Ocean activists from across the U.S.are heading to Washington, D.C., May 9-11 for the 6th biennial Blue Vision Summit 6 May 9-11. On the heels of the Science March (Earth Day April 22) and the Climate Change March (April 29), the Blue Vision Summit is riding the waves of change that are building around Capitol Hill. The Blue Vision Summit will include the largest Healthy Ocean Hill Day in U.S. history; citizens from more than 22 states will meet with elected officials and tell them to protect NOAA, the EPA, FEMA and the Army Corps of Engineers from budget cuts that could endanger our blue economy and coastal communities. They also plan to work on solutions, such as coastal resiliency, in the face of sea level rise and extreme weather.
The Blue Vision Summit kicks off on the evening of Monday May 8 with an evening gathering and a special screening of “Chasing Coral”. Attendees dive into the Summit on Tuesday, May 9 at George Washington University. Participants will include U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Sylvia Earle, National Aquarium CEO John Racanelli, Rear Admiral Ann Phillips (U.S. Navy Ret.), Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations’ Noah Oppenheim, the marine artist Wyland, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Enric Sala and hundreds more. Youth ocean leader Daniela Fernandez along with contingents of youth and students will also be in attendance. Blue Ocean Network will be covering the event and will share insights from its annual Summit and Sustainability workshops as a participant on the Blue Vision Summit’s Blue Economy Panel.
Why It’s an Important Event
The Blue Vision Summit could be one of the most important gatherings in its history, considering 2016 was the hottest year on record, killing1/5 of the Great Barrier Reef from heat-related coral bleaching, and 2017 is now on track to become the most costly for the U.S. in terms of multi-billion dollar damage from extreme weather events. The Trump administration’s budget cuts, attempts to expand offshore oil drilling and denial of climate change impacts add fuel to the marine environment fire.
Some of the Summit sponsors to date are traditional ocean conservation organizations such as the Natural Resources Defense Council, Oceana, Ocean Conservancy, Ocean Foundation, Greenpeace, Surfrider, Blue Frontier and Mission Blue. Other ocean stakeholders such as Legal Sea Foods, the Professional Association of Dive Instructors (PADI), and the Pacific Marine Mammal Center are also helping to sponsor the event. Check out the Summit’s more than 30 organization sponsor list here.
Blue Vision Summit Schedule
- May 8th kicks off the Summit with an evening gathering for drinks and a special screening of ‘Chasing Coral’ with Director Jeff Orlowski
- May 9th begins the first day of the Summit at George Washington University with presentations, panels and networking around themes of ending offshore oil drilling, reducing plastic and other forms of ocean pollution and building coastal resiliency.
- May 10th is the Healthy Ocean Hill Day with delegations not just from coastal states like New York, Florida, California, Alabama and Hawaii but Inland and Great Lakes delegates from Colorado, Ohio, Utah, Michigan and Arizona that will meet with elected officials to let them know that every state is an ocean state and that people will vote the coast.
- May 11th begins with a symposium on the future of the ocean featuring 2017 Peter Benchley Ocean Award winners from Indonesia, Canada and the United States, including the Minister of Fisheries of Indonesia, a woman who’s ordered the sinking of over 300 pirate fishing vessels. Later there will be a press conference targeting offshore drilling and supporting clean energy in front of the Department of the Interior.
Blue Vision Summit Panel Topics include:
- Ocean Strategy Under Trump
- Stopping Offshore Drilling
- How Businesses are Changing Plastic Packaging
- Coastal Resiliency and Sea Level Rise
- Reaching out to Individual Funders
- What Funders Want – Leading Foundations Speak Out
- The Inland Ocean Movement
- The Future of Fish and Fishing
- The Blue Beat Media Luncheon Panel
- Making Ocean Acidification Real for the Public
- Preemption and Other Legal Threats
- Ocean Planning – Innovative Solutions for the Future
- Marine Protected Areas
- The Blue Economy
- The Future of the Movement, the Youth Leaders Perspective
- Sunblock and the Ocean
- Ocean Recreation and Conservation
- How to Speak to Your Elected Representatives (Tomorrow)
It’s time we #DefendTheOcean
Join the next wave of ocean activism at the Blue Vision Summit 6 May 9-11. There’s two weeks left and room for about 200 more people, so register today. That number includes 20 remaining student registration scholarships, so apply online here if you think you qualify. For more on the Blue Vision Summit go to: www.bluefront.org/bvs Image Sources: Getty Image, Blue Frontiers
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