Recently in Events Category

kava.jpgHere are residents of Tokou village enjoying some kava in their brand new community hall. In exchange for Seacology providing funds for the hall, Tokouans established a 365-acre marine reserve. (more project info here: http://bit.ly/xtaX4l)

Inspiring Grassroots Change

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Last week, my colleague and I had the pleasure of attending the Goldman Environmental Prize Ceremony, an annual event that recognizes grassroots environmentalists from six regions around the world. Many of the winners come from small communities with limited resources, but were still able to bring about impressive changes for the health of the environment and their local communities. 
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One Cubic Foot of Biodiversity

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Last week, I had the pleasure of attending an exhibit of photographer David Littschwager's work at Cavallo Point Lodge near Sausalito, California. Littschwager is known for his images of flora and fauna around the world. His most recent work, known as "One Cubic Foot," depicts wildlife from ecosystems worldwide. In each location, Littschwager photographed every species he could find in a cubic foot. The resulting images are a lifelike index of biodiversity. When blown up in proportion, the tiny beetles, crabs, and centipedes are revealed in their true glory; many of these creatures boast vibrant colors and patterns that would be unnoticed without Littschwager's perceptive lens.

An Island Hero

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A decade ago, when Filip Damen taught himself to read and write to defend his homeland forest in the Madang Province of Papua New Guinea, he never dreamed it was the beginning of a journey that would take him across the ocean to San Francisco, California. Last Thursday, October 8, Mr. Damen's undaunted environmentalism was honored with a reception and $10,000 award at the 17th annual Seacology Prize Ceremony at the Aquarium of the Bay in San Francisco.

The Seacology Prize highlights the heroic efforts of people who seldom receive any publicity - indigenous leaders who risk their own lives and well-being to protect their island's ecosystems and culture. Since the inception of the Prize in 1992, Seacology has given the award to 18 native islanders in recognition of their innovative and courageous work.

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Left, prize winner Filip Damen with Seacology Co-Founders Ken Murdock and Paul Cox.

In my previous blog I wrote about how, because of the great work of Seacology, I was selected to be to be honored by Major League Baseball (MLB) at the All-Star Game in St. Louis. After throwing out the first pitch at an Oakland A's game it was time to pack my bags and head to St. Louis. Right from the beginning it was obvious that MLB was going to treat me and my fellow All-Stars Among Us (ASAU) honorees like royalty. A driver came by my house to pick up me and my son, Robb, and of course a driver was waiting at the airport in St. Louis to take us to the Riverside Hyatt Regency. The hotel has a terrific location just beneath the Gateway Arch. We were shown to our room which was, shall we say, a bit impractical in that it did not have any (and I mean zip) drawers. When I called down to the front desk to ask if they had forgotten to put in a dresser they said "No, sir, this is the new European style." I know that some Europeans are naturalists but this was news to me that they did not travel with any clothes. For the next several days we literally lived out of our suitcases and books and magazines we were reading were left on the floor. Considering the hotel rooms were just remodeled this is one interior designer who certainly is no all-star.

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You are probably thinking, what does baseball or wrestling have to do with Seacology? The tale begins a little over one month ago when former development assistant Ellen Kamoe suggested nominating me for the All-Stars Among Us (ASAU) contest. This is a joint promotion by People Magazine and Major League Baseball (MLB). The purpose of ASAU is to find 30 individuals who are helping people and causes around the world, one to represent each Major League Baseball team. The nominations would be culled by the editors of People and representatives from MLB. Three finalists would be selected for each team and there would be a two week period of public voting. I told Ellen I was flattered by the thought but please don't spend more than a few minutes of your time nominating me as I doubt if I would have much of a chance of winning a national contest.

Seacology is a dedicated environmental/humanitarian organization with an important global mission. In particular, my job as development director is pretty intense. I need to make bank for a lot of projects and programs for some of the most economically impoverished people in the world. It's hard work, but there is a healthy dose of fun involved. It's a well known fact that the best way to fundraise is to raise fun. Seacology is good at this because we take it seriously.

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Part of my job is throwing parties for a living. Well not really, but sometimes it feels that way. This is especially true when I get a chance to collaborate on interesting events with generous, cause-oriented people, which I do several times a year.

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Each fall we hold an event in San Rafael, California, called "Marin's Glorious Glass Pumpkin Harvest." One of our creative board members and his significant other conceived this event in 2007. Their aim was to raise funds for Seacology, make money for a small coterie of talented glass-blowing artists, bring exposure to an historic regional facility and develop an annual family event. They hit their target. The result is a gorgeous, two-day public "pumpkin patch" that feels an awful lot like a big block party with a purpose. Held on the lawns of a Victorian mansion known as the Falkirk Cultural Center, this event takes place during the most beautiful time of the year in Northern California. Many thanks to Kimo and Kerry. If you are in the area this October, we invite you to drop by.

This week kicks off the 10th Pacific Arts Festival, this year hosted by American Samoa. Twenty-seven countries are expected to participate in the festival, bringing their talents, tastes, and tales to Pago Pago in American Samoa.

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The Pacific Arts Festival began in 1972 and is held every four years in a different host country. Previous host countries have been Fiji, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, French Polynesia, Australia, Cook Islands, Samoa, New Caledonia, and Palau. The festival includes workshops as well as performances and allows each participant country to share and learn from each other. Indeed, the theme of the festival is Su'iga'ula a le Atuvasa: Threading the Oceania 'Ula'.  Ula is the Samoan equivalent of lei and according to American Samoa's Governor, Togiola T. A. Tulafono, the theme represents the "coming together of Pacific people to share their values, traditions, and spirit on the soils of Samoa."





New Distinctive Event Featuring Bay Area Glass Blowers Slated for San Rafael
Sales to Benefit Falkirk Cultural Center and Seacology

Glass pumpkinsSeacology is pleased to announce the inaugural Marin's Glorious Glass Pumpkin Harvest, to be held Saturday and Sunday, October 27 & 28. Over 1,000 irresistible glass pumpkins hand crafted by artists from as far away as Ashland, Oregon will be displayed for sale on the stately grounds of historic Falkirk Mansion. This is a free event and proceeds from the sale of the pumpkins will benefit both Seacology and the Falkirk Cultural Center.

The Marin Glorious Glass Pumpkin Harvest will be a casual yet upscale event leading into Halloween, and is appropriate for families. This amazing assortment of one-of-a-kind glass pumpkins will include designs of all shapes, sizes and colors. Each is a unique work of art that requires at least two artists to complete. There will also be live on-site glass blowing demonstrations (weather permitting) and refreshments for sale. Each pumpkin will be priced for sale ranging from $35 to over $250.

Mr. Kokichi Kariya
Mr. Kokichi Kariya

On Wednesday, October 3, Seacology will be celebrating the accomplishments of the 2007 Seacology Prize recipient, Kokichi Kariya of Fuzawa, Japan. The Seacology Prize is awarded annually to an indigenous islander for exceptional achievement in preserving the environment and culture of any of the world's 100,000-plus islands.

To honor this heroic gentleman, Seacology is hosting a special awards ceremony at the St. Francis Yacht Club on San Francisco Bay. Mr. Kariya has spent 42 years in a tireless struggle to save one of the few remaining ancient forests on Honshu Island, Japan. At great personal sacrifice he has challenged aggressive logging companies as well as local, regional and national governments to protect the virgin beech trees of Fuzawa, Japan.