What World Oceans Day Means to Far Away Projects
By Executive Director Desiree Tavera
This World Ocean’s Day, Far Away is taking a moment to reflect on the relationship between humanity and the seas. 97% of the Earth’s water can be found in our oceans, and while we sometimes may feel disconnected from the sea, it serves to remember that our bodies are made up of about 60% water.
In terms of inequities, vulnerable coastal communities are often the first to feel the impacts of sea level rise, ocean acidification as a byproduct of climate destabilization and the choking effects of pollution. Our work to elevate organizations actively addressing systemic challenges impacts all of us. The community of ocean activists and innovators seeking regenerative solutions is ever growing, and can still use your help.
We’ll leave you with some wise words from the late, great Buckminster Fuller that guide our work in the space…
“We are not going to be able to operate our Spaceship Earth successfully nor for much longer unless we see it as a whole spaceship and our fate as common. It has to be everybody or nobody.“- R. Buckminster Fuller
We’re raising $20,000 to reach and onboard more ocean activists from around the world. If you want to see us grow our work in supporting early stage ocean regenerating initiatives: DONATE!
Events You Can Attend
On June 8th, the United Nations is hosting their annual World Oceans Day event. Far Away Projects will be in attendance and you can RSVP to attend virtually as well! The event will be filled with lots of critical information about the future of our oceans, don’t miss it!
On June 9th, Ultramarine Ocean Action Summit is hosting a Flamingle in Brooklyn, New York where Far Away Projects will be hosting a podcast room. Join us for a night filled with deep industry knowledge, hope for the future, good music and good people!
On June 11th, attend the World Oceans Festival in Brooklyn, New York which will include music, art, film screenings, and incredible talks, including one from Far Away’s Executive Director Desiree Tavera. Register below!
A Modern Approach to Ocean Health
By Far Away Projects Board Member Dr. Adam Schlenger
As an oceanographer and natural resource manager, one of the underlying principles of my work has been to protect the health and integrity of ecosystems from the detrimental impacts of human development. Part of this goal has always been to maintain these pristine natural environments around the world so that they can continue to live as they did well before we came along. However, in today’s world, untouched natural ecosystems no longer exist. Plastic garbage can be found in the deepest parts of our oceans, like the Mariana Trench. Coral reefs that may never have had a boat come within miles are beginning to bleach and die off as global temperatures rise. Populations of fish and plankton found in the middle of the ocean, as far from land on any side as is possible, now must deal with the impacts of ocean acidification while they grow and develop.
But as the world changes, so must our attitude. It has become clear that it is no longer enough to just protect natural ecosystems as they are, we need to actively undo the damage being done. This means exploring new solutions, strategies, technologies, and innovations to intervene in the current trajectory of shifting natural processes. Unfortunately, this is difficult for scientists raised under the mentality that nature should be left alone whenever possible, lest we open Pandora’s Box. But whether we like it or not, that box has been opened and it’s time for us all to step up and become problem solvers.
Surprisingly, the some of the people and organizations making the most headway in developing solutions to these problems aren’t necessarily the scientists, but NGO’s, entrepreneurs, and social philanthropists. As global priorities begin to shift and people realize the importance of protecting our natural environments, the private sector is progressively leading the charge when it comes to alternative energy, sustainable consumption, and carbon drawdown and sequestration.
With the expansion of international carbon markets and the recent increases around the price of carbon, newly developing industries now have the economic foundation to scale globally. Seaweed, one of the fastest methods of removing carbon from the oceans, can be grown off almost any coastline around the world and be used to make alternative plastic products or sustainable feed sources for agriculture. The expansion of mangrove forests similarly store massive amounts of carbon while simultaneously enriching local fisheries and protecting coastal communities from potential storm damage. Wave and floating solar energy are being used to power desalination plants and help ease the impacts of freshwater shortages. Minerals found in natural rock formations are being dispersed along coastlines to both sequester carbon from the water as well as decrease the impacts of ocean acidification. As of today, dozens of new industries are being pioneered that not only benefit people, but also positively impact ocean health.
These suites of new innovations and technologies are commonly being referred to as the Blue Economy, and when prioritized in a sustainable fashion, have the potential to undo the damage we are currently doing to our natural ecosystems. As long as we prevent these practices from becoming exploitative at large scales, there is hope that we can reverse some of the effects of climate change at a speed fast enough to make a real difference. But making sure this remains the case requires education around ocean issues and the science underlying them. Just as importantly, incorporating sustainable traditions and indigenous knowledge is essential since these peoples have already been successfully implementing similar practices for hundreds of years.
