The New York Times today gives us information from every prominent scientific organization on climate that now is the time to pay attention to the signs of warming in our oceans. This article, primarily about the decline of the ice in the Arctic, talks about the significance of the ice melt as a catalyst for trapping the sun’s heat as the white of the ice is replaced with the dark ocean, in turn, melting more ice. Research scientist at The Snow and Ice Center, Walt Meier, says that “the Arctic is the earth’s air-conditioner” and that “it’s not just the polar bears might go extinct, or that the native communities might have to adapt, which we’re already seeing-there are larger climate effects.” Dr. James E. Hansen, a prominent NASA climate scientist, warns that “the scientific community realizes that we have a planetary emergency.” Time for all of us to take emergency action by reducing “human release of greenhouse gases” and take responsibility for the part we all play in this scenario.
Women Working for Oceans wants you to know about the importance of the Plastic Free Campus program from Plastic Pollution Coalition.
Women Working for Ocean’s (W2O) March talk “Plastics in the Ocean, Plastic in You”, powerfully presented by Dianna Cohen, artist and co-founder of Plastic Pollution Coalition (PPC), inspired an avalanche of ongoing behavior change here in M.A. We learned so much from Dianna and PPC and we are thrilled with the initiatives in our communities and schools that have taken root because of their guidance.
PPC continues to make major strides in its work towards a world free of plastic pollution. PPC’s project, Plastic Free Campuses, has been short-listed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for a grant, and several other organizations have expressed their commitment to support the program.
Currently, PPC is raising funds for the kick off of the next phase of Plastic Free Campuses: 1500 campuses around the world working to reduce their plastic footprint. It is a great time to support their work. There are all levels of giving that make a huge impact on the success of this program.
Please use the links below and consider supporting the great work of this organization! They are making our oceans a healthier place for generations to come.
This Weekend! Don’t Miss Out! Wrecking Ball event to celebrate the renovations of the Great Ocean Tank at NEAq
Mark your calendars for the most exciting evening September 15th at the New England Aquarium. Cocktails around the Great Ocean Tank, dinner with food by renown chef Ming Tsai and dancing at the most beautiful of Boston’s water front venues, the Harbor View Terrace Pavilion. Be part of the celebration as the New England Aquarium begins its transformation of the Great Ocean Tank.
The New England Aquarium and other “informal science venues” such as zoos and other aquariums will be ready to educate visitors about the very complex topic of climate change thanks, in part, to a grant of 5.5 million dollars from the National Science Foundation. The grant will help The New England Aquarium, a leader in climate change research, communicate the science of climate change and its impact on marine ecosystems. http://news.neaq.org/2012/08/55-million-grant-for-climate-change.html
Heather Tausig, Associate Vice President of Conservation at the New England Aquarium, shared this special announcement with W2O and we are happy to pass it on to you!
The New England Aquarium’s Marine Conservation Action Fund will be hosting a special guest speaker at the Aquarium on August 21st. Mr. Didiher Chacon Chaverri, Director of the Latin American Programs for the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST), will discuss the sea turtle protection programs WIDECAST has spearheaded on the Pacific and Caribbean coasts of Costa Rica, efforts that were supported by MCAF grants in 2011 and 2012. Mr. Chaverri will speak about the diverse methods WIDECAST uses to improve the plight of sea turtles, including, nightly patrols to protect sea turtle nests from poachers, rescue and rehabilitation of injured turtles, and outreach and education programs for local communities. He will also speak about volunteer opportunities available through WIDECAST to do hands-on sea turtle conservation work in Costa Rica.
The New England Aquarium is honored to host Mr. Chaverri and to share an inspiring example of the important conservation impact being made by MCAF grantees all over the world. We hope you will be able to join us for his talk at 7pm on August 21st at the Aquarium’s Harborside Learning Lab. The web-link to RSVP for this event can be found on the Aquarium’s “Lecture Series” page: http://www.neaq.org/education_and_activities/programs_and_classes/aquarium_lecture_series/index.php.
On July 31st, W2O co sponsored an event at Harvard called Living Light that featured Sylvia Earle, Explorer in Residence at National Geographic, along with Professor of Natural Science and bioluminescence expert, J. Woody Hastings and featuring a dance performance by Kirstin McArdle Dance company.
Ms. Earle spoke eloquently about her mission to increase awareness about the plight of our ocean and told a wonderful story about reminding the folks at Google Earth to include the Oceans in their website. She described committing the faux pas of calling the site “Google Dirt” http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/02/090202-google-oceans-missions.html and as a result of her comments, she was enlisted to help with the creation of Google Ocean. Knowledge and passion speaks volumes when recruiting ocean stewards. Her passion and wisdom inspires us to continue to fight for healthy oceans.
