Students working together to complete coral cards game!
Believe it or not, we are still alive and well, and we’ve been hard at work over the last couple of years to bring our game to completion. We have researched, written, and revised each card for hours, as well as developed a hand drawn image to accompany each one! In its current state, the game contains 58 cards, including many types of marine life, event cards, and personal impact cards, so that players can see how they impact the oceans, even from such land-locked places as Kansas! This process has taken quite a while, but it has been well worth it, as we are now in the pilot test phase of game production. After a generous amount of pilot testing and a few more edits, this game will be online for anyone to play and learn for free. If you contributed to our Indigogo campaign, do not fret, as we have not forgotten you. We will be in touch shortly so you can receive your campaign perks!
-The Healing Oceans Together Team
Posted by Carly
We had an amazing time at the Virgin Islands Environmental Resource Station (VIERS) last week. We snorkeled, hiked and talked with scientists, leading to a great week for everyone.
We started off the week with a hike to Yawzi Point and the sugar mill ruins, followed by a snorkel in Little Lameshur Bay. We saw many beautiful creatures including: Cocoa Damselfish, fan coral, Long Spined Black Urchins, and our first sighting of Brain Coral! We also did a seashore walk, during which we saw a great group of creatures. Then we rounded off the day with a night hike to the VIERS dock, and saw some of Greater Lameshur Bay’s nighttime creatures.
The next day we talked with some of the scientists staying at VIERS. Lindsey taught us about her research of recording the amount of sedimentation in the water. She also told us how important it is to keep the vegetation around the ocean, because it lessens the amount of sediment in the water, and the sediment harms the coral reefs. Brittany, who is working on her master’s thesis project, told us about her work with Mustard Hill Coral reproduction. Dr. Peter Edmunds shared his research regarding the amount of coral left around St. John. He was sad to inform us that the amount of coral has decreased from 48% to 7% in 26 years, though he has hope for what the future will bring. And what’s really cool is that we are the ones who can make the difference…..all of us working together to make the world a better place.
In the afternoon, we went kayaking in Greater Lameshur Bay, followed by a great snorkel where we saw some more interesting animals: a sting ray, Yellowtail Damselfish, and many species of coral.
On Saturday we went on the Reef Bay Trail, a 2 ½ hour hike across St. John, where we saw more sugar mill ruins, and many land animals, and the 1000 year-old petroglyphs. We then went on a ride on the Sadie Sea, which cruised us around to some great snorkeling spots.
The next day we went all over St. John. We snorkeled in the Princess Bay mangroves, toured the Annaberg ruins, and went swimming in Cinnamon Bay.
Thanks so much to the great VIERS staff and especially to our friends. Without you this trip would not have been possible! Having had this experience makes us realize what we are doing in educating people is important to the health of the coral reefs. We are now even more committed to promoting a healthier environment for our sea life friends.
Posted by Carly
H2O members and friends make pledges to the oceans every day, by being a part of our projects and working and learning together for the benefit of our planet’s seas. Furthermore, H2O members are committed to developing and distributing their coral reef card game, which will be a tool to engage and teach others about the endangered coral reefs. We made our pledge in writing today, in honor of World Oceans Day, for all the world to see!
Today, June 8th, is World Ocean Day–a day to remind everyone how much our oceans mean to us! The official World Ocean Day organization would like everyone to mark this occasion by (1) wearing blue clothes and (2) telling two other people why.
We can all do that, right? But if you want to do even more, you can check out our webpage on How You Can Help the Oceans. The World Ocean Day organizers are asking everyone to take a pledge of some specific actions to make the oceans healthier.
Not sure what to pledge? Try one of these!:
- I pledge to buy sustainable fish
- I pledge to ask my local grocer to stock sustainable seafood
- I pledge to not eat meat on Mondays
- I pledge to bring reusable bags to the grocery store
- I pledge to get a reusable water bottle
- I pledge to bike to work one day a week instead of drive
- I pledge to shop a thrift store first instead of buying new
- I pledge to buy local food first
Join Healing Oceans Together in taking some steps in your own life to help the oceans become healthier. Small actions, taken together, can make a big difference!
