The Beacon

Blog Tags: Activism

Guest Post: My Orca Summer

Orcas near Hanson Island. Photo courtesy of Emily Goldstein.

We are now accepting nominations for our third annual Ocean Heroes Contest! Today we’re featuring a guest post by 2009 finalist Emily Goldstein about her summer trip to the OrcaLab in British Columbia.

Last summer I was privileged to be able to spend eight weeks studying one of the most remarkable species in our world, the orca. I want to share with you the amazing journey I had, and tell you about my time with the orcas.

Snuggled in the inside passage between British Columbia and Vancouver Island, there is a small isle called Hanson Island. This is the home of magnificent bald eagles, playful mink, and an emerald-green evergreen forest. It is also the home of a land-based research station called OrcaLab, which was founded by Dr. Paul Spong in 1970. 


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Christie’s Green Auction Raises $1.4 Million (So Far)

The Runway to Green fashion show. Photos © Oceana/John Dee

Last Tuesday evening, the live component of Christie’s Green Auction raised $1.4 million to benefit four environmental organizations: Oceana, Conservation International, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and The Central Park Conservancy. But it’s not quite over -- the online auction is still accepting bids until tomorrow.

The glamorous event was co-hosted by David and Susan Rockefeller, Graydon and Anna Carter and Salma Hayek and François-Henri Pinault. Attendees included Anna Wintour, David Rockefeller Sr., Diane Kruger, Zoe Kravitz, Alexander Wang, Sam Waterson, Ted Danson and Michael Kors, among many others.

Saturday Night Live’s Seth Meyers emceed the auction and even helped officiate amid witty repartee with Lydia Fenet, Christie’s Director of Strategic Partnerships. Top lots included a Hollywood experience during the Oscars and a day shadowing President Bill Clinton — each raised $100,000.

After the auction, models strutted down the catwalk in a fashion show that debuted exclusive items by top designers for a “Runway to Green Collection”. Pieces from the collection are available for purchase on Net-A-Porter.com, and will be available in stores this fall. The finale of the evening was a surprise performance by Nicki Minaj, who sang several numbers wearing a fittingly half-green bride of Frankenstein wig.


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Where Are They Now?: The Shark Finatics

A member of the Shark Finatics.

As you know, we are now accepting nominations for our third annual Ocean Heroes Contest. Throughout the nomination period, which ends April 27th, I’ll be featuring a few of the past winners and finalists to get you inspired. First up, the 2010 Junior Ocean Heroes: the Shark Finatics.

To jog your memory, the Shark Finatics are a group of students at Green Chimneys School in Brewster, New York who have raised more than $2,000 for shark research and conservation organizations around the world - and an immeasurable amount of awareness about shark finning.

The Finatics’ teacher Robin Culler recently wrote to us with an enthusiastic update about her students. They were recently featured in the Southeast Brewster Patch, and Culler says the “the kids were awesome and you couldn't get a word in edgewise! They were so thrilled to teach yet one more person about sharks.”


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Nominate an Ocean Hero Today!

The 2010 Junior Ocean Heroes, the Shark Finatics, with teacher Robin Culler.

It’s that time again: we are looking for ocean heroes, and we need your help. Nominations for our third annual Ocean Heroes Contest begin today, so think of the person you know doing the most for the oceans -- and maybe it’s yourself! -- and send us the deets.

Here’s how: To nominate someone, just visit www.oceana.org/heroes and complete the form. Past nominees have included educators, scientists, fundraisers, activists, and that’s just a start. And like last year, we have two categories: Adult and Junior (18 years old or younger).

This year’s Ocean Heroes will receive, in addition to a heap of praise and good ocean karma, a $500 gift card from Nautica and a pair of Revo Sunglasses. All finalists will receive a $100 Nautica gift card.

Nominations end April 27th, but the faster you can get them in the better. So nominate, nominate, nominate, and please, spread the word on Facebook, Twitter, e-mail and however else you know how!

We can’t wait to see all the great nominations come rolling in!


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Slideshow and Video: ‘Oceana’ the Book

Today the Huffington Post has a great slideshow of images -- including one of a darling young Ted Danson -- from his new book, “Oceana: Our Endangered Oceans and What We Can Do to Save Them.”

Have you gotten your copy yet? No? What are you waiting for!?  In case you need some more convincing, here’s the book trailer:

Book Trailer: 'Oceana' by Ted Danson from Oceana on Vimeo.

