In this World Ocean Day special, Olivia Taylor (@olivia_earth) interviews Jamila Janna about the nuances of environmental racism and how it affects inclusivity in the ocean space, the harmful effects of mainstream conservation narratives on environmental projects’ success, opportunities for youth in marine conservation, and more!
Jamila is a filmmaker, social media strategist, and marine biologist from KwaZulu-Natal, whose work focuses on community engagement in decision-making. Miss Janna has a background in stable isotopes, estuarine and coastal ecology, filmmaking, science communication and marine activism which has allowed her to participate meaningfully in stakeholder engagements and public speaking. Jamila has a passion for advocating for sustainable usage, fighting environmental racism, and sharing intersectionality narratives about marine environmentalism.
To follow more of Jamila’s work, you can find her on Instagram @xhosawanderer.

Listen to the podcast here

The oceans are in more trouble than ever before.

Right now it is estimated that up to 12 million metric tons of plastic—everything from plastic bottles and bags to microbeads—end up in the oceans each year. That’s a truckload of trash every minute.

Traveling on ocean currents, this plastic is now turning up in every corner of our planet, from Florida beaches to uninhabited Pacific islands. It is even being found in the deepest part of the ocean and trapped in Arctic ice.

The oceans are slowly turning into a plastic soup, and the effects on ocean life are devastating. Plastic pieces of all sizes choke and clog the stomachs of creatures who mistake it for food, from tiny zooplankton to whales. Plastic is now entering every level of the ocean food chain and is even ending up in the seafood on our plates.

Listen to the podcast here

World Ocean Day – 8 June

Let’s celebrate together!
The e-books of Pesho and Popoto are free on 8-9-10 June!
The Fish who Wanted to Dance With the Stars by Barbara Pinke:
Popoto by Noemi Knight:

The Clean Coasts programme works with over 1,800 communities and 37,000 volunteers to help protect and care for Ireland’s waterways, coastline, seas, ocean and marine life, by organizing hundreds of beach clean-ups each year, mobilizing thousands of volunteers, and removing large quantities of marine litter from our coastline.

The Irish coast offers breath-taking views, beautiful beaches, epic cliffs, and more, and its unique beauty and character have been attracting visitors from all over the world. It also presents its visitors with numerous opportunities to have fun. With the nice weather on the way, we expect that more people will be visiting the beautiful coastal areas around the country, whether it is for sea swimming, water sports, or simply to enjoy the stunning landscape.

With our ‘Enjoy and Protect’ campaign, we are once more asking people to enjoy and celebrate our stunning coastline, beautiful beaches, epic cliffs and all outdoor areas, but also to protect these natural treasures. Get out and make the most of Ireland’s wonderful coast, but also do your part to preserve our marine environment and keep it safe and beautiful for future generations to enjoy too.

After the release of an “Outdoor Living” guide, “A Day at the Beach guide, and our “Community Guide” on how to organize beach cleans, on June 8th we will release a fourth guide on marine wildlife photography, with tips and tricks on how to get the best images while making sure not to disrupt our wildlife.

Learn more here.

Searious Business has teamed up with its Youth Advisory Board in making an inspirational video for World Oceans Day. We want to celebrate the ocean and the things we can do to protect it from plastic pollution. The children from the board asked tough questions to representatives from major supermarkets about what the ocean means to them and what their stores are doing to reduce plastic waste.

Watch the video here!

A Bears for Cares Book

‘Billie the Octopus’ Book Encourages Young Ones to Care About What’s Under the Sea

With World Oceans Day coming Wednesday, June 8, the children’s book “Billie the Octopus” (Eifrig Publishing) invites young ones to explore the wonders of the oceans, become aware of the threats to it, and how they can help make a difference in a watery world that covers 97% of the earth’s livable habitat.

Written by youth author Lotus Kay and illustrated by Chey Diehl, Billie the Octopus is part of the Bears for Cares new book series and initiative to educate young people to care for and protect the environment and create a more compassionate world.

“Billie the Octopus” is told in charming rhyme and colorful graphics that show a world beneath the sea that is in danger from humans.  Filled with Plastic Facts: did you know that “8 million tons of plastic enters our oceans from the land each year?”  and suggestions “instead of using plastic water bottles get a reusable one, don’t use plastic straws,” and many others, even the earliest readers will find these facts and recommendations fascinating and concerning.

The book are part of the Bears for Cares initiative and book series, a project of The Jane Goodall Institute’s  Roots and Shoots initiative, a youth service program, and a portion of proceeds from the books and toys go to The Jane Goodall Institute and the Roots & Shoots program.


“Dear Lotus, It is fantastic that you are writing these books – thank you so much for sending me some copies, including, of course, Jenny. And it is such a good idea to have soft toys with them. Children’s books are really important – and even more so because of the pandemic. Congratulations.”

