Blue climate solutions

I received the following email from The Seagrass Forum about the Blue Climate initiative:

Dear Colleagues (seagrass forum),

Please sign-on to our Marine Science / Conservation & Climate Change Letters. The purpose of these letters, addressed to President Obama and the U.S. Senate, is to advance tropical marine conservation as part of the solution to climate change (especially relevant to seagrass ecosystems). We ask for:

1) marine science that explores the roles natural ocean ecosystems play in mitigating the effect of climate change, and

2) the option for natural ocean carbon solutions to be considered in climate change legislation and international treaties.

Eminent oceanographer and conservationist, Dr. Sylvia Earle, has endorsed this effort as the first scientist to sign-on. Groups signed-on include the International Society for Reef Studies, Mangrove Action Project, EchoEarth International (signed-on by Philippe Cousteau, Jr., the grandson of Jacques-Yves Cousteau), and many others.

We NEED your signature to make an impact with these letters!

You may be aware that UNEP released its Blue Carbon report earlier this month, which illustrates the carbon capturing potential of coastal marine ecosystems, such as mangrove swamps, seagrass beds, and salt marshes. The report is available at:

We define options for natural ocean carbon as the conservation and restoration these coastal and marine ecosystems. This effort represents a fantastic opportunity for advancing tropical marine science and conservation. **Please note that the word “natural” is highlighted in the letters to differentiate this option from potentially harmful geo-engineering.

Our tentative sign-on deadline is Thursday, Nov 12. Scientists of all nationalities welcome. If you would like to sign-on, please respond to this email, with your information in the following format: (1) First name Last name, (2) Qualification or credentials (PhD, MS student…), & (3) Affiliation (University). Please include any notable awards that you may hold.

I hope you can join us in protecting our planet and conserving our oceans!

As a private citizen I am not qualified to sign the Blue Climate letter myself. It’s meant to be signed by ocean scientists and ocean conservation organizations. I’m passing it on to the head of the Island County Beach Watchers and the Outreach Director for Puget Sound Partnership. Chances are they’ve already seen it, but I’m forwarding it anyway, just in case. I hope that there will be a follow up letter for the general public to sign.

The name Sylvia Earle rang a bell. I Googled her and found that she received the TED prize this year. The TED prize winners get to make a wish that the TED organization works to help make come true. Here’s Sylvia Earle’s wish:

I wish you would use all means at your disposal — films! expeditions! the web! more! — to ignite public support for a global network of marine protected areas, hope spots large enough to save and restore the ocean, the blue heart of the planet.”

Here’s what TED is doing to help her wish come true:

In order to fulfill Sylvia Earle’s wish to ignite public support for a global network of marine protected areas, we have partnered with Razorfish, Bedo to create an oceans awareness marketing campaign to launch early next year. The campaign is also made possible through partnerships with National Geographic, IUCN, Google Earth and Deep Search. In April 2010 a seven-day TED conference will take place on a ship in the Galapagos Islands. Speakers, all focused on the oceans, will range from marine scientists and ocean explorers to musicians and artists to environmental activists. All talks will be streamed live to the world for free. The ultimate goal is to have policy makers and citizens alike understand the necessary action steps needed to create more marine protected areas and to engender the conviction to take them.