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$10,000 BLUE Fellowship Grant Promotes Citizen Science and Ocean Conservation

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A $10,000 grant will be awarded to a marine conservation-focused citizen science project by National Geographic Society Explorers, Red Bull Athlete and OTUSA Skipper Jimmy Spithill, Rod and Heidi Roddenberry, and Swift Engineering.

San Clemente, CA (PRWEB) August 19, 2014

National Geographic Society Explorers, Red Bull Athlete and OTUSA Skipper Jimmy Spithill, Rod and Heidi Roddenberry, and Swift Engineering have teamed up to identify and implement innovative solutions for creating a more sustainable future for the oceans, focusing specifically on the protection of marine reserves from Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing. The team will award a $10,000 BLUE Fellowship Grant to the most innovative solution that protects marine reserves around the world in Education, Network and/or Citizen Science Technology. The winner will also be invited to the prestigious Blue Ocean Film Festival on November 6, 2014.

Over the past 50 years, more than 90 percent of the worlds big fish have been taken from the ocean, leaving many species at risk of extinction and unable to reproduce fast enough to keep up. Around the world illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing is a low-risk, high-reward business that overexploits two-thirds of the global fish population and the surrounding ecosystems. It is very difficult to stop these activities because the fishermen typically need to be caught in the act, which in the past has been nearly impossible. Marine reserves have now been established across the globe to set up international boundaries so that IUU activities can be monitored and actions can be taken against offenders.

The BLUE Fellowship team joined together to bring heightened awareness of this issue to the global population. It aims to determine how marine reserves can be protected and monitored. The team plans to identify and implement innovative solutions, focusing on the global protection of marine reserves in three specific categories: Education, Network and Technology.

The team invites the public to participate in this campaign by submitting a short, 90-second video entry or text on Create.it, a performance platform that allows anyone to identify solutions and talented people. The winning submission will receive a $10,000 BLUE Fellowship Grant to further develop their idea, in addition to an invitation to the prestigious Blue Ocean Film Festival on November 6, 2014.

Examples of solutions could be:

Education: Create awareness and action by traveling to a specific country in need (e.g. Palau) and introducing a new technique to help citizens identify illegal fishing vessels and report them; or by teaching children about how to protect the marine reserves that have been established.

Network: Using internet resources create a network for legal fishermen around the world to anonymously report illegal activities in marine reserves; they can be the eyes and ears in the water each day.

Technology: Create an open-source, low-cost hydrophone out of common non-leeching materials that the world can use to understand if boats are in the marine reserve.

The demographics and behavioral insights captured from The BLUE will inform future decisions about resource allocation and crowd sentiment, which will help the campaign sponsors allocate resources and media strategies. The intent is to continually find ways to reach new groups of people in an attempt to connect everyone to provide swift action for this global cause. The team invites the world to share their ideas and help conserve our oceans. #TheBLUEFellowship

Quote: Protecting the worlds marine resources has long been a personal passion of mine, said Eugene Rod Roddenberry, Roddenberry Adventures. The delicate balance of the marine ecosystem and the global fish population must be maintained in order to preserve the future of this planet. Heidi and I are proud to be a part of The BLUE Fellowship Grant as a powerful platform to build awareness of the need to protect our marine reserves.

Awareness Campaign Website: https://create.it/campaign/the-blue#

More information on marine reserves, the awareness campaign, sponsors, as well as past innovations:
1) Marine Reserves: mpaguardian.org/californias-marine-protected-areas
2) Marine Reserves National News: news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/06/140617-pacific-marine-reserves-ocean-environment
3) Technology/Network example: vimeo.com/16099543
4) Enric Sala: video.nationalgeographic.com/video/ng-live/sala-pitcairn-lecture-nglive
5) Brian Skerry: ted.com/talks/brian_skerry_reveals_ocean_s_glory_and_horror

Media Contacts:

1) Shah Selbe
Engineer and Conservation Technologist
Emerging Explorer, National Geographic Society
Southern California Representative, Engineers Without Borders
Los Angeles, CA
email(at)shahselbe(dot)com
Cell: 424-999-8SCI

2) Andrew Streett
Chief Scientist at Swift Engineering
San Clemente, CA
theblue(at)swiftengineering(dot)com
Cell: 310-227-3800

3) Cris Drago
BLUE Ocean Film Festival Media Director
cdrago(at)paradiseadv(dot)com
Office: 727-821-5155 x. 106
Other: 727-434-3912

4) Keri Dizney
BWR Public Relations
Heidi and Rod Roddenberry PR
Keri.dizney(at)bwr-pr(dot)com
Office: 310-248-6106

For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/TheBlue10000/prweb12092926.htm

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