Our Seas Our Future
Our Seas Our Future logo used from 2012 – present
Our Seas Our Future (OSOF) is an ENGO group based in Dunedin, New Zealand. OSOF operates as a volunteer driven, non-profit initiative that focuses on coastal and marine conservation advocacy and community engagement projects in New Zealand.
- 1 Logo
- 2 History
- 3 Awards
- 4 Campaigns
- 5 Mission statement
- 6 References
- 7 External links
The current OSOF logo was designed by the Dunedin-based company Studio 3 Design Limited, situated on the Otago Peninsula. The logo encompasses four ocean waves in a stylised Koru swirl design. Two large stylised waves flow into each other in synchrony, and two small waves offshoot from the sides of the central wave complex.
The original concept behind the OSOF initiative was to encourage the public to learn more about the oceans, using social media as a tool to communicate information. In November 2011, OSOF was launched as an online campaign on the social media platform Facebook to highlight conservation issues that collectively impact the marine and coastal environment. A broad range of topics and issues were addressed including marine pollution, marine wildlife conservation, overfishing and other resource exploitation activities such as offshore drilling.
OSOF continued to expand their social media support base during 2012, and the scope of published content shifted focus to include educational and advocacy related information and conservation efforts relevant to New Zealand and the Pacific regions. During this period, more emphasis was placed on content creation, with the OSOF campaigns building a resource base of marine educational material that could be easily accessed and shared via social media. By the end of 2012, OSOF's social media presence on Facebook was separated and structured into stand-alone campaigns that focused on specific areas of interest. OSOF's social media campaigning is primarily focused on Facebook, however OSOF is also represented on Twitter and YouTube.
In June 2012, OSOF organised their first coastal clean-up event in Dunedin, New Zealand. This event celebrated World Oceans Day, and was the unofficial launch of OSOF's community engagement initiatives outside of social media, an attempt to promote environmental conservation and education directly to the community. Coastal clean-up events have been organised on a regular basis annually since June 2012, and advertised through their social media channels. Major clean-up events were organised to coincide with key national and international events such as NZAEE Seaweek, World Oceans Day, Keep New Zealand Beautiful Week, and Conservation Week. Smaller scale clean-up events were organised at various times during the year, as needed and where volunteer interest and resources have been available. In October 2013, the Adopt-a-Coast project was developed and directed at school groups to get involved in coastal clean-up events and marine environmental education.
From mid 2013, OSOF added policy submissions to their project structure and was involved in writing submissions for coastal and marine related policy consultations at the central and local government level.
In early April 2014, the OSOF website is planned to be launched as a strategic move to disseminate information to the non-social media using community and to establish an online presence outside of social media. The website design was developed and sponsored by the Dunedin based company Blackline Media Ltd.
To date, OSOF has relied entirely on volunteer time and resources to support their ongoing projects.
OSOF was awarded the 2012 top environmental prize for an environmental project by a community group in Dunedin, New Zealand, as a result of their regular clean-up events. The 'Pod' environmental award is awarded annually by the Keep Dunedin Beautiful Committee.
OSOF won the NZAEE Seaweek 'Ocean Champion' award in 2014. The theme for NZAEE's Seaweek 2014 was “Our fragile, finite taonga – be alert to the fragility of the marine environment and its treasures. Kia mataara! Tiakina te au o te moana, he kōpīpī tōna”. OSOF was recognised for their regular coastal clean-up events and environmental education initiatives.
OSOF was awarded the Keep New Zealand Beautiful Tidy Kiwi Award in 2014. The KNZB Tidy Kiwi Award recognises and rewards an individual or team who have distinguished themselves as truly extraordinary and serve as an inspiration to us all. The Award honours outstanding and exceptional leadership in litter prevention, waste reduction/recycling and beautification activities.
The OSOF project structure is divided into three broad categories that cover digital media campaigning, collaborative projects, and OSOF core projects:
Digital media campaigns
OSOF's digital media strategy primarily focuses on using social media platforms to disseminate information to a wide audience, relying on the power of social networks to engage the public. OSOF currently runs three stand-alone campaigns on the social media platform Facebook to raise awareness about topics and current issues in coastal and marine conservation. These campaigns were initially included in OSOF's main social media page, and later separated to focus on specific areas of interest. OSOF also collaborates with independent film makers and artists to produce short films and videos that highlight marine conservation and environmental education.
Plastic Free New Zealand
'Plastic Free New Zealand' is a social media campaign highlighting the effect of plastics and other anthropogenic materials on our environment, while advocating for more for environmentally friendly solutions.
Sustainable Seafood Now
'Sustainable Seafood Now' is a social media campaign with a focus to highlight what is happening in the world's fisheries, while advocating for a sustainable fishing industry both in New Zealand and worldwide.
New Zealand Marine Reserves
'New Zealand Marine Reserves' and 'More Marine Reserves' is a social media campaign with a focus on advocating for the establishment of more marine reserves in New Zealand and worldwide.
In July 2012, a short film was produced for OSOF that highlighted the plight of the endemic New Zealand sea lion, titled "Up The Creek Without A Flipper". The production was filmed and edited by Sean Mueller, with non-scripted narration by Suzanne Burns, and soundtrack by Hera Hjartardottir. Filming took place over a one-day period on location at Sandfly Bay, Otago, New Zealand. The film also features the endemic yellow-eyed penguin found on the Otago coastline. This short film was OSOF's first documentary project to highlight species conservation.
OSOF was an alliance member of the New Zealand Shark Alliance, working towards banning shark finning in New Zealand waters. The NZSA successfully helped change the laws in 2014 to enable better protection of sharks in New Zealand.
OSOF core projects
OSOF's core projects focus primarily on community engagement in environmental conservation and education, through initiatives such as coastal clean-up events and marine conservation advocacy.
Coastal clean-up events
In October 2013, OSOF developed and piloted the Adopt-A-Coast initiative, with a goal to integrate marine conservation and science into school projects. This project allows students to ‘adopt’ an area of coastline by visiting regularly to carry out a coastal clean-up, followed by surveying the local intertidal zones to assess biodiversity of the area. The coastal clean-up component involves students picking up litter from their adopted coast, followed by the survey component that uses the Marine Metre Square program developed by the University of Otago. The Adopt-A-Coast project was piloted with a group of Year 9 students from Kavanagh College, Dunedin, New Zealand.
"Our Seas Our Future (OSOF) aims to protect New Zealand's coastal and marine ecosystems through advocacy, education, and environmental management, ensuring that they are managed sustainably and protected for future generations."
- studio 3 design ltd
- Cleaner coastlines group wins top award | Otago Daily Times Online News : Otago, South Island, New Zealand & International News
- Keep Dunedin Beautiful – Dunedin City Council
- Up The Creek Without A Flipper – New Zealand Sea lions in Trouble – YouTube
- NZ Shark Alliance
- Cleanup crews find illegal dump sites – National – NZ Herald News