State of the Oceans Forum II: Facing the Crisis: Reasons for Hope

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Join TED prize recipient and leading oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle at the Explorers Club for a discussion on how we can and must save the world’s most crucial natural resource ? the living ocean ? while there is still time.

In early 2009, a panel of top scientists led by marine toxicologist Dr. Susan Shaw and Dr. Earle came together to convey a powerful message about the enormity of the crisis facing the world’s oceans at the first State of the Oceans Forum. Now, these Explorers return for a follow-up forum about the innovative solutions, leadership and resources required to make a difference for future generations. Join them at the Second State of the Oceans Forum: Facing the Crisis: Reasons for Hope on Monday, December 7, 2009, 7:00-9:00pm at the Explorers Club’s World Center for Exploration in New York City.

We need your participation!

The first State of the Oceans Forum resulted in an important dialogue among many of you, and much of your valuable input has been included in the vision for the second Forum. Please continue to participate, by submitting your comments (below in the comment section), letting your voice be heard at the event, and distributing this information through your own networks. It’s critical that the important messages of this forum reach new ears and eyes in order for change to occur.


The oceans are in crisis. As Explorers, we need to focus world attention on protecting this most crucial natural resource.

Sustaining 90% of Earth’s biodiversity, the ocean environment and its living inhabitants are being steadily destroyed by human activities. Overfishing and mega-trawling have depleted global fish stocks and ripped up the ocean floor. Ocean dumping, toxic runoff from land, plastic debris, oil spills, and carbon emissions have resulted in widespread loss of biodiversity. Large-scale alterations to ocean ecosystems have occurred and more are underway. We urgently need to prevent further ocean degradation and reverse the damage before it is too late.


Forum Chair: Dr. Susan Shaw, FN?07
Moderator: Dr. Sylvia Earle, MED?81
Lecture Series Chair: Anne Doubilet, FR?02
Panelists: Dr. Nancy Knowlton; Dr. David Gallo, FN?90; Dr. David Guggenheim, FN?08; Mr. Jim Fowler, MED?66

The Explorers Club Public Lecture Series: 2nd State of the Oceans Forum
The Explorers Club,
46 East 70th Street, New York, NY 10021 212-628-8383

December 7, 2009

Reception and ticket sales 6:00 PM, Forum 7:00 ? 9:00 PM

7:00 ? 7:05 Introductions by Anne Doubilet and Susan Shaw

7:05 ? 7:10 Video Clip: Excerpt from Sylvia Earle’s 2009 TED Talk

7:10 ? 7:30 Saving the Blue Heart of the Planet ? Sylvia Earle
Last February, Dr. Earle made a TED wish to create a campaign igniting public support for a global network of Marine Protected Areas ? ?hope spots?
to save and restore the planet. The world is responding. Where are we now?

7:30 ? 7:45 Confronting the Invisible Threat: Ocean Pollution ? Susan Shaw

Huge volumes of toxic chemicals used in consumer products and plastics are polluting our seas, contaminating the ocean food web. Can marine
species be saved? Efforts to stop toxics at the source, clean up sea litter, and develop clean technologies give hope.

7:45 – 8:00 Indicators of Change: Ocean Acidification and the Vanishing Reefs ? Nancy Knowlton
Increased CO2 is radically altering ocean chemistry and taking its toll on all forms of life at sea. Already 50% of the world’s coral reefs have disappeared.
Dramatic reduction in carbon emissions and changes in management could help reverse the trend.

8:00 ? 8:15 Hope from the Deep: Saving the Ocean Floor ? David Gallo

At the bottom of the sea, mining, drilling and trawling threaten the very foundation of the ocean ecosystem. Are new technologies and clean energy
alternatives the solution?

8:15 ? 8:30 Ocean Policy and Education: Time for A Sea Change ? David Guggenheim
Momentum is mounting in the US and abroad to create the first comprehensive oceans policy, but will it protect the oceans of today? Tomorrow? A
new generation of ocean stewards voice their concerns. Are we listening?

8:30 ? 8:40 The Wild Sea ? Jim Fowler
The open ocean has long been a place regarded as free ? free to travel without bounds, free to take what is there, and free to dispose of what is no
longer wanted. But beneath the surface of the ?lawless sea,? basic laws of nature support life on our planet. Now is the time to start obeying them.

