Posts tagged with "conservation"

Travel graphic via Samantha Miduri for use by 360 Magazine

2023 ZEITZ MOCAA × UNIVERSITY OF THE WESTERN CAPE MUSEUM

The 2023 Zeitz MOCAA & University of the Western Cape (UWC) Museum Fellowship Programme call for applications officially opens on 15 June 2022.

This call marks the second iteration of the year-long programme, developed to educate a new generation of art and museum professionals from Africa. With the aim to foster the growth of curatorial practice and advance scholarship on contemporary art discourse from the continent, the programme offers fellows exposure to museum practice facilitated by Zeitz MOCAA senior staff and is underpinned by rigorous academic scholarship at UWC’s Department of History and Centre for Humanities Research (CHR). 

“We are pleased to once again be collaborating with the University of the Western Cape on this incredible initiative to educate the next generation of exhibition makers and curatorial thinkers. We remain committed to merging scholarship on contemporary art production and circulation from Africa and its diaspora and hope to contribute to a new group of skilled professionals looking to work within museums, galleries, art centres, private and public collection management, biennials, art publishing, festivals, universities and more,” says Koyo Kouoh, Executive Director and Chief Curator at Zeitz MOCAA

During the 12-month Museum Fellowship Programme, fellows will engage in discourse around contemporary art, curatorial practice, art education, conservation, heritage and museology from Africa and the African diaspora. They will study and work with both institutions towards an accredited BA Honours qualification. This includes enrolling in courses on historiography, curatorship, museums, heritage and public history at UWC’s Department of History as well as obtaining work experience at Zeitz MOCAA in the Curatorial, Collections & Exhibition Management, Art Education and Institutional Advancement departments. Successful fellows will actively contribute to the research, planning, execution and management of museum projects, ranging from exhibitions, publishing and public programming to art education and fundraising.

“It is fitting that applications for the 2023 Zeitz MOCAA & University of the Western Cape (UWC) Museum Fellowship Programme opens one day before South Africa’s Youth Day on 16 June and during Youth Month. Our aim is to continue promoting narratives that are important to the building of artistic and curatorial communities and this feeds directly into the South African government’s goals of developing plans for a more effective arts and culture curriculum and supporting income and funding models for arts and culture initiatives,” says Rory Bester, Associate Professor in the Department of History at UWC.

The Fellowship begins in January 2023 and is open to individuals who are citizens of an African country. It covers the costs of tuition, accommodation, basic health insurance and a monthly stipend. Travel to South Africa and visa costs are not included. 

Applications for the 2023 programme close on 15 July 2022 and successful applicants will be contacted directly by 5 September 2022. Only the first 150 applications received will be considered for review.

For more information and to apply, visit zeitzmocaa.museum

Zeitz MOCAA and the University of the Western Cape (UWC) celebrate diversity in all its forms, including gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation. 

The Zeitz MOCAA & University of the Western Cape (UWC) Museum Fellowship Programme is supported by Zeitz MOCAA, the University of the Western Cape, AKO Foundation and Africa No Filter.

Wildlife Rescue

Wildlife conservationist/veterinarian on the front lines says it is possible for orangutans, elephants and monkeys to coexist with palm oil plantations 

The island of Borneo, divided among Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia, is home to one of the world’s oldest rainforests. Borneo also produces about 80 percent of the world’s palm oil, a vegetable oil considered vital for global food security. Here in the U.S., palm oil is widely used in everything from snack foods and chocolate to cosmetics. 

But palm oil production is also blamed for Borneo’s disappearing rainforest, destroying wildlife habitats including those of the orangutan, which has become the face of a global anti-palm oil movement. 

“In the past 50 years, things have gone from bad to worse. Efforts to preserve the area’s wildlife need to be ramped up,” stresses wildlife conservationist and veterinarian Nathan Sen, DVM, whose first job out of vet school involved rescuing orangutans. 

Now as manager of Malaysia’s Wildlife Rescue Unit and leader of the Sabah Wildlife Department’s new endangered species conservation unit, Sen is boots-on-the-ground in Borneo. He sees the sad realities. 

