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Major Oceans Summit in April Aims to Activate Millennials

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By: Daniela Fernandez and Sebastian Nicholls

The ocean is on average 2.29 miles deep. It provides food and income for over 1.5 billion people. It is the source of 30% of the oxygen we breathe and absorbs about 50% of the carbon we burn. It regulates our climate. Its unfathomable scale and volume results in the perception that it is infinite and pristine; yet nothing could be further from the truth.

A 2003 study in the Nature Publishing Group found that 90% of the biomass of big fish in the ocean has already been lost to overfishing. At the same time, CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is higher than at any other time in the past 15 million years, resulting in rising temperatures and an acidification of our water.

Today’s oceans are failing; not because of one threat but because of a convergence of threats: overfishing, by-catch, rising temperatures, nutrient pollution, ocean acidification, and trawling. Recent studies predict that by 2048, populations of all large predatory fish will collapse. It is this ominous prospect of damaging our oceans beyond repair that should drive us to act now.

90% of habitable space on earth are in global oceans.

The Georgetown Sustainable Oceans Alliance (SOA) was founded with the mission of empowering Millennials to become leaders in preserving the health and sustainability of our oceans. Through education, resources and collaborative opportunities, we aim to inspire Millennials to create measurable impact by incentivizing social and environmental investments and fostering cross-sector partnerships.

On April 25, 2015, the SOA will host a Sustainable Oceans Summit at Georgetown University. The Summit will highlight the role of three sectors: science and technology; responsible business and development investments; and policy. By exploring how human behavior impacts the ocean and the ocean’s impact on humanity, the event will provide a platform for innovative collaboration where business practices, effective legislation, and cutting edge technology can work together to catalyze solutions.

The Summit will convene students, scientists, policymakers, business leaders and non-profit champions from across the world. Together, we will send a call to action to Millennials, encouraging them to assume the responsibility of protecting our oceans for the sake of this generation and of generations to come.

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