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Forums on Ocean Issues

Below is a list, along with accompanying reports, of major MCRI forums.

After the Gulf: What Did We Learn?

Aquarium of the Pacific

January 27, 2011

After the Gulf: What Did We Learn?

On October 21-22, 2010 the Aquarium of the Pacific’s Marine Conservation Research Institute (MCRI) conducted a Forum entitled “After the Gulf: What Did We Learn?” The focus of the first day was preventing recurrence of a similar event and when/if ones does occur, how to respond more efficiently and effectively. The focus of the second day was on the consequences of a continued reliance on fossil fuels, the role the ocean will probably play in meeting the continuing demand for oil, and strategies to accelerate a movement away from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. A secondary theme was whether an event similar to Deepwater Horizon could occur off California’s coast.

The Role of Public Support in Protecting Special Places in the Gulf of CA and the Southern CA Bight

Aquarium of the Pacific

November 18, 2010

The Role of Public Support in Protecting Special Places in the Gulf of CA and the Southern CA Bight

Key to gaining public support in establishing marine protected areas and natural protected areas is including the public in the process of identifying, designating and maintaining these special areas. On September 23-24, 2010, a workshop was held at the Aquarium of the Pacific that brought together scientists, environmental managers, policy-makers, informal educators, and stakeholders to develop public outreach strategies for two areas with different challenges but the same need to protect ocean resources—the Gulf of California and the Southern California Bight. This report is a summary of the workshop discussion and recommendations.

The Southern California Bight (SCB) is a highly developed region with multiple and diverse uses by a population of more than 20 million people. The challenge is to allocate human uses and uses by marine life in a sustainable way.

The Gulf of California is sparsely developed and has a population of only about 8.6 million people, many of whom depend upon the gulf for their livelihoods. Fishing is a major source of income for them. The challenges here are to work for sustainable development and to ensure that plans for designation of special ocean places will enhance the standard of living of those whose livelihood depends on the Gulf of California resources.

Ecosystems and Fisheries

Aquarium of the Pacific

September 9, 2010

Ecosystems and Fisheries

Ocean on the Edge Reports

The report explores the impacts a rising sea and associated storm surges will have on the U.S. and nations throughout the world, and on coastal living resources. It describes areas at greatest risk and offers suggestions for increasing the resilience of coastal communities.

In May 2009, the Aquarium brought together a group of leading marine scientists, informal educators, communicators, exhibit designers, and public policy experts to identify and explore major ocean issues and to develop documents and strategies to engage the public in these issues.

Support for the conference was provided by NOAA, NSF, Southern California Edison, the Marine Conservation Research Institute of the Aquarium of the Pacific, Kings Seafood, and Santa Monica Seafood.

Critical Condition: Ocean Health and Human Health

Aquarium of the Pacific

September 9, 2010

Critical Condition: Ocean Health and Human Health

Ocean on the Edge Reports

This report explores the interconnectedness of ocean health and human health. The ocean provides benefits to human health including controlling our climate, providing a rich source of healthy protein, providing a source for new medicines, and providing recreational and aesthetic benefits. Yet the ocean also harbors marine toxins and disease causing agents. Human actions are adversely impacting the ocean, increasing these risks and despoiling the beneficial ocean resources. This report explores these concepts and describes some of the actions being taken to mitigate the risks.

Pollution in the Ocean: Everything Flows Downhill

Aquarium of the Pacific

September 9, 2010

Pollution in the Ocean: Everything Flows Downhill

Ocean on the Edge Reports

The report explores the sources of pollution to the ocean, their consequences, and ways to manage manage each category of pollutants. Pollutants discussed include: marine debris, nutrients, CO2, toxicants, fecal wastes, oil, and noise.

Is Offshore Finfish Aquaculture in the Southern California Bight an Idea Whose Time Has Come?

Aquarium of the Pacific

January 27, 2009

Is Offshore Finfish Aquaculture in the Southern California Bight an Idea Whose Time Has Come?

The per capita consumption of seafood in the greater Los Angeles area is approximately twice the national average, and the demand continues to grow as population increases and people become more aware of the health benefits of eating seafood. How will the demand for seafood be met? Is sustainable aquaculture part of the answer?

In September 2008 the Aquarium convened a group of proponents of aquaculture, opponents, and the undecided to answer the question:

Is there an opportunity for development of offshore finfish aquaculture in the Southern California Bight?

Aquaculture Siting Workshop

Aquarium of the Pacific

January 12, 2009

Aquaculture Siting Workshop

On July 16, 2007 the Aquarium of the Pacific organized and facilitated a day and a half workshop that brought together scientists, restaurateurs, participants from the aquaculture industry, and representatives of governmental agencies to explore siting of fish farms in state and federal waters of the Southern California Bight.

Follow the link to read the goals of the workshop.

Priming the Pump

Marine Conservation Research Institute

November 13, 2008

Priming the Pump

How Will Southern California Make Up For The Water It Will Lose From The Delta Because Of Pumping Restrictions To Protect Threatened Species?

On September 23, 2008, the Aquarium of the Pacific and the Long Beach Water Department convened and facilitated a forum to explore how southern California could make-up for these losses in water supply from the Delta.

The situation is compounded by losses from the Colorado River which supplies an additional 15-17% of the region’s total water use and which has experienced a severe drought for the past eight years. The forum brought together water experts, policy-makers, water managers, and environmentalists. The forum consisted of formal presentations to provide context and to explore options for diversifying southern California’s water supply portfolio, and interactive workshop sessions to review, revise, and refine each of the options. The forum concluded with an opportunity for the entire group to respond to the findings and recommendations for each option and to modify them.

This brief report is a summary of the findings and recommendations. All have the support of most, if not all, of the participants.

Danger on the Delta

Aquarium of the Pacific

March 13, 2007

Danger on the Delta

Is Southern California Betting Its Future on an Unstable Water System?

The Aquarium of the Pacific sponsored a half-day conference and workshop to explore the topic, “Danger on the Delta: Is Southern California Betting Its Future on an Unstable Water System?”

The timing was triggered by the publication of the book, “The Edge of Disaster: Rebuilding a Resilient Nation” by Stephen Flynn, that contains a chapter on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta entitled “Danger on the Delta”, and on Flynn’s offer to give a public lecture on this chapter, and to participate in the conference.

Wetlands and Watershed Public Education and Outreach

Aquarium of the Pacific

October 12, 2006

Wetlands and Watershed Public Education and Outreach

The Aquarium of the Pacific and the Southern California Wetlands Recovery Project hosted a half-day forum for zoos, aquaria, museums, and other educational organizations in the Southern California region to discuss wetland and watershed education and outreach.

Literally millions of people use these Southern California institutions each year, and there is a need to explore how all these organizations might work collaboratively to maximize the effectiveness of important messages about these issues. The forum resulted in stimulating and productive discussions where the participating institutions shared their experiences and ideas on wetland and watershed education outreach.

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