All of us here at Ocean Alliance would like to thank you for your generous support of our work. Your donation  will be directed toward support of our research, education and conservation activities unless you specifically designate your donation to one of our funds listed.

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2013 was an exciting year! In February, at the invitation of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) we co-hosted a session of five speakers who reviewed the toxicological impacts of the 2010 gulf oil disaster on the Gulf of Mexico. You can find more information on this session at: http://aaas.confex.com/aaas/2013/webprogram/Session5744.html.

In April we moved our offices into the Tarr and Wonson Paint Manufactory. After 33 years of these buildings being polluted, shuttered and decaying, people are once again going to work at the Paint Factory on a daily basis.

Americas first environmentalist Henry David Thoreau said: “We do not associate the idea of antiquity with the ocean, nor wonder how it looked a thousand years ago, as we do of the land, for it was equally wild and unfathomable always”. Thoreau thought that the oceans were the ultimate wilderness:

“The ocean is the ultimate wilderness, for although a Bengal jungle is untouched by humans, the sea is forever untouchable”. How we wish the sea was forever untouchable, current doctrine says that the oceans are downhill from everything so they are imperceptibly being filled with humanity’s garbage, whether this be visible, like the plastic Gyre in the Pacific, or as invisible as the dispersants in the Gulf of Mexico.

I am filled with hope though. This fall I was invited to the United Nations to give a talk on our vision for a sustainable ocean. When I was at the UN I was reminded of The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. This international treaty was designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of numerous substances believed to be responsible for ozone depletion. Since the signing of the treaty in 1987, the size of the ozone hole has diminished and once again we have proved that when humanity has the data upon which to make wise environmental decisions – we can change the world.

So once again, thank you for giving us the greatest gift – the ability to collect data on our oceans that has the potential to change the world.

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