Ocean Frontiers Kicks Off National Tour & Guests Governor Kitzhaber & First Lady Cylvia Hayes Join the Celebration

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber and First Lady Cylvia Hayes join Leesa Cobb, executive director of Port Orford Ocean Resource Team, on boat tour of Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve (seen in background) on February 12, 2012

On February 11, 2012, the Savoy Theatre in Port Orford, Oregon, the western most point in the continental United States, was filled to capacity when Oregon First Lady Cylvia Hayes took the stage to declare, “I’m proud to be an Oregonian.” Hayes went on to say, “It doesn’t surprise me at all that Oregon is one of the states featured in this film, because we have an incredible story to tell.”

Sitting in the front rows were Governor Kitzhaber and First Lady Hayes, Mayor Jim Auborn and County Commissioner David Itzen. State Representative Wayne Krieger (R-Gold Beach), Co-Speaker Arnie Roblan (D-Coos Bay) and Senator Kruse (R-Roseburg) took a break from the legislative session—traveling four hours from the state capitol to attend this important event.

“Ocean Frontiers” is a documentary that tells the story of people across the country working together to sustain their coastal communities that depend on healthy oceans. Port Orford and the work of the Port Orford Ocean Resource Team is one of the four stories.

As the film came to a close, the audience leaped to its feet giving filmmakers Karen and Ralf Meyer an enthusiastic standing ovation.

While in Port Orford the Governor and First Lady toured the Port Orford Ocean Resource Team’s Marine Science Facility, which is currently under construction. Looking out at one of the most picturesque stretches of the Pacific coast, they learned of the community’s work to keep Port Orford fishing sustainably.

At dawn the next day the Governor and First Lady climbed aboard the fishing vessel Top Gun with Captain Jeff Miles to tour the newly designated Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve.

Jeff Miles, a Port Orford fisherman with thirty-five years of experience said, “We feel very honored that the Governor and First Lady came to Port Orford to learn about what people are doing here. I read people very well, and it was clear that they have a genuine interest about the future of Oregon’s fishing industry.”

Lyle Keeler, a Port Orford fisherman of forty years, said, “I was most impressed that on a cold, stormy February day the Governor and First Lady ventured out with us on a small fishing boat to learn about the science taking place in our new Redfish Rocks marine reserve.”

After the film, the reception at the American Legion Hall featured Port Orford Sustainable Seafood and was packed with Port Orford residents who expressed their unanimous pride in the accomplishments of their local organizations and community.

“This was an amazing event which brought our community together with our elected leaders and natural resource agencies to bring the conversation about ocean health, conservation and ocean literacy to the next level,” said Kelly Sparks, Project Coordinator with the Redfish Rocks Community Team.

Representative Krieger said, “On their own, this community offered up a marine reserve that came to be known as Redfish Rocks. I was of the opinion, and I still am, that the greatest value of marine reserves is the ability to do research, to learn and better understand what actually is happening in the ocean itself. I think that’s very do-able.”

Representative Krieger added, “One thing we haven’t done a good job with is putting money into marine research in this state. Oregon must continue funding marine research if we want to move ahead in the ocean.”

The other three segments of “Ocean Frontiers”—Massachusetts Bay, Florida Keys, Iowa/Gulf of Mexico—tell the story of people from different arenas coming together to find solutions that benefit their economic interests as well as the environment. They recognize that a healthy ocean and coastal ecosystem is the basis for their economic well-being.

Oregon First Lady Cylvia Hayes said, “‘Ocean Frontiers’ presents a starting point to help ensure that these kinds of success stories are told and better understood. We need to illustrate that communities are taking steps to invest in their own economic futures and in the conservation of our shared natural resources. Not only can this garner additional support for these incredible grassroots efforts, but hopefully it will inspire communities across the state and beyond.”

“Ocean Frontiers” will next premiere in Newport, Oregon on February 22nd, in Portland, Oregon on March 7th and will continue to tour the nation. Karen Meyer, producer of “Ocean Frontiers” said, “During the production of ‘Ocean Frontiers’ the United States adopted its first-ever National Ocean Policy. This policy encourages exactly the types of successful projects featured in ‘Ocean Frontiers’ and supports state leadership regarding ocean health.”

Governor Kitzhaber repeated this theme in his address to the crowd at the “Ocean Frontiers” premiere and said, “We all know that the challenges facing coastal communities are not going to be resolved by one or two initiatives, it’s going to take a long, thoughtful approach that brings together good science, strong leadership and a commitment to conserving resources while promoting economic prosperity for all. Now, that may sound like a tall order but I am sure America can do it. What you have done here in Port Orford is truly remarkable and is worth repeating across our state and across the nation.”


Ocean Frontiers Premieres in Port Orford, Oregon – Feb 11th 2012

Ocean Frontiers: The Dawn of a New Era in Ocean Stewardship will launch its national tour at a special event with Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, First Lady Cylvia Hayes, and a number of coastal leaders in Port Orford, Oregon on February 11 at the Savoy Theatre. Port Orford is featured in the film as a place where a local community has mobilized to manage and conserve ocean resources for today and for generations to come.

