The entire ocean seemed to be falling from the sky Tuesday night as people dashed through the rain from the parking lot of the Seacoast Science Center into the warm, dry lobby. We were waiting for them with hot coffee, cookies, and lots of information about ocean planning.
The film Ocean Frontiers is “an inspiring voyage to seaports and watersheds across the country where we meet industrial shippers and whale biologists, pig farmers and wetland ecologists, commercial and sport fishermen, and reef snorkelers—all of them embarking on a new course of cooperation to sustain our oceans and the economies that rely on them.”
About 60 people joined us to watch the film, and stayed for a conversation about ocean planning in New England. Among the many concerns people had about our ocean’s health, the one we heard most in New Hampshire was about the nitrogen pollution in Great Bay. People were inspired by the movie to think about how ocean planning could help better manage this and other long-standing problems in New England’s ocean.
We encouraged them to attend the public meeting on June 25th in Portsmouth to talk to the Northeast Regional Planning Body members about their concerns and ideas, as they relate to the goals this newly formed, first-in-the-nation planning body has drafted. If you are interested in being part of this important conversation, you should come, too. There are public meetings taking place all throughout New England, and will be a full meeting of the regional planning body in the fall, so now is a great time to get involved.
When asked what the most important takeaway message from the film was for them, these are a few of the comments we got:
“To see different groups working together toward a common goal was inspiring.”
“Everyone has to be at the table for ocean planning to work.”
“The most important takeaway for me was how interconnected we all are to the ocean. It isn’t just important for those who directly interact with the ocean to preserve it. We all need to do our part to take care of our resources.”
Once person simply said: “There’s hope.”
There has never been a more important time to care about the health and management of our oceans than now. If you are interested in learning more about ocean planning in New England and across the nation, consider hosting your own screening of Ocean Frontiers. Keep up with the latest news here, or on the Northeast Regional Planning Body’s website.