President Barack Obama and actor Leonardo DiCaprio have issued a call to arms: protect our oceans. And this Friday, there will be an opportunity for anyone and everyone to respond. In or around the coastal United States? Then be sure to head to the beaches at week’s end in celebration of Surfrider Foundation’s International Surfing Day. From the beaches, tens of thousands will be encouraged to paddle out in a show of strength, unity, and, above all, honor of one of our most (if not simply the most) important lifesource — the ocean.
It’s not that we need the likes of Obama and Leo to come together in this concerted effort, but their presence definitely resonates at a much larger level than even organizations or publications. And politics and film criticisms aside, the involvement of “celebrity” personalities exhibits the increasing emphasis on the need for more widespread awareness of the offshore problems we face. The United States Secretary of State John Kerry took the platform of an international summit for officials from 80 countries as an opportunity to urge global leaders to take more immediate and decisive action. For the diplomat, saving the world’s waterways is of the utmost importance, from an environmental perspective as well as a security standpoint; Kerry states that the “enormous damage” we’ve caused has effectively jeopardized the food security upwards of three billion people.
Obama followed up his Secretary of State’s opening remarks on the second day, by joining via video.