Celebrate Earth's Marble-ous Oceans this Week!
|Wallace J. Nichols holds a blue marble in Anambas, Indonesia/|
Copyright © Neil Ever Osborne (www.neileverosborne.com)
Tomorrow, June 8th marks World Oceans Day, recognized by the United Nations, and this Friday, June 11th would have been legendary oceanographer Jacques Yves Cousteau’s 100th birthday. Cousteau’s documentaries played a role in my love for the oceans and ecology, and I feel honored I got to work alongside his granddaughter Céline on board the Undersea Explorer in Australia in 2008. This week celebrate and revere the vast, marble-ous oceans!
Looking back at the earth from space, our planet resembles a blue marble – a tiny blue dot in the vast sea of space. The blue comes from the oceans, which cover over 70% of Planet Earth’s surface. About a year ago, marine biologist Wallace “J.” Nichols came up with an idea to raise awareness of the oceans, honor his childhood hero Jacques Cousteau, and at the same time, spread ‘random acts of ocean kindness’ via blue marbles. Get a marble, and pass it along. But with a caveat – when you give one, tell a story, and when you receive, do something kind for the ocean. Then share your story. You can record audio of your marble or ocean story here, post your photo or story to the Blue Marbles Facebook page, or send them by email for the Blue Marbles blog here. Share the love.
“Our goal is to share 1,000,000 blue marbles, and ask people to share them forward. Get one, give it away,” says Nichols. “I hear so many sweet stories about people giving and getting blue marbles. Sometimes people are surprised. Sometimes they tear up. One woman gave a blue marble to a man, who then told her that he was an astronaut, and has seen our real "blue marble" from space, and that it is beautiful.”
Nichols and Sound artist Halsey Burgund combined some of the recorded ocean and blue marble stories plus music by Burgund into a semi-improvised, semi-composed musical number which they played live for the first time at a celebration of Cousteau’s life and accomplishments at the California Academy of Sciences Planetarium on Thursday, June 3rd. You can listen to algorithmically generated audio collages of the stories online, too!
As oil continues to gush into the Gulf of Mexico, I can only hope that my Animal Planet readers the world over will take a moment to appreciate the vast, glorious, beautiful blue ocean, and what we can do to make it better for tomorrow. It sustains us in so many ways.
What can we each do to help the ocean? “We will all be changing our ways with regard to use of plastic and oil,” says Nichols. “The stuff just makes too much of a mess and over the past century, while it's been the backbone of our economy the result for our ocean planet is bad. So, get out in front of the curve and begin to remove plastic and fossil fuels from your life.”
Nichols has compiled a list of places you can order blue marbles made from recycled glass here. And as for spreading the marbles, Nichols hopes the project will go on and on and on...