Who’s Embarking on a New Era in Ocean Stewardship?

Fishermen, scientists, business owners, farmers & more are charting a new course for the ocean—one of collaboration & holistic approaches, as seen in Ocean Frontiers. Now, we are able to offer you a more in depth look at what these ocean champions are doing—learn more about their work, watch new video clips and see how to get involved!  Each story now has its own webpage.

Click on the titles below to go to that specific story’s page—with more videos, articles and links! 

whales and ships

Saving Whales at Stellwagen Bank

Learn more about collaborating to save whales and ocean economies. Meet the project partners, and check out the cool work on endangered right whales.

 

An Ocean Blueprint for Florida Keys

See how ocean planning is being done right by a diverse group of ocean stakeholders. Hear from Keys fishermen about how ocean planning benefits their businesses.

 

Iowa Farmers & Gulf of Mexico

Connect with people across the Mississippi River Basin who are both changing their agricultural practices and implementing innovative conservation measures.

 

Port Orford Fishermen Protect Ocean & Way of Life

Learn from these visionary fishermen and their partners about how to create and promote a community stewardship area for a healthy near shore ecosystem that will support their town’s economy.

Kudos to Oregon First Lady Cylvia Hayes and Leesa Cobb of the Port Orford Ocean Resource Team for the this excellent op-ed they wrote on the National Ocean Policy and its value to Oregon’s coastal communities

Thanks for all you do!
The Ocean Frontiers Team

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On the Road with Ocean Frontiers

In Washington, D.C. Filmmaker Karen Meyer with Dr. Bill Walker, Gulf of Mexico Alliance and Bill Northey, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Brief Congressional Staff on Iowa's Role to Help Restore the Gulf of Mexico.

WASHINGTON, D.C. BRIEFING FOR CONGRESSIONAL STAFFERS
70 key staffers of members of Congress attended the Hill Briefing hosted by the Oceans Caucus Foundation last Friday, which featured the Iowa/Gulf of Mexico Ocean Frontiers story. This bipartisan audience was taken by the humble Iowa farmers and their inspiring work. We were honored to have Dr. Walker and Secretary Northey there to respond to questions following the film. The Oceans Caucus Foundation chose to highlight Ocean Frontiers for this important audience because of the solution-oriented stories that show unlikely allies working together and finding solutions that benefit their economic interests and the ocean. More Hill Briefings are in the works with the other Ocean Frontiers stories.

AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF PORT AUTHORITIES
The American Association of Port Authorities invited us to present the Ocean Frontiers Stellwagen Bank story to their Harbors, Navigation and Environment seminar in San Francisco last week. 75 senior port staff and port directors attended. After the film, Deb Hadden of Massport, David Kennedy of NOAA and John Weber of the New England Regional Ocean Council took questions and gave updates on the National Ocean Policy and regional ocean planning in New England. Ocean planning is a large undertaking that has a lot of people nervous, so it was terrific to both share the story of people collaborating to shift the shipping lanes and protect endangered whales and provide an opportunity for people to learn about the National Ocean Policy.

BUILDING THE OCEAN FRONTIERS COMMUNITY
In the last few weeks people in Massachusetts, Northern California, Oregon and Washington’s Puget Sound have hosted Ocean Frontiers premieres and screenings. 500 people turned out in Coos Bay, Oregon, to view the Ocean Frontiers film and hear Oregon First Lady Cylvia Hayes and State Representative Arnie Roblan speak about the importance of ocean health to our coastal communities. Largest audience yet! Thanks to everyone who helped make these events happen and for joining the Ocean Frontiers Community!

IMPORTANT! IF YOU HAVE NOT YET CONTACTED YOUR U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, PLEASE DO SO TODAY.
Some members of Congress are actively working to dismantle the National Ocean Policy. Doing so would throw away two years worth of work, investment and commitment by state governments, commercial and industrial ocean users, universities and scientists, 25 federal agencies and departments and tens of thousands of citizens across the country. Please call and email your Representative through the Capitol Hill switchboard at 202-224-3121 today. Urge your Member of Congress to “Support the National Ocean Policy and oppose any attempt to restrict implementation of the National Ocean Policy.”

Finally, Ocean Frontiers events taking place this week include Huntington, New York, and Brookings, Oregon, get the details here – let your friends and colleagues know.

Thanks for all you do!
Karen Meyer & the Green Fire Productions Team

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Ocean Frontiers: Iowa Farmers & Gulf of Mexico

What does Iowa have to do with the Gulf of Mexico or the ocean anyway?

Well, about 200 million gallons every minute. Iowa is one of thirty-one states whose waters flow into the Gulf of Mexico, via the Mississippi River. These waters carry rain and soil, as well as the many effluents of humanity, from chemical plants in Baton Rouge, to fertilized lawns in suburban Memphis, to pig farms and cornfields in the Upper Midwest. Once these nutrients reach the Gulf, they create immense blooms of algae, whose decaying masses deplete the ocean water of oxygen—every year creating a dead zone the size of Massachusetts—a Hypoxic Zone that suffocates nearly everything in its path.

And after decades of such burden, the once fertile Gulf has begun to falter, its wetlands vanishing by the minute, its waters rendered dead from too many contaminants flowing from upstream. Realizing that one state alone cannot solve all of the Gulfs’ problems, the Governors of the five Gulf States formed the Gulf of Mexico Alliance – a partnership that now extends into the Mississippi River basin.

A cadre of Iowa farmers are now changing their agricultural practices to reduce their impact on the Gulf of Mexico. Their efforts include reducing the amount of fertilizer they use, constructing wetlands to filter water before it heads downstream, and planting strips of native tallgrass prairie to prevent runoff. Iowa’s goal is to reduce their nitrogen runoff by 45%.

Fewer tons of fertilizer, more acres of wetlands and prairies– all are lightening Iowa’s agricultural burden on the Gulf of Mexico without burdening the returns of Iowa’s farmers.

Learn More from People in Ocean Frontiers

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