Forest destruction is a rallying cry for the anti-palm movement. “Palm oil is called a golden crop. Its production is a valuable source of income, which has contributed to this worldwide ecological concern. In some areas of the world, local farmers dreaming of a better livelihood have burned down forests and converted the land to oil palm plantations,” Sen explains. 

But more recently, he sees glimmers of hope that may cause people to have a different perspective on the palm oil controversy. 

The situation is shifting toward peaceful coexistence

“The forest is one of Mother Earth’s greatest gifts to humans,” says Sen. “Palm oil can be produced more efficiently than other vegetable oils such as soy or rapeseed (canola).” It can also be produced responsibly. “By national law here in Malaysia, for example, all palm oil must be produced sustainably. There is also a strict ban on forest burning, as well as other initiatives to change palm oil production’s impact on our planet. 

“One of the government’s initiatives is to stop the development of any new palm oil plantations and improve production of our existing plantations. This is being done by introducing better trees that can produce more oil, and by improving the oil extraction process to increase the output, so the industry does not require more land,” Sen elaborates. 

Another program involves creating wildlife reserve areas along riverbanks. “By not planting against the rivers, orangutans, elephants and proboscis monkeys can now use the river’s edge for their habitat,” says Sen. 

In the Malaysian parts of Borneo, the states of Sabah and Sarawak, there is a stable population of orangutans numbering between 11,000 and 13,000. The Malaysian wildlife and forestry authorities have taken necessary measures so now this wild population lives mostly inside a protected natural habitat area, where they can thrive.  

This strong governmental support of national wildlife conservation programs is having a positive influence on the country’s palm oil farmers. 

“Ten years ago, farmers wanted to keep wildlife out of their plantations. I see a big change in that mentality,” Sen confirms. “More farmers now feel comfortable about coexisting with wildlife. They realize they share the forests with elephants and orangutans. They are allowing them to roam freely across their land. They are coming to understand that if we treat our wildlife with respect, the damage they may cause to the crop is quite negligible.”

He adds that he is very encouraged to see that orangutans are beginning to use Malaysia’s palm oil plantations as their habitat. It’s yet another sign that the country is managing the delicate balance between caring for its wildlife and its economy. 

Is the war on palm oil still justified? 

If palm oil were to be banned, it would need to be replaced by less land-efficient crops. And as Malaysia has proven, palm oil production can be accomplished while protecting wildlife and forests. 

But there is still much work to be done. “Many people still don’t realize that palm oil is the most sustainable choice. For sustainable palm oil production to expand globally, there must be demand by the public. Be vocal about asking companies to source their palm oil from producers who are protecting the rainforests. And buy from companies that have already made that important commitment, such as Coca-Cola, Nestle and Unilever,” recommends Sen.

“While you may never see an orangutan in the wild, your food and personal care product purchases can help ensure these wonderful creatures have safe homes for generations to come.”

 

Art by Maria Solomon for use by 360 Magazine

AdventureWomen Partners with African Wildlife Foundation

AdventureWomen, a by-women, for-women adventure travel company, has announced that they are partnering with the African Wildlife Foundation, an organization that supports the conservation of Africa’s wildlife and environment through community development, sustainability projects, education initiatives and more. As part of the collaboration, leaders from the two organizations will be hosting a special women’s safari to Zimbabwe in May of 2022.

Joining the trip will be AdventureWomen’s owner Judi Wineland, a longtime conservationist and adventure travel pioneer; and Carter Smith, AWF safari program manager and author of the children’s book African Tea. Joining Judi and Carter will be several other visionary women including Olivia Mufute, the first female Chief Ecologist at the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and the current Zimbabwe country director for AWF; and Sharon Stead, founder of the Mother Africa Trust, which supports female-focused projects throughout Zimbabwe.

Both AdventureWomen and the African Wildlife Foundation believe in empowering girls and women throughout the continent, and this shared mission will be weaved into many aspects of the trip. A highlight of the journey will be a dinner hosted by Aunt Flatter, a Zimbabwe local with decades of wisdom about the country.

