Making Waves Nowhere Near the Ocean

This past weekend, Colorado Ocean Coalition, held their annual "Making WAVES" symposium. The Boulder-based ocean conservation non-profit was established by Vicki Goldstein in order to raise ocean conservation awareness in the heart of an inland state, because no matter where you live, the ocean is important to everyone.

In its second year, the "Making WAVES" event is rapidly growing, with over 1,000 people attending the two-day symposium, film festival and gala. The event was presented by legendary Jean-Michel Cousteau and moderated by cartoonist Jim Toomey. OWOO was a proud sponsor.

Jean-Michel Cousteau and Vicki Goldstein, photo by Dubinsky Photography

This event was created in order to give people who live away from the ocean an opportunity to attend an ocean-based conservation event, and to highlight ocean issues and solutions. People from all over Colorado and other inland areas attended, in the hope of learning more about the crucial changes that have to take place in order for our ocean to thrive.

Speakers such as Louie Psihoyos, director of Oscar-winning The Cove, spoke about his upcoming film "A Reef in Time" and how the small things on the planet such as plankton are the most important. Dr. Susan Shaw related how ocean acidification is on the rise, and the importance of knowing that what you put into the ocean will end up back in you. Casson Trenor, co-owner of sustainable sushi restaurant, Tataki, spoke about how everyone needs to know the 4 S's in order to decide if fish is sustainable: small, seasonal, silver or shellfish? One of the most inspirational talks was by 11 year old Milo Cress who created a project called "Be Straw Free" in order to reduce the waste and use of disposable plastic straws. His speech inspired a standing ovation and he was presented an award from Jean-Michel Cousteau for his passion and dedication to ocean conservation and plastic reduction.

Milo Cress received an award and a hug from Jean-Michel Cousteau, photo by Dubinsky Photography

Over a dozen ocean conservation films from the San Francisco Film Festival were shown at the event, and they ranged from short family friendly cartoons to beautiful, full-length nature documentaries on incredible oceanic creatures. On Sunday the Ocean Symposium featured knowledgeable speakers such as Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, Captain Alfred Scott McLaren, and Dr. Synte Peacock and informative question and answer sessions with topics including ocean acidification, marine reserves, plastic pollution and sustainable seafood. The symposium ended with a gala featuring an awe-inspiring ocean dance by choreographer Kristin McArdle, known for her blend of modern and indigenous dance. She performed in a darkened room covered in LED lights, evoking a bioluminescent scene.

The Making WAVES Gala, photo by Dubinsky Photography

Choreographer Kristin McArdle performs using LED lights, photo by Dubinsky Photography

The importance of ocean conservation in non-coastal areas is paramount. Everyone lives in a watershed, and every watershed with its rivers, streams, and lakes, pours into the ocean (more on that here). This event was a huge step toward raising the awareness of this connection, not only in Colorado, but everywhere.


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