sylvia_earle, marine biologist, ocean change maker, blue ocean summit, marine conservationist, sustainable choices(Blue Ocean Network.com – May 30, 2014) — The Blue Ocean Business Summit, a first-ever online event for the dive industry to be held June 2-6, 2014, has become a partner with Mission Blue. A global initiative of the Sylvia Earle Alliance, Mission Blue was formed in response to Sylvia Earle’s 2009 TED Prize wish to create a global network of Marine Protected Areas around the world ‘large enough to save and restore the blue heart of the planet.’

The goal of the Blue Ocean Business Summit is to inspire, inform and guide dive industry people to take action to “Blue their Business” and support ocean conservation as part of a sustainable business model.

The Summit Speakers include some of the dive and travel industry’s pioneers and trailblazers who are already embracing the change and making advancements in game-changing ways. Featured Speakers are Dr. Carl Safina, ecologist and host of PBS TV’s “Saving the Ocean”, and Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, marine biologist and author of “Blue Mind.”

Although the Blue Ocean Business Summit is free to online attendees, the Summit will offer a downloadable Summit Resource Guide (along with accompanying audios of all 20 speakers) that contains valuable tools, checklists, background and reference material for those dive businesses inspired to take action down the path towards sustainability. Seven dollars of each Summit Resource Guide (and accompanying audios) sold at the Blue Ocean Business Summit will be contributed to Mission Blue, to help further Dr. Earle’s Mission Blue initiative.

To many of us, the issues seem overwhelming and insurmountable. They can be summarized in 7 key areas.

  • Ocean warming that leads to coral bleaching,
  • Rising sea levels caused by global warming threaten the existence of island nations such as the Maldives,
  • Ocean acidification caused by burning fossil fuels kill corals and other species,
  • Marine pollution such as plastic gyres and oil spills that kill marine life and entire eco-systems,
  • Over-fishing that decimates key species and bio-diversity,
  • Massive ocean dead zones resulting from the use of fertilizers and pesticides,
  • Coastal overdevelopment that causes marine habitat destruction and negatively impacts water quality.

The Blue Ocean Business Summit will explore answers to some of these ocean issues, including the many benefits of including our partner, the ocean, in every business model. The goal is to help guide owners in having a thriving business in the years to come. By sharing insights, tools and strategies, the speakers help give direction, show the hidden opportunities, shift mindsets and focus on big ideas that work — benefiting individual businesses.

There are several solutions to this ocean crisis, one of which is to create Marine Protected Areas, or “Hope Spots” as Sylvia Earle likes to call them. Hope Spots are special places that are critical to the health of the ocean. Some of these Hope Spots are already formally protected, while others still need defined protection. While 12 % of the land around the world is now under some form of protection (as national parks, world heritage sites, monuments, etc.), while less than three percent of the ocean is protected in any way. Mission Blue is committed to changing this.

Networks of marine protected areas maintain healthy biodiversity, provide a carbon sink, generate life-giving oxygen, preserve critical habitat and allow low-impact activities like ecotourism to thrive. Says Dr. Earle, “They are good for the ocean, which means they are good for us.”

To learn more about the Blue Ocean Business Summit and to register, visit Blue Ocean Business Summit.com.

The Blue Ocean Business Summit Guide and audio replays are available at a special pre-order price of US$49.99 and may be purchased at BlueOceanBusinessSummit.com.