“At African Wildlife Foundation, we believe that women in Africa have a critical role to play in conservation on the continent,” says Carter Smith. “That’s why I’m so excited about AWF’s budding partnership with AdventureWomen, and honored to participate in this beautifully crafted safari with Judi Wineland. The Zimbabwe safari will feature women ambassadors, travelers, and conservation heroes. We can’t wait for this inspiring adventure.”

The trip will include once-in-a-lifetime experiences, including a visit to the majestic Victoria Falls, a walking safari to try to spot incredibly rare white rhinos, and a sunset cruise along the Zambezi River. Participants will also have the opportunity to visit the Lupani Primary School in Kazungula, Zambia (across the country border, nearby Victoria Falls). The school was rebuilt as an initiative of the African Wildlife Foundation’s Classroom Africa program, providing a safe learning environment for children across seven grades.

“We are thrilled to partner with AWF,” says Judi Wineland, whose philanthropic work in Africa began with her founding a Tanzania-based non-profit 25 years ago. “By inviting participants to foster female-to-female connections, we hope this trip will continue to bolster AWF and bring awareness to their incredible work.”

For more information, please visit here.

ABOUT ADVENTUREWOMEN
AdventureWomen® has been a pioneer and a leader in adventure travel for women since 1982, custom-designing and leading some of the most unique adventure travel tours for active women, worldwide. Owners Judi Wineland, President of Wineland-Thomson Adventures Inc., and her daughters Erica Landerson and Nicole Wineland-Thomson, describe AdventureWomen as a “relationship company” where women create connections with other women while exploring new frontiers and active outdoor adventure. Offering adventure tours to over 20 countries each year, AdventureWomen invites women to physically and mentally challenge themselves while exploring the world at their own pace and on their own terms.


ABOUT AFRICAN WILDLIFE FOUNDATION
The African Wildlife Foundation (http://www.awf.org) is the primary advocate for the protection of wildlife and wild lands as an essential part of a modern and prosperous Africa. Founded in 1961 to focus on Africa’s conservation needs, we articulate a uniquely African vision, bridge science and public policy, and demonstrate the benefits of conservation to ensure the survival of the continent’s wildlife and wild lands.

Desenio and BLUE "Clean Sea" image by Desenio for use by 360 Magazine

Desenio × BLUE – Clean Sea

Desenio is partnered with Blue Marine Foundation (BLUE) in its mission to protect the oceans. In support of BLUE and its cause, Desenio continues to celebrate the beauty of our oceans through newly launched art prints. With Clean Sea, our newest collection of art prints, we want to help BLUE draw attention to the crisis in the oceans and support a solution that preserves life and beauty beneath the surface of the ocean.

 

The threats facing our oceans are not new. They have existed for a long time, and are escalating quickly. 90% of wild fish stocks are now overfished or fully exploited, wreaking havoc on marine ecology. When one fish species is overfished, the chain reaction is immense.

BLUE as a charity makes a difference by securing marine protected areas, developing models of sustainable fishing, restoring marine habitats, tackling unsustainable fishing and connecting people with the sea. These activities won’t only heal the ocean, they will change our future.

 

CLEAN SEA

 

Clean Sea is all about celebrating the beauty of our oceans, both above and below the surface. Slow down and bring in the peaceful clarity of seaside living to your home through shades of blue and beautiful ocean art prints.

“We wanted to create a direction of art prints highlighting being present with the ocean both above and under the surface. For this direction, we’re proud to be working in collaboration with Blue Marine Foundation to highlight their efforts to protect our oceans,”says Annica Wallin, Executive Creative Director at Desenio.

Desenio and BLUE "Clean Sea" image via Desenio for use by 360 Magazine

Agriculture illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

USDA Announces Investment

USDA Announces $218 Million Investment in Land and Water Conservation

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the USDA Forest Service will invest more than $218 million to fund Great American Outdoors Act projects to conserve critical forest and wetland habitat, support rural economic recovery, and increase public access to national forests and grasslands.

