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The cascading crisis in our seas from overfishing, pollution, coastal sprawl and climate change is real and critical. Blue Frontier is the only group dedicated to promoting unity among all ocean interests in order to build a social movement for our seas and identify and enact solutions that can make a difference both in policy and in the water.
The past 18 months:
- In March Blue Frontier sponsored and organized a 4-day Blue Vision Summit in Washington D.C. for over 400 ocean leaders that included planning and meetings with the new administration and Congress.
- BF played a key role in the successful campaign to promote the establishment of the first ever US Ocean policy, which was signed by President Obama in July of this year.
- BF worked with Digital Ocean on the project/documentary ‘Students Saving the Ocean’ which won the Judges Award at the 2010 Grey’s Reef Ocean Film Festival.
- BF president and author David Helvarg and Illustrator/cartoonist Jim Toomey did ‘50 Ways to Save the Ocean’ presentations in San Francisco and Paris.
- In June and July Blue Frontier’s David Helvarg worked in the Gulf of Mexico reporting on the BP oil spill disaster, producing news articles, Blue Notes reports and a video.
- In June BF held the 3rd Annual Blue Frontier/Peter Benchley Ocean Awards at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. Over two hundred people attended. Philippe Cousteau was Master of Ceremonies. The seven winners were presented Benchley Manta Awards designed by Wyland.
- BF updated its website to improve access and ease of use.
- In May David Helvarg’s book ‘Saved by the Sea – A Love Story with Fish’ was published by St. Martin’s Press. BF organized a 23-city book tour.
- BF explorer Roz Savage completed her row from California to Papua New Guinea, becoming the first woman to row solo across the Pacific. BF explorer Margo Pellegrino paddled an outrigger canoe from Seattle to San Diego to raise awareness of our oceans at risk.
The Next 18 Months:
If once we had to ‘think globally and act locally’ BF believes that new conditions require we think globally but act locally, regionally, nationally and globally simultaneously if we’re to turn the tide and restore our blue planet.
BF is continuing its efforts to:
- Protect Point Molate in Richmond, California from efforts to convert the last 400 acres of undeveloped Bay Area headlands into a Casino/Resort. Instead it’s campaigning to promote a better vision and phased plan for a working waterfront park.
- Focus on California’s ocean protection needs through a new book project by BF President David Helvarg on California and the Sea.
- Work at the national level through Blue Vision Summits, Benchley Awards and public outreach campaigns around ‘50 Ways to Save the Ocean.’ BF will organize a third national Blue Vision Summit in Washington D.C. in the spring of 2011. Basic themes of the Summit will include restoration of the Gulf of Mexico after the BP disaster, implementing sustainable ocean policy for the nation and responding to the global impacts of climate on the sea.
BF is expanding its work:
BF is dedicated to following up on the White House’s Ocean Policy initiative by seeing it codified into law as a U.S. Ocean Protection Act. Also BF believes that along with a newly dedicated ocean fund, the U.S. needs to establish a Department of the Ocean made up of the U.S. Coast Guard for operations and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for science and policy to provide solid leadership for the restoration and use of our public seas.
Blue Frontier is taking the Blue Vision global
Blue Frontier has spent seven years promoting a “seaweed rebellion,’ of bottom-up solution-oriented marine grassroots efforts in the United States. At the same time we recognize the world ocean has no borders or boundaries. In 2011 we want to begin the process needed to take our vision global.
The first step will be to update and expand our ‘Ocean and Coastal Conservation Guide’ that was a book and is now an online directory identifying over 1,200 U.S. citizen groups, agencies, science centers and marine parks working on ocean protection. We need to include their counterparts around the world.
This project would run parallel with the planning of a first global Blue Vision Summit for our Blue Planet. Summit planning, including an appropriate venue outside the United States, could begin at or before the spring 2011 Blue Vision Summit in D.C.
BF will also continue to solidify the Blue Frontier/Peter Benchley Ocean Awards as the gold standard for marine conservation recognition of excellence in a range of fields and disciplines including science, policy, media, youth activism and the grassroots, ‘Hero of the Seas’ category.
BF will also continue to expand its educational efforts through public speaking, its Blue Notes online newsletter, opinion and video pieces in the media and its ’50 Ways to Save the Ocean’ book distribution and educational spin-offs.
To achieve all this BF needs to rapidly expand its capacity (we presently have a staff of two and a part-time intern). This means a major development campaign focusing both on foundation and private sector support for our efforts as well as individual donors, an expanded board of directors recommitted to meeting these goals and a series of well-targeted fundraising events.
A short video about Blue Frontier’s aims and efforts, incorporating existing footage will also be produced as a way to introduce people to our organization.