Whales & Dolphins Ambassador Program

Empowerment through education and art with Peggy Oki

As an extension of the Origami Whales Project, the Whales and Dolphins Ambassador Program offers the opportunity for children and teens to become educated on anthropogenic (human-caused) threats to cetaceans and their ocean habitats. Students become empowered to protect all connected marine wildlife and their habitat through art action letters and by applying artistic skills to crafting sustainable alternatives to some of these threats which include solid, chemical, and noise pollution, bycatch, entanglement, climate change, and ocean acidification, and whaling. We also discuss ethics, cetacean captivity, and current movement towards a Declaration of Cetacean Rights. The goal of this program is to increase awareness of our impact on the environment, and to instill a need for stewardship of all life on Earth through caring for cetaceans, their fellow beings, and ocean habitats.

Since 2004, the Origami Whales Project (OWP) has worked to raise awareness concerning threats to cetaceans (dolphins and whales) through its stunning and memorable "Curtain of 38,000 Origami Whales." Created by thousands of concerned citizens across the globe and exhibited throughout the world, this large-scale public art project serves as a powerful visual statement and memorial for the thousands of individual whales killed since the 1986 ban on commercial whaling. As urgent need for cetacean rights activities arise, the Origami Whales Project has expanded with additional outreach and education programs, creating "Curtains" of origami dolphins and whales in United States, Japan, Dominica, and New Zealand.



Download the BROCHURE

Please tell your friends & family.

And if you'd like to have the Whales & Dolphins Ambassador Program offered in your area, &/or for further information, please contact Peggy OkiOrigami Whales Project Founder & Director

 

It was another great ACS conference this weekend, learning more about the information that I'll pass on to my Whales & Dolphins Ambassadors. Heard a fascinating lecture today on the diverse appearance & behaviors of the Genus Orcinus. <3


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I created this chart as a visual summary of the number of each whale species reported killed by each of the 3 main whaling nations, Japan, Norway, and Iceland in 2009. * Species listed as Endangered. + Numbers NOT REPORTED: When considering the number of whales that die annually as a result of whaling, it is important to point out that there are numbers of whales that are "struck & lost", not “landed” or counted as “takes”, which suffer and die later. Whales that are "struck and lost", may live on after their injuries. But, as a result of infection, restricted mobility, shattered joints or damaged central nervous system, they may suffer an inability to feed, socialize or reproduce. The high proportion of struck, but lost, animals in some hunts is a serious welfare as well as conservation issue. Also, not considered in reported Antarctic kills: "Most slaughtered whales 'pregnant'." Additional news & action links are at my Japan, Norway, and Iceland Whaling Actions & News page: http://www.peggy-oki.com/...


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On the first day of the WDAP, students learn "Cetacean Factoids". They then learn to draw and paint with "Cetacean Appreciation". I just love this watercolor by one of my students!


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Part of our Whales & Dolphins Ambassadors group with their custom-painted reusable shopping bags. Quite some budding artists and activists in the works!


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From our beach clean up. "One person's trash is,..." well maybe like finding treasure. But my Whales & Dolphins Ambassadors were happy to know these items were disposed of properly, and not causing harm to our friends in the sea.


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A close-up of the base of my plastic bag dryer. While a similar product may be purchased, its ideal to reuse materials while giving your environmental effort a personal touch.


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A couple of examples for plastic bag dryers I made as prototypes. I used to hang washed bags from a clothespin above the kitchen sink. But the bags dry much faster this way! "Reusing and reducing demand requires less energy than recycling, While a large percentage of products are packaged plastics, much of these plastic bags are reusable simply by rinsing if necessary with lightly soapy water, then air-drying. I have never had to purchase plastic food storage bags, nor experienced any adverse effects by simply re-using the bags as described. Larger bags used in packaging other goods may be sorted and stored for re-use." An excerpt from my letter titled "Plastic bags gotta go" (page 4 online) in last week's Coastal View News (Carpinteria): http://content.yudu.com/...


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Each Ambassador was asked to bring their own collection of objects to make their own plastic bag dryer. Here's one very special treasure trove, created by one of my Whale & Dolphin Ambassadors! "Did you know that 500 billion plastic bags are consumed on this planet every year? The sobering statistic: “more than a million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals die every year from ingestion of or entanglement in plastics” is the subject of a new ad by the Surfrider Foundation." Read more: http://www.care2.com/...


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Mylar & rubber balloons finding their way to the ocean wreak havoc on marine life as they are ingested by sea life. My proposed alternative is a party activity of making Origami Lanterns from reused paper. They can be fitted over low-energy using LED holiday lights. What do you think?


