We asked our Ocean Heroes finalists: If you were elected President, what would be the first thing on your agenda?
They gave us some pretty great answers, check them out below, and donâ€™t forget to vote for your favorite finalist! Who knows, maybe one of our finalists will be running for President themselves someday.
Michele Hunter Stop the killing of all marine mammals throughout the entire world.
Hardy Jones Expose levels of pollution.
Kristofor Lofgren I would change our energy policy, because reducing carbon and oil and gas spills, creates a healthier and less acidic ocean.
Dave Rauschkolb End offshore oil drilling.
Rick Steiner An emergency effort in clean, sustainable energy, and energy conservation, to stop climate change and its devastating impacts on marine ecosystems.
Don Voss Appoint Sylvia Earle Secretary of World's Oceans and give her free reins to establish regulations as needed.
Sara Brenes Ban all shark finning in US, no shark products to be sold, imported or exported, create an ocean world conservation summit to try and make a plan to end shark finning, whaling and overfishing and try to create peaceful and safe ocean pact.
The Calvineers Reinforce the Endangered Species Act, especially the Marine Mammal Act so that NOAA would be better funded and more efficient at protecting marine mammals from human made dangers.
Sam Harris No killing sharks on this earth ever!!!!
James Hemphill Ban the chemical BPA from plastics to reduce the human input of toxins in the ocean.
Teakahla WhiteCloud I would ban all long-line fishing and trawler fishing and make sure all ocean laws are strictly enforced and make all reef systems National Parks.
Only a few more days of voting are left, tell us your favorite finalists today at oceana.org/heroes!
Photo Credits (clockwise from top left): Oceana/Juan Cuentos, Oceana/Maria Jose Cortex, Oceana/Carlos Suarez, Kip Evans Photography, Oceana/Carlos Suarez, Oceana/Carlos Suarez, Oceana/LX, Oceana/Juan Cuentos, Oceana/LX, Oceana/Juan Cuentos, Oceana/Enrique Talledo.
Weâ€™re excited to announce that The Economist World Oceans Summit will take place in late February â€“ and our CEO Andy Sharpless will be there representing Oceana.
The Summit will take place in Singapore from February 22nd-24th, and Sharpless will be joined by more than 200 global leaders in business, government, academia and NGOs, including famed oceanographer Sylvia Earle, NOAA administrator Jane Lubchenco, National Geographic explorer-in-residence Enric Sala, and many others.
Weâ€™re glad to see the The Economist devoting this summit to the oceans, and with such an extraordinary group of panelists and attendees, we hope the event will produce a constructive dialogue on solutions to the oceansâ€™ biggest threats. You can learn more about the summit program and register your place at the summit at www.economist.com/worldoceanssummit.
You can also join in the ocean discussion on the Economist website prompted by Sharplessâ€™ question: Is it inevitable that global fisheries will be depleted? Go ahead, weigh in!
TED conferences â€śbring together the world's leading thinkers and doers for a series of talks, presentations and performances.â€ť So it was only a matter of time until TED tackled the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Topics will include: mitigation of the spill and the impending cleanup efforts; energy alternatives; policy and economics; and new technology that can help us build a self-reliant culture.
The presenters will include the following experts:
Leading up to the G-20 Summit in Toronto next month, today Oceana and TEDâ€™s Mission Blue delivered a letter to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper calling on G-20 nations to stop the expansion of worldwide fishing subsidies, and to prioritize a strong outcome in the World Trade Organization (WTO) fisheries subsidies negotiations.
Last week I participated in one of the most inspiring events in my tenure in the ocean conservation movement: the Mission Blue voyage to the Galapagos.
The voyage was led by legendary oceanographer Sylvia Earle and included about 100 movers and shakers, including celebrity environmentalists such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Edward Norton, Glenn Close and 30 of the world's leading marine scientists and non-profit leaders (like me).
We all had one question in mind: How can we work together to save the oceans?
Iâ€™m thrilled to write that we were able to put aside our conservation turf battles and collaborate to find real answers to the oceanâ€™s biggest problems. In just four days, we spearheaded the following initiatives:
- $1 million to complete a package to protect the waters around the Galapagos Islands
- $1.1 million to launch a plan to protect the Sargasso Sea and commitments to raise a further $2.5 million to see the plan through to success
- $350,000 to boost ocean exposure in schools
- $3.25 million to commence a campaign to end fishing subsidies
- $10 million to start a new partnership to fund longer-term ocean projects
Thatâ€™s a head-spinning amount of progress in four days -- but I canâ€™t say Iâ€™m surprised considering all the brainpower and talent on board.
The folks at TED recorded more than 20 talks on ocean issues while on board, so be sure to look out for those in the coming months.
You can read more details about the background on the Mission Blue voyage at the TED blog.
Andy Sharpless is the CEO of Oceana.