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World Oceans Day 2009 Reception
(Left to right) Amy Fraenkel, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Rep. Madeleine Bordallo, Mike Boots and Dawn Martin spoke at a World Oceans Day reception sponsored by SeaWeb and UNEP.

SeaWeb and UNEP Celebrate World Oceans Day
By Bringing Voices for the Ocean Together

SeaWeb and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) hosted a World Oceans Day celebration June 8, 2009, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The event drew nearly 100 members of the ocean community, including representatives from conservation organizations, foundations, U.S. federal agencies and Congress.

The highlight of the evening was hearing inspirational messages from speakers Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Director and Regional Representative for the UNEP Regional Office for North America Amy Fraenkel, Associate Director for Land and Water Ecosystems at the White House Council on Environmental Quality Mike Boots and SeaWeb President Dawn M. Martin, all of whom pointed out that now, perhaps more than ever, is the time to move forward and tackle ocean issues. During the evening, Sandra Whitehouse, Bordallo, Fraenkel and Martin wore coral-inspired rather than coral-derived jewelry designed by top artists who have supported the efforts of SeaWeb’s Too Precious To Wear campaign. In partnership with Tiffany & Co., SeaWeb has highlighted the detriments of taking precious corals from our oceans to make into jewelry and home décor and encouraged all stores to follow Tiffany’s lead and adopt a no-coral-sales policy.

Earlier, SeaWeb kicked off World Oceans Day with a letter from Martin highlighting the ways in which we can be blue tourists this summer and celebrate the ocean’s beauty without harming it. Martin and SeaWeb’s Too Precious To Wear campaign also urged readers to take SeaWeb’s Coral Pledge to refuse to purchase any item made of coral and to support strong legislation to conserve and protect precious coral species. And SeaWeb’s Marine Photobank teamed up with Project AWARE to launch the second annual Ocean in Focus photography contest, which invites ocean lovers worldwide to submit their most compelling marine conservation images.

For more information, please contact Communications Manager Jackie Marks.