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Custom-painted reusable shopping bag by one of the Whales & Dolphins Ambassadors at Open Alternative School, Santa Barbara


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Custom-painted reusable shopping bag by my friend Cousteau Bix Christopher, one of the Whales & Dolphins Ambassadors at Open Alternative School, Santa Barbara.


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Commencement day for the Whales & Dolphins Ambassadors at Open Alternative School, Santa Barbara.


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Marborg (waste disposal) Industries, generously donated reusable shopping bags for the WDAP in Summer 2011. This is my prototype that was first primed with a coat of gesso.


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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


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Check out Art with Porpoise (no pun intended) : D! The Ambassadors' Curtain of Origami Whales is included in the Carpinteria Children’s Summer Arts Programs group exhibit through 18 Sept. '11 at Curious Cup. Visitors were encouraged to write a message & sign a Whale in the curtain.


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.•*✮Summer is here, I'm excited about teaching the ♥Whales & Dolphins Ambassador Program♥ for the third year!☆ @ the Carpinteria Arts Center✮*•. ✮[just had to make that rhyme. :D ] Find information and downloadable flyer here: http://www.peggy-oki.com/...


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: (. How can something as small and lightweight as a plastic grocery bag kill the world's largest toothed whales? Yesterday, we talked about it. Please "Share": http://www.upi.com/...


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Belugas, Bowhead, Narwhals, and Polar Bears, ...Oh my! Its been a busy summer preparing for my fourth offering of the Whales & Dolphins Ambassador Program, which I taught 30 July through 3 August. The 5 day workshop was jam-packed with even more information keeping up with the latest threats to cetaceans. My students, ages 7-14 came through with flying colors literally, as we had 5 action letters to work on, besides our other art projects. For now, here are a few of our letters to President Obama. "At the end of March, the Obama Administration approved Shell Oil's inadequate spill plan for the Beaufort Sea." An oil spill could be devastating to this critical habitat for marine mammals, so we are sending him our letters. If you would like to download, color in, sign & send a letter by mail or fax to President Obama, please go to my 12 Aug. '12 entry on the Origami Whales Project News!/blog page. http://www.peggy-oki.com/...


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Did you know that the Cook Inlet Beluga Whales are a small, isolated Endangered subspecies of the Beluga Whale? The last 284 are currently facing critical threats from noise pollution in the form of airgun blasts which can cause bodily harm, including deafening, and even death.* So my Whales & Dolphins Ambassadors got to work on action letters for them, and here's one of them. If you would like to download, color in, sign & send a letter to NOAA (US government agency), please go to today's posting (15 August 2012) http://www.peggy-oki.com/... You can also scan & e-mail your letter as a jpg file to Dr. Jane Lubchenco, Director, NOAA at jane.lubchenco@noaa.gov *To view Pierce Brosnan's video from the NRDC about this threat to the Cook Inlet Belugas, please visit this link: http://www.peggy-oki.com/... There is also an e-mail action link below the video on this page.


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Why ban single-use plastic bags? "...some estimates more than 1 million seabirds, 100,000 marine mammals, and countless fish die annually in the north Pacific from ingesting or becoming entangled in marine debris that includes plastic bags. Plastic bags also pollute during the production process." ACTION ALERT: AB 298, the current legislation to ban single-use plastic bags in California will be up for vote by the end of this month (August 2012). Our letters are being sent to Senator Tony Strickland on AB 298, the current legislation to ban single-use plastic bags in California. If you'd like to download, color, sign, & fax your letter to Sen. Strickland, please visit the Origami Whales Project News!/blog page, and find the 19 August 2012 entry: http://www.peggy-oki.com/...


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On Day 5, my Whales & Dolphins Ambassadors watched a video "Message about captive dolphins from Dame Dr. Jane Goodall"(1) and learned how "The world wide captivity industry threatens wild whale and dolphin populations and inflicts cruelty and suffering on thousands of individual animals. Confined in an unnatural environment, these wide-ranging, social animals are forced to live a life of severe deprivation, suffering lower life-expectancy and higher infant mortality than in the wild." (2) We discussed and put our art on action letters to the Georgia Aquarium which "recently captured 18 beluga whales from the Sea of Okhotsk in eastern Russia, and is planning to fly them halfway around the world to be put on display in the United States." (3) "...removed from their pod and their natural habitat. ...are highly social animals who live in large pods and form strong bonds especially between mothers and calves." (4) If you'd like to download, color, sign, & mail your letter to the Georgia Aquarium, please go to today's posting (25 August 2012) for links and instructions on the Origami Whales Project News!/blog page. http://www.peggy-oki.co/... Or please visit the link below for this online petition if you'd like to express your concerns: http://www.peggy-oki.co/... SAVE THE DATE: 31 August & 1 September 2012 for Japan Dolphins Day worldwide. Please scroll down to the 29 August 2011 and 1 September 2011 blog entries on the Origami Whales Project News!/blog page. And check back for more information soon. 1) "Message about captive dolphins from Dame Dr. Jane Goodall" http://www.peggy-oki.co/... 2) WDCS ~ Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society http://www.peggy-oki.co/... 3) http://www.peggy-oki.co/... 4) http://www.peggy-oki.co/...


