DALLAS (May 2020) – EarthX and the National Geographic Society will convene virtually to celebrate World Oceans Week from June 9-12 at EarthX.org. EarthxOcean will bring together cross-disciplinary innovators driving solutions to the most pressing threats facing our oceans. The June 12 program will be live-streamed from EarthxAustralia and focus on ocean programs across Oceania. These solutions will be explored through conversations, film screenings and extended reality experiences – highlighting the power of science and storytelling to unlock the impact potential of communities across cultures, generations and ideologies.
Titled for its mission, Protecting the Life Systems of the Ocean will be introduced by Trammell S. Crow, Founder of EarthX and Michael L. Ulica, president and COO of the National Geographic Society, and EarthxOcean Conference moderator, Danni Washington followed by a welcome note from Robert Redford and Sibylle Szaggars Redford and Tim Janis who will be introducing their environmental film series The Way of the Rain – Reflections on Earth. Sibylle Szaggars Redford is Artistic Director of The Way of the Rain, music is by composer Tim Janis with spoken word by Robert Redford.
The conferences will bring together leading voices in ocean conservation including renowned National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence Enric Sala and Dr. Sylvia Earle, who will start the conversation with storied conservationists Julie Packard and Fabien Cousteau – kicking off a three-day program that will cover some the most critical issues threatening the greatest life source of our planet.
High Seas Protection | As the region of the global ocean that is beyond national jurisdiction, the high seas include some of the least protected and most critically threatened ecosystems in the world.
EarthX offers a platform for members of the High Seas Alliance and mission-aligned partners, who work together to inform and engage the public, decision-makers and experts to support and strengthen high seas governance and conservation.
The lawlessness of the high seas will furthermore be explored through musical storytelling with the EarthXR presentation of The Outlaw Ocean Music Project. Based on The New York Times best-selling book by Ian Urbina, The Outlaw Ocean, the session will feature musical narrators using rhythmic sounds as a medium to raise awareness and stoke a sense of urgency about the human rights, labor and environmental abuses that occur at sea. EarthxFilm will showcase Watson, the story of Captain Paul Watson, co-founder of Greenpeace and founder of Sea Shepherd, who has spent 40 years fighting to end the destruction of the ocean’s wildlife and its habitat.
Coral Reef Conservation & Restoration | Coral reefs support a quarter of all marine species on the planet, but make up only 0.1% of our ocean. This essential source of life in our ocean’s ecosystem is being destroyed at an unprecedented rate from rising water temperatures, acidification, destructive fishing practices, and pollution. EarthX is assembling leading coral reef conservationists including Dr. Robert Richmond, Director, Kewalo Marine Lab, Hawaii, Erika Woolsey, Marine Biologist, National Geographic Explorer & CEO, The Hydrous, Tom Moore, Coral Reef Restoration Manager, Florida Keys Marine Sanctuary, NOAA and Dr. Helen Fox, Senior Director, National Geographic – Field Engagement Allen Coral Atlas. These world-renowned coral reef conservation scientists will present breakthrough solutions to save these vital marine ecosystems while there is still time.
EarthxFilm will bring this issue to life through the screening of Chasing Coral, an ocean adventure directed by Jeff Orlowski with a mission to discover why reefs are disappearing and revealing the underwater worlds of our changing oceans. EarthXR will also transport audiences to the depths of our ocean through virtual dives with National Geographic Explorer Erika Woolsey and Underwater Earth Co-Founder Christophe Bailhache, immersing audiences in the underwater worlds of coral reefs while illustrating the importance of their conservation.
Ocean Plastic Solutions | With over 8 million tons of plastic dumped in our ocean every year, plastic waste has become ubiquitous and has found its way into the air we breathe and the food we eat – with the average person ingesting the equivalent of 1 credit card a week in microplastics. EarthX will host leaders in ocean plastic solutions to highlight this critical issue and introduce innovative solutions across categories including technology, policy and resource management in sessions featuring IUCN Global Ocean Plastic Initiative, Joao Sousa, Newlight Technologies, CEO, Mark Herrema and youth leader and Founder of Bye-Bye Plastic Melati Wijsen.
Sustainable Fisheries| Overfishing and destructive fishing practices have led to the alarming depletion of global fish populations, with a potential collapse of the world’s fisheries projected by 2048. EarthX is catalyzing awareness around the issue and the need for sustainable fisheries by gathering leading experts and solution-drivers including John Amos, Global Fishing Watch Co-Founder and President of SkyTruth, as well as Seafood Watch’s Senior Aquaculture Scientist Taylor Voorhees and Steven Lutz with GRID-Arendal, Norway and UNEP’s Blue Carbon Project.
EarthxFilm presents an intimate perspective on the devastating impact of overfishing with their screening of Current Sea, directed by Christopher Smith. The film captures the illegal fishing practices threatening Cambodia’s once robust seascape, following the journey of expats who are determined to end this system.
Registration is free and details are available at www.EarthX.org.
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EarthX convenes the world’s largest environmental expo, conference and film festival, and is a member of IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature. Founded in 2011 by environmentalist and businessman Trammell S. Crow, the Texas-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization promotes environmental awareness and impact through conscious business, nonpartisan collaboration and community-driven sustainable solutions. In 2019, the event drew over 177,000 attendees, 2,000 environmental business leaders, 700 exhibitors, 450 speakers, 63 films and 49 Eco-virtual reality experiences. Earthx2020 was held virtually from April 16-26 and drew over 550,000 visitors worldwide. Visit www.EarthX.org or follow us @earthxorg on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
ABOUT The National Geographic Society
The National Geographic Society is a global nonprofit organization that uses the power of science, exploration, education and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world. Since 1888, National Geographic has pushed the boundaries of exploration, investing in bold people and transformative ideas, providing more than 14,000 grants for work across all seven continents, reaching 3 million students each year through education offerings, and engaging audiences around the globe through signature experiences, stories and content. To learn more, visit www.nationalgeographic.org or follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook