Photo of mantas swimming with plastic and divers in Bali by Shawn Heinrichs.

Thank you for your interest in helping the ocean in 2014. Ocean Recovery Alliance achieved a number of strong success stories during the year, and we are excited to bring even more momentum to the ocean in the months to come.

From film festivals, ocean art walks, the Plasticity Forum in New York, our “Valuing Plastics” report, a fundraising swim for “Grate Art,” and talks at multiple global conferences, we believe that our efforts are paying off, but in many ways, they are only just beginning. We appreciate your interest and support for our programs, both local and global in nature, and without your involvement, we could not achieve the exposure and awareness-building that we are creating today.

In case you have not earmarked your donations for the end of 2014, all donations to Ocean Recovery Alliance are tax deductible in the U.S and Hong Kong. We would be happy to have you or your contacts be part of our growing list of supporters, and we have a number of platforms for donations which you can take part in here, including creating your own fundraising pages for events you might be taking part in throughout the year.

Ocean Feats – On May 24th, Simon Holliday swam solo from Hong Kong to Macau (35 km) in the “Clean Cross Swim”, breaking the record and raising over US$30,000 for our Grate Art project, which is “art for awareness”, and involves putting ceramic art plaques next to storm drains on the streets of the south side of Hong Kong Island, to remind people not to dump into the drains. The 20-minute film created from this record-breaking swim was already shown at the Los Angeles All Sports Film Festival.

We were pleased to launch the world’s first report on the natural capital cost of plastic with both Trucost and the United Nations Environment Programme. This report, “Valuing Plastic – The Business Case for Measuring, Managing and Disclosing Plastic Use in the Consumer Goods Industry” looks at 100 of the top listed consumer goods companies, and their use of plastic. This report is not meant to paint a negative picture, but instead can be used to help quantify the impacts and opportunities surrounding plastic use and efficient management of the resource. We hope that you will be able to use this report to your advantage within your companies or stakeholder groups when evaluating how to become more engaged in using plastic as a long-term resource, instead of a waste material.

June was a big month, not only because of the release of the “Valuing Plastic” report, and our chance to speak at the US State Department’s “Our Ocean” Conference alongside Dell, on a panel “Power of the Marketplace in Promoting Ocean Stewardship,” but because of our 3rd annual Plasticity Forum. This year, Plasticity was held in New York, with a great group of speakers and attendees, including William McDonough and the former President of Costa Rica, Jose Maria Figueres. This business conference focuses on the future of plastic, and where the leaders are going in design, innovation, materials, recycling and scaled solutions, for a world without the plastic footprint. We are excited to announce that our 4th annual Plasticity Forum will be in Cascais, Portugal, on June 9th and 10th, just after the Economist’s World Ocean Summit in the same city. Portugal is also hosting a “Blue Week” exhibition for the ocean economy, so we hope that you can be involved with this series of great events in Portugal this June, revolving around World Ocean Day.

Film Submissions.
If you know of interesting films or film makers who have content, or if you have have made your own film about anything “ocean,” (short films are preferred), we have extended our submissions for the 4th annual Hong Kong-San Francisco Int’l Ocean Film Festival in April, to be January 20th. Please send information to us at [email protected]

Ocean Art Walk
If you are in Hong Kong this April, don’t miss our 3rd annual Ocean Art Walk with our partners, the HK Youth Arts Foundation. This is part of the new Ocean Appreciation Month, which will also include the HK-SF Int’l Ocean Film Festival and Kids Ocean Day. We hope to see you there!

Our 3rd annual Kids Ocean Day event will take place in April in Hong Kong. This brings together over 1,000 children and volunteers from around Hong Kong to create a large aerial art spectacular, based on one of the drawings from the children. School assemblies on ocean appreciation are held in advance, with short classes being held on the beach as well, prior to the artwork being created. We rely on sponsorship support in order to make this event a reality, so please let us know if your company would like to be part of this exciting event. It is a great volunteer and community engagement program for employees as well!

Copyright © 2014 Ocean Recovery Alliance.