Live Stream November 15th 6pm from Australia on Marine Debris

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 Our friends at CSIRO in Australia are gearing up for summer. Lucky them!! But summer is beach time and although the beaches of Australia are some of the most beautiful in the world, like here, they are becoming more and more polluted with single use plastic waste. Dr. Denise Hardesty leads a team of scientists, school students and community members who have been working their way around the Australian coastline taking note of the garbage that has washed up on the beach. From light globes to cigarette butts, you name it, they’ve probably found it. And now Denise is offering her time to talk about the project live on our Ustream channel ( Thursday at 6pm US time. “Marine debris is a major threat to Australia’s wildlife,” said Denise. “So that we can better manage this problem, we’re studying its sources and effects.”

As a result of their research the team are hoping to achieve three things.

  1. Compile a list of which species are more or less likely to be affected by marine rubbish
  2. Estimate the effects that things like currents, local population, council and state waste management policies (e.g. rubbish bins and bottle refunds) and other factors have on the amount of rubbish in the ocean; and
  3. Identify a set of sites that can be used to monitor both marine rubbish and its impacts on wildlife over the long term and at a low cost.

“Our goal is to support people, both politicians and consumers, in making decisions about their behaviour and their investments that are based on scientific information,” said Denise.

Interested to learn more? Get your questions ready and join us on our Ustream channel tomorrow November 15th at 6pm U.S. time or from 10am till 10.30am (AEDST-Australia). All you need is a computer and internet connection, so no excuses.

Contact: Fiona Henderson

The national marine debris research is part of TeachWild, a national three-year research and education program developed by Earthwatch Australia together with CSIRO and Founding Partner Shell.

Sunday Styles to the Automobile Page?

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I think I am a typical Sunday NYTimes reader. I scan the front page, flip to the Style Section (I grab it protectively from the pile in front of my husband-silly really-would he actually be interested in the Style Section!?) and then look for Maureen Dowd (especially interesting today, btw) or Nicolas Kristoff. But lately I am stealing the Sport Section. So unlike me- but I now know that if the Sunday Times has any noteworthy car articles, there is a secret (well, maybe just to me!!) “Automobile” section at the rear of the Sports page.  Every since W2O’s “Roadside Assistance: Driving Change on our Streets and In Our Oceans” event last month, I am very interested in how I can get my hands on a Ocean/Earth friendly automobile.  Today’s article (yes, that is at the end of the sports page on page 9-or here -) not only describes the new technology and features of the Prius, but it has a nifty chart (not on line) at the bottom that helps consumers decide which Prius might be right for them. Check it out…and then read Maureen Dowd.

“Beach Nourishment?” Whhhhat?

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Sandy Destruction at the Jersey Shore


In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, costal development and engineering is one of the many issues coming into the light. This article calls attention to how the destruction of the beaches of New Jersey could be partially attributed to the fact that those sands were not naturally occurring, but actually existed solely because of the importation of sand, referred to as “Beach Nourishment” from offshore.

It begs the question, where did these “offshore” sands come from? What sort of ocean environments were disturbed in the creation of these beaches? Additonally, what sort of terrestrial and oceanic environments were harmed as Sandy redistributed these sands? Finally, do the benefits outweigh the costs?

Hillary Chisolm is a senior studying Environmental Studies at Bates College in Maine

OH SANDY! You have reminded us about needing more conversation around the issue of Climate Change

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Sandy hits the eastern coast 10/29

Seems like every day there is a new reason to discuss climate change. In this Boston Globe article, Hurricane Sandy reminds us that Climate Change is a National Issue that has been overlooked during this years election campaigns. If you want to hear more about Climate Change, come to to this months Lecture Series at the New England Aquarium. Our civic leaders won’t talk about Climate Change unless we demand that they do. By educating ourselves about the topic we can encourage conversation and action.

Thanks to our Panelists and Moderator at the W2O event on October 23rd

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Lisa Hughes, Bud Ris, Eric Evarts, Ray Magliozzi, Scott Griffith and Herb Chambers

W2O would like to thank Lisa Hughes for her cleaver questions, clear objectives and never ending picture posing at our Roadside Assistance: Driving Change on our Streets and In our Oceans Event on October 23rd.  To our Panel-the day was clearly a success and our audience feedback is that each of the panelists inspired them to think of cars and the purchase of their next car as a catalyst for the opportunity to make a difference for our environment and our oceans.  The big take away-consider changing habits about how we choose when buying a car (and we are reminded that there is so much to look forward to with new technology and design)
and never ever idle!

Smart Choices, Smart Driving: A Student’s Perspective of The Roadside Assistance Event

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The W20 event held at the New England Aquarium was not only interesting, but also highly informative and quite entertaining. Each of the panelists brought a wealth of knowledge to the table and presented it in a way that was catchy and easy to understand. As our society has become increasingly dependent upon transportation and automobiles, it is important to be armed with this sort of information to make informed purchase decisions and be smart drivers, no matter what kind of vehicle you are in. Topics discussed ranged from Google’s new driverless cars to simply how long a car should be left idling, giving the listeners a taste of subjects from the cutting edge of science to the seemingly mundane, yet very interesting. In respect to the topic of idling, I learned that this really is never something positive, because your engine doesn’t need to be running and emitting fumes if it isn’t moving. Also, repeatedly starting the car will not damage it, even the fact that you have to warm your car is a myth!

