Saint Peter said something to the effect of, “We’re getting an awful lot of sharks up here what’s going on down there?” And he said, “Well they’re killing all the sharks on planet Earth.” So Saint Peter sent him back down to earth and said, “You’re not ready to die yet.” It turned into a near death experience..” ~ Jim Toomey

Jim Toomey, Sherman's Lagoon, ocean issues, climate change, over fishing, ocean pollution, saving the ocean, ocean change-makerWhat does a syndicated cartoon strip have to do with the UN? Creator of Sherman’s Lagoon, Jim Toomey has stepped away from his drawing board and in front of the camera for the UN. His ability to explain complex issues of marine science with entertaining illustrations propelled a UNEP project to explain ocean issues to regular people in short, animated, films.

Jim’s 2 Minute films focus on hard issues like Marine Pollution; Over Fishing; Climate Change and its effects on the ocean; and the necessity for making sustainable choices. And in our Blue Ocean Summit Jim has some entertaining words to say about keeping the political argument out of ocean stewardship and concentrate on saving the ocean.

 

“We’re looking at dead or bleached coral reefs that were a box of crayons”

 

Jim describes the bleached coral that he sees today, “We’re looking at dead or bleached coral reefs that were a box of crayons 20 years ago. Telling those stories of how the world is changing is probably the most effective way that divers can help this situation.”

Sherman’s Lagoon combines two of his life-long passions: Ocean art and the sea. In addition to creating the daily comic strip, Jim is an award-winning filmmaker, and has produced ocean conservation-oriented videos for partners such as the United Nations Environment Program and the Pew Environment Group. He has a degree in mechanical engineering from Duke, got his Master of Arts at Stanford, and returned to Duke to get his Masters of Environmental Management.

 

Jim is an ocean author having just completed his twenty-first book

 

Jim Toomey’s daily comic strip Sherman’s Lagoon, is syndicated to over 150 newspapers in North America, including the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Toronto Star. It also appears in over 20 foreign countries, in six languages. In addition to being a cartoonist Jim is an ocean author having just completed his twenty-first book, published by Andrews McMeel.

He has given talks at a variety of venues, from his April 2010 TED Talk, to the Royal Society in London, to Harvard University and to his children’s kindergarten class. Jim has been featured in many of his client newspapers, as well as Wired Magazine, and National Public Radio.

 

“we must deal with the issues of Climate Change, Global Warming and Ocean Acidification

 

Jim says that we must deal with the issues of Climate Change, Global Warming and Ocean Acidification “A voluntary approach to reducing our carbon footprint will only make the trends increase a little bit more slowly. The fact is that we need to find a technological solution to replacing fossil fuels.”

To hear more about Jim Toomey’s career and the work he is doing for the UN and other foundations join Jim for his full interview (available soon) at the blue Ocean Summit 2015: Jim Toomey. Visit Jim Toomey at Sherman’s Lagoon or see his 2 Minute films for UNEP. To support the Blue Ocean community and to review and order any of Jim Toomey’s books or films go to the store.

Another of our very talented artists is Jill Heinerth. A writer, photographer, filmmaker, diving educator, and cave explorer Jill Heinerth knows much about our world’s water system. Jill’s latest project “We are Water” is an hour-long documentary film that sheds light on what is really going on beneath the surface, in places few divers will ever tread fins. To read more about Jill’s work find her at Ocean Profiles: Jill Heinerth