For the first time in a long time, hope is abundant in America—hope for a more unified nation, hope for an end to the economic downturn, hope for more peaceful interactions with the world, and hope for more widespread public and government support of our natural resources, including our oceans. The Blue Frontier Campaign, a non-profit environmental organization, is one of the frontrunners in the movement aimed at spreading understanding of the importance of our ocean habitat. This spring, they've planned the Blue Vision Summit, a gathering in Washington, D.C., aimed at influencing President Obama and congress to take leadership actions on the ocean, addressing climate change impacts on the ocean, and highlighting solutions to marine threats that can be implemented at a global level.
"Surfers and bodysurfers are the ultimate sustainable sea users," says David Helvarg, Director of the Blue Frontier Campaign. "In getting our stoke, we shouldn't have to risk getting sick from pollution, seeing waves destroyed by thoughtless development, or stand silent witness to the devastation of wildlife on our blue planet."
The event will be a gathering of up to 500 ocean defenders, including 60 heads of marine organizations, ocean leaders in the House and Senate, ocean explorers Philippe Cousteau and Sylvia Earle, former Green Party Presidential candidate Ralph Nader, as well as local, regional, and national blue groups, scientists, sailors, surfers, fishermen, businesses, educators, and youth who care about our public seas.
"When the oceans become polluted or imperiled in any way, surfers, just like marine life, also become affected," says Alison Loomis, Blue Frontier Campaign Organizer. "For most surfers, that translates to a call to local action where they can—whether it's beach cleanups or carting their surfboard to the beach on a carbon-neutral bike. When it comes to establishing federal action on big ocean impacts, like climate change and greening shipping ports, surfers now have a unique opportunity to voice their concerns on Capitol Hill at the Blue Vision Summit."
Slated for March 7-10, the Summit will include a night with top ocean explorers, two days of meetings and discussions, two evening celebrations, and a Capitol Hill Day that will provide an opportunity for people to meet with their elected representatives.
"By joining together as seaweed (marine grassroots) activists at the Blue Vision Summit," explains Helvarg, "we can help convince President Obama and Congress it's time for a sea change, time to respect our mother ocean."
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