As the world changes, it’s up to us to adapt and rise to the challenges presented. Luckily this is something the human spirit is well suited for and the amazing individuals and organizations supported by Far Away Projects genuinely exemplify this. Through education, conservation, action, and innovation, Far Away Projects has been on the front lines of this fight, aiding incredible people around the world who are willing to risk it all to make a difference. I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of the Far Away Projects team, especially on World Ocean Day, and hope that we can all work together towards creating and implementing solutions for a healthy ocean.
“Coral Reefs are the essences of Life on the Planet. By removing munitions from corals we will restore the natural beauty and resilience of our Seas.“
– Terrance P. Long
The ocean covers nearly three quarters of the Earth’s surface, contains 96% of its living space, provides around half of the oxygen we breathe and is an increasing source of protein for a rapidly growing world population. However, there are millions of tons of dumped chemical and conventional munitions in every Sea with major impacts on this precious resource on local, regional and global scales. Toxic munitions have been releasing warfare agents 24/7/365 days a year that can change seawater temperature, contribute to ocean acidification, create deadly algae blooms from an influx of nutrients from TNT’s and will cause substantial changes in marine physics, chemistry and biology. These changes will affect the ocean in ways that we are only beginning to understand.
Our work in Hawaii and Puerto Rico focuses on the removal of underwater munitions from coral reefs. We must protect these critically endangered ecosystems and the people who use them. Underwater munitions leach seven known carcinogens, some in very high concentrations. From one and only one source, munitions, these poisons are now found everywhere throughout the ecosystem, including in fish at the base of the human food chain. Bombs are point source polluters. Pick up the bomb; get rid of the problem. And that’s exactly what we are doing.
Together with your support, IDUM is committed to halting and reversing the decline in the health and productivity of our ocean and its ecosystems and to protecting and restoring its resilience and ecological integrity by removing munitions from the Seas. We recognize that the wellbeing of present and future generations is inextricably linked to the health and productivity of our ocean.
Terrance P. Long CPSM. SSM. CD (Chair), and Dr. Jim Porter (North American Director)
International Dialogues on Underwater Munitions (IDUM)
“We would like to enter this space as a positive narrative to educate through a fun and digestible narrative various ecological issues and how ocean conservation transmutes into action.“
– Paula Rosales
You are water, You are an Ocean Defender. Awaken that power inside of you, for the ocean is calling and it’s time to answer the call! The Ocean Defenders Ocean Action Comics aids in spreading awareness and marshaling change to save 30% of the worlds’ oceans by 2030. Our platform also gives livelihood to a pool of artists from the Philippines, a 3rd world country, where the art industry is struggling and not thriving.
Growing up in Asia, my childhood was full of superheroes, technology and cartoons. Growing up around this industry, I see and believe the power of technology, gaming, comics, toys and superheroes in a society. We would like to enter this space as a positive narrative to educate through a fun and digestible narrative various ecological issues and how ocean conservation transmutes into action. Ocean Defenders does this by creating customized Ocean Defenders characters in our multimedia platform including NFT’s. To date, we have produced 7 ocean defender characters, 4 adventure strips/stories, and a Trading Card Game.
Our fundraising goal is to produce 12 new ocean defender characters, 12 new ocean adventure stories and compile them in a volume as seeded content for the next 3 – 6 months. With this, we will be able to establish our community, our following, and be available to a wider variety of audiences through selected educational, art, graphic, publishing, and comic platforms.
Executive Director of The Ocean Defenders
“The Green Standard aims to be the spark that opens up a doorway to a deeper, more connected way of living in harmony with each other and the planet.”
– Bayli Payne
The ocean connects us all. She nourishes humanity. Sustains all forms of life. She shows us ways to heal while also healing the planet by capturing carbon and regulating the climate. It is time for us to build a beautiful and harmonious relationship with the ocean in which nature and humanity can thrive side by side. World Ocean day allows us to take a deep breath of gratitude for our oceans. After all, 50% of all the air we breathe is because of the sea. The Green Standard aims to be the spark that opens up a doorway to a deeper, more connected way of living in harmony with each other and the planet. Follow us on instagram!
The Green Standard is committed to diverting existing plastic waste from the oceans and landfills of Hawai’i and preventing future virgin-plastic waste from being created. That includes multiple different programs like the reduction of single use plastics from Hawaii’s waste stream, the program to Transmute single-use plastics into long lasting useable goods using the Precious Plastics Model, Regenerative Business Consulting, Beach Cleanups, and a Night Market / Community Events.
Executive Director of The Green Standard
RED TIDE, is a video series created by artist, Joe Keefe, that captures the beauty of our bioluminescent oceans while bringing attention to the rise in Harmful Algal Blooms across the globe, and the danger they present for the stability of our ecosystems. Bid on it at the Flamingle!
Thank you for your continued support of Far Away Projects