June 1, 2009
With World Ocean Day approaching, experts from around the country gathered at the Aquarium of the Pacific’s request to develop communication strategies to deal with the most pressing ocean issues facing our nation. Experts from NASA/Jet Propulsion Lab, Stanford, NOAA, and other leading institutions joined in response to the National Academy of Sciences’ ocean environmental reports. The issues covered include marine ecosystems and fisheries, ocean health and human health, coastal hazards, and pollution in the ocean.
“Ocean health and its impact on human health were among the top concerns,” said Dr. Jerry Schubel, president and CEO of the Aquarium of the Pacific. “Our challenge is to make these issues accessible to the public and provide the tools to take personal action.”
Experts in several fields from around the nation included communications experts from Stanford University and Duke University; marine experts from UCLA, Oceana, the CSC Corporation, and the Southern California Marine Institute; education experts from other aquariums around the nation; as well as experts in pollution, climate change, coastal hazards, aquaculture, and film, from Harvard University, NASA/Jet Propulsion Lab, Johns Hopkins University, the Chronicles Group, Texas A & M University, and MacGillivray Freeman Films.
During their meeting, the experts worked on updating the National Academy of Sciences’ Ocean Science Series to make it more relevant to the public. “It is of vital importance to engage the public on these issues since the ocean covers over 70 percent of our planet and affects our health, economy, climate, and other issues pertinent to our survival,” said Dr. James Wood, director of education of the Aquarium of the Pacific. The reports will be used by educators and the general public to gain knowledge on current issues and to explore different ways to get involved.
The Aquarium of the Pacific encourages the public to learn more about these issues, and World Ocean Day on June 8 serves as an opportunity to learn more.