While our recent focus at H2O has been the crochet-based Craft Coral Reef project (see our last post for more information on that), we are committed to spreading the word about coral reef to all populations, including those who are too young or too old for the fine handwork required to crochet or do complicated beadwork or origami. So in addition to our crochet Craft Coral Reef workshops, we have also been offering workshops that show people how to create coral reefs out of recycled materials and other items commonly found in a typical kitchen.
In addition to the Spring Fling craft activities discussed in an earlier post, H2O offered two FREE workshops geared to both extremes of the age continuum.
First, H2O went to an assisted living facility to work with the residents there to create their own model corals.
H2O members and supporters worked with the seniors, one of whom was going to turn 92 the next day!
Here is the community Kitchen Craft Coral Reef they created together.
The following week, H2O taught a preschool craft on life in the coral reef. It began with some education about coral–what it is, how it grows, how it can be damaged by humans-and an age-appropriate story told with puppets:
Then the students got to work on their own coral creations. It was messy, but fun!
So it just goes to show–you are never too young or too old to care about the coral reefs!
After months of work by dozens of crocheters and other artists, the community-based Craft Coral Reef project being led by H2O has been unveiled to the public!
ChambersArts!, an interactive arts studio and gallery in downtown Cary, NC (located in Ashworth Village at the corner of Chatham and Academy Streets), is hosting our public display of the reef. We hope to use it to raise awareness about the Coral Reefs, which are the sanctuaries for the greatest concentration of life in all of the ocean, but are endangered due to human activities such as dredging, non-sustainable fishing practices, and the acidification of the oceans due to burning of fossil fuels.
We hope that many of you (at least those who are local) will come visit ChambersArts! and see our Craft Coral Reef in person. But until then, here is a video with some close ups of our community’s coral creations:
This is just the beginning of the display, however. H2O will continue to hold public workshops to add additional items to the reef. So be sure to check back and watch our Craft Coral Reef grow!
Many thanks to our dozens of crocheters and other artists who contributed to this project, and especially to ChambersArts! for installing a special aquarium-inspired display case to share our Craft Coral Reef with the public.
Healing Oceans Together (H2O) ran a Coral Reef Craft activities table at the recent Spring Fling picnic and festival sponsored by Cary Homeschoolers. In addition to displaying some educational materials about coral, we assisted students in developing coral reef creatures in both crochet and origami, as we have in our other FREE public workshops.
However, a focus of our activities at the Spring Fling was to create a coral reef collaboratively using recycled materials and items commonly found in the kitchen. Used items that would otherwise have gone into our landfills–things like styrafoam meat packs, toilet paper rolls, used straws, empty yogurt containers, etc.–instead were repurposed to create this wonderful piece of community art:
Here are some close up shot of some components of the group project:
H2O wants to acknowledge the many artists (ranging from preschoolers to teenagers) who contributed to our community CHS Recycled Kitchen Crafts Coral Reef. Thanks to the following students for making coral art with us:
Benny, Metta, Madison, Isaac, Mark, Erin, Lilly S., Allegra, Katie, Lilly, Julia, Kelsey, Maureen, Emily, Alex, Genna, Chloe, Peter, Lucy, Samantha, Gabrielle, Marlee, Anna Grace, Jack, Gwyneth, Kaya, and Carly
PS–We tried to keep track of all our participating artists, but if we missed you, just let us know and we will add you to our list. We want everyone to helped to get the credit they deserve! After all, this blog is visited by people by people from 46 states and about 70 foreign countries, so you don’t want to miss out on any opportunity for international glory!
While our Craft Coral Reef project is still proceeding wonderfully, H2O is already thinking about what’s next. We have an idea for an even bigger and more influential effort that we are calling “Cards, Coral & Kids.” In short, we want to develop a trading Card game to teach Kids about Coral, including how important that ecosystem is and what they can do in their real lives to help the coral reefs to survive.
But this project is beyond the scope of what we can afford to do on our own. So we have launched a crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo to allow the thousands of coral and gaming enthusiasts around the world to help make this happen.
We think this is an awesome way to get families to take action to assist the coral reefs in a really fun way, and we hope you think so, too. Please support our campaign, either through your donations or by sending information about this project through your networks to find other supporters as well–or, best of all, through both!
Let’s make this Healing Oceans project happen TOGETHER!