John Kerry (US State Dept) asks, “What will you do to help protect the ocean?”

John Kerry of the US State Department on human threat on our oceans and how we might protect it:

From the webpage:

“Our ocean today is at grave risk – and it’s not happening by accident. Human activity is the cause. Harmful fishing practices, even illegal fishing; giant garbage patches; hundreds of dead zones; and rising carbon dioxide levels – all of it threatens life under the sea. That’s the bad news. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be that way. Governments, communities, and individuals can act now to reverse these trends. We can protect the ocean if we all start treating it like ‘our ocean.’”

‘The US Department of State will host the “Our Ocean” Conference on 16 & 17 June (#OurOcean2014). Invited individuals, experts, practitioners, advocates, lawmakers, and the international ocean and foreign policy communities will gather lessons learned, share the best science, offer unique perspectives, and demonstrate effective action.

They aim to chart a way forward, working individually and together, to protect “Our Ocean.”’

The conference will be accessible on the internet.

They add, “wherever you live, you can help in some way. We can make a healthier ocean, for this generation and those to come.”
And ask. “What will you do to help protect our ocean?

“Show your support and tell others how you’ll make this commitment…”

  • I will let my national and local leaders know that protecting our ocean is important to me.
  • I will ask whether my seafood has been caught in a sustainable manner.
  • I will not eat shark fin soup.
  • I will not throw trash into our ocean or waterways.
  • I will volunteer at least one day a year to help clean our waterways or beaches.

Visit to make your pledge and help raise awareness of the conference and the awareness of marine pollution,sustainable fisheries and ocean acidification by joining the Thunderclap!

Our Ocean

The curse of plastics – in beautiful Norway as much as it is everywhere!

Northern Norway – stunning coastlines, clear water and a mountainous backdrop. Yes, nature is in perfect shape. Or is it? The camera pans to plastic amidst the Norwegian coastline.

“Norwegians for Clean Coasts” is a six-minute video which remind viewers that plastic will enter the food chain, and the footage of micro fragments being.

Ren Kyst (Norwegians for Clean Coasts), aims to clean up marine litter along 35 heavily littered beaches and coastline in northern Norway. The County Governors office fund the cleanups by volunteers and the programme involves various municipalities, councils and the Norwegian Coast Guard, the Norwegian Coastal Administration, fishermens associations and the municipal waste management company.

The Coast Guard also helps with trash removal after cleanups.

This project is led by Bo Eide, an environmentalist at the Tromsø Municipality. He had previously worked on the upstream project reinforced the deposit/refund system where producers are granted a refund of their environmental fee for a 95% recycling rate of non-refillable plastic bottles and beverage cans.

Even in a country that faces the happy problem of having insufficient garbage to fuel energy plants, the issue of bioaccumulation of plastics in organisms is still a problem which requires Ren Kyst to mobilise support and raise awareness.

The call of the video is universal, and is something we experience in Singapore too. You can begin by hitting a beach to conduct a cleanup or sign up to volunteer with us!

Attenborough: “One of the most important films ever made” – Away, a film about plastic pollution in oceans

In the upcoming documentary, Away, Sir David Attenborough talks about the long-lasting impacts of “indestructible” plastic in the introduction:

Cancer survivor Jo Ruxton who is producing this film, previously worked on BBC’s Blue Planet and Life. She only learned of five gyres whilst filming Sharkland in 2007.

“We have to start asking why we produce so many non-reuseable items out of a material that is non-degradable. We have to start acting on this right now.

“People simply don’t realise that when they drop a fizzy drink bottle on a street, it will probably end up being washed down the drains and even- tually into the seas. People often struggle to connect their actions to the bigger picture – that’s what I want this film to achieve. To open people’s eyes.”

– “The man-made monster threatening our oceans,” by David Clensy. Bristol’s The Evening Post, 13 Dec 2011.

Find out about the film’s progress at the Plastic Oceans Foundation webpage.

Sherman’s Lagoon’s Jim Toomey talks about Marine Litter in two minutes (w/UNEP)

Chris Jordan’s Midway trailer has been critical in highlighting the problem of marine trash in our oceans.

Now Organisers of the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore have another tool, a succinct two minute video on marine litter by cartoonist Jim Toomey in collaboration with UNEP:

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has partnered with cartoonist Jim Toomey – of Sherman’s Lagoon fame – in developing a series of six two-minute videos intended to raise awareness of the importance of oceans and the coastal environment.

The videos use animation and humor to explain in clear and simple language the role oceans play in our lives and our very survival. “

See UNEP’s Two Minutes on Oceans with Jim Toomey for more.

Thanks to Lim Jialing and Andy Dinesh for sharing this through Facebook.

Exploring ways to improve our Plastic Karma: Electrolux’s Vac from the Sea

Vac from the Sea – Plastic parts of these vacuum cleaners below were made from plastic debris harvested from the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans and the Mediterranean, Baltic and North Seas.

“The vacuum cleaners embody the plastic paradox: oceans are full of plastic waste, yet on land there is a shortage of recycled plastic for producing sustainable vacuum cleaners. Electrolux makes Green Range vacuum cleaners from 70% recycled plastic, but wants to reach 100%.”

Vac form the Sea

They are on twitter

Charles Moore on the legacy of the throwaway culture (TED, Feb 2009)

Charles Moore of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation who first discovered the Great Pacific Garbage Patch “talks trash” at TED, Feb 2009.

“The Majestic Plastic Bag”

The Majestic Plastic Bag” – Heal the Bay, 2010.

This article explains the motivation behind the video: “Heal The Bay releases mockumentary promoting legislation banning plastic bags in California,” by Steve La. LA Weekly Blogs, 16 Aug 2010.

A mockumentary released today by Heal the Bay aims to promote the passage of AB 1998, a state measure that would ban the single-use of plastic bags in retail stores in California, according to a release by the nonprofit.

Actor Jeremy Irons narrated the four-minute piece, dubbed “The Majestic Plastic Bag,” that follows a plastic bag’s journey from a supermarket parking lot to the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” in the Pacific Ocean.

The short film delivers a message of environmental conservation wrapped in comedic satire.

“Rather than lecturing the audience, we wanted to create a film that would capture people’s attention with humor,” stated Mark Gold, president of Heal the Bay. “At the same time, we saw this as subversive way to make viewers realize the serious, far-reaching problem of single-use plastic bag pollution.

Around 19 billion plastic bags are used by Californians that amount to 123,000 tons of waste. Many bags end up in the ocean with less than five percent being recycled, according to Heal the Bay.

The bill is scheduled for a floor vote in the California Senate at the end of August. Governor Arnold Schwarzennegar has expressed support for it. If passed, California would be the first state to ban single-use plastic bags at retail locations.

Update, 31 Aug 2010 – “the state Senate failed Tuesday night, August 31, 2010, to approve AB 1998, the Heal the Bay-sponsored bill that would have barred the distribution of single-use plastic shopping bags at grocery stores, convenience stores and pharmacies statewide.” More at Heal the Bay.

Thanks to Tan Kai Xin for highlighting this on facebook earlier!