“Do something. If everyone would take just one step toward an Ocean Awareness action, we would be in such a better place. Be a role model.”  ~ Vicki Nichols Goldstein

Vicki Nichols Goldstein, ocean activist, ocean issues, ocean change-maker, Ocean Ambassadors, marine conservation, sustainable diving“This year we decided to do something different. We got a grant from the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation along with collaborators from Colorado and launched our Ocean Ambassadors Program.” Vicki Nichols Goldstein describes how her program works by taking 20 people from the community, including journalists, CEOs, educators and dive masters and giving them thirty hours of training with lectures on climate change, ocean acidification and plastic pollution and turn them into ocean activists. “They’re taught how to share this information through public speaking, social media, press releases, and with their congressional leaders to get federal and state legislation passed. Once these Ocean Ambassadors graduate, they’ll give back fifty hours to the organization in manning booths at trade shows, giving lectures and working on projects.

 

“simple things you can do to save the ocean even if you live in Kansas”

 

For example, we have a team that is going to monitor water quality; another team will be creating videos for our website on simple things you can do to save the ocean even if you live in Kansas. The list of projects goes on and on. The idea is to train and empower community members (including Denver and Boulder) to train Ocean Ambassadors, so that they in turn will go out and inspire their communities, spreading the message that we don’t have to live on a coast to take care of the ocean.”

 

“we have a window in which we can make a difference.”

 

Vicki says “We’ve developed the curriculum and filmed the lectures that will become an educational package other communities can use to create their own programs. I believe everybody can be an activist. The neat thing about the Ambassadors Program is that they aren’t all coming from the same mold. Participants come from different backgrounds, but a passionate person is going to effect change. The Ambassadors Program gives them the tools to express their own activism so that they can make a difference. Each of us can find the issue we’re passionate about and then find the venue for getting our ideas heard. We have the technology, we understand the issues and we have a window in which we can make a difference.”

Vicki has always been passionate about the ocean. She grew up clamming and fishing off the coast of southern New Jersey. She graduated with a BA degree in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic and stayed to direct their Natural History Museum and developed the Field Studies Program for Children.

She earned a Master’s degree in environmental studies and marine policy from Yale and worked at the Peabody Museum of Natural History, conducted research on Alaskan wetlands and sea turtle conservation in the Caribbean. She joined the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) where she developed national oil spill contingency plans and co-wrote the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Designation documents.

Vicki continued her interest in ocean issues by directing the marine advocacy organization Save Our Shores for 10 years and facilitated community dialogue and action on numerous natural resources issues. She initiated and organized the first Central California Fishermen’s Forum on Marine Protected Areas (MPA) where 150 representatives from fishing, marine science, government and environmental organizations convened to work towards a constructive dialogue on MPA’ and address over fishing. She is currently bringing her experience of ocean protection and marine conservation to Boulder where she founded the Colorado Ocean Coalition. Her programs include Bluing the Dive Industry and the Ocean Ambassador Certification Program.

 

“We see the changes in the oceans and now we want a voice in protecting the oceans.”

 

To learn how you can participate in the Ocean Ambassadors Program and become an ocean change-maker hear Vicki’s entire interview at Blue Ocean Summit 2014: Vicki Nichols Goldstein. Visit the Colorado Ocean Coalition and find out what they are going to do next and visit the Ocean Ambassadors Program or find out how to become an ocean activist at Blue the Dive.

Our Summit speaker Carl Safina also talks about the theme of “Change Comes through Action.” “The question isn’t, “I’m just one person; what can I do?” Everyone who has ever lived has been one person. The question is what can you do? And who can you do it with? Who do you need? Who needs your help? Where will you start?”

These are the inspiring words of Carl Safina whose work explores how human dignity and the survival of the natural world are increasingly intertwined. His writing probes not only the science but also the ethics of our moment with nature. Carl has studied nature as a scientist, stood for it as an advocate, and conveyed his travels among sea creatures and coastal people in lyrical nonfiction writing. Safina is author of 6 books and roughly 200 scientific and popular publications, To read Carl’s entire article “Caught in the Same Net: The Ocean and Us” go to Ocean Profiles: Carl Safina