This is the fifth in a series of posts about this yearâ€™s Ocean Hero finalists.
Todayâ€™s featured finalist, Sara Bayles, is the author of The Daily Ocean blog, which documents her experiment to see how much debris she can collect from her local beach in 365 non-consecutive days.
For 20 minutes at a time she has removed more than 450 pounds of trash from a beach in Santa Monica in just over 110 days. On The Daily Ocean, Sara exposes our dependence on single-use plastic while challenging her readers to make small shifts in their own lives.
As the first reports of wildlife covered in oil come in, several of you have contacted or commented asking how you can help with the recovery efforts in the Gulf.
Hereâ€™s a list of places you can volunteer, let us know in the comments if you have heard of other organizations accepting/needing volunteers.
- You can register through OilSpillVolunteers.com to volunteer or join a cleanup organization.
- The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana (CRCL) is accepting volunteers. Register on their website.
- The Mobile Baykeeper is asking for volunteers. Call 251-433-4229.
- The Audubon Society is looking for help. You can report oiled wildlife at 1-866-557-1401. To report areas with oil ashore or to leave contact information to volunteer in the affected areas, call 1-866-448-5816.
- The BP Volunteer Hotline has set up numbers if you need to report injured wildlife or damage related to the spill. You can also request volunteer information at 866-448-5816.
As Kevin and Andy have told you, this Thursday, the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, Oceana will benefit from the first-ever Green Auction with Christie's, along with NRDC, Central Park Conservancy and Conservation International.
There are some spectacular items up for bid, including a private swim lesson with Oceana spokeswimmer Aaron Peirsol, a day on the set of â€ś30 Rockâ€ť with Alec Baldwin, a walk-on role in HBOâ€™s â€śBored to Deathâ€ť, and much more.
But we are also asking people to make another kind of bid this Earth Day -- a personal bid to change something in their lives to improve the health of the planet.
Not sure what I mean? Just watch the video PSA below to get some inspiration, and then tell us -- what's your bid?
I recently got some very heartening news here at Oceana from some of our youngest supporters.
The seventh and second grade students at Good Shepherd Episcopal School in Dallas, Texas were inspired by our â€śScared for Sharksâ€ť campaign and raised more than $2,500 for Oceana through a week of bake sales and a â€śCaring Color Day,â€ť where students wore blue and gray "shark colors" and donated $2 each.
It was especially nice to hear this news in light of the recent decision by CITES not to protect endangered marine species, including sharks.
Of course, Oceana is still moving forward to protect sharks around the world. Weâ€™ve already helped the United States become a leader in shark protections, and weâ€™re continuing to push the U.S. to put a final end to shark finning, the brutal fishing practice that is responsible for tens of millions of shark deaths every year.
Weâ€™ll use the donation from the students of Good Shepherd to continue to fight to save sharks. You can help today, too, by donating or asking your senators to support legislation that ends shark finning.
Andy Sharpless is the CEO of Oceana.
This is the fourth in a series of posts about the 2009 Ocean Heroes finalists.
Today weâ€™re catching up with 2009 ocean hero finalists Sabina van Tilburg, Chanel Gemini and Nika Kashyapone, the three girl scouts who were instrumental in convincing the state of Hawaii to become the first state in the U.S. to officially recognize World Oceans Day. They obtained over 650 signatures on their petition and received the support of many non-profits and government agencies such as the Nature Conservancy and NOAA.
Hereâ€™s Sabina's update:
â€śAs a Girl Scout troop, we are currently working on our Gold Award, the highest award for Girl Scouts and selling lots and lots of cookies! We have recently been focusing on recycling, gardening, buying local, and learning more about our community. Along with that we have been participating in a lot of beach clean ups, fishpond clean ups and restorations, working in the lo'i which are Hawaiian taro patches, and counting whales with NOAA, which you can learn more about at http://hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov/involved/ocwelcome.html "
Inspired? Nominate someone you know -- young or old -- to be this year's ocean hero.
This is the second in a series of posts about the 2009 Ocean Heroes finalists.
Today weâ€™re catching up with Lynora Indiviglio, who was a finalist last year because she founded the PalmBeach HammerHeads, South Florida's largest environmental dive club. For the past 8 years, the group has cleaned the areas reefs the last Sunday of every month. Lynora is also a member of the Palm Beach County Reef Research Team, which documents the health of Palm Beach County's Artificial Reef Program.
Sounds like she and the HammerHeads are busy as ever. She sent us this e-mail:
â€śThe HammerHeads are still working hard at their cleanups and spreading the important news about the ocean and its importance to us all.
I met with Karen the 'Red Tide Coordinator' this past week as myself and some other HammerHeads have been collecting samples for her. We also had a representative from South Florida Water Management District come talk to us about the laboratory they have in the Everglades and what they're doing out there. She did a presentation at our March meeting and we had a full house.â€ť
Inspired by Lynora's commitment to ocean conservation? Nominate an ocean hero you know, young or old.
This is the first in a series of posts about the 2009 Ocean Heroes Finalists.
Since our second annual Ocean Heroes Contest recently opened for nominations, I thought it would be nice to look back and see what our 2009 Ocean Heroes finalists are up to -- and maybe it'll give you all some inspiration to nominate someone you know.
Just as I expected, they are all busy as ever doing their part to save the oceans. Today, weâ€™ll catch up with Jeff â€śMr. Fishâ€ť Sandler:
Since the Ocean Heroes contest lots has been going on. I was asked to speak to the 5th grades at the local elementary school on what it takes to be an Ocean Hero. I told them that anyone can be an ocean hero -- what it takes is to identify a way that you are comfortable being helpful, and then taking action to try and make it happen.
I also pointed out that it doesn't have to be a grand undertaking, for if enough people take action in even a small way, that can still make a powerful difference.
Since the contest, my wife Deb as "Mrs. Fish" and I as "Mr. Fish" have continued to travel to elementary schools putting on educational shows that teach about the ocean and address environmental issues. We have performed these shows in 7 states this past year and have added ocean acidification as a new emphasis.
We frequently get e-mails from Wavemakers who have questions or comments about our work. But every once in a while we get stories that just plain make our day. We got such an e-mail on Friday from a father named Frank. He wrote:
My son, who is 8 years old, has started a charity on his own. We read an article about how marine animals are dying from starvation after mistakenly eating plastic bags...especially sea turtles. So my son saved his money all summer (from picking up dog poop in our back yard) and used the money to buy reusable shopping bags.
Eleven-year-old sea turtle activist and 2009 Ocean Hero nominee Casey Sokolovic and her parents visited Oceana HQ in Washington, DC last Friday. Coincidentally, I was in North Carolina last week on the sea turtle nesting expedition you've been reading about, so I didn't get the chance to meet her. We traded places -- she was in the office, and I was looking for sea turtles nesting and visiting the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center where she volunteers. To raise money for the Center, she has held bake sales (with turtle-shaped cookies, of course), and has worked with NC coffee brewery Joe Van Gogh to create an organic sea turtle blend. Her coffee is now being carried in Whole Foods stores throughout the Carolinas, with 10% of the proceeds going to the center.
World Oceans Day is just a few short weeks away and we have several exciting things for you leading up to the big day, June 8th. Drum roll, please: The polls are now open for the 2009 Ocean Hero Contest! Now through the end of May you can vote for your pick for 2009's Ocean Hero. The winner will be announced on World Oceans Day (June 8) and will receive a $500 Nautica gift certificate, as well as the respect and admiration of the ocean conservation community.