the next level. Act fast ! You can speak for the penguins by submitting your comments to decision makers in the Fish and Wildlife Service. You can also email comments directly to the Federal government:
Urban institute logo
Nonprofit Governance in the United States
Findings on Performance and Accountability from the First National Representative Study
by Francie Ostrower

Nonprofit boards are increasingly a focus of those interested in greater accountability and transparency, including policymakers, media, and the public. To help inform current policy debates and initiatives to strengthen nonprofit governance, the Urban Institute conducted the first ever national representative survey of nonprofit governance, with over 5,100 participants. This just-published report presents survey findings, discussing: relationships between public policy and governance, factors that promote or impede boards' performance of basic stewardship responsibilities, board composition and factors associated with board diversity and recruitment processes.

We believe this report, published by The Urban Institute, will be useful to many of The Ocean Project Partners, in particular the section that addresses an issue that many organizations face: ethnically homogenous board membership.

You can read the press release, Insular Boards Guide Many Nonprofits , or download the full 26 pp. report.
The International Coral Reef Initiative has designated 2008 as the International Year of the Reef (IYOR 2008). Coming at a crucial time for coral reefs, this year-long campaign of events and initiatives hosted by governments, non-governmental organizations, corporations, schools, and individuals around the world will raise awareness, promote conservation action and strengthen long-term constituencies for coral reef conservation. The Ocean Project encourages all our Partners to do more for reefs in 2008, and beyond. If you would like further information on IYOR 2008, or want to get involved, please visit or contact .

Stay tuned ! The Ocean Foundation , a Partner of and fiscal sponsor for The Ocean Project, is undertaking national polling work related to corals this fall. We will be helping disseminate the results, which will be useful to all our Partners working on these and related ocean issues.
shark week banner
The Discovery Channel marks its 20th anniversary of Shark Week, on July 29 - August 4. Tune in and then visit a live shark in the ocean or at your local zoo or aquarium . You can also celebrate this week for sharks by taking personal action to conserve them. Check out an Ocean Project Partner, including Shark Research Institute , the Shark Alliance , and the Whale Shark & Oceanic Research Center . They will provide information for action on their websites.
Get ready for an exciting new documentary on sharks and the ocean! Some, in Canada for instance, have already been able to view this amazing film. Others, like those of us in the US, will have to wait a few more weeks. If your institution would like to screen this exciting film, read on.

Sharks have been around for 400 million years, enough time to evolve into more than 350 species. Yet, recent studies show that 90% of all sharks worldwide have been killed and general perceptions of sharks have blinded many to the devastation that can result from declining shark populations. With sharks being critically important apex predators in the seas, this decimation has serious ramifications for the balance of life on earth.

Canadian filmmaker Rob Stewart, often quoted as saying shark attacks are actually "shark mistakes," wanted to change the way the world views sharks. Stewart set out to film an underwater documentary of these fascinating creatures and ended up in a dangerous battle regarding the illegal slaughter of sharks solely for their fins, a key ingredient in shark-fin soup. In a recent interview with The Today Show , Stewart told Matt Lauer "We ended up running while the [Costa Rican] coast guard was chasing us with machine guns. It turned into a really different human drama with a shark movie intertwined in it."

Filmed in high definition, Sharkwater takes the viewer into shark waters of the world, exposing not only the direct exploitation of sharks, but also the corruption that surrounds this issue. Through all the dangerous adventures, Stewart discovers these magnificent creatures have gone from predator to prey, and how despite surviving the earth's history of mass extinctions, they could easily be wiped out in a matter of years due to human greed.

Sharkwater will be released in major US markets in September on over 500 screens nationwide. Filmmaker, biologist, and star of the film, Rob Stewart, is eager to reach out to the public and speak to groups about the plight of sharks and his adventures filming. We encourage our Ocean Project Partners to contact him as he will be making a cross-country promotion/publicity tour and Rob would love to visit/speak with you and your visitors.