Dr. Jane Goodall, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and Roots & Shoots

“I received Lotus’s books and loved them! Well done! Thank you! With people like Lotus so aware and inspirational, I’m sure humanity can rise to the challenges we face.” — Louie Psihoyos, Director of Racing Extinction, Executive Director Oceanic Preservation Society

🌊 Need some reading material for this weekend? Bears for Cares ‘Billie the Octopus’ is inspired by Mission Blue and Sylvia A. Earle.” – Mission Blue

Bears for Cares books are also available with stuffed animals based on characters in the books:  Beary the Polar Bear (in “More Beautiful Than Heaven”), Billie the Octopus, Milo the Turkey and Jenny the Chimpanzee.  The books are published by Eifrig Publishing and are printed on recycled acid-free paper. For more information about Bears for Cares visit

About the Author

Lotus Kay, a 21-year-old writer, has been published in many publications including Green Child Magazine, Natural Parent, Thrive Global, and many others. She is a recipient of a grant from Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots program for her work creating the Bears for Cares campaign to educate kids on the importance and beauty of nature, and motivate them to help protect the Earth, and everything on it. She is also a singer/songwriter and poet. For more information about Lotus and her books and Bears for Cares, please click here.

Here at Clean Cornwall we are proud to announce that we will be officially launching our Change Makers initiative on the 8th of June. This scheme will allow local businesses and organizations to show their support for the environmental work that we do here at Clean Cornwall, and to evidence their social and corporate responsibility in terms of keeping our county clean and protecting the environment.

This is an excellent opportunity for businesses to support us and their local area by providing essential funding that keeps our services running, and the launch event will provide an opportunity for questions and networking with other like-minded businesses. Clean Cornwall supports hundreds of litter picks each year, many of which take place on our stunning beaches and coastlines around Cornwall, so we hope to continue to allow people to redirect plastic waste away from our oceans. The in-person event is only open to local businesses that have been invited, however anyone is welcome to apply for the Change Makers scheme through our website.

Learn more here

June 8 is World Ocean Day, and June is National Ocean Month – a global celebration and month to spark action for our shared blue planet.

The MSC hosted a panel discussion and webinar to hear from others working hard for a healthy ocean, and to share what MSC is doing to celebrate World Ocean Day. Consumers are increasingly demanding a sustainable future and World Ocean Day is one opportunity to highlight how their seafood choices can leave a positive impact on them and the planet.

Listen to the recording of this special webinar to hear why World Ocean Day is an important day to celebrate, what it takes to create a Big Blue Future, and ways your company can get involved.

– Erika Feller, MSC Regional Director, Americas

-Bill Mott, Director, The Ocean Project
-Ian Ricketts, President, Ocean Brands
-Emily de Sousa – Fisheries Scientist, Content Creator and Science Communicator
-Lisa Damrosch, Executive Director, LegaSea Fish Co.

Learn more here:

Live It Earth’s hybrid learning resources connect kids with people working in different fields and real-world subject matter experts—no matter where they live! Live It Earth has created 8 ocean programs over the past two years, and is generously making them available for free to schools across Canada for the month of June! They are also releasing a brand new ocean program on June 8 – World Ocean Day!

Register here for your free access code.

May 18, 2022 9A EST


MAY 18, 2022, CORVALLIS, OREGON — A sweeping new analysis of US Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) published today in Frontiers in Marine Science, co-authored by scientists from 22 institutions across 14 states, identified significant gaps in the country’s ocean protections— leaving critical marine systems and the coastal economies that depend on them vulnerable to unprecedented ecological pressures and posing a challenge to meeting conservation goals laid out in the Biden Administration’s “America the Beautiful” initiative. 

The paper, “A Scientific Synthesis of Marine Protected Areas in the United States: Status and Recommendations,” used the groundbreaking new science-based framework “The MPA Guide” to evaluate the country’s 50 largest MPAs—which make up 99.7% of US MPA area. Researchers found that over 96 percent of the total MPA area—and 99 percent of US MPA area that is fully or highly protected from extractive and destructive human activities—is located in the central Pacific Ocean. The MPA coverage in other US regions is surprisingly sparse. Just 1.9% of the U.S. waters outside the central Pacific benefit from any MPA protections and most of those are categorized as only lightly or minimally protected. This means that about 98% of waters around the continental US are not protected by any kind of MPA. 

“These findings highlight an urgent need to improve the quality, quantity, and representativeness of MPA protection across U.S. waters to bring benefits to human and marine communities,” said Dr. Jenna Sullivan-Stack, a research associate at Oregon State University and lead author on the paper. 

“It is important to recognize that well-managed MPAs, designed with the local context in mind, can deliver benefits that extend beyond marine life to coastal communities that depend on sustainable marine resources for their livelihoods and cultural survival,” said Dr. Ana Spalding, Associate Professor of Marine and Coastal Policy at Oregon State University and Research Associate at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institution. 

