The Beacon: tmarshall's blog

Get Your Fins on an Official Shark Week Party Kit

oceanic white tip shark

We’ve got Shark Week fever early this year and it is contagious! Or at least, we hope so, because we’ve got 10 official Shark Week party kits on our hands. Want to get a hold of one? It’s pretty simple.

Before noon tomorrow, Tuesday July 19, pop over to Twitter and send this tweet:

I want an official #SharkWeekPartyKit, so I'm following @Oceana and saving sharks ow.ly/5BqPl

Make sure you are following us (@Oceana) on Twitter, because that’s how I’ll be getting in touch with our lucky winners later this week. Want bonus feel good points, too? Make sure to take action to save sharks, too.

But let’s back up a second. What’s even in an official Shark Week party kit? In a cool Shark Week backpack, you'll find...

-       a Shark Week tee shirt
-       coasters
-       cookie cutter
-       recipe card
-       balloons
-       napkins
-       bottle opener
-       bingo cards
-       episode guide
-       shark fact sheet
-       page to collect your friends’ signatures in the fight to save sharks

Whew! Are you tired reading that? I know I got a bit winded just typing it.

As for rules, I’ll be using a random generator to pick our winners, so don’t do anything sneaky like create a million accounts to try to cheat the system. Plus, I’m only going to count one tweet per person. And sorry, international fans - this one’s just for the US tweeters.

So, tweet away (just once, remember!) and share the Shark Week fever!


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3 Ways to Get Ready for Shark Week

great white shark

On July 31, Shark Week is back!  Need some ideas on how to celebrate this, the sharkiest time of year? We're here for you:

1.    Share the Shark Week Love
Have your friends over for a watch party. Check out the programming schedule. I recommend "Jaws Comes Home" on July 31, but there's a full week of great shark shows to pick from.

Don’t know what to serve? Shark cookies, of course! Make a $35 donation and get a shark cookie cutter and recipe card so your friends can take a bite out of a great white while watching great whites take a bite out of seals.

2.    Shark Week 2.0
Bump up your watch party guest list by a few thousand. Take photos and share them with us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Have shark questions? Ask away on Facebook and Twitter and our shark experts will keep you shark savvy.

3.    Save Sharks
For one week a year, over 30 million Americans are glued to their TV sets, transfixed by incredible stories of amazing, powerful sharks. But the true story is that they can’t save themselves from their top predator: us.

Caught on fishing lines and targeted for their fins, shark numbers are dropping, and fast. If even just 10% of all Shark Week viewers took action to protect sharks, that would equal millions of people speaking up for the animals they tune in to see each year.

Make sure that Shark Week isn’t the only time we can see sharks. They are great to watch on TV, but we need them in the wild, too.


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Victory! Belize Bans All Forms of Trawling

English Caye in Belize.

After six months of negotiations and with support from Sir Thomas Moore, Oceana bought out the Belize's last two trawlers as part of a government-backed move to ban all forms of trawling in Belizean waters. Belize joins Venezula and Palau as the third country to ban trawling in its waters.

Belize banned trawling back in December and with this final buyout, mid-water and bottom trawling is effectively finished in all Belizean waters, including inland rivers and lagoons.

As part of the buyout, $100,000 is earmarked for micro-loans for local fishermen and $60,000 for disaster relief - and Belize's incredible marine ecosystem is protected! A huge thank you and congratulations to everyone who played a part in this victory!


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Earthquake and Tsunami Hit Japan

The most powerful earthquake in recorded history to hit Japan struck on Friday, triggering a deadly tsunami that is destroying coastal towns and killing hundreds.

The quake also caused trouble for two Japanese nuclear power plants, causing a fire at one and issues with cooling at another.

Governments and aid organizations from around the world are already lending a helping hand and have pledged to do more in the coming days and weeks ahead.

If you would like to help too, click here for a list of organizations helping on the ground.

