Voting for the 2012 Ocean Heroes Awards closed yesterday and thanks to your status updates, tweets, retweets and emails, we received over 8,000 votes that will determine this year’s winners.
In six days, we’ll reveal those winners (oh, the suspense!) but until then, I’d like use this opportunity to not only thank you again for your votes, but also to thank a supporter who invests great amounts of time, energy and resources into Oceana’s work.
And, in keeping with the suspenseful theme, see if you can guys which supporter I’m talking about. Here are your clues:
Clue 1: This supporter has been a partner and Ocean Hero Awards sponsor since 2009 and has provided over $1 million in funding for our mission to safeguard habitat, end overfishing and protect important marine animals, like sharks and sea turtles.
Clue 2: Just as Ocean Heroes finalists help the oceans in a wide variety of manners year after year, this supporter has aided Oceana in a number of different ways. For example, together we’ve recruited over 50 athletes for Team Oceana – our triathlon team that races and raises funds for Oceana – via triathlons in South Beach and Malibu (and formerly New York City) and volunteered to collect hundreds of pounds of trash out of the Hudson and Anacostia Rivers in honor of World Oceans Day.
Clue 3: This supporter has provided apparel for our PSAs and expedition crews in the Pacific, Atlantic and Mediterranean, helped us raise additional funds through our involvement in the GQ Gentlemen’s Ball, and increased public awareness about Oceana via their own digital media, print advertising and even in display windows (Lord & Taylor on 5th Ave in NYC a couple years ago!).
…If you guessed Nautica, give yourself a pat on the back.
The mission of protecting the world’s oceans may belong to Oceana (literally…it’s our mission), but our successes wouldn’t be possible without motivated supporters like you, committed funders and sponsors like Nautica, and from allies who dedicate chunks of their lives to the betterment of our blue planet – people we like to call ocean heroes.
Oceana would also like to acknowledge the generosity of Revo Sunglasses, the other primary sponsor of the 2012 Ocean Heroes Awards.
Happy Friday, all!
If you're in DC this weekend, come check out our booth at the DC Green Festival. We'll be the ones in funny fish hats. And good luck to all participating in this weekend's Race for the Oceans in Fort Myers, FL. In the mean time...
This week in ocean news,
...Oceana, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Turtle Island Restoration Network reached an agreement with the federal government in a lawsuit over violations of the Endangered Species Act. NMFS and the Fish and Wildlife Service agreed to respond to the groups’ petitions for increased protections for both leatherbacks in the waters off California and Oregon as well as North Pacific and western North Atlantic loggerheads by December 4, 2009, and February 19, 2010, respectively.
...Lionel the lobster met his watery end when he refused to come out of his home, an undetonated mine in the UK, even after some coaxing from Royal Navy divers, who eventually had to follow their orders.
A brief update for you on the Timor Sea oil spill:
Today, now 46 days after oil began gushing from a platform in the Timor Sea, efforts to plug the leak have failed. It will take up to four days to complete a second attempt to stop this disastrous spill. Meanwhile, the oil slick has grown so large it can be seen from space.
Check out Skytruth for the latest details.
It's that time again: another cool National Geographic photography exhibit is in town.
"Polar Obsession," which will be at NatGeo until Valentine's Day, is a showcase of photographer Paul Nicklen's moving images from both ends of the Earth. (No relation to the other photog phenom I wrote about a while ago, Flip Nicklin).
A former wildlife biologist, Nicklen hopes his photographs will inspire people to protect the creatures and places that are increasingly under threat from climate change.
Just a few days ago, The New York Times reported that Pacific walruses are increasingly threatened by climate change. So threatened, in fact, that 131 of them were found dead in Alaska as a result of crowding and stampeded due to a lack of sea ice.
Perhaps Nicklen's gorgeous photos will move people to develop a polar obsession of their own.
Aaron Peirsol's second annual Race for the Oceans will take place on the weekend of October 10th and 11th in Fort Myers, Florida. (It's hard to believe it's been almost a year!)
Like last year, the event will consist of an All Ages Clinic, a Jr. Swim, and a 1K and 5K Challenge. Last year was a great success, so register now to see if you can splash past the gold medal Olympian.
Happy Friday! As usual, this week's roundup is a mix of the good, the bad and the funny. This week in ocean news,
...Daniel Pauly argued in the New Republic that the aquacalypse is upon us.
...Palau became the first nation to ban shark fishing in its waters -- an area about the size of Texas.
...New research showed that coral reefs where a diversity of fish species swim are healthier than overfished ones, and where fishing is banned, the incidence of coral disease was reduced.
...A 78-year-old Hawaiian man who shot and killed a pregnant Hawaiian monk seal pleaded guilty to violating the U.S. Endangered Species Act and began serving a 90-day term.
...We were entertained by this video of a sea lion stealing a fisherman's catch as he reels it in. Although perhaps it's a sign that sea lions are going hungry, which is not so funny.
When I attend a conference held in a hotel, there are a few things I expect. Chilly meeting rooms, people running to the door for smoke breaks and complimentary pens top the list. So I was surprised when a run-of-the-mill seminar led me to writing a letter (a real one, with a stamp and all) about shark conservation and climate change. And even more surprised when that letter made a difference in at least one branch of an international hotel chain!
Here’s the letter (abridged) I sent earlier this month –
Dear Hilton Alexandria Mark Center,
I recently completed a two day seminar at your hotel and overall, had a pleasant experience. However, as a company that has a “Sustainability” tab on your homepage, two things that I encountered during my time should not have happened.
During lunch on 14 September 2009, mako shark was one of the offered entrees. Sharks grow slowly, have few young and are victims of widespread overfishing and bycatch. Also, as top level predators, mercury and other contaminants accumulate in their bodies. Once a person eats the contaminated shark meat, the toxins are passed along. You should not be serving shark, not only for the environmental impact on the world’s oceans, but also for the safety of your guests.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee will meet tomorrow to vote on legislation to phase out the use of mercury in the production of chlorine and caustic soda. This mercury ends up in our waterways, our seafood, and ultimately, our bodies.
You can help us by calling your representative to voice your support for the bill, H.R. 2190, the Mercury Pollution Reduction Act.
While there has been much focus on reducing mercury pollution from coal burning power plants, mercury cell chlor-alkali plants emit four times more mercury than the average coal-fired power plant.
On this week's episode of "Mad Men," Betty Draper makes her first foray into the peculiar world of politics. And this week, the actress who portrays her, January Jones, is doing the same here in Washington. Only instead of campaigning to stop a hideous water tower's construction, she's campaigning for a nobler cause (we think): sharks.
Jones is meeting with key members of Congress, including Senators Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and John McCain (R-AZ), to urge them to pass the Shark Conservation Act of 2009 and to push for U.S. leadership on international shark conservation.
The Shark Conservation Act of 2009 would put an end to shark finning, which is the process of cutting off the fins and discarding the carcass at sea. The bill would require all sharks caught in U.S. waters to be landed with their fins naturally attached and close other loopholes in existing law.
The Act was introduced by Senator John Kerry (D-MA) in April. Similar legislation (H.R. 81), introduced by Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam), passed the House of Representatives in March.
Learn more about Oceana’s campaign to safeguard sharks and its partnership with January Jones at www.oceana.org/scaredforsharks.
PRSA-NCC held its annual Thoth Awards last night. The awards ceremony honors achievement in public relations. Oceana’s Subsidies campaign won the Certificate of Excellence for public affairs, Awards for Speeches and Global Communications, and to top it all off, Best in Show.
Congrats to everyone on our Subsidies campaign team!