8:40 ? 9:00 Open Discussion with Panelists


Dr. Sylvia Earle, Explorer/ Medalist ?81, Honorary Director of The Explorers Club, Oceanographer, Author, Sea Change 1995; Defying Oceans End: An Agenda for Action 2004; OCEAN, An Illustrated Atlas 2008; The World Is Blue: How Our Fate and the Ocean’s Are One 2009

Called ?Her Deepness? by the New York Times, Sylvia Earle is a world-renowned oceanographer who has been at the frontier
of deep ocean exploration for four decades. Currently the president of the Deep Search Foundation, she has led more than 70
underwater expeditions and set the depth record for solo diving at 3,300 feet. Earle formerly served as chief scientist of NOAA
and has played a key role in establishing marine protected areas worldwide. The recipient of 15 honorary degrees and more
than 100 national and international awards including the 2009 TED Prize, Earle is the inspiration behind the new Ocean in
Google Earth program..

Dr. Susan Shaw, FN ?07, Doctor of Public Health/ Environmental Scientist, Founder, Marine Environmental Research Institute (MERI)

Environmental toxicologist and public health expert Susan Shaw has spent two decades documenting the effects of man-made chemicals in marine mammals along the North American Pacific and Atlantic coasts. She is credited as the first scientist to reveal that brominated flame-retardants?chemicals widely used in consumer products?are biomagnifying in this US coastal marine food web. Named a Gulf of Maine Visionary and honored by the Maine Legislature for her pioneering investigation, Seals as Sentinels, on the effects of chemical contamination in marine mammals and humans, Dr. Shaw’s research has influenced public health and toxics legislation in the US and abroad.

Dr. Nancy Knowlton, Coral Reef Biologist, Sant Chair in Marine Sciences, Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History

Nancy Knowlton’s research on the ecology and evolution of coral reef organisms in the Caribbean, Central Pacific and Indian Ocean has led to the widespread recognition that past estimates of marine diversity are probably too low by a factor of ten. The founding Director of the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Dr. Knowlton currently chairs the World Bank’s Targeted Research Program for Coral Reefs and is the principle investigator of the Census of Marine Life’s Coral Reef Initiative. She is an elected fellow and member of the Board of Directors of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow.

Dr. David Gallo, FN ?90, Oceanographer, Director of Special Projects at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

One of the first oceanographers to use a combination of submarines and robots to map the undersea world, David Gallo was invited by legendary Titanic-hunter Robert Ballard to join the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in 1987. As an ambassador of deep-sea exploration, Dr. Gallo works closely with scientists at the forefront of ocean discovery, filmmakers, and media broadcasters including National Geographic and PBS, to reveal the secrets of the deep and communicate the importance of science and engineering to the public. Most recently, Dr. Gallo co-led an exploration of the RMS Titanic and German battleship Bismarck.

Dr. David Guggenheim, FN?08, Marine Biologist/ Educator, Founder, 1planet1ocean; Senior Fellow, The Ocean Foundation

David Guggenheim is a marine scientist, conservation policy specialist, submarine pilot and ocean explorer who recently piloted the first-ever manned submersible dives into the Bering Sea’s largest underwater canyons as scientific advisor to Greenpeace. Previously the vice president for conservation policy at the Ocean Conservancy, Dr. Guggenheim founded 1planet1ocean ? a non-profit organization and project of The Ocean Foundation, dedicated to building international partnerships for marine conservation. Also known as the ?Ocean Doctor,? he’s currently engaged in an educational expedition across the country and hosts the podcast series ExpeditionCasts.

Jim Fowler, Explorer/Medalist ?66, Honorary Director of The Explorers Club, Zoologist

Television legend Jim Fowler hosted the Emmy-Award winning Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom from 1963 to 1988 before becoming NBC’s official wildlife correspondent on the Today Show. In 1997 he joined Discovery Communication’s Animal Planet and later launched Jim Fowler’s Life in the Wild in 2000. He has received numerous awards including the Environmental Media Association’s first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998, and the 2003 Lindbergh Award for 40 years of dedication to wildlife preservation and education.

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