Updated: May 1
The 2023 Our Oceans Conference, held on March 2nd and 3rd, 2023, was an opportunity for heads of state and representatives from academic institutions, nonprofits, the private sector and civil society to engage in dialogues about the critical importance of ocean protection.
“This is our chance, your chance, the best chance we will ever have to secure a long enduring future for the one species that has a magnified influence on the others.” Dr. Sylvia Earle kicks off the panel on marine protected areas at the Our Ocean conference.
Panama made a huge splash in the opening ceremony, announcing the expansion of the Banco Volcan marine protected area, effectively safeguarding nearly 60% of their territorial waters. This announcement comes after years of forward momentum for Panama, with Panama reaching the target of 30% by 2030 nearly a decade early with the expansion of the Cordillera de Coiba marine protected area. Mission Blue is proud to be involved in this momentous occasion and celebrates Panama’s leadership in successfully protecting 30% of its territorial waters in both the Caribbean and Pacific Ocean.
The Pearl Islands Archipelago in Panama Recognized as a Hope Spot
Mission Blue has named Callie Veelenturf, Founder & Executive Director of The Leatherback Project, and Aida Magaña as the Hope Spot Champions of the Pearl Islands Hope Spot in recognition of their work to broaden the wealth of research and public support for the protection of the islands’ sea turtles and the marine ecosystem they call home. Dr. Sylvia Earle says, “I want to thank Callie Veelenturf and Aida Magaña for doing what they’re doing to take a stand for greater protection for the ocean.” She continues, “If they could speak, the sea turtles would say thank you, too.”
Citizen Scientists Join Cape RADD in
Exploring the Underwater World of the False Bay Hope Spot in South Africa
Louise Baldwin, Hope Spot Specialist, visited Mike Barron, Champion of the False Bay Hope Spot to learn more about their current programs. Cape RADD is working to inspire and involve people in protecting False Bay's marine life through field courses, community awareness, educational outreach, and using citizen scientists to support their local research and conservation projects.
Meet the Champion of the False Bay Hope Spot and how his organization, Cape RADD, prioritizes learning, science and policy, not only in their day-to-day work but in their participation in the 2023 Ocean Race. https://www.caperadd.com/
The past year has been productive for Cape RADD, with their first official international university collaboration, and 1,000 snorkelers participating in their Snorkel for Science Initiative, where members of the public join marine biologists to collect data that supports current research on bottom-dwelling sharks, kelp, and more! Read More
You’re Invited to a Webinar About the
Greater Skellig Coast Hope Spot!
Join Fair Seas and the Irish Wildlife Trust on April 19th at 11:00am Pacific for a live webinar on Ireland’s first Hope Spot – The Greater Skellig Coast! You’ll hear from Lucy Hunt, Founder of Sea Synergy Marine Awareness & Activity Centre and Champion of the Greater Skellig Coast Hope Spot, and Dan Laffoley, Chair of Mission Blue's Hope Spot Council.
After the event, a recording will be available on the Irish Wildlife Trust website.
New on YouTube: The 2023 Hope Spot Virtual Summit Recordings
Earlier this year, we learned about the conservation work being conducted by Hope Spot Champions around the world. Enjoy presentations from our Champions from the Ross Sea and East Antarctic Hope Spots, Shinnecock Bay, Eastern Tropical Pacific, Kimbe Bay, Laamu Atoll, and Tubbataha Reefs National Park Hope Spots!
Don’t forget to subscribe to Mission Blue on YouTube to stay up-to-date on new virtual event recordings, Hope Spot announcements, and more!
Diving Made Accessible to Every Body Throughout Pacific Northwest with S.A.F.E. SCUBA
Mission Blue is proud to welcome a new partner, S.A.F.E. SCUBA, a nonprofit organization located in Hillsboro, Oregon, that trains both divers with disabilities and dive buddies who will accompany them on their adventures. Through their adaptive diving programs, they strive to give those with disabilities the chance to gain the confidence, independence, freedom, and self-esteem that come with the sport of SCUBA diving.
Tracy, an Adaptive Diver living with ALS, describes her experience as though she is “flying” and feels the physical and psychological benefits of diving. “When I’m SCUBA diving there is no gravity, so I can stretch out my arms and legs. During the dive, I can move things I can’t normally move… [Diving has made] a significant improvement in my quality of life.”
Peace Boat U.S. launches the “Youth for the SDGs” Program and Scholarship
on its Inaugural Voyage on the Pacific World Ship
Mission Blue partner Peace Boat U.S. has announced the launch of a new series of programs as part of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. Peace Boat invites youth leaders from around the world who work towards sustainability in their home communities to travel onboard, engage in capacity building, citizen science programs, and experience in the ports of call that enrich their understanding of marine science and climate action on a global scale.
The 2023 "Youth for the SDGs" scholarship program will take place on Peace Boat's 114th Global Voyage onboard the Pacific World ship for its inaugural visit to the Arctic and Latin America. The application deadline is midnight EST on April 30th, 2023, and is open to ages 18-30 years old.