Colorado Ocean Coalition Symposium a Rousing Success!

From the opening through to closing for the night, and every moment in between, the Colorado Ocean Coalition’s 1st anniversary Symposium was a rousing success!  Today’s event started out with remarks by Vicki Nichols Goldstein.  When Vicki introduced Dr. Sylvia Earle, the crowd greeted her with an enthusiastic and well-deserved standing ovation, and that set the tone for the rest of the afternoon’s presentations.  The overall theme was “Making Waves In Colorado”, focusing on how the Rockies are indeed akin to the ocean, and how all ecosystems are intrinsically linked, attached and incorporated.  The point of the symposium was to teach about how we are indeed affected and impacting the oceans of the world, and some of the ways in which we can all be part of the solution.

Dr. Sylvia Earle, National Geographic Explorer In Residence

Dr. Sylvia Earle received a standing ovation as welcome to the symposium

 

Dr. Earle has been a forerunner and champion of the oceans for over 2 score of years, and a continuing inspiration to many of us involved in conservation and marine sciences today.  Few in the field would not know of her pioneering work, living below the ocean’s surface for extended periods of time, exploring the Innerspace of this planet, and sharing her discoveries with us all.  Each new discovery just seemed to beg more questions, and Sylvia Earle was always leading those inquiring mind who wanted to know.

In her presentation during the first session of the Symposium, she poetically and profoundly noted “Even if you never touch the ocean, the ocean touches you with every breath you take.”

Ever modest and gracious, her presentation went on to show us some of the wonders of the deep, while reminding us that we’ve only begun to explore the 70% of this blue planet that is the oceans.  She points out that we are unable to visit the depths of the oceans, noting that simply traveling to 5,000 feet ABOVE sea level wouldn’t be good enough, that we must scale ALL of the height of a mountain… and it should not be good enough that we explore only the first fraction of the ocean’s depths either.  Indeed, there are many species still being discovered, many wonders we’ve yet to see.

Dr. Sylvia Earle speaking during a slideshow presentation

Dr. Earle shares some of the wonders of the ocean during her Rocky Mountains of the Sea presentation.

There were many booths along the Bridge between the Auditorium and the smaller meeting rooms.  Participants included the Colorado chapter of Sea Shepherd, the 5 Gyres Institute, the Oceanic Preservation Society, NOAA and the National Marine Sanctuaries, Plastic Pollution Coalition, Teens4Oceans, Windhorse Lightships L3C, Green Apple, and Wild Goose Engineering… and that’s only about half of the booths!  (Apologies to those not named.  Please contact us to add your organization to the list if we’ve unwittingly missed you.)

The 5 Gyres Institute's Anna Cummins explaining how the Garbage Patch affects us all

The 5 Gyres Institute's Anna Cummins explaining how the Garbage Patch affects us all

Throughout the day, at least 3 presentation rooms were packed at all times.  Teachers had a professoinal workshop, expert adventurers shared their tales, and people helped the guests to better understand the ocean, plastics, and other threats to the watery majority of the planet, and the ways in which the oceans of the world and the lands are inextricably linked.  After the presentations, most all allowed time for Questions and Answers with the panels and speakers.

Q&A with Daniella Russo, Marcus Eriksen, Anna Cummmins and Dianna Cohen

Q&A with Daniella Russo, Marcus Eriksen, Anna Cummmins and Dianna Cohen

Topics included “How Colorado Flows to the Ocean” and “Climate Change from 30 Feet Under.”  Children’s presentations were also ample, ensuring an enjoyable, optimistic and informative day for everyone.

A few more photos of the event are provided below:

Louie Psihoyos, Director of "The Cove", with Erron (Dive Colorado)

Louie Psihoyos, Director of "The Cove", with Erron (Dive Colorado)

Billy D. Causey, SE Regional Director of the National Marine Sanctuaries (NOAA)

Billy Causey, PhD, SE Regional Director of NOAA's National Marine Sanctuaries, during a presentation.

Dan Basta, Director of NOAA's National Marine Sanctuaries program

Dan Basta, Director of NOAA's National Marine Sanctuaries program.

Dr. Sylvia Earle, graciously and tirelessly signing copies of her book, "The World Is Blue"

Dr. Sylvia Earle, graciously and tirelessly signing copies of her book, "The World Is Blue"

Piles of plastic washing ashore in Hawaii from all over the Pacific Rim.

Plastics wash ashore in Hawaii from all over the Pacific Rim.

Oil Wells of the Gulf of New Mexico

Oil Wells of the Gulf of New Mexico

A map showing the US waterways, and how they funnel into the Gulf of Mexico

Water from most of the US flows into the Gulf of Mexico

JT, founder of Protect The Ocean, gets the pleasure of meeting Dr. Sylvia Earle

JT, thrilled to meet "Her Deepness," Dr. Sylvia Earle

and finally, a message and goal regarding the use of disposable plastics:

Four Challenges regarding disposable plastics

A challenge, from one of the presentations

MTS Ocean Pollution Workshop

The use of marine technology to mitigate ocean pollution is the focus of a two-day workshop, “Ocean Pollution: From Technology to Management and Policy,” slated for April 13–14, 2011, in Sarasota, Florida.

One of the Marine Technology Society’s TechSurge Workshops, this event will feature speakers from well-known laboratories and research institutes, as well as universities and private businesses. The workshop will focus on bridging the gap between technology and policy and management, and will include cutting-edge tool demonstrations. Topics for the workshop include Florida coastal ecology, water quality, storm water run-off policy, report card on reduced coastal and ocean pollution, and marine debris, among others.

A half-day session will be devoted to oil spill technology with topics featuring policy/management, restoration, lessons learned, and mitigation and detection. Attendees will identify the needs and gaps among various forms of pollution that affect our oceans and coasts, and help to develop an ocean pollution scorecard that highlights the top technology gaps in each topic presented.

A preliminary program, list of speakers, registration information, and information on sponsor and exhibit opportunities is at www.mtsociety.com.

Pick Up Your Dogs Crap!

I really hate it when I see a dog owner leave their pooch’s crap pile. It makes me wonder … Are they stupid, insensitive, selfish, lazy, or maybe they just don’t give a shit care? Beyond the common sense courtesy, there is the environment to consider.

Water pollution source studies of the water pollution caused by fecal waste in the USA found that about 20 percent of it comes from pets and dogs. Pet waste is carried by water runoff into our storm drains. These drains generally empty into the nearest body of water, usually a stream, river, or the ocean without any treatment. This means that [Read more...]