Leveraging the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) provided by Congress, this investment will improve public access by funding strategic land acquisitions. Funds will also support work with state agencies to encourage private forest landowners to protect their land through conservation easements or land purchases.

“These investments reflect President Biden’s commitment to supporting locally-led conservation efforts from coast to coast and to honoring and building on the proud private land stewardship traditions of farmers, ranchers, and forest owners,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “The investments will not only protect our natural heritage, but they will also create jobs, expand access to the outdoors, and help tackle climate change.”

The Forest Service administers two LWCF programs: The Forest Legacy Program and the Land Acquisition program. Together, these programs conserve critical and strategic lands across the nation’s forests on both private and public lands. The Forest Service will invest more than $94 million to fund 28 projects under the Forest Legacy Program and $123 million to fund Land Acquisition Program projects, including projects for recreation access and other needs.

Land Acquisition Program highlights include:

  • $6.4 million in FY 2021 to acquire 8,590 acres for the Lolo Trails Project in Montana. This project aims to mitigate the effects of climate change by providing the cold water that federally listed bull trout and other species need to sustain healthy populations in a warming climate.
  • $3.7 million to acquire 1,550 acres in the Yakima River Basin for the Washington Cascades Project. Supported by a wide coalition of public, private and non-profit partners, this project seeks to ensure a long-term water supply in the face of climate change.

Forest Legacy Program highlights include:

  • Protecting 12,500 acres of habitat, water and timber on the Ceylon Forest in Georgia. 2.5 million people depend on the Ceylon for drinking water that flows from and through the forest. As a working forest, the Ceylon supports a local wood-based economy that includes 121 mills, with a $1.69 million payroll impact. Once completed, the area will also become part of a much larger Wildlife Management Area and serve as an ideal hunting and fishing destination for sportsmen across the Southeast.
  • The East Grand-Weston in Maine builds on a century-old tradition of sustainable forestry and expands recreation opportunities over more than 4,300 acres. The property supports a thriving local recreation industry by protecting lands, waters and trails while also providing sustainable wood products to up to 15 mills. The property will remain in private hands while continuing to be managed for public benefits.
  • The second phase of the Kootenai Forestlands Conservation Project will permanently protect nearly 28,000 acres of land in northwest Montana. The project area belongs to the Stimson Lumber Company and contributes to the local economy while allowing free public access as a recreation destination for hunting, fishing, skiing, hiking, snowmobiling and more. The project will also protect the area from further residential development, reducing future firefighting costs by more than half.

Background

The Forest Service has been administering LWCF projects since 1964 along with the Department of the Interior. The fund supports Forest Service-led conservation projects including acquisition of critical non-federal lands within the boundaries of national forests and grasslands. Now, with full and permanent funding through the Dingell Act and the Great American Outdoors Act, the Forest Service is poised to strengthen its conservation program and provide greater recreation access to national forests and grasslands.

The agency worked with partners, considered multiple criteria and used established competitive processes to select projects for fiscal year 2021. During the review, the agency evaluated the environmental, social, and economic benefits of proposed projects and whether they contributed to other conservation initiatives. The Forest Service also considered local recreation access needs, the level of local support for strategic land acquisitions and how likely it would be for project areas to be converted to non-forest uses.

For more information on the Great American Outdoors Act and related projects, visit the website.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration under Secretary Vilsack, USDA is committed to transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit USDA.

Rita Azar illustrates elephants for 360 MAGAZINE

Celebrate World Elephant Day

August 12th was World Elephant Day, and there are many ways you can get involved to help bring funds and awareness to protect these gentle giants.

International Conservation Charity, Space For Giants, and Enasoit Game Sanctuary are committed to securing the ecological and economic value that nature conservation offers- especially in this time of crisis, when travel and tourism are impacted, wildlife and natural habitat are more vulnerable to exploitation than ever before.

Here’s why elephants need our help:

  • Poachers have killed roughly one-quarter of Africa’s elephants in just 10 years- that’s a loss of over 110,000 elephants.
  • Only 415,000 elephants remain in Africa, down from 600,000 in 1989, and 1.3m in 1979.
  • Elephant range in Africa has dropped 42% since 1995, from 2.1m sq miles to 1.2m sq miles.
  • Elephant range ‘heavily affected’ by human activity now is 29%. By 2050, it will be 63%.

