Forget about listening into the conch shell to hear the sounds of the ocean, right now one of the best ways to learn about current news in the marine world is by tuning into Blue Frontier Campaign"s Blue Notes. Founded in 2003 by veteran writer and activist David Helvarg, the Blue Frontier Campaign encourages citizen activism on issues related to the current and future health of the ocean. Blue Notes provides readers with the grassroots information needed to inspire people to act both individually and collectively in order to save our blue planet. Written in a witty and accesible style by 50 Ways to Save the Oceans author Helvarg, Blue Notes is a refreshing way to receive environmental news. Read below to see for yourself.
OCEAN WEEK BUT GETTING STRONGER
In 2004, when Blue Frontier held its Blue Vision Conference, the Pew Ocean Commission had published a strong call for action and the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy was about to publish theirs. There was a lot of speculation about "BOB," a Big Ocean Bill, which might emerge from their combined recommendations. It didn’t happen. Instead the combined commissions went on to grade government response to their work with a D and a D+.
Still, at last June’s Ocean Week in Washington, DC, change seemed to be in the air (and the water) moving forward with all the deliberate speed of a hungry sea hare.
The Marine Fish Conservation Network’s annual conference focused on the positive—new science and conservation oriented reforms to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishing Act. Outgoing Executive Director Lee Crockett recalled how the Network thought it had achieved its aims with reforms in 1996 and then abolished itself, only to see those reforms undermined by built in conflict-of-interest within federal fisheries councils and agencies. This time the Network, with more than 190 organizational members, plans to remain as vigilant as a frigate bird over a school of anchovy.
Meanwhile, Lee will be joining the newly formed $70 million Pew Environment Group, which will incorporate the National Environmental Trust and Pew’s environmental program, to form what could be the super-trawler of the marine conservation fleet with its focus on climate change and ocean protection.
Other highlights of Ocean Week included the annual National Marine Sanctuary Foundation awards dinner and Capitol Hill symposiums. With the establishment of the Northwestern Hawaiian Island marine monument, America’s marine sanctuaries grew to seven times their previous size this year. Along with Bob Ballard, Sylvia Earle, Jean-Michael Cousteau, Leon Panetta, a new ocean celebrity was introduced at their dinner—Sam the Sea lion, spokes-pinniped for the Sanctuaries. Unfortunately Sam, who was supposed to appear live, could only make a video appearance for fear Pam Anderson would spray paint his fur coat. BFC would like to take this opportunity to deny rumors concerning Sam and Patty, the 50 Ways to Save the Ocean book cover sea lion. Their publicists insist they’re only friends and have not taken a salmon off a hook since their brief stints in rehab.