This event, co-sponsored by W2O along with our friends at Pleiades and Harvard University will highlight the beauty and importance of bioluminescence and conservation. Dr. Sylvia Earle, explorer in residence, National Geographic and Mission Blue Foundation for the protection of marine areas around the globe, will join scientists, artist and dancers for an evening of education and wonder. Join us on July 31st at 6pm. Seating is limited, so hurry!
Here in M.A. we are blessed to live near the ocean and we enjoy and depend upon it as a gift of food and recreation. That is why the difficult conversation about pollution should be on every residents lips this week. And, of course, one of the biggest culprits of pollution here in M.A. and across the country is single use plastic. It is difficult to change our habits regarding this problem but there is one solution that I think we can all agree on-carrying reusable bags to the grocery store.
Massachusetts has the opportunity to join countries around the world in reducing plastics that pollute our oceans and are ingested by the fish and wildlife that we eat. Join us by taking action and spreading the word about the Massachusetts Plastic Bag Reduction Bill (http://www.malegislature.gov/Bills/187/House/H01990 and http://www.malegislature.gov/Bills/187/Senate/S00353).
If passed, Massachusetts would be the first state in the United States to pass a bill that takes a strong stand and spreads an important message about this crucial topic that effects people around the globe, including all of us right here in Massachusetts.
- REFUSE (the fourth “R” of Reuse, Recycle, Reduce) purchasing and using single use plastics
- Become a member of W2O by signing up on our website: womenworkingforoceans.org
- Write to your legislator and tell her or him how important the Mass. Plastic Bag Reduction is to you and why.
To find your legislator: http://www.malegislature.gov/people/findmylegislator and type in your town’s name.
Here is a sample letter for your use:
Dear Representative ,
I am writing to you today in support of Representative Lori Ehlrich’s (Marblehead) initiative of the Massachusetts Plastic Bag Reduction Bill: http://www.malegislature.gov/Bills/187/House/H01990 and http://www.malegislature.gov/Bills/187/Senate/S00353
As a constituent of __________, I am increasingly concerned about the amount of single use plastic that clogs our waterways, streams, finally collecting in our oceans, polluting our marine life and ingested by the seafood that we serve our families. As a Massachusetts resident, I am concerned about the impact of single use plastic on our ocean economy of fisheries, tourism, recreational water sports, and ocean transport systems. Like many countries and communities around the world, we can reduce the plastic pollution that ends up in our oceans and food by using reusable non plastic grocery bags. Please support the Massachusetts Plastic Bag Reduction Bill.
Please include your contact details including your address.
Seems like there are many opportunities to make the right choice regarding Single Use Plastic. REFUSE is the most important part of curbing the habit of choosing single use plastic in our every day lives. Keeping a place holder in our minds about the effect that plastic has on the oceans and on us is the most important step in making a difference. We can’t always make big life changes but we all can take small steps to reducing plastic waste. Choose the ceramic cup over the plastic cup! Every small step counts! Carry a reusable bag to the grocery store and support the Massachusetts Plastic Bag Reduction Bill by going to womenworkingforoceans.org and clicking on the “Take Action” tab for information on writing to your legislator. You can also scan down to the Blog on the Plastic Bag Reduction Bill below on this page. Small steps make a big difference.
Women Working for Oceans (Donna Hazard, chairwoman, pictured left with Legal’s tour guide, Marnie) organized a great tour of Legal Sea Foods in Boston followed by lunch with Legal’s President and CEO Roger Berkowitz, Executive Chef Rich Vellante (pictured below), Seafood Buyer Tom Matthews and Director of Marketing Ida Faber.
The tour at the Legal Sea Foods’ Quality Control Center included a look at the processing plant and the food safety laboratory, giving us a taste of how fish are processed and handled for retail sale at Legal Sea Foods’ 33 restaurants around the US as well as an online fish market and retail product line. Tour guides shared an overview of quality testing in the lab, cleaning, cutting, packaging and shipping. The plant is incredibly clean and streamlined to make sure that the fish doesn’t visit long before being delivered to the restaurants.
Yesterday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a report (http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/mediacenter/2012/05/15statusofstocks.htm) saying that “a record six fish populations were declared rebuilt to healthy levels in 2011” including summer flounder and Gulf of Maine haddock. This is good news for the hard work of fishermen and conservationists but New England still has the highest number of species that are considered overfished.
There is still lots of work to be done and W2O encouraged Mr. Berkowitz to continue to search for the best information regarding fish stocks and sustainable aquaculture and to consider increasing his efforts to educate the public about the sustainability of the species on his menu.