Guest blog post by Dr. Giuliana Turi, a resident of Boulder and scientist who specializes in the impacts of climate change and variability on marine ecosystems. Check out her new ocean-themed blog, Sea of Wonders.
Teaching local Boulder students this past Spring about whales and ocean conservation.
A recent article in the Boulder Weekly drew attention to the multitude of organizations in and around Boulder that focus on raising awareness about ocean conservation. From NOAA’s Ocean Guardian program to the University of Colorado’s Ocean Discovery summer camp to our very own Ocean First Explorers Club, there are many opportunities for the younger generation to participate in fun, ocean-related activities. Why is it that a small inland town such as Boulder is not only home to one of the largest SCUBA diving communities in the United States, but also to a variety of people who are dedicated to educating the community about ocean protection? And why is it important to care about the ocean and its inhabitants from a mountainous region that doesn’t even border the sea?
Boulder is a hub to many outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers who care about the well-being of their outdoor playground, and this seems to reinforce a love for ecosystems that are well beyond the vicinity of the Rockies. Here at Ocean First Institute, we teach students that we are all connected to the ocean, no matter where we live, which also means that you don’t have to be physically close to the ocean to have an impact on it. Inland communities, such as those in Colorado, affect the ocean in a variety of ways, including how waste is disposed of, the amount of energy consumed, and through seafood choices. Since we use the ocean for food, transportation, recreation, and even inspiration, it seems justified that we show our appreciation for it by being responsible stewards of the ocean realm, just as we would of the grassy plains and rocky heights of Colorado’s ecosystems.
Ocean First Explorers Club members having fun learning about sea turtles and how they can help protect the ocean from Colorado.
At Ocean First Institute we truly believe that people are more willing to protect what they love, and love what they know and understand. Our mission is to help the community understand the importance of the ocean ecosystem and share our love for the sea. We place particular importance on educating students and involving the next generation in our projects, as they are not only the ones who will inherit this planet, but who will be our future ocean stewards and advocates. From the mountains of Colorado, we are proud to be a part of the ocean education movement!
Take a look at our local school programs and Ocean First Explorers Club for more information on how we are inspiring the next generation of marine scientists and conservation leaders! Also, check out the marine science online courses offered by our sister organization, Ocean First Education!