In the early 1970s, the topic of commercial whaling was beginning to take center stage for many conservationists and environmental organizations around the world. The decimation of these majestic ocean giants had reached a tipping point and for some species, the prospect of extinction was almost certain.
At a meeting of the International Whaling Commission in 1971, a man with a marketing background and passion for whales struck up a conversation with a shaggy-haired singer playing the guitar. Both these men were passionate about protecting whales, so a fast connection was made and as the conversation progressed, the guitar player asked the marketer, "Well, what are you going to do about it?"
It turns out that chance encounter and simple question would channel a passion for whales into a global force for ocean protection that has helped guide many great conservation struggles and triumphs over the last 47 years. That marketing expert was Bill Kardash and after that conversation, he went on to found Ocean Conservancy® in 1972. And that shaggy-haired man, well, it turned out to be a famous singer/songwriter and environmentalist — the late John Denver.
In the 1980s, the organization began to fight for key habitat protections under the Marine Sanctuary Program and in 1986, the staff first put together what has become one of the signature conservation events around the world, the annual International Coastal Cleanup. Over the last 32 years, this event has grown tremendously and in 2017, almost 800,000 people from more than 100 countries participated to collect over 20 million pieces of trash that no longer have the chance to affect precious ocean wildlife!
Today, as a global organization working with individuals, organizations, and governments, Ocean Conservancy staff are focused on a number of key issues that help protect the ocean from the greatest global challenges we currently face. Here is just a short list of some of the initiatives that they're working on. Make sure to check out each of these and see how you can get involved in your local area. We need action and now is the time to jump in.
In all of these different program areas above, there is a common thread that can be woven throughout and it is the one which we are most focused on here at 4ocean. That is the problem of ocean plastic pollution. Whether you are in the Arctic, the Gulf of Mexico, the remote Pacific Ocean, or Southeast Asia, the pervasiveness of this man-made crisis is evident. And it is tackling this massive problem that helps drive the missions of both our organizations.
For the month of May 2019, 4ocean is offering the Octopus Bracelet as a symbol of the struggles some species face while in the shadow of such a global plastic problem. While we don't know exactly how all 300 species of octopus are affected by ocean plastic pollution, we do know that by purchasing a 4ocean Octopus Bracelet, you'll pull a pound of trash from their environment and also help the Ocean Conservancy achieve their mission of a cleaner ocean. We couldn't be happier to be aligned with such a global force for change and we hope that you get involved with them as well on some level. The ocean thanks you in advance.
Make sure to follow us on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to stay up to date on all things 4ocean! Also, head on over to our Discover 4ocean Facebook Group to get in on the conversation around ocean plastic pollution and other important ocean conservation topics.
Around the world, many species both on land and in the sea are facing the most important fight of their lives –– the one that could potentially be the final fight to exist on this planet. Today is Endangered Species Day and we want to recognize the peril of these iconic animals in hopes of bringing attention to their plight and call out some amazing work our non-profit partners are doing to save these creatures.
In early April 2019, the 4ocean team had the pleasure of attending the Coral Restoration Foundation™ "Raise the Reef" Gala to help support the amazing work they are doing to restore and protect coral reefs in the Florida Keys and around the world. It was a night of insight and inspiration that will ultimately lead to the type of immediate action we need to save these precious underwater ecosystems for future generations.
If you guessed a group of incredibly dedicated and eco-aware 5th graders from Princeton Day School in New Jersey, you'd be correct! The students discovered 4ocean on the internet and began to research exactly what it is that we do. See how our inspiration is helping them raise awareness about the ocean plastic pollution crisis and how their effort has grown into something even bigger!