Breaking Waves: Ocean News

No Refuge: Tons of Trash Cover Remote Alaskan Shores
07/02/2013 - 09:11
A great article by Carl Safina about the tsunami debris (Japan, 2011) washing up on the remotest shores of the Alaskan wilderness.
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UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon to Launch "Oceans Compact"
08/15/2012 - 11:13
UN Secretary-General to Launch Oceans Compact at Yeosu International Conference NEW YORK, 10 August ― United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will launch the Oceans Compact—an initiative to strengthen United Nations system-wide coherence to deliver on its oceans-related mandates--on Sunday, 12 August, in Yeosu, Republic of Korea. The new Compact, “Healthy Oceans for Prosperity—An Initiative of the Secretary-General,” aims to bring together all parts of the UN system to improve the coordination and effectiveness of the work of the UN on oceans. Mr. Ban will launch the initiative at the Yeosu International Conference to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the Opening for Signature of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. “The world’s oceans are key to sustaining life on the planet,” the Secretary-General says in the Compact, “constituting a conduit for ninety per cent of the world trade, and for connecting people, markets and livelihoods.”  But he adds that humans have put the oceans under risk of irreversible damage by overfishing, climate change and ocean acidification, increasing pollution, unsustainable coastal area development, and unwanted impacts from resource extraction, resulting in loss of biodiversity, decreased abundance of species, damage to habitats and loss of ecological functions. The Oceans Compact aims to mobilize and enhance the UN system´s capacity to support actions by Governments, and promote the engagement of intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, scientists, the private sector and industry to tackle challenges in protecting and restoring the health and productivity of the oceans for the benefit of present and future generations. The Compact sets out a strategic vision for the UN system on oceans, consistent with the Rio+20 outcome document, “The Future We Want,” in which countries agreed on a range of measures to be taken to protect the oceans and promote sustainable development. The Oceans Compact also supports the implementation of existing relevant instruments, in particular the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. With the goal of achieving “Healthy Oceans for Prosperity”, the Compact establishes three objectives: protecting people and improving the health of the oceans; protecting, recovering and sustaining the oceans’ environment and natural resources; and strengthening ocean knowledge and the management of oceans. In addition to providing a platform for all stakeholders to collaborate and accelerate progress toward promoting healthy oceans, the Compact will be underpinned by pragmatic short-, medium- and long-term strategies to increase coordination and cooperation at the national, regional and global levels as well as within the United Nations system. The intent is to address the cumulative impacts of sectoral activities on the marine environment, including through implementing ecosystem and precautionary approaches. In the Compact, the Secretary-General proposes the creation of an Oceans Advisory Group, composed of Executive Heads of involved UN system organizations, high-level policy-makers, scientists, leading ocean experts, private sector representatives, representatives of non-governmental organizations and civil society organizations. The Advisory Group would also advise on strategies for mobilizing resources needed for the implementation of the Oceans Compact Action Plan. Background The launch of the Oceans Compact follows the announcement by the Secretary-General earlier this year of his Five-Year Action Agenda, which includes oceans as a main category. In that context, he decided to give strong emphasis to the importance of oceans and their role in sustainable development by putting forward the idea of an Oceans Compact that would commit the wide United Nations System to furthering “healthy oceans for prosperity.” The timing of this initiative is especially significant as 2012 marks the 30th anniversary of the opening for signature of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which sets out the legal framework within which all activities in the oceans and seas must be carried out.  The Convention is considered of strategic importance as the basis for national, regional and global action and cooperation in the marine sector and as an important contribution to the maintenance of peace, justice and progress for all peoples of the world.   The Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (DOALOS) in the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs (OLA) has been organizing a series of events at UN Headquarters to commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of the Convention, including a panel discussion held on World Oceans Day (8 June 2012 - see: and the production of a video entitled "UNCLOS at 30" (available at The commemoration will continue at the General Assembly’s sixty-seventh session, with two days of high-level meetings, on 10 and 11 December 2012, and the publication of a pamphlet and a commemorative booklet on UNCLOS. For further information, please contact Dan Shepard, UN Department of Public Information, 1 212-963-9495, email  
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"Bloody Bay Wall" World Premiere
03/19/2012 - 19:03
Our friend and colleague David Conover of Compass Light Productions will debut two short films at this year's Environmental Film Festival in Washington A discussion with filmmaker David Conover and marine scientist Nancy Knowlton will follow the screening on Sunday, March 25th. "Exploring Bloody Bay Wall" was co-produced by World Ocean Observatory for inclusion in our second module, Ocean Biodiversity, for the Subscription Services.