Green Fire Productions Executive Director and producer of Ocean Frontiers’ Karen Meyer stated, “We are excited to present the solution-oriented, bi-partisan stories of Ocean Frontiers to the American public. This documentary clearly conveys that people across the country want to work together to sustain their coastal and ocean economies that depend on a healthy ocean.”

Ocean Frontiers takes us on an inspiring, 80-minute voyage to seaports and watersheds across the country—from the busy shipping lanes of Boston Harbor to the small fishing community of Port Orford, Oregon; from the coral reefs in the Florida Keys, to the nation’s premier seafood nursery in the Mississippi Delta and the cornfields of Iowa. Here we meet an intermingling of unlikely allies, of industrial shippers and whale biologists, pig farmers and wetland ecologists, sport and commercial fishermen and snorkelers, and many more, all of them embarking on a new course of cooperation.

Leesa Cobb, Executive Director of the Port Orford Ocean Resource Team stated, “We are working hard to ensure our natural resource-based community will thrive into the future, and this is only possible with a healthy coastal environment that provides the jobs that support this community. We are proud to be featured in the film, and to co-host the world premiere of Ocean Frontiers together with twelve local organizations plus our elected local and state leaders.”

First Lady Cylvia Hayes said, “The new approaches to ocean management through the national ocean policy recognize and encourage state and regional ocean leadership – from the Gulf of Mexico to New England, from the Florida Keys to the West coast.”

Hayes added, “Oregon is a leader in innovative approaches to ocean and coastal management. Oregon’s Territorial Sea Plan and the West Coast Governors Alliance on Ocean Health put us on the path to promote our natural resources industries in a way that is economically and environmentally sustainable.”

Governor Kitzhaber and First Lady Hayes will be joined by Port Orford Mayor Jim Auborn, Curry County Commissioner David Itzen, and Oregon State Representatives Wayne Krieger (R-Gold Beach) and Arnie Roblan (D-Coos Bay) to celebrate the official premiere of Ocean Frontiers.

Oregon’s first two marine reserves began operating earlier this year, and they will provide important information about the economic and ecological effects of this new management tool. State Representative Wayne Krieger, a strong supporter of Port Orford’s groundbreaking ecosystem-based work was instrumental in securing the funds for the new Redfish Rocks science facility from the Oregon Legislature. He recently stated, “The benefit of the marine reserve will be in the science that will help us better manage our ocean resources.”

Film Premiere:
Saturday, February 11, 2012, 5:00-7:00pm at the Savoy Theatre. Doors open 4:30pm.
Tickets cost $10. Must purchase tickets online at: www.oceanfrontiersportorford.eventbrite.com

Reception to Follow:
7:30pm at the Community Building (21+ only)

Sunday Matinee Tickets also Available:
Sunday, February 12, 2012, 4:00-6:00pm at the Savoy Theatre.
Tickets cost $5. Purchase at door or online at: www.oceanfrontiersportorford.eventbrite.com

Event Presented By:
Port Orford Ocean Resource Team, City of Port Orford, South Coast Watersheds Council, Port Orford Sustainable Seafood, Redfish Rocks Community Team, Friends of Elk River, Cape Blanco Challenge, Elk River Land Trust, Port Orford Main Street Revitalization Association, Sustainable Land Development Initiative, Ocean Mountain Ranch, Surfrider Foundation & Green Fire Productions.

Ocean Frontiers: An Ocean Blueprint for Florida Keys

In the Florida Keys, divers and fishermen have turned controversy over marine resources into a blueprint for industry and conservation collaboration.

The coral reefs of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary are America’s most popular marine destination—bringing in 1.2 billion dollars every year via tourism. They are also America’s showcase of marine conservation zoning.  With a dizzying array of people making a living and playing in the Keys, the marine zones provide an effective way to reduce conflicts between ocean users and protect the reefs, the fisheries and ocean dependent jobs.

The management of the Sanctuary is overseen by a Sanctuary Advisory Council, which is made up of more than 30 organizations and industries including sport and commercial fishing, tourism, diving, research, restoration and conservation.  The Sanctuary provides refuge, recreation, and livelihoods through a collaborative plan developed by all concerned.

However, the road to the Keys management success has not been a smooth ride. Initially there was strong opposition to marine zoning, marine protected areas and marine reserves, but strong leadership and intensive stakeholder collaboration turned the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary into a world-renowned model of how to protect our coastal and ocean economies through ocean planning.

Learn More from the People Featured in Ocean Frontiers


Video Clips

  • Saving My Town’s Ocean Economy – Leesa Cobb, Fisherman’s wife and Executive Director of the Port Orford Ocean Resource Team visits the Florida Keys National Marne Sanctuary to see first hand how commercial and recreational fishermen and ocean businesses in general thrive in a Marine Sanctuary.