We would like to thank

Wolcott Henry,

National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA),

Marine PhotoBank

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA),

and the Center for Disease Control

for the use of images.


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The Ocean Project provides this e-newsletter as a free service to 2,387 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
Three-Year Ocean Project Study to Benefit Partners
Marine Debris Breakthrough Study
Unsustainable Rise in Global Seafood Consumption
Children Detach From Nature and Explore Virtual World
Youths - the Green Movement's Stealth Weapon
Global Climate Change Poll Shows High Support for Action
The Ocean Project Launches New Website
Latest Ocean Report Card
New Resource in Marine Ecosystem-based Management
New Sea Grant Law and Policy Journal
Environmental Communication for Behavior Change Course
Certified Interpretive Guide Training
Shop for the Seas!
Communications Research Initiative - Helping to Create a Conservation Culture

The Ocean Project logoThe Ocean Project was recently awarded a three-year grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as part of its Environmental Literacy Grants program. The goal of this grant is to significantly increase the effectiveness of our Partners and others in the wider conservation community to bring about real behavior change in their millions of visitors and members. This research project will allow us to better understand how Americans think about the ocean, conservation, and sustainability, and how to better connect with the public to create measurable, lasting change. Essentially, we will learn how our Partner network and the wider conservation community can connect more effectively with the American public in order to build environmental literacy, and create a culture of conservation.

Nearly 10 years ago, The Ocean Project completed what remains the most comprehensive opinion research ever conducted on public attitudes, perceptions, and knowledge of the ocean. The research identified ways to communicate effectively for conservation and we provided our Partners with tools and recommendations on how to help build a more aware and active citizenry. Re-testing the 1999 findings will measure changes that have occurred and provide a more comprehensive metric for future evaluations. These data will be essential as the institutions, agencies and organizations of the conservation community work, both together and independently, to engage people, inform decision-makers, and enhance environmental literacy.

While this latest research project focuses on the ocean and our connection to it, we will take a holistic approach, with ramifications for anyone working on conservation and environmental sustainability. The research will have three phases: a qualitative research component, quantitative research, and proactive dissemination of the findings and recommendations. Additionally, we will be working with 10 sites to integrate the findings throughout the process. Dependent upon additional funding, we plan to redevelop our "Communicating for Conservation" staff training workshops.

The Ocean Project is also looking to leverage this Federal grant with funding from private foundations to conduct more intensive regional research and proactive dissemination of the findings and recommendations. We are looking to partner with institutions and organizations in several key cities and/or regions to better understand their local audiences' attitudes, values, knowledge, and connections to the ocean and the environment more broadly. If you are interested, please let us know.

For more information, or to pursue a possible partnership, please contact Bill Mott at: 401.709.4071 or

Read more about this research and action project at our new website!

Marine Debris Increased Over 5 Years According to Breakthrough Study
Brown Boobies on Marine Debris - NOAA photo library

The Ocean Conservancy is well known for their role in the fight against marine debris by their widely successful International Coastal Cleanup, now in its 22nd year. Many of our other Partners participate in this global event. The Ocean Conservancy has been doing a lot more for the fight against marine debris, however.

Over the past five years the Conservancy has been spearheading the National Marine Debris Monitoring Program, a first of its kind comprehensive and accurate nation-wide assessment of the marine debris problem. Key findings of the study just released will help federal and state agencies, as well as local communities better understand where trash in the ocean is coming from and will assist in developing solutions for preventing this serious problem.

Results from the study indicate that marine debris is a growing plague in the United States, and that certain regions face larger debris problems than others. "This milestone research shows us that trash comes from a number of activities in the ocean and on land. Trash in our ocean doesn't fall from the sky, it falls from our hands and it can be prevented," said Laura Capps, Senior Vice President for Communications and Outreach at The Ocean Conservancy.

View the full study.

