September 21st, 2006 03:41 EST
The Ocean Takes Care of Us, Let's Return the Favor
“Thank You Ocean,” a statewide public awareness and information outreach effort, is being launched by the California Resources Agency and NOAA. Empowering Californians to protect the Pacific is the focus of the campaign announced Monday at the California and the World Ocean '06 conference. The campaign is designed to spur citizen involvement and activity to help protect the ocean's health and resources. (Click NOAA illustration for larger view. Click here for high resolution version. Please credit “NOAA.”)
California Secretary for Resources Mike Chrisman and retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Jr., Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator, officially launched the campaign and unveiled the “Thank You Ocean” public service announcement during the opening session of California and the World Ocean '06 conference in Long Beach. A phrase from the announcement explains the campaign concept: "The ocean takes care of us. Let's return the favor."
"The ocean has provided California with exceptional natural resources and is vital to our well-being and our economy," said Chrisman. "We want all Californians to learn about how the ocean affects us, and what we all can do to ensure its health today for our generation and for generations that will follow in our footsteps."
Recent studies have brought the potential of deteriorating ocean health to the attention of the public. Action 7 of California's Ocean Action Plan released by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2004, specifically calls for California to launch an ocean and coastal stewardship media campaign to increase awareness about ocean issues. California's Ocean Protection Council was formed to address such needs and supports the “Thank You Ocean” campaign. The U.S. Ocean Action Plan also calls for increased public awareness, a national priority for NOAA and for the NOAA National Marine Sanctuary Program, with four national marine sanctuaries in California. (Click “Thank You Ocean” logo for larger view. Click here for high resolution version.)
"California is a leader in addressing ocean issues," said Lautenbacher. "NOAA is pleased to be a partner in this groundbreaking campaign. Californians are leading the way in learning about the ocean, changing behaviors to benefit our coast and ocean and getting involved in ocean issues."
The campaign Web site lists five things Californians can do to thank the ocean.
- Learn about the ocean: visit the campaign's Web site, a library or aquarium.
- Experience the ocean: swim, sunbathe, surf, boat, dive, fish, play or just sit and contemplate. To know our ocean is to love it, and to love the ocean is to protect it.
- Respect the ocean: take care where you step, don't disturb sealife that live on land, water or air.
- Choose the ocean: Everyday choices can help—or hurt—our ocean's health. Recycle, conserve water and remember that everything ends up in the ocean, so don't litter.
- Make a difference: participate in a beach cleanup, write your lawmakers or join an ocean organization. You can make a difference!
The “Thank You Ocean” campaign is organized by the California Resources Agency and the NOAA National Marine Sanctuary Program, who partnered in the design and execution of the campaign. The campaign is supported by the Ocean Communicators Alliance, a group of more than 100 ocean-related organizations, agencies and businesses in California. The Ocean Communicators Alliance was formed from a series of workshops that brought together ocean communication professionals in California who reach millions of Californians daily.
In 2007 NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, celebrates 200 years of science and service to the nation. Starting with the establishment of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson much of America's scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA. The agency is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of the nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 60 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.
Relevant Web Sites
NOAA National Marine Sanctuary Program
Ben Sherman, NOAA Ocean Service, (301) 713-3066