From March 7 to March 10 of 2009, the second Blue Vision Summit gathered some four hundred people from over two hundred ocean organizations in Washington DC, ranging in size from a two-diver outfit working on removing abandoned fishing nets off the sea bottom in California to the National Geographic Society, New England Aquarium, UNEP and Google. With two days of speakers and panels on Federal ocean action, evening ‘Celebrations of the Sea’ and a Capitol Hill Day on which participants met with their representatives, the first ripples were made in a tidal shift of US ocean policy.
A healthy ocean, it was agreed, is essential to restoring our economy, protecting our security and solving the climate crisis. And what better time to act, than during the first hundred days of a new bodysurfing President? The Summit began with a pre-Summit training session on how to use the new Google Ocean (Google 5.0) as a conservation tool put together by that leading web-surfing company. We officially opened the Summit with a panel on ‘Why Conservation needs Exploration’ which included “her deepness,” Sylvia Earle, third-generation explorer Philippe Cousteau, Phil Renaud (USN Ret.), National Geographic’s Enric Sala, ocean rower Roz Savage. Dr. Roger Payne, who discovered both humpback whale song and human-generated toxic loads in Sperm Whale blubber served as keynote speaker and noted that, “The chance to make a giant change has never been better than at this moment.”
Blue Frontier Campaign, Khaled Bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation, Pew Environment Group, Project AWARE, Oceana, Natural Resources Defense council, The Curtis and Edith Munson Foundation, Care2.com, The Nature Conservancy, Environmental Defense Fund, Clean Ocean Action, The Ocean Foundation, Surfrider, National Geographic, The Henry Foundation, Ocean Champions, The Baum Foundation, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Massachusetts Ocean Partnership.
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Featured speakers From left to right: Dr. Roger Payne (Keynote Speaker), Dr. Sylvia Earle, Nancy Sutley (CEQ Director), Representative Sam Farr, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Mike Chrisman (CA Secretary of Resources), Marine Artist Wyland, Bill McKibben, Jim Toomey, David Helvarg, David Guggenheim, Thomas Lovejoy, Carl Safina, Philippe Cousteau.