Space for Giants was integral in combating the illegal ivory trade in central Kenya which ultimately led to the elimination of elephant poaching in 2018. Today, Space for Giants operates in over 10 countries on 3 continents and works with National Geographic, African Wildlife Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, and more to protect Africa’s elephants, and their landscapes.

How you can get involved:

Space For Giants has unveiled Walk For Giants, a fundraising and awareness campaign releasing alongside two exclusive capsule collections with proceeds from all sales going back to Space For Giant’s integral work in conservation and the crucial protection of this endangered species. Additional information on the campaign and capsule collections are below- a great way to treat yourself and lend your support to an important cause is the perfect way to contribute to World Elephant Day, everyday.

A Stay at Enasoit is not just a luxury, eco-centric getaway – the dues for your stay go directly to helping preserve, conserve, and protect the landscapes and wildlife you’re surrounded by.

These are a few ways that you can help Elephants year-round, not just on World Elephant Day- these creatures need your help in protecting their precious environment- and it’s as easy as buying yourself a new piece of clothing or booking a trip to see these creatures up close for yourself.

If you’re looking for additional ways to get involved, Space for Giants also has a large support network with a wide range of individuals including academics, journalists, celebrities (such as Megan Markle, Prince William, Elizabeth Hurley, Courteney Cox, Nicky Hilton to name a few), philanthropists, and sports people, to bring new advocates to its cause and educate communities around the world on the importance of these conservation efforts and corresponding fundraising efforts.

About The Walk For Giants campaign:

The Walk For Giants campaign will kick-off with the release of two exclusive capsule collections; a 44-piece collection from Gemfields, a world-leading supplier of responsibly sourced colored gemstones, and a series of 15 sustainable collections from NET-A-PORTER, the world’s leading online luxury fashion retailer. All proceeds from these capsule collections will bring critical support to protect Africa’s elephants and their natural habitat.

A series of stunning images featuring both capsule collections highlight Africa’s gentle giants and breathtaking landscapes that Space For Giants works to protect.

  • Shot by Francesco Carrozzini
  • Creative Direction by Riccardo Ruini
  • Models: Selena Forrest and Arizona Muse
  • Location: Enasoit Game Sanctuary in Laikipia, Kenya.

Pitbull × Wyland × National League of Cities

Wyland kicks off his 9th nationwide campaign for conservation August 1 in support of Water Quality Month. The program, which was postponed in April due to coronavirus, encourages residents across America to make small changes in their lives to better manage our water resources and improve the health of our ocean, lakes, rivers, streams, and wetlands. Conservation partners this year include Pitbull, mayors across the country and the National League of Cities among others.

“It’s more important than ever to maintain smart habits that support the health of the world around us — especially when it comes to our water and air, “ said marine-life artist and conservationist Wyland. “If Covid has taught us anything, it’s that we can change behaviors for the benefit of everybody.”

Participants can win thousands in eco-friendly prizes at www.mywaterpledge.com starting August 1.

Wyland is available for interviews as is Wyland Foundation President, Steve Creech.

Everyone is invited to share how they are doing their part with hashtag #mywaterpledge. Examples include:

* I use cloth shopping bags instead of plastic. #mywaterpledge
* Instead of plastic water bottles, I switched to reusable containers. #mywaterpledge
* I helped clean up my local beach this weekend! #mywaterpledge
* I biked to the store instead of using my car. #mywaterpledge #airquality

About the National Mayors’ Challenge for Water Conservation

The annual Wyland National Mayors’ Challenge for Water Conservation will relaunch in August as part of national water quality month, Aug. 1-30. The program, which was postponed in April due to coronavirus, encourages residents across America to make small changes in their lives to better manage our water resources and improve the health of our ocean, lakes, rivers, streams, and wetlands.