Events like this remind us that the oceans are a source of great power and mystery; while they bring peace and calm to many, they are also capable of great destruction. Our thoughts are with the people of Japan and coastal communities throughout the Pacific.


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Become a 2011 Oceana Member Today!

A sea lion in Punta de Choros, Chile. © Oceana

Last year, the support of our members helped us win major victories all over the world. We helped score a ban on trawling in Belize's waters, blocked a coal burning power plant in Chile, and helped win the passage of the Shark Conservation Act in the US. But we still have work to do and we need your help!

Donate $35 by February 28 and you'll get our reusable water bottle, which helps cut down on single use plastic pollution. Donate $100 or more and you'll also get one year of our quarterly printed magazine, full of info about our work all over the world, interviews with our celebrity supporters, tips on sustainable seafood, and more!

2010 was a year full of successes for us, thanks to the support of all our members. Join us in 2011 and help make it an even bigger year for ocean conservation.

Join by February 28 to support the oceans AND take advantage of our great membership offers.


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How to Help Oceana Through Crowdrise

I often get questions from supporters who want their friends and family to donate to Oceana instead of traditional birthday, wedding, or anniversary presents. Not only is this an incredibly thoughtful way to give back to the oceans, but it is also incredibly easy!

You can set up an account and personalized fundraising page on Crowdrise in under five minutes. No joke! Here's how:

1.    Create a profile on http://www.crowdrise.com. This literally takes less than 30 seconds.
2.    Check out our page, http://www.crowdrise.com/oceana, and click “Start a Fundraising Project/Event”.
3.    Create your fundraiser! Is it for your birthday? An anniversary? You just want to help out the oceans? Be creative! You can create a customized link, so you can tell your friends to go to http://crowdrise.com/mybirthday to donate to Oceana. Set a goal to inspire folks to donate.
4.    You can upload a pic of yourself (or skip this step).
5.    And then make sure Oceana is the charity you pick for your fundraiser.


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Hey Big Oil, Clean Up Your Mess

Today, Congress returns from elections to wrap up its work for this session, which means that time is running out for the Senate to pass any legislation in response to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The House of Representatives already passed their version of a spill response bill back in July, and now it is the Senate’s turn to act.

The Gulf of Mexico needs help, and it needed it yesterday. Of course, the only way to prevent another catastrophe like the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is to ban new offshore oil and gas drilling. In the meantime, the least we can do is pass a bill to clean up and restore the devastation that the oil industry has inflicted upon our oceans and coasts.


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Video: Vote for Oceana!

Instead of just writing and asking you to vote for Oceana this week, I thought you would like to hear my lovely voice and see my overly emotive hand gestures!


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We Could Win $200,000 for Ocean Conservation!

Vote for Oceana

We are a third of the way through round three of American Express and TakePart's Members Project... and we are currently winning in our category! This has EVERYTHING to do with you, our fantastic supporters.

But we need your votes each and every week until the end of November. Voting is super easy:

1. Click here to register.

2. Click on "register to vote" and fill out required information. You can also sign in through Facebook.

3. Click on Oceana and confirm your vote for your favorite ocean conservation group.

The world is 71% covered with water and for the largest international non-profit dedicated to ocean conservation (hint: it's us!), that's a lot of area to cover. $200,000 will help us immensely with our work protecting sharks and sea turtles, fighting offshore drilling, and campaigning for responsible fishing, all over the world.

Thanks again and vote now - and every week!


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Expedition Photo of the Day: Hermit Crab

hermit crab

© Oceana/Eduardo Sorensen

Hermit crabs are crustaceans but unlike their relatives, they do not have a hard bodies - they are the couch potatoes of the crab world. In order to protect their tender asymmetrical middles, hermit crabs live in discard shells, moving to larger abodes as they grow.

This particular hermit was captured on film in Egmont Key.

Be sure to check out all our footage from the expedition – photos, videos, blogs - updated every day!


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