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Forums on Ocean Issues

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

Ocean Desalination

Aquarium of the Pacific

October 5, 2006

Ocean Desalination

On October 5, 2006, the Desal Response Group and the Aquarium of the Pacific co-sponsored a one-day conference on ocean desalination that brought together more than 70 experts and activists on issues related to ocean desalination.

The stated goal of the conference was to provide a fresh, balanced perspective of the potential role ocean desalination might play in Southern California’s water portfolio in 2030. While some sessions might not have provided a fully balanced discussion of issues related to ocean desalination in the context of all other sources of fresh water, many important points of agreement and contention did emerge. This brief document is a summary of those points. We have divided them into three categories: major conclusions, points of uncertainty, next steps.

Conference on Ocean Literacy

Aquarium of the Pacific

July 21, 2006

Conference on Ocean Literacy

As part of the national Conference on Ocean Literacy (CoOL), the Aquarium of the Pacific hosted a simultaneous event in Long Beach, California.

The California conference brought together 119 participants representing academia, aquariums, museums, science centers, media, federal and state government officials and staff, industry, non-profit organizations, foundations, and other stakeholders with an interest in environmental literacy. Attendees discussed the essential principles of ocean literacy; suggested strategies for achieving ocean literacy; and outlined the current challenges and opportunities facing the nation and California for educating school children and the general public to make informed and responsible decisions about the ocean and its resources.

Increasing Public Ocean Awareness and Understanding

Aquarium of the Pacific

July 14, 2006

Increasing Public Ocean Awareness and Understanding

An Aquarium Model

The average American has little knowledge of ocean and coastal ecosystems and how we humans affect them. And the gap between science and the public is increasing. It is clear that our oceans are in trouble and that any effective efforts to restore and protect them must be rooted in strong support by a well-informed public.

This has been the driving force for placing a much higher priority on public ocean education at the Aquarium of the Pacific. This theme of ocean awareness and literacy will be an integral component of both existing and future exhibits and programs inside and outside the Aquarium. The public’s ocean awareness, literacy, and stewardship must increase if we are to make strides in protecting and conserving our marine resources.

The Pike at Queensway Bay

Aquarium of the Pacific

April 10, 2006

The Pike at Queensway Bay

A Panel Discussion

In 1992, the Disney Corporation decided not to bring the DisneySea theme park and development to the Long Beach urban waterfront. As a result, the City of Long Beach took it upon itself to make a plan to develop its under-utilized downtown shoreline.

The City hired the internationally known architectural firm, Ehrenkrantz & Eckstut, to prepare a master plan. The plan had three components: Rainbow Harbor, the Aquarium of the Pacific, and the Pike at Queensway Bay. With a $40 million loan from the Economic Development Administration of the federal government, Rainbow Harbor was dredged and a wonderful esplanade and docks created. The Board of Directors of the Aquarium of the Pacific sold $120 million in revenue bonds and partnered with Kajima Urban Development to open the Aquarium in 1998. The Pike at Queensway Bay has been the most difficult component to successfully complete.

Public Ocean Literacy II

Aquarium of the Pacific

March 15, 2006

Public Ocean Literacy II

Making Ocean Science Understandable

In the past several years a number of reports about the ocean and its problems and surveys on environmental literacy have pointed out that while people love the ocean, many neither know much about it nor believe that their actions affect its health.

The U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy (USCOP) and the Pew Oceans Commission reports state a need to broaden ocean education and awareness at all levels of society from pre-schoolers to senior citizens so that, whether they live on the coast or in middle America, all will understand the impact the ocean has on them and the impact they have on the ocean. The goal—an “ocean literate” public. Ocean literacy is defined by the National Science Foundation’s Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE) and the National Marine Educators Association (NMEA) as “understanding the ocean’s influence on you and your influence on the ocean”. What ocean science does the public need to know and understand and what are the best strategies and methods for turning the science into messages and stories that make it not only memorable and understandable to the audience, but also result in stewardship of the ocean?

Public Ocean Literacy

Aquarium of the Pacific

October 26, 2005

Public Ocean Literacy

What residents of Southern California should know

This report summarizes the results of a workshop held at the Aquarium of the Pacific. The workshop was held in response to the call for greater ocean literacy by the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy (USCOP) report, the U.S. Ocean Action Plan, and the Pew Oceans Commission report.

In the past several years, a number of reports and research papers have pointed out that while people love the ocean, they neither know much about it, nor believe that their actions affect its health. That is, they are not “ocean literate.” It was also pointed out that there is a need to develop ocean education programs targeted not only at the formal education sector, but also at the general public—from pre-schoolers to senior citizens.

A Forum on the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers’ Watersheds

Aquarium of the Pacific

June 10, 2004

A Forum on the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers’ Watersheds

A watershed is defined as a specific land area that drains water into a river system or other body of water. The prominent cities in Southern California would not be located where they are today were it not for the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers and the fertile soil around its watersheds.

For centuries these rivers were the sole source of water for its inhabitants. The rivers’ water not only helped make Los Angeles County and Orange County two of the richest agriculture regions in the nation, but also shaped its image as the “Southern California Eden”. Today however, the images of our watersheds contradict its importance to the history and development of this region.

Forum on Ports II

Aquarium of the Pacific

December 3, 2003

Forum on Ports II

This meeting was the second in what is planned to be a series of meetings having the end goal of creating a public exhibit and collateral programs on the Ports of San Pedro Bay at Aquarium of the Pacific. These programs and exhibits will serve to educate guests of all ages about our ports and why they are an essential component of a sustainable coastal community in the future.

It’s Turtles All the Way Down

Forward Planning Committee of the Aquarium’s Board of Directors

August 26, 2003

It’s Turtles All the Way Down

As the Aquarium of the Pacific plans to expand, there is a need for fresh ideas to incorporate into the programs and exhibits. In order to increase and sustain attendance, the Aquarium must refresh itself through growth and improvements to the existing facility. Opportunities may be presented through future additions and extensions, but can also be started on a smaller scale with more modest and meaningful enhancements to the existing building. The second of a series of workshops on animals ranging from whales to corals, today’s meeting focused on the plight of turtles and the different ways the Aquarium can bring out their stories, threats, experiences, and habitats. A list of participants is included in Appendix A, and the workshop agenda is included in Appendix B. This workshop is an outgrowth of a discussion held by the Forward Planning Committee of the Aquarium’s Board of Directors.

Forum on Ports

Aquarium of the Pacific

June 6, 2003

Forum on Ports

Our Ports in Perspective

The Aquarium of the Pacific is developing plans for a port exhibit. The Aquarium is the only aquarium in the country, perhaps the world, that focuses on building and sustaining natural capital—nature—by building and sustaining social capital—the ties between and among people.

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