Now go get your copy and spread the word!


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Make a Bid to Save the Earth

On March 29th, for the second year running, Oceana will benefit from Christie’s Green Auction, along with NRDC, Central Park Conservancy and Conservation International.

There are some fantastic items already up for bid online, including a chance to meet Lady Gaga, an eco-vacation in the Maldives, a day of sailing with David and Susan Rockefeller, and much more.

Leading up to the big day of the auction, we also want to know: what’s your personal “bid” to save the earth? It can be as small or big as you want. Maybe you want to start composting (that’s my bid), or bike to work more, or eat only sustainable seafood. Maybe you vow to use only eco-friendly products in the shower. Whatever it is, we want to know!

So here’s how to tell the world: Make a 15 second video with your bid and upload your video to your YouTube account. Label your video “mybid,” and include your name. All videos will be linked to the Bid to Save the Earth YouTube page.

Here’s a video explanation:

 

So go on, make those bid vids -- or just tell us your bid in the comments!


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Catch Wyatt Workman on The Nate Berkus Show

Update on 1/28/11 -- here's the clip of Wyatt!:

 

Remember 7-year-old artist and ocean conservationist Wyatt Workman? We spotlighted him back in November when he held an art show that raised $2,400 for Oceana.

Well, he didn’t stop there. His total has now climbed to nearly $3,500 (!), and he’s starting to get noticed in a big way. Today he’ll be appearing on the Nate Berkus Show to talk about his artwork, book, and claymation movie. You can catch the show today at 2 pm PST (5PM EST) on NBC, Wyatt’s segment will probably be at the end.

You can learn more about Wyatt and check out his artwork on his website. Oceana and the oceans thank you, Wyatt!


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For These Four, Sea Turtles Come First

10-year-old sea turtle activist Hannah Bywater.

We are inspired and impressed by the efforts of several young sea turtle conservationists, and I just had to share their stories with you:

When she was just 6 years old on a trip to Bali, Indonesia with her parents, Hannah Bywater visited a sea turtle sanctuary and was inspired to contribute to the cause. Now, at age 10, Hannah has already raised $7,000 for sea turtle preservation. Some of that money has funded the construction of an artificial reef – “Hannah’s Reef” – off the coast of Pemuturan, Bali, Indonesia. “This artificial reef will provide food and shelter for the very turtles I’ve been able to release from the sea turtle sanctuary,” Hannah noted.

Hannah has recently expanded her conservation efforts to include the orangutans of Sumatra, Indonesia, and it’s unlikely that she’ll stop there – “My goal is to help save all the animals that could become extinct,” she asserted. There’s no doubt that any endangered species would be lucky to have Hannah on their team.


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CoolClimate Art Winners Announced

“No Pollution Please” by Christos Lamprianidis

More than 1,000 artists from around the world -- from Bucharest to Nebraska -- submitted their work to the CoolClimate Art Contest, the first online art competition designed to generate iconic images that address the impact of climate change.

A panel of notable art experts and celebrities selected the 20 semi-finalists that were featured on The Huffington Post, and the public voted to determine the Top 5 winners. The judging panel included Jackson Browne, Chevy Chase, Philippe Cousteau and Van Jones, among others.

Pictured here is the winner, “No Pollution Please” by Christos Lamprianidis of Greece. You can check out all the entries, as well as winners and finalists, at the CoolClimate deviantART web site. And if you’re inspired, you can still submit your creation to the CoolClimate project to connect with other artists and share with the public.


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PA Students Sell Lemonade for the Gulf and Oceana

And now for a sweet story of some young ocean activists in Pennsylvania that we can’t resist sharing:

Earlier this year, the students of Germantown Friends School’s Environmental Action Club had an idea -- they wanted to start a lemonade stand to raise money to fix a machine in the school's greenhouse. Then the gulf oil spill happened, and the greenhouse didn’t seem quite so urgent anymore.

The students decided to give their lemonade funds to organizations helping out with the spill -- including Oceana. They also encouraged members of the community to send letters to Obama and PA congresspeople expressing their opposition to offshore drilling.

Here’s the kicker: Our CEO, Andy Sharpless, was once himself a student at Germantown Friends School. Needless to say, he was thankful and proud of his early alma mater when he heard the news.

Thanks, Germantown Friends!


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