For more information about scheduling outreach opportunities, please contact Mike Schram at or 416-445-0544 ex. 147. For additional information about the film, check out the Sharkwater website .
Under the Mystic Sea album cover 50%
Where is the mystic sea? It's on the ice flows where Polar Bears forage for food and where Rock Penguins hang out, it's on the sandy shore where sea turtles lay their eggs, it's "at the "Quarium where little fishes make googely-eyes and starium," and it's right in your bathtub blowing bubbles and singing songs about saving sharks!

Maria Sangiolo is making a big splash with her new CD, Under the Mystic Sea . This fusion of musical styles created for families and kids, particularly 2-9 years old, makes an appeal to celebrate and save our ocean. An entertaining and fun way to connect with people, music like this can help increase ocean awareness and help stimulate further learning and ocean-friendly living. Like Splash Zone with its catchy music at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, The Ocean Project saw Maria's release of this ocean-themed CD as an opportunity to help inspire many young children and their parents. The Seven C's Pledge - and information on how each listener can help conserve our ocean, no matter where they live - is included in each CD, and Maria will be distributing the new Seas the Day shark bookmarks on her tours.

With an award winning CD release behind her, a wonderful voice, and masterful musicianship, Maria is a terrific messenger. Complete with folk, folk-rock, hip- hop, swing, blues, and rock and roll, Under the Mystic Sea has a style for everyone. Visit Maria's website to learn more about the artist. Interested Ocean Project Partners and friends can buy directly from or can obtain booking information and wholesale prices for your retail by contacting Stephanie Rothschild at .
The Ocean Project would like to thank all of our Partners that participated in World Ocean Day this year. World Ocean Day 2007 included more events than ever across the globe from America to Australia and Ireland to India.

This year, many major NGOs participated and the media also paid more attention. We are compiling events and media coverage but a nearly complete listing of events can be found on our website, .

This year we also launched a global drive for one million signatures to the petition to the United Nations . We developed the petition in partnership with the World Ocean Network . The petition asks the UN to officially designate World Ocean Day as June 8th each year (it has been unofficially celebrated for more than a dozen years). So, even though this year's event has passed, we encourage all Partners to continue to collect signatures from your visitors and members. It's an easy way you can help make a real difference. Please download a hard copy of the Petition (signed petitions can be sent directly to our office at P.O. Box 2506, Providence, RI 02906, USA) or sign electronically throughout the year. We plan to present the signatures to the UN at their General Assembly in September 2008.

One major push that we are currently undertaking to help spread the word and generate more interest and action is to translate the World Ocean Day website into many languages. This year we began by translating the entire site into Spanish . It has been translated into a few other languages, too, and we will be making those updates this summer as we completely overhaul our website.

We continue to seek volunteers to help us to translate the website into more languages (see below). If you or someone you know could help, please contact our World Ocean Day coordinator, Denise Washko ( ).
  Special Thanks!
The Ocean Project would especially like to thank the following foundations for their generous support again this year:

- The Curtis and Edith Munson Foundation

- The Keith Campbell Foundation for the

- A foundation that prefers to remain anonymous and has also supported us for the last few years

We would also like to thank The Henry Foundation and The Ocean Foundation for supporting production of the 2008 Seas the Day desktop conservation calendar. Special thanks to Wolcott Henry , for his amazing images. The Ocean Foundation's sponsorship of the calendar has allowed us to provide this unique conservation education product essentially at cost to our Partners.

We would also like to extend our thanks to Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay - for contributing a portion of their admission revenue each year during their World Ocean Day celebration. We couldn't do what we do without support like this from our Partners. Consider supporting us today!

In addition, The Ocean Project would like to express our sincere thanks to everyone who has generously volunteered their time to translate the World Ocean Day website and thereby help us reach an even larger audience: Sandra Robles-Gil Mestre (Spanish), Ivo Grigorov (Bulgarian), Marysia Szymkowiak (Polish), Alejandra Cornejo (Spanish), Felipe Duque (Spanish), and Zdravka Tzankova (Bulgarian and Danish).

Finally, we would like to thank Kristin Hoffman for letting us feature her inspirational Song for the Ocean on our website. You will be hearing much more about Kristin in the near future.

Thank you!

Celebrate our ocean. Make every day World Ocean Day!

The Ocean Project would like to thank NOAA Photo Library and Wolcott Henry for the use of their images.