The ocean feeds billions of people, employs millions of workers, and generates trillions of dollars in the world economy. Unfortunately, this vast resource is under tremendous pressure from unsustainable and illegal fishing, marine pollution, and climate-related impacts.
As a purpose-driven company that is dedicated to supporting our planet and its species, Discovery Communications is committed to protecting our ocean from threats, and inspiring our viewers to work toward a healthy and sustainable ocean. In support of this mission, Discovery participated in several events this week in conjunction with the 2016 Our Ocean Conference in Washington, D.C., hosted by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
First, on Wednesday, September 14, Discovery Education, the White House and the State Department partnered to present a unique virtual field trip where students had the one-of-a-kind opportunity to learn about the challenges facing our ocean from experts including Cathy Novelli, United States Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment; Dr. Vaughan Turekian, Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State; and Dr. Richard W. (Rick) Spinrad, Chief Scientist, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Participating classrooms viewed exclusive footage of Secretary Kerry meeting with high school students to discuss ocean protection and environmental issues. Students were also able to participate in a live Twitter chat with Dr. Vaughan Turekian. To learn more and view an archive of this virtual field trip, visit www.DiscoveryEducation.com/OfThePeople.
Next, Candice Allgood, Production Coordinator at Discovery, delivered a presentation on Thursday to Our Ocean conference attendees on Discovery Channel’s Nuclear Sharks. This Shark Week special follows Philippe Cousteau and his wife Ashlan Gorse Cousteau as they travel with marine biologist Luke Tipple to Bikini Atoll to explore a marine environment once destroyed by nuclear testing during the Cold War. In addition, immediately before President Barack Obama gave his remarks, the State Department highlighted clips from Discovery Education’s virtual field trip, reaching an audience of over 400 heads of state, scientists, business leaders, NGOs, and other leaders.
Rounding out the week, Phillippe Cousteau brought young environmental champions from the Youth Leadership Council of his foundation, EarthEcho International, to Washington D.C. The young leaders participated in Our Ocean, One Future: Leadership Summit, a parallel event to the Our Ocean conference co-hosted by the U.S. Department of State, Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service and the Sustainable Oceans Alliance. During the event, high-level ocean leaders joined a competitively-selected group of 150 university students and young professionals to build leadership strategies to spur action on the threats to our ocean.
Check out photos from this week’s events below.