Presented nationally by the Wyland Foundation, the campaign rewards residents who take part with a chance to win $3,000 toward their home utility bills, home irrigation makeovers, environmentally friendly cleaning products, and hundreds more eco-friendly prizes. Residents can also nominate a deserving charity in their city to receive a 2020 new-generation Toyota Highlander Hybrid XLE. Cities with the most residents that make pledges qualify for over $50,000 in prize drawings. Residents make their pledges online at www.mywaterpledge.com throughout the month of August.

Encouraging Green Living

In the wake of the current pandemic, the campaign will provide residents with more opportunities to get involved safely from home, including making water-friendly lifestyle changes on behalf of their city, undertaking home-based environmental projects that add up to cleaner, safer communities, and sharing tips and strategies with friends and neighbors. Last year, mayors from 39 states encouraged residents to make more than 740,000 pledges to promote drought resiliency, protect watersheds, and reduce stress on aging water infrastructure.

“It’s more important than ever to maintain smart habits that support the health of the world around us — especially when it comes to our water and air, “ said marine life artist and conservationist Wyland. “If Covid has taught us anything, it’s that we can change behaviors for the benefit of everybody.”

Green Homeschooling

Despite school closures, teachers working remotely are also encouraged to engage their students to take part by accessing a special section of the website to make a series of water-saving commitments with their classes and win classroom supplies and gift cards for their school.

Partners

The non-profit campaign, which has included numerous live events, educational tours, and hundreds of city-led activities over the past decade, is presented in association with The Toro Company, EPA WaterSense, National League of Cities, Conserva Irrigation, and Earth Friendly Products (makers of ECOS) and PETAL (withpetal.com sustainable personal care products which reduce waste and take the dirt out of clean.) The Challenge encourages residents to follow their city’s progress throughout the month and to use that information to encourage friends, neighbors, businesses, and civic groups to get involved.

Conservation Education Efforts at the Scuba Show

As the largest consumer scuba expo of its kind in the United States, attendees to the annual Scuba Show expect to learn about scuba: the gear, the techniques, and where to do it. An equally important facet of the show is its emphasis on protecting the environment where scuba is possible – the oceans. Climate change and external factors are affecting the world’s oceans, and individual responsibility and education on what humans can do to mitigate the damage is important. This year, Scuba Show’s much anticipated Saturday night party for attendees and vendors will feature a silent auction and raffle benefitting Plastic Pollution Coalition. Scuba Show is doing its part to create access to that education through participating non-profits and seminars as part of its 2019 program.
 
Plastic is a major, man-made blight on the global ecosystem – this has been an increasingly common topic of discussion in public discourse over the last few years. But what impact does plastic actually have on the earth, and all of its inhabitants? Here’s a break-down on that topic, from the
 Plastic Pollution Coalition website:

  • Plastic never goes away – Plastic is a durable material made to last forever, yet 33 percent of it is used once and then discarded. Plastic cannot biodegrade; it breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces.
  • Plastic piles up in the environment – Americans alone discard more than 30 million tons of plastic a year; only 8 percent of it gets recycled. The rest ends up in landfills or becomes ‘litter’, and a small portion is incinerated.
  • Plastic spoils our groundwater – There are tens of thousands of landfills across the globe. Buried beneath each one of them, plastic leachate full of toxic chemicals is seeping into groundwater and flowing downstream into lakes and rivers.
  • Plastic poisons our food chain – Even plankton, the tiniest creatures in our oceans, are eating microplastics and absorbing their toxins. The substance displaces nutritive algae that creatures up the food chain require.
  • Plastic attracts other pollutants – Manufacturers’ additives in plastics, like flame retardants, BPAs and PVCs, can leach their own toxins. These oily poisons repel water and stick to petroleum-based objects like plastic debris.
  • Plastic affects human health – Chemicals leached by plastics are in the blood and tissue of nearly all of us. Exposure to them is linked to cancers, birth defects, impaired immunity, endocrine disruption and other ailments.
  • Plastic threatens wildlife – Entanglement, ingestion and habitat disruption all result from plastic ending up in the spaces where animals live. In our oceans alone, plastic debris outweighs zooplankton by a ratio of 36-to-1.
  • Plastic costs billions to abate – Everything suffers: tourism, recreation, business, the health of humans, animals, fish and birds—because of plastic pollution. The financial damage continuously being inflicted is inestimable.

