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“Beyond the Obituaries: Success Stories in Ocean Conservation”

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009
Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History

Co-Organizers: Dr. Nancy Knowlton, Smithsonian Institution, and Dr. Jeremy Jackson, Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Co-Organizers: Dr. Nancy Knowlton, Smithsonian Institution, and Dr. Jeremy Jackson, Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Image courtesy: Chip Clark, Smithsonian Institution.

 “We, as scientists, must do more than simply write ever-more-refined obituaries for the world’s ocean and marine life.” – Nancy Knowlton, coral reef ecologist and Sant Chair for Marine Science at NMNH

In May 2009, this simple, sobering idea became the backbone of a Smithsonian-hosted event at the International Marine Conservation Congress. “Beyond the Obituaries: Success Stories in Ocean Conservation” was strikingly different from many marine science symposia where reports of pollution, overfishing, and climate change echo through auditoriums and meeting rooms. With all the bad news about the state of our ocean, “Beyond” was an opportunity for scientists and citizens to spend a day celebrating marine conservation efforts that are making a difference.

Carl LoBue from the Nature Conservancy on Long Island presented good news about clam restoration in Great South Bay, NY.

Carl LoBue from the Nature Conservancy on Long Island presented good news about clam restoration in Great South Bay, NY. Image courtesy: Chip Clark, Smithsonian Institution.

The presenters – marine scientists and professional from across the U.S. and around the globe – first gathered at Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History for a day of discussion and debate among themselves. What is conservation success? How do we learn from one another so we can build more successful programs? How do we best include the public, media, leaders, and others we want to reach with good news?

The following day, the group gave a full day of inspiring public presentations. The 26 talks and 21 posters offered reasons to be hopeful from Australia to Belize.  They covered successful conservation programs ranging from oyster restoration in Florida to a combined family planning and coastal management effort in the Philippines that benefits local people and reefs simultaneously.

Baird Auditorium at NMNH was packed during the symposium

Baird Auditorium at NMNH was packed during the symposium. Image courtesy: Chip Clark, Smithsonian Institution.

 

 

 

To find out more details about the presenters and their topics, download the event program (pdf).

 

 

 

 

A special thanks to the Smithsonian Marine Science Network and the Johnson and Hunterdon Oceanographic Research Endowments for making this event possible.

 

 
 
 
Last Updated: 23 August 2009

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