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Summary of Oceans Day | COP17, Durban South Africa
12/05/2011 - 08:36
December 5, 2011   During the Dec. 3rd meeting a variety of issues were discussed: impacts of sea level rise, extreme weather events, the specific vulnerability of small island developing states, and ocean acidification. This REPORT chronologically summarizes the presentations and discussions held during Oceans Day at the COP17 in Durban, South Africa. A special thanks to the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) for compiling this data into a comprehensive summary of the day.
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Peter Neill on NY Brand Lab Radio
11/08/2011 - 18:10
NY Brand Lab Radio Tuesday, November 9, 2011 10-11 a.m. EST Looking to change the future and the world? Let's start with branding Oceans. Meet Peter Neill. He’s minding the future and affairs of the world’s Oceans. He knows every ocean needs an advocate so he’s on a mission. As Ocean Guardian, he wants the world to see the ocean as an interconnected system of relationships. The ocean, after all, is comprehensive social system that integrates human need for all things (take fresh water, food, energy, health, transport, recreation, for starters.) But in reality, the significance of the ocean is fundamentally misunderstood and critically ignored at most levels of society. The ocean is, in fact,  viewed as just a place apart. Call in to the show with a question or to join in the conversation: (646) 652-2383.
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Subscription Service Module Now Available At No Cost
05/23/2011 - 08:29
World Ocean Observatory's Subscription Service The (W2O) is pleased to announce that the first module of the Subscription Service, OCEAN CLIMATE, is now available for FREE! Read more about this audio-visual and educational module on key ocean issues here.     
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Compass Light Productions Offers Ocean Workshop in June
04/18/2011 - 13:53
Early in the summer of 2011, Compass Light Productions of Camden, Maine will be offering a one-week OCEAN WORKSHOP to qualified applicants, age 21-25 years, hosted on the Maine Coast. Bring your own field production gear -whether it be DSLR or video camera. You''ll will set off on day expeditions to known locations in Penobscot Bay, as well as one overnight trip to an island, offering guided access to some of the East Coast’s most pristine and rugged landscapes. Evenings will be spent in one of theier HD edit suites. Class size will be limited. Need more information?
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NOAA Tsunami Educational Resources
03/23/2011 - 12:07
Due to the overwhelming requests for Tsunami related education materials in the aftermath of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, the NOAA Office of Education has put together a resource list of existing NOAA and NOAA Partner materials on tsunamis and tsunami safety. This collection will soon be updated to reflect the format of other collections. Read More.
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Banana Slug String Band Releases Ocean Literacy CD
01/11/2011 - 09:41
The long awaited, COSEE/NMEA/NOAA/NMSF/LHS-sponsored children's music CD focused on ocean literacy will be officially released on January 11, 2011 by the Banana Slug String Band. The CD is available through the Slug's web site, through many stores and distributors including iTunes and other online music services. ONLY ONE OCEAN is 14 new songs from the award-winning Banana Slug String Band, all designed to inspire young people and their families to learn about and care for the ocean. Special guests include George Winston, Brett Dennen, Zach Gill & Grammy winners Victor Wooten and BeaSoleil avec Michael Doucet. Learn more and buy your copy at their website. Contact the Slugs if you wish to make large orders for education programs.
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Our Changing Ocean: NCSE 11th National Conference on Science, Policy, and the Environment
12/21/2010 - 08:30
January 19-21, 2011 Washington, D.C. Join over 1,200 scientists, professionals, policy makers, nonprofit leaders, university faculty and students to share perspectives and develop action-oriented recommendations, new initiatives and other outcomes to improve our stewardship of oceans and their resources.  Our Changing Oceans will take place from January 19-21, 2011, at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC. FEATURED SPEAKERS: < Hon. William Reilly, Former Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency < Frances Beinecke, President, Natural Resources Defense Council < Adm. Thad Allen, Former Coast Guard Commandant, National Incident Commander of the BP Oil Spill, RAND Corporation < Major General Michael Walsh, Army Corps of Engineers < Sherri Goodman, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Center for Naval Analysis, former Under Secretary of Defense < Michael Bromwich, Director, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement < Senator Mark Begich, Alaska   Breakout Sessions, Symposia, and Plenary Roundtables will be woven through eight theme groups: 1. Oceans and carbon 2. Coastal ocean change and the potential for adaptation 3. Oceans and living marine ecosystems 4. Oceans and human health 5. Oceans Affect Everyone 6. Tipping points 7. White Arctic/Blue Arctic 8. Observing and measuring ocean changes for improved stewardship  
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