This isn’t all doomsday, however – for those interested in expanding their knowledge on a variety of subjects including doing one’s part to fight back against the plastic plague, the Scuba Show will feature dozens of seminars, clinics, workshops and classes. These optional activities focus on various specialized, educational and entertaining topics such as foreign travel, history, underwater photography, local dive spots, diving physiology, weather forecasting, and of course, marine conservation.
 
Environmental seminars include:

  • “Ocean Plastic Pollution Solutions” with Dianna Cohen and Sandra Curtis (Seaside 1, 5/4, 2-3 PM): Global attention on Plastic Pollution has hit mainstream news outlets in a big way this past year, but the problem has been accelerating for over 20 years.  While education remains critically important, we will focus on solutions that are being tested and implemented right now, addressing upstream solutions and source points as we live on an ocean planet and its downstream from everywhere.
  • “Receding the Plastic Tide” with Brittany Novick (Seaside 1, 5/5, 12-1 PM): We’ve all heard it before, plastics are an issue, humans are to blame for the destruction of the oceans and we need to change our ways before it’s too late. While everyone wants to tell you to produce less waste and to change your ways, it is sometimes difficult to know where to start. An overwhelming problem that people want to help solve but no one knows where to really begin. This talk is to give divers the tools to start decreasing their impact on the planet, including one of their favorite places on earth – our oceans.
  • “The Ocean is for Everyone” with Jaclyn Friedlander (Seaside 7, 5/5, 1-2 PM): Bring the kiddos as this session was specifically designed for ages 5-12. And their parents of course. Children will be introduced to pre-scuba diving activities they can participate in until they are old enough to get certified and they will be encouraged to love the ocean and marine environments. Jaclyn will show you ways to work together as a family to participate in conservation efforts!

No matter what level of experience, divers of all walks of life can find something new to love about diving and the oceans at Scuba Show’s seminars, and will walk away safe, more responsible divers ready to take on the oceans without leaving behind a negative mark. The entire seminar schedule can be found here.
 
But that isn’t all. Even without individual seminar tickets, attendees will have access to a plethora of non-profits at the show to engage with and learn from. Participating nonprofits include:

 
“Southern California is home to one of the strongest markets of scuba divers in North America,” said
 Scuba Show producer, Mark Young. “It always pleasure to see this very special and very passionate community of divers come together every year to share their experiences, knowledge and passion.”
 
The
 2019 Scuba Show will take place on Saturday, May 4, from 10 AM to 6 PM, and Sunday, May 5, from 10 AM to 5 PM at the Long Beach Convention Center, located at 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90802. Tickets are available online at scubashow.com/tickets. Full price tickets will also be sold at the door. Single day advance tickets range from $12 (single day exhibit hall) to $32 (single day exhibits plus seminars), and two day passes are $62 (includes exhibit hall and seminars). Seminar only passes are available for $48. Kids 13 and under are free.
 

Eco-tourism

Eco-tourism: the sexy growing trend in travel

Traveling the world, while saving the planet – sounds too good to be true. Yet, eco-tourism – travel intended to support conservation efforts while enjoying nature – dates back to the 70s and has been growing in popularity in recent years.

The trend’s resurgence takes shape as sustainability and green living are becoming the buzzwords of the 21st century. So much so that a recent study shows that responsible travel is outpacing overall growth in the trillion-dollar-plus tourism industry.

Many are skeptical of the recent boom in eco-tourism’s popularity, questioning the motives of travelers journeying to obscure places through programs that conserve sea turtles, whales, even rhinos and chimpanzees. However, no matter the rationale behind travelers’ decisions to book an eco-driven trip, the positive outcome of these programs on the environment is undeniable, when properly organized. By simply traveling to the world’s parks and reserves, tourists are helping to protect those wilderness areas by paying park fees and contributing to a local economy that supports conservation efforts. For more adventurous travelers, however, there are charitable opportunities for scuba divers and nature explorers alike to get involved while taking a well-deserved getaway.

