The purpose of the World Ocean Observatory is to advocate through communications. Words and data matter, but may not register without reinforcement by the senses. We have developed through our own invention and innovative partnerships means by which to connect to the ocean through sound and light, through subjective reflections, through the power of hearing and seeing, through the evocation of spoken word, music, and film. We are not just a table of contents, a catalogue of resources, a database: we are so much more. We are a place where you can feel the ocean, experience the ocean, know the ocean through creative media generated by creative people worldwide. We aspire to be a full sensory immersion, as noisy and volatile, as calm and transcendent as the sea itself, a place for connection and knowledge through oceanic feeling.  Dive in. 


World Ocean Radio

A weekly audio feature for web listeners, podcasts, and worldwide distribution through community radio stations and partners, World Ocean Radio provides weekly 5-minute commentary from longtime host Peter Neill, offering a unique perspective on important and relevant ocean issues, from science and technology to advocacy and exemplary projects. Thanks to private and foundation funds, we are able to offer World Ocean Radio for syndicated use at no cost. Between now and the end of 2020, the BLUEprint: How the Ocean Will Save Civilization series will serve to outline a new and sustainable way forward for civilization, with the ocean leading the way.



Hundreds of musicians from dozens of countries convened in an attempt at an alternative form of storytelling, and an experiment in translation from the written word into music. This is a captivating collection of inspired songs, which range from electronic and ambient to classical and hip hop. All of the music is based on The Outlaw Ocean, a New York Times best-selling book by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Ian Urbina, that chronicles lawlessness at sea around the world. Urbina's superb reporting touches on a diversity of abuses at sea: illegal and overfishing, arms trafficking, human slavery, gun-running, intentional dumping, murder of stowaways, thievery of ships and much more. While reporting for more than five years at sea, Urbina built an audio library of field recordings. It featured a diversity of textured and rhythmic sounds such as machine-gun fire off the coast of Somalia and chanting captive deckhands on the South China Sea. Sampling these field recordings and using recorded passages from the book, the musicians sought to capture the emotions in this journalism, while also raising awareness about the dire need to protect the offshore realm and the millions of people who work out there. A portion of the music’s revenue goes toward funding more of this ground-breaking reporting. Learn more:

Visualization Theater

 Modern data visualizations on the world ocean, waterways, water resources, climate and weather provide a fun and engaging alternative to the more traditional graphing of information used in the past. Our Visualization Theater offers links to innovative and fascinating ways to look at, actively engage in, understand and and interpret data and ocean events. The use of the links found on our site--both online and in the classroom--has the potential to transform the way that we engage with and learn from scientific facts related to the world ocean.

2020 International Maritime Film Festival

The 2020 International Maritime Film Festival looked quite different this year thank in year's past: all online and on demand, a full week's worth of festival viewing, and evening chats with filmmakers via Zoom. We very much missed the in-person viewing, sitting shoulder-to-shoulder in a darkened theater taking in these films as a local community, but all things considered we and our partners at Main Street Bucksport are pleased with the enthusiastic participation and viewership, the global response, and the quality of films chosen to share with our festival audience this year. In case you missed the festival and want to view the films, stay tuned: we will have more information on viewing opportunities in our November newsletter. We have already begun soliciting films for the 2021 festival and look forward to bringing you fantastic maritime films next year and beyond! 

Thank you for your continued support of the World Ocean Observatory.
Copyright © 2020 WorldOceanObservatory, All rights reserved.

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