Charities We Support: Oceanic Preservation Society
Posted by David Avalo
The charities we work choose with are very near and dear to our hearts. In this blog series, we will be spotlighting the charities we support and the amazing work they do. One of these amazing charities is Ocean Preservation Society. You may have seen one of their game changing documentaries The Cove or Racing Extinction and maybe you were lucky to be in New York when they lit up the city with their project called Projecting Change: an OPS project that seeks to highlight the beauty and importance of protecting wildlife, especially endangered species. Captivating artful images and video are projected onto iconic structures such as the United Nations, the Empire State Building, and St. Peter's Basilica -- shining a light on the need for worldwide conservation. We interviewed OPS and asked them to share a bit about their organization, their projects, their mission, as well as share how we can help. We hope you enjoy getting to know this amazing charity!
Question 1: Tell us a little bit about the history of OPS and how it came to be?
Fouders Louie Psihoyos and Jim Clark had been diving around the world for years, witnessing firsthand the degradation of the oceans. During a trip to the Galápagos in October 2005, Jim said, "We should do something about this." So he had the idea of starting the Oceanic Preservation Society. Two months later Louie met Ric O'Barry at a marine mammal conference where Ric was banned from talking. Louie called him, and Ric started telling him about the dolphin slaughter in Taiji. He said, “I’m going next week. Want to come?” Louie took a three-day crash course on how to make a film and then went to Taiji. The rest is history!
Question 2: What is your mission or goal?
OPS is a team of passionate artists, activists, and change agents committed to sustainability and the preservation of our oceans and the planet. Through the use of film, photography, social media, and collaboration, we expose complex, global environmental issues and promote advocacy and change. Our mission: Expose the Truth. Protect the Planet. OPS, and its CEO, Louie Psihoyos, are committed. Louie is best known for the Academy Award-winning film The Cove, and the Emmy nominated film Racing Extinction. OPS also hosts worldwide projection events (focused on endangered species and habit destruction) on iconic structures such as The United Nations, The Empire State Building, and The Vatican. These events have generated literally billions of social media impressions and ignite ongoing action in myriad ways.
Question 3: Give a couple of examples of some projects OPS is currently working on?
We continue to work on the issues presented in our two feature films.
-The Cove campaigns: ending the dolphin hunts and slaughters in Taiji, fighting to keep the commercial whaling ban in place, ensuring cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) are not exploited for human entertainment. -Racing Extinction campaigns: protecting the Endangered Species Act (https://t.co/kEBzITNfPQ), working to ban the shark fin trade in the United States, encouraging our supporters to reduce their meat consumption and switch to a plant-based diet
Question 4: what are some of the difficulties OPS faces? Can it be overwhelming at times?
We see what’s going on environmentally, certainly with the oceans—that we are set to lose 25 percent of the species in the oceans by the year 2100, because all of the coral reefs will be dissolved by then or in a severe state of dissolving. Time is running out. The issue with being in the film business is that you have to make it entertaining. We try not to make it all doom and gloom. We want it to feel like there’s hope, that things can evolve.
Question 5: Can you give us some examples of the positive impact or strides forward that has been made for our oceans and ocean life?
People think you make a movie and, once you create some awareness, it should all end. But social movements take a long time. The Surgeon General’s warning for cigarette smoking came out in 1964. We were still smoking on planes in 1998! Almost 20 years later, you can’t smoke cigarettes in restaurants or bars. Movements take time. But, the killing in Taiji went down from 23,000 a year to less than 1,000. So, we’re getting there. It’s definitely working. It’s just a longer timeframe than we’d like. Eight years later, we’re still working on Cove issues.
Question 6: What is OPS future outlook for our oceans and ocean life and what still needs to be done?
We cannot lose hope and must continue to educate. It's essential to provide coastal communities with sustainable alternatives and support if we want them to change their ways. Most importantly, we need to respect nature, live with it, and stop treating the ocean like a garbage can.
Question 7: What can we do as individuals to make a difference and help our oceans?
1) Look at greening commercial buildings and homes. It’s absolutely essential we get off fossil fuels that way. 80% of greenhouse gases created by cities are actually created by commercial buildings.
2) Getting off meat is one of the calls to action at the end of Racing Extinction. We convey the fact that if everybody in America ate vegan one day a week, it’d be like taking 7.6 million cars off the road every year. Raising animals for consumption causes more greenhouse gases than all the emissions from the transportation sector combined. So the single most important — and simplest — thing a person can do to reduce their carbon footprint and to save the planet is eat more sustainably. Eat more plant-based foods three times a day. You can save the planet three times a day by eating a plant-based diet! All protein comes from plants anyway. When you become a vegan, all you’re doing is eliminating the middleman.
3) Voting for green candidates. It’s one thing for us to start a revolution from the ground up, but we need politicians on board, too.
Ocean Preservation Society is a registered 501(c)(3) public charity, so the work they do is non-profit. By bringing this issues to light it helps each individual be aware of whats happening s well as empowering the individual to help bring change. After all Jane Goodall once said "Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference."
To learn more about Ocean Preservation Society visit the website: OPSociety.org you can also watch the trailer to Racing Extinction here:
You can visit Racing Extinction to see the film, to learn more, and take challenges: RacingExtinction.com you can donate here DONATE
How is Wakened Apparel helping? We are donating 10% to Ocean Preservation Society of each of the items sold our Del Mar Blanket and we will have more items to come soon. We stand with game changing charities like Ocean Preservation Society and we hope you will too.