1. Thousands voted to crown Oceana’s 2012 Ocean Heroes. This was the fourth consecutive year Oceana has held its celebration of everyday individuals making a difference for the oceans. The 2012 Adult Ocean Hero is Captain Don Voss, the owner of the Marine Cleanup Initiative Inc., an organization that cleans up Florida’s waterways. Over the last 11 years, the company has removed over 300,000 pounds of marine debris. The 2012 Junior Ocean Hero is 15-year-old James Hemphill, the president of Project Green Teens, a student-run environmental group that promotes conservation in Virginia Beach. The group has removed more than a ton of trash from Virginia waterways. The prizes for this year’s Ocean Heroes were generously provided by Nautica and Revo Sunglasses.
2. On World Oceans Day, June 8, Actress and Oceana supporter Kate Walsh (“Private Practice”) traveled to Belize to advocate for Oceana’s campaign to prevent offshore drilling in the Central American nation. She snorkeled in some of the country’s most beloved marine places that are threatened by proposed drilling, such as Lighthouse Reef Atoll, the Blue Hole and the Hol Chan Marine Reserve.
3. In August, Oceana was again a conservation partner of Discovery’s Shark Week. The 25th anniversary of Shark Week featured several conservation-oriented programs, including a show titled “Great White Highway” narrated by Oceana board member Ted Danson.
4. Oceana CEO Andy Sharpless is writing a book, forthcoming from Rodale next spring. The book, tentatively titled “The Perfect Protein: A fish-lover’s guide to saving the oceans and feeding the world,” reveals a major, overlooked answer to growing global food demand: wild seafood.
5. Oceana released a new report, “Ocean-Based Food Security Threatened in a High CO2 World,” which ranks nations that are most vulnerable to reductions in seafood production as a result of climate change and ocean acidification. While seafood is currently a primary source of protein for more than a billion of the poorest people in the world, carbon dioxide emissions are causing the oceans to warm and become more acidic, threatening fisheries and the people who depend on them. Rising ocean temperatures are pushing many fish species into deeper and colder waters towards the poles and away from the tropics, while increased acidity is threatening important habitats such as coral reefs and the future of shellfish like oysters, clams and mussels.