December 16, 2011
The Aquarium of the Pacific’s President and CEO Jerry Schubel attended the second annual GovGreen conference in Washington, D.C. in December. Schubel was also a speaker at the conference. Most participating agencies and organizations represented the government, military, and private sectors. The Aquarium of the Pacific was the only representative from the zoo and aquarium industry to attend.
GovGreen is sponsored by the Center for Environmental Innovation and Leadership, an independent source of information on sustainable programs, practices, and products in the federal government and military. The organization’s mission is to connect government and business stakeholders to find practical ways to translate green policies into actionable plans to green our government.
Schubel participated on a panel discussion titled “Green Approaches to Disaster Preparedness and Response.” Mark Heany, vice president at TechLaw Inc., served as the panel’s moderator. Richard Rotanz, executive director of the Applied Science Foundation for Homeland Security, and Margaret Davidson, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Coastal Services Center, were the other panelists.
During this session, speakers looked at tools for integrating sustainability into disaster preparedness and response, as well as the importance of community connectivity in those processes. As Earth’s temperature rises, the frequency and severity of natural disasters increases. Recovery time after a natural or human-induced disaster depends on effective preparedness, planning, and training.
Part of the Aquarium’s efforts in this vein include hosting events throughout the year that celebrate the diversity of Southern California while building connections within the local community, as a sense of community and shared resources increases resilience in the face of disasters, according to Schubel.