Drawing on the work of dozens of scientists, the analysis of US MPAs represents the first systematic application of The MPA Guide to assess the quantity and quality of the country’s marine protections. The Guide uses a variety of criteria based on decades of research in ecosystems around the world to rate areas as fully, highly, lightly, or minimally protected— crucial information as policymakers seek to measure and improve the level of protection currently offered by existing MPAs and develop new and effective MPAs. It also highlights the need to improve equity and other social and ecological conditions for effectiveness. 

“Coordinated action is needed to make the most of US MPAs, both to create more of the right kinds in the places that need them, and to ensure that established MPAs are effective, equitable, and climate-resilient. Only then can US ocean conservation achieve the goals laid out in the America the Beautiful initiative,” added Dr. Sullivan-Stack. Based on an analysis of the findings, the paper makes specific recommendations for US decision-makers going forward, as they work to implement the country’s “30×30” goal to conserve at least 30% of the ocean by 2030. Some of these recommendations include: 

  1. Establish more, and more effective, MPAs. The US needs to create more fully and highly protected MPAs to reach national conservation goals, especially in continental waters. Current MPAs with weak protection need re-evaluating, and all MPAs need to be actively managed to optimize results. 
  2. Establish new, highly and fully protected, networked MPAs with better representation of US marine biodiversity, regions and habitats. The vast Central Pacific MPAs are valuable and should be celebrated and strengthened, including with plans for management. But the US needs to create effective MPAs and networks in other areas too, to reflect the diversity of its marine ecosystems. This will bring biodiversity protection and the social benefits of MPAs within reach of many more communities. 
  3. Improve attention and commitment to equity in new and existing MPAs. Close engagement with diverse rights-holders and stakeholders in inclusive planning and management processes – particularly with Indigenous and other historically excluded communities – increases MPA equity, utility, and effectiveness. 
  4. Track MPAs by level of protection, not only by total area covered. Doing this is the best way to understand if MPAs will deliver the desired outcomes. Frameworks like The MPA Guide help identify the activities allowed and clarify the level of protection offered, to help observers understand whether positive outcomes related to biodiversity and climate resilience can be expected. Outcomes from sites that provide effective and lasting conservation benefits but are not MPAs, like military closed areas for example, should also be tracked as the US works to achieve its 30×30 target. 
  5. Ensure that MPAs are durable and climate-ready so they will continue to work in the future. Governance structures and long-term capacity – including funding support for staffing, monitoring etc – should be established and strengthened. More research is needed on how to make sure MPAs are both ‘climate-ready’ and also can help mitigate the effects of climate change. 
  6. Build on existing state MPA initiatives and encourage and coordinate MPA actions at the state level and between state and federal waters. State support will be needed to achieve the federal goals of America the Beautiful. Initiatives could include executive and legislative actions, outreach and education, and stakeholder coordination. Some states have already passed resolutions relating to 30×30. The full paper and access to supporting materials are available here.



Michael Crocker 
Communications Inc. 
+1 207 522 1366

Dr. Jenna Sullivan-Stack
Research Associate
Oregon State University
+1 541 207 2315

Dr. Kirsten Grorud-Colvert
Associate Professor, Oregon State University
+1 541 908 0470

Dr. Stephen Palumbi
Professor, Stanford University

Dr. Ana Spalding
Associate Professor, Oregon State University
Research Associate, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institution

Dr. Alan Friedlander
Chief Scientist, Pristine Seas, National Geographic Society
Hawai’i Institute of Marine Biology, University of Hawai’i

Beth Pike
Director of Marine Protection Atlas
Marine Conservation Institute

#ZistwarNouLosean in Mauritian Creole means Story of Our Ocean. We had
our first edition last year with Mauritius & Rodrigues Islands participants,
using photography as a tool to tell their stories about our ocean.

Inspired by The National Geographic Education/Adobe
#StorytellingForImpact Series; the initiative is to bring our youth to think,
explore and share their perspectives about the world surrounding them.
Being the future of our planet, our role as adults is to guide, collaborate and
elevate their voices in the protection and conservation of our ocean.

Our mission is to inspire and empower our youth to be responsible and caring
planetary stewards. Part of it is to give them the space to think about and
express possible solutions to global issues and thus get them ready to take
action whenever it is needed.

This year we are going GLOBAL and we are very excited to welcome
international organizations supporting the initiative. The theme this year is A
Plastic Free Ocean. We are sharing with you all our selected participants impactful stories that will inspire and
empower people to take action in reducing ocean plastic pollution.

Explore our ArcGIS Story Map (link coming soon!)

The twin crises of biodiversity loss and climate change have already and will continue to affect the livelihoods and survival of the most vulnerable coastal populations. The tide is turning to respond to these complex challenges. What can be done to ensure the conservation of vulnerable coastal ecosystems and foster resilience amongst coastal communities? In this episode of ‘Sustainapod’, Belinda and Rachel speak with guest speaker Constance Wong from Willis Towers Watson’s Climate and Resilience Hub, to learn more about how financial tools and community engagement can contribute towards cultivate more resilient futures for coastal ecosystems and the communities who depend on them.

Find the podcast here