Visit The Ocean Project website for resources on planning a community cleanup at your nearby stream, river, lake, beach, reef, or other freshwater or coastal habitat.
Vital Signs Shows Unsustainable Rise in Global Seafood Consumption

Seafood Market - NOAA photo libraryWorldwatch's 2007-2008 Vital Signs report tracks and analyzes 44 trends that are shaping our future and that directly and indirectly impact the health of our ocean. Of the 44 trends tracked by the report, 28 were "pronouncedly bad" and only six were positive.

One of the points highlighted in the report is that the rise in global seafood consumption comes as many fish species become scarcer. In 2004, people ate 156 million tones of seafood - three times as much seafood per person than in 1950. The key to improving the earth's 'vital signs' lies in more sustainable consumption patterns from the seafood we eat to the energy we use. While seafood is a delicious and nutritious treat we must consume wisely if resources are to last.

There are many simple tools you can use to make sure your seafood cravings are not starving the oceans of life. Start by checking out our consume consciously page and Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch Program. Take this quiz to see how savvy you are about sustainable seafood choices.
Children Detach From Natural World as They Explore the Virtual One

Children w/ video games - CDC

October 22, 2007
By Peter Fimrite, San Francisco Chronicle

Yosemite may be nice and all, but Tommy Nguyen of San Francisco would much prefer spending his day in front of a new video game or strolling around the mall with his buddies. What, after all, is a 15-year-old supposed to do in what John Muir called "the grandest of all special temples of nature" without cell phone service?

The notion of going on a hike, camping, fishing or backpacking is foreign to a growing number of young people in cities and suburbs around the nation, according to several polls and studies. Kids these days aren't digging holes, building tree houses, catching frogs or lizards, frolicking by the creek or even throwing dirt clods. "Nature is increasingly an abstraction you watch on a nature channel," said Richard Louv, the author of the book "Last Child in the Woods."

Environmentalists are worried that the next generation won't give a hoot about the spotted owl or other species. Others foresee trouble if children continue to be deprived of the many physical and psychological benefits that studies have shown nature and the outdoors provide.

A nationwide movement has begun to try to reverse the trend. Louv said he is convinced American youth can once again learn the glory of mucking around in the natural world as opposed to the virtual one. "That is essential to our humanity, and we can't deny that to future generations."

Read the full story and find resources for getting your kids outdoors: San Francisco Chronicle

Visit our kids' resources page for websites with ideas and lesson plans for getting kids outdoors and connected with nature.

Take action by getting involved with the national push to have Congress pass No Child Left Inside legislation.

Inconvenient Youths - the Green Movement's Stealth Weapon

Children Playing at Beach - NOAA photo library September 29, 2007
By Ellen Gamerman, The Wall Street Journal

'Mom, we gotta buy a hybrid!' Kids are becoming the green movement's stealth weapon, pressuring their parents on everything from light bulbs to composting.

Jim and Robyn Dahlin knew replacing the roof of their home in Greenbrae, Calif., would be expensive. But they hadn't planned to spend an extra $15,000 on solar panels. For that, they have their 8-year-old son, Luke, to thank.

In households across the country, kids are going after their parents for environmental offenses, from using plastic cups to serving non-grass-fed beef at the dinner table. Many of these kids are getting more explicit messages about becoming eco-warriors at school and from popular books and movies.

Kids were tapped by the green movement as early as the 1970s. Today, eco-marketers are going a step further -- not just teaching kids to recycle, but using them as a proxy in the war against their opponents. "It is the really, really young kids who are going to change their parents' behavior," says Phil Gutis, Natural Resources Defense Council spokesman.

Read full story: The Wall Street Journal
Global Poll on Climate Change Shows High Support for Action by All Countries

Global Warming Map - NASA

Large majorities around the world believe that human activity causes global warming and that strong action must be taken, sooner rather than later, in developing as well as developed countries to address the problem, according to a BBC World Service poll of 22,000 people in 21 countries.

The poll includes 14 of the 16 major economic powers invited by President Bush to Washington in late September this year to discuss climate change and energy security.

An average of eight in ten (79%) say that "human activity, including industry and transportation, is a significant cause of climate change." Nine out of ten say that action is necessary to address global warming. A substantial majority (65%) choose the strongest position, saying that "it is necessary to take major steps starting very soon."