Expeditioners can dive into the epicenter of global marine biodiversity aboard a liveaboard ship in Raja Ampat, explore the “soft coral capital of the world” in Fiji, or travel to Kenya and gain an insider’s look at wildlife conservation in the savannas and seas of the region.

Last year alone, Oceanic Society, America’s oldest non-profit organization dedicated to ocean conservation, saw more than 1,400 hours of conservation-related volunteering logged by its travelers.

Founded in 1969, the organization leads more than 40 trips annually, with destinations across 16 countries, to ensure there is a trip for any interested traveler to help improve ocean health by deepening their connections with nature. Oceanic Society also leads whale watching expeditions in the San Francisco Bay area nearly every weekend of the year.

By participating in an eco-tourism expedition, participants become an active member in a global effort to build a healthy future for the oceans and environment. And who wouldn’t love a vacation that has an added feel-good bonus to it?

Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival

Birders descend on Morro Bay each year over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend to attend the Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival and capture glimpses of the massive migrating madness as they dive, swoop and scatter by the hundreds. This is Insta-worthy at its finest. But, you don’t have to attend the festival to marvel at these fine feathered friends because Morro Bay is a distinctive coastal destination for birds migrating along the Pacific Flyway through March.

The coastal Mediterranean climate sets the stage and creates the perfect backdrop for bird watching, no matter where you roam: the Morro Bay State Park boardwalk, bustling Embarcadero, iconic Morro Rock, or up close and personal from kayaks, paddleboards and boat tours. The Morro Bay National Estuary Preserve and its unique 800-acre wetland filled with salt marshes and mudflats are home to more than 250 species of land, sea, and shore birds as well as dozens of endangered species all winter long, including Peregrine Falcons.

ߦ The 23rd Annual Winter Bird Festival: January 18 – 21

This popular Winter Bird Festival, hosted by the Morro Bay Audubon Society, takes place each year over Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend. With more than 130 events, including nature treks, presentations, workshops, and lectures, there is a lot to discover. This event is designed to promote the understanding and appreciation of wildlife and environmental conservation. Topics range from geology and biology, to photography and more.

ߦ Saturday Art, Wine & Nibbles Reception – NEW

On Saturday, January 19, from 5:30 – 6:30 pm attendees have an opportunity to browse festival exhibits at a wine reception that includes light snacks. Afterwards, attendees will head over to the South Bay Community Center in Los Osos for James Currie’s keynote presentation.

ߦ Bird Festival Bazaar

Check out birding and bird inspired vendors, public presentations and environmental groups at the Bird Festival Bazaar Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

ߦ Self-Guided Tours

Get out in the field on your own schedule and at your own pace with the Winter Bird Festival self-guided tours. Try El Moro Elflin Forest Natural Area. With a raised board walk over the edge of the Bay, this is a great place to observe the unique plants and spot over 100 species of birds. Find the 13th Street entrance of Santa Ynez Street by following the signs in Los Osos.

ߦ Family Day

No preregistration or registration fee is required to participate in the family day events which take place on Saturday January 19th at the Museum of Natural History. Programs include arts & craft, educational talks, hikes, kayak and canoe rides, and up-close encounters with birds, reptiles, and insects. Children participating in Family Day will also be given a gift from the Morro Coast Audubon Society. Programing runs from 9:30 am-3 pm.

ߦ Mind Walks Series: Peregrine Falcons

Biologist Steve Schubert chronicles the efforts of nest site attendants and endangered species management techniques, captive breeding, double clutching, captive hatching of thin, fragile wild eggs, and the fostering of falcon chicks into the wild nests that have assisted in the recovery of a once-imperiled species. Author of the book The Peregrine Falcons of Morro Rock: A 50-year History, he is past president of Morro Coast Audubon Society. In its 25th year, the Mind Walk Series offers lecture on topics of interest to residents of the Central Coast, including cultural history, natural history, and current issues every Monday, January-March.