A Blue Vision: A Bright Future For Our Oceans Lecture

On February 12th, the South Carolina Aquarium hosted a lecture called “A Blue Vision: A Bright Future for Our Oceans”. The lecture was given by David Helvarg, an author of several books including “Blue Frontier: Dispatches from America’s Ocean Wilderness”, a journalist, and the executive director of a marine conservationist activist organization called Blue Frontier Campaign. Upon arriving, guests were guided to the Great Ocean Tank where the lecture took place. The room featured a variety of sea creatures including eels and fish. The setting of the lecture was moving, given that the lecture was about issues endangering the ecosystems in which the animals around us that are in the wild rely on. Guests were also provided with complementary food and refreshments upon their arrival. The food selection mainly included healthy and organic options. The food was served on biodegradable plates while the refreshments were served using recycled and plastic-free cups.

During the time when guests were arriving to the aquarium and many of us were enjoying our refreshments, I had a chance to talk with a few of the attendees who regularly attend the environmental lectures hosted at the aquarium. It was interesting to talk with some of them, as I got to understand some of their backgrounds and why environmental activism was so significant to them. The audience contained approximately 30 people varying in age. Though age is not important in this context, it was encouraging to see how environmental activism can appeal to people of all different ages.

Roughly half-an-hour after providing guests with food and refreshments, Helvarg was introduced to the podium to give his lecture. Helvarg, an environmentalist who specializes in marine conservation, gave an hour-long presentation discussing critical issues that are impacting the sustainability of the oceans. His presentation was effective at conveying his passion, as he shared stories about how the oceans have impacted him and others. He also shared how human impacts have disrupted many of the functions of the oceans. As discussed in class, for example, the bleaching of coral reefs has had damaging effects on many parts of the world in recent years, and without change this may as well continue to happen. Other issues discussed included offshore drilling (as that is a hot-topic here in South Carolina) and rising sea water levels. The large take-away from his lecture was that the ocean impacts people and other species all throughout the world, and without its functions, future life on Earth could be jeopardized.

Promotional Picture for the March for the Ocean Walk

As the abundance and significance of impacts impacting the world’s oceans mount, Helvarg and other organizations have been driven to sponsor and arrange a walk in Washington, DC called March for the Ocean. The purpose of the walk is to influence Congress to enact policies that would guard our oceans, as the sustainability of the Earth’s oceans is fundamental. The walk is set to occur on Saturday, June 9th 2018. June 9th is a significant date for marine conversationalists as it marks the start to World Ocean Weekend. If you are interested in becoming involved, you can visit the campaign’s website by clicking this link: https://marchfortheocean.org/. If you also want to participate but cannot travel to Washington DC, there are other ways you can contribute to their cause listed on their website.