Big Ideas for the Ocean II

National Geographic Ocean Fellow Enric Sala and Emerging Explorer Kenny Broad are about to set sail with Summit at Sea, a three-day immersion in big ideas and high-energy activities designed to educate and inspire the next generation of arts and business leaders.

As the event approaches, artists, engineers, business people, and activists are getting ready by posting their ideas about how they and their organizations can help address the serious threats facing the health of the ocean (learn more about the challenge).

This is the second post in which we highlight some of the most interesting ideas so far.

Week 2 Highlights

Two enterprising contributors are focusing on the impact of plastic water bottles, and called on people to simply fill reusable bottles (like those at right) with filtered tap water. Countering the argument that having filtered water available in enough places to make it practical, J. Eric Barnes of KOR water said, “Think back to 2004. We were hearing more and more about Wi-Fi and how someday, real soon, we’d all have access to internet everywhere: hotels, airports, the local coffee shop. It seemed ludicrous, but fast forward to 2011 and we’re there.” He says a similar thing could be done with better drinking water, and points out that water fountains at coffee shops already largely meet this need.

Krupali Tejura, a radiation oncologist, broke out of the lab and has started an online petition at to get individuals to commit to getting their own companies and organizations to “be kind to the ocean,” and also suggested a labeling system, where products that come largely from the ocean say as much with an eye-catching logo (at left).

A similar graphic approach is being taken by design student Anneke Jong, who assembled images (seen below) that could be used in a campaign to educate people about the dangers of ocean acidification called “pHix the ocean.”


Finally, actor, singer, and athlete Jesse Lipscombe went in another direction. Getting up in front of his webcam, Jesse rattles off a minute and a half of poetry, where he looks at his own lack of awareness of ocean issues and comes to realize that any big changes in the world have to start with individuals noticing their own impact and deciding to do something about it in their own lives.

View these full entries and keep returning to see what other ideas the Summit at Sea team members serve up.


More Water Conservation Content

Guide to Critical Issues Facing the Ocean

National Geographic Freshwater Initiative








Changing Planet

Meet the Author
Andrew Howley is a longtime contributor to the National Geographic blog, with a particular focus on archaeology and paleoanthropology generally, and ancient rock art in particular. In 2018 he became Communications Director at Adventure Scientists, founded by Nat Geo Explorer Gregg Treinish. Over 11 years at the National Geographic Society, Andrew worked in various ways to share the stories of NG explorers and grantees online. He also produced the Home Page of for several years, and helped manage the Society's Facebook page during its breakout year of 2010. He studied Anthropology with a focus on Archaeology from the College of William & Mary in Virginia. He has covered expeditions with NG Explorers-in-Residence Mike Fay, Enric Sala, and Lee Berger. His personal interests include painting, running, and reading about history. You can follow him on Twitter @anderhowl and on Instagram @andrewjhowley.