"The strength of these findings makes it difficult to imagine a more supportive public opinion environment for national leaders to commit to climate action" said Doug Miller, President of GlobeScan, the international polling firm hired to conduct the poll.

See the full report: BBC World Service

Visit The Ocean Project's new and improved website with some of the latest environmental communications research and tools.
New Ocean Project Website Now Live!

Ocean Project Home PageIn a continued effort to better serve our Partners, The Ocean Project has launched a completely revamped website - a new look, updated and improved tools and resources, restructured content, and easier navigation.

You can connect to the global partner network, access a new effective communications tools and resources section, find top websites on all major conservation issues, get inspirational action content and ideas, and get Partner rates on conservation products all from the new site.

Latest Ocean Report Card Shows Failing Grades

Oceans in Peril - Worldwatch PublicationThe latest ocean report card, Oceans in Peril: Protecting Marine Biodiversity - a comprehensive study by Worldwatch Institute, is in and the grades are not good. Authors note that 76 percent of fish populations are fully or over-exploited and marine biodiversity is at severe risk.

Despite the disappointing grades, there might be hope yet for the ocean in ecosystem-based management, an approach which strives to manage marine resources within the limits of what the ecosystem can provide. In particular, creating "national parks of the sea," is essential to protect marine biodiversity, say the report's authors.

Visit the Worldwatch Institute's site for full summary and ordering information.

Visit The Ocean Project's compilation of the best aquatic and ocean conservation websites.

New Resource for Marine Ecosystem-based Managers and Educators

Marine Ecosystems and Management Quaterly_Logo

Marine ecosystem-based managers have an exciting new tool in their arsenal - the Marine Ecosystems and Management (MEAM) quarterly.

MEAM provides news, views, analysis, and tips gathered from experts in the field around the world. MEAM is produced by Marine Affairs Research and Education.

To read the first issue, subscribe, or contribute content visit the MEAM website.

New Sea Grant Law and Policy Journal

Sea Grant Law Center LogoThe National Sea Grant Law Center at the University of Mississippi announces the development of the new free Sea Grant Law and Policy Journal.

The Journal will feature concise, 30-35 page articles on a range of subjects including fisheries, coastal development, coastal access, and pollution. Unlike traditional law reviews, it will feature more applied research and case studies.

The inaugural symposium, March 25 - 26, 2008 will focus on coastal resiliency. Abstracts are due November 20, 2007.

Visit the National Sea Grant Law Center's website for more details.
Environmental Communication for Behavior Change

The Duke Environmental Leadership Program is offering the online course: Environmental Communication for Behavior Change, January 15-February 24, 2008.

Taught by Brian Day, one of the top environmental educators and communicators, this course provides environmental professionals with a practical introduction to the strategies, methods, and tools of environmental communication that effectively lead to changes in behavior. This course sounds like a great investment of time!

Register by December 17, 2007. To learn more visit Duke's website.

Certified Interpretive Guide Training

NAI Certified Interpretive Guide LogoThe National Association for Interpretation (NAI) is offering Certified Interpretive Guide Training at the Houston Zoo in Texas, December 3-6, 2007.

The program focuses on development and delivery of personal programs. It is designed to cover the basics of interpretation theory and practice. The 4 days of learning will be a mix of hands-on on activities, group activities, and animal viewing in an outdoor and classroom setting.

For more information please visit NAI's website.

Shop for the Seas!

2008 Seas the Day Ocean Conservation Calendar

The holiday season is upon us and the best gifts are those that make a positive change in people's lives and the health of our blue planet.

Packed with simple and meaningful conservation tips, inspirational quotes, and wonderfully personal images, the 2008 Seas the Day Conservation Calendar is the perfect gift for friends, family, and co-workers.

With support for printing from The Ocean Foundation, we are able to provide these conservation calendars to our Partners and their staff at special prices.

Shop for the Seas at our website - calendars and bookmarks are available for individual purchase and wholesale.
Seas the Day!
The Ocean Project