Lisa Hughs, Eric Evarts, Ray Magliozzi, Scott Griffith and Herb Chambers

I found this event particularly intriguing because this is not something that is discussed on a regular basis in my college classes. While I have learned about carbon emissions and the environmental side of things a multitude of times in my science classes and once had a physics class devoted to the internal combustion engine, I have not really had the chance to learn about the mobile polluters that are causing the damage that I have spent so much time focusing on. By learning more about cars, we are deepening our understanding of the issue of climate change and its effects on our oceans by gaining a better understanding of the entire picture. This gives us the capacity to think more holistically, opening up the possibility to come up with projects and solutions for climate change that satisfies everyone.

Hillary Chisholm is a senior at Bates College majoring in Environmental Science

The Boston Globe and W2O’s October 23rd Climate Change Event

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W2O Board Members

Boston Globe October 21, 2012

By Cindy Cantrell

DRIVING CLIMATE CHANGE IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION: Since founding W2O (Women Working for Oceans) last year, Weston residents Barbara Burgess and Donna Hazard have raised awareness of the importance of sustainable fishing practices and the danger of plastic residue to fish and seabirds.

On Tuesday, they will host a discussion of how limiting fuel consumption and car emissions can lessen global climate change. The event, “Roadside Assistance: Driving Change on Our Streets and in Our Oceans,” will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the New England Aquarium Simons Imax Theatre at Boston’s Central Wharf.

A panel discussion will feature Arlington resident Ray Magliozzi of “Car Talk” on National Public Radio; Herbert Chambers, owner of Herb Chambers Companies; Scott Griffith, chairman and CEO of Zipcar; and Eric Evarts, associate auto editor of Consumer Reports. The moderator will be WBZ-TV news anchor Lisa Hughes, with additional remarks by Boston resident Bud Ris, president and CEO of the New England Aquarium.

A selection of environmentally friendly cars will be displayed outside the aquarium, courtesy of Herb Chambers, which is also donating a blue Vespa to be raffled off.

Hazard and Burgess, whose husband, Bill Burgess, is the aquarium’s trustee chairman, said their nonprofit organization’s mission is to inspire and empower families to make responsible consumer decisions.

“Buying a ‘green’ car isn’t a sacrifice anymore,” Hazard said. “It’s smart and innovative, and with gasoline selling at about $4 per gallon, it can also save you a lot of money.”

Tickets, including a vegetarian boxed lunch, cost $50 and may be purchased at 617-226-2143 or

I think I hate my car!

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Yup, I think I might hate my car.

When I moved from Australia back to America with my three young children, I looked around my neighborhood for clues about what car I should purchase. The market here was new and different to me and I was overwhelmed with the amount of choices.  In the parking lot of our school there was a row of SUVs, as far as the eye could see, at drop off and pick up.  I bought one. Liked it. Loved being high up, loved being able to load the neighborhood kids into the car with all their gear and loved loading groceries in the back.   Now I think I might hate my car.  I hardly use the third row of seats, I cringe when I am filling the tank at the gas pump, and I wonder how my car emission is contributing to pollution and climate change as one of a gazillion of these cars in the burbs of MA.  I have started telling my teenagers that I can’t possibly drive them down to our town center and that they will have to walk…and they do!!

I need a new car. I need a car that I know will just contribute a tiny bit to curbing the huge catastrophe of climate change affecting our oceans and our planet.  But what to buy?  Can I afford one?  Hybrid? Diesel? Electric?  Hopefully I will have a better sense of all of these choices after the W2O event “Roadside Assistance: Driving Change on our Streets and in Our Oceans.”

October 23rd Roadside Assistance and Fab Food in a Paper Bag???

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NEAq Chef Bill Bradley

W2O’s October 23rd event, Roadside Assitance: Driving Change on our Streets and in Our Oceans is coming up quickly and today we met with NEAq’s executive Chef, Bill Bradley to figure out how to feed our guests a fabulous lunch out of a paper bag!  Chef Bill, who just joined the aquarium this year, used his experience and expertise to give us several unbelievable choices of savory and sweet possibilities. But wait, how is this going to work? We will be seated in the Imax Theater learning from our expert panel about Climate Change and how to consider the Environment and the Ocean when choosing our next car….we will be eating a gorgeous Paper Bag lunch?-well, yes!  Here are some of the tasty masterpieces that we had to consider: Sublime Chocolate Bark with Cranberries, Pistachio, Crystallized Ginger and Thyme, Crispy Vegetable Chips with Oregano and Garlic Sea Salt, Decadent Fig and Goat Cheese with Caramelized Onions, and a Vietnamese  Bahn Mi sandwich with marinated mouthwatering pickled Veggies topped with a creamy Yuzu Mayo…yum.  Ahh, I can’t forget the Kale chips-sounds crazy but they were my personal favorite-salty, crunchy and slightly healthy!  I won’t tell you what we chose but I can promise that you will be delighted and will be begging for more.

The Earth’s Air Conditioner and our Planetary Emergency

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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.