Ocean Awareness Challenge

At a recent presentation during the Ocean Awareness Challenge held at Emerald Bay on Catalina Island, I had the great pleasure of joining environmentally-focused, passionate people who were committed to learning about various actions that they can take to contribute to ocean health. Our discussion was organized into three key categories: Personal Behaviors, Volunteer opportunities, and Citizen Science. During this 45-minute hands-on workshop, participants:

  • Reenacted a stormwater pollution event using a watershed model and made connections between over-watering and stormwater, and the impacts that pesticides, fertilizers, trash, dirt, pet waste, and motor oil make on the ocean.
  • Examined destructive fishing methods with an emphasis on bycatch and learned how to know which seafood to select
  • Discussed derelict fishing gear and issues related to entanglement
  • Plotted depth-data from a humpback whale and gained an understanding of how research related to animal behavior can help guide or drive policy
  • Changed the chemistry of a sample of ocean water using carbon dioxide to illustrate the ocean acidification process and learned about the impact on marine life
  • Matched whale flukes as practice related to citizen scientist photo identification efforts
  • Learned about the White Seabass project and the difference between volunteering and citizen science
  • ………and more!

Following is a brief listing of some of the sites and projects related to this presentation. It is not a comprehensive list of every opportunity that is available to ocean-minded contributors, but triggers the imagination in terms of how you can help! Enjoy!

Personal behavior Activities: Your Carbon Footprint

carbon-clockUnderstand the carbon clock and then calculate your carbon footprint:

seafood-watchWatch what you eat: Seafood Watch


Citizen Science



Complete instructions may be found here

How-to-register and submit photos using a computer step-by-step guide with screenshots

How to register and submit photos using an iPhone step-by-step guide with screenshots

Basics of sea level rise in Southern California

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