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.•*✮Looking forward to another <3 Whales & Dolphins Ambassador Program <3 @ the Carpinteria Arts Center. :) As an extension of the Origami Whales Project, the Whales and Dolphins Ambassador Program offers the opportunity for children and teens to become educated on anthropogenic (human-caused) threats to cetaceans and their ocean habitats. Students become empowered to protect all connected marine wildlife and their habitat through art action letters and by applying artistic skills to crafting sustainable alternatives to some of these threats which include solid, chemical, and noise pollution, bycatch, entanglement, climate change, and ocean acidification, and whaling. We also discuss ethics, cetacean captivity, and current movement towards a Declaration of Cetacean Rights. The goal of this program is to increase awareness of our impact on the environment, and to instill a need for stewardship of all life on Earth through caring for cetaceans, their fellow beings, and ocean habitats. + The brochure with registration information may be downloaded from: http://www.peggy-oki.com/...


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Whales and Dolphins Ambassador Program, Carpinteria Valley Arts Center, 5-9 August! Next month, WDAP is returning for its 4th year in a row as a part of the Carpinteria Valley Arts Council's Summer Arts Program, ages 7-14, 5-9 August. The flyer available for download on our events page. http://www.peggy-oki.com/... As an extension of the Origami Whales Project, the Whales and Dolphins Ambassador Program offers the opportunity for children and teens to become educated on anthropogenic (human-caused) threats to cetaceans and their ocean habitats. Students become empowered to protect all connected marine wildlife and their habitat through art action letters and by applying artistic skills to crafting sustainable alternatives to some of these threats which include solid, chemical, and noise pollution, bycatch, entanglement, climate change, and ocean acidification, and whaling. We also discuss ethics, cetacean captivity, and current movement towards a Declaration of Cetacean Rights. The goal of this program is to increase awareness of our impact on the environment, and to instill a need for stewardship of all life on Earth through caring for cetaceans, their fellow beings, and ocean habitats. For further information, please e-mail Peggy Oki directly at


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A few days ago, I taught my students about how industrialized fishing = indiscriminate and shockingly unnecessary annual death tolls, including ~27 million tons of bycatch annually, dumped overboard! ✮Since the '70's when gillnet trawlers took to New Zealand waters, the Hector's* & Maui's Dolphins have been no exception to "bycatch" & entanglement. TODAY there are ONLY 55 critically endangered Maui's Dolphins left urgently needing your help! +WHY?!?! Because the NZ government has been bowing to the fishing industry!! ✮Please participate in my "Let's Face It" Visual Petition campaign! Here's the 3 minute video about our campaign: www.lets-face-it-dolphins.com/news-blog/article-44-2012-09/through-the-dolphins-eyes-by-dove-joans + Watch for "Let's Face It" Visual Petition campaign posts here: https://www.facebook.com/... * Now, only 7,200 critically endangered Hector's, less than 25% remain! Cetacean Bycatch Facts: https://www.facebook.com/...


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✮Students of my Whales & Dolphins Ambassador Program learned about numerous human-caused threats to cetaceans, including bycatch/entanglement and oil* pollution (on top of seabed mining, which is even WORSE than bottom trawling!). Both of these factors threaten the LAST 55 critically endangered Maui's Dolphins left!! As Ambassadors, these great kids were glad to participate in our "Let's Face It" Visual Petition campaign! Watch our 3 minute video: www.lets-face-it-dolphins.com/news-blog/article-44-2012-09/through-the-dolphins-eyes-by-dove-joans Join us telling the NZ govt that THE WORLD IS WATCHING!! Since our update video we have over 7,100 LFI VPs! http://www.lets-face-it-dolphins.com/... See how FUN & EASY it is to collect "Let's Face It" Visual Petitions starting with Step 1! http://www.lets-face-it-dolphins.com/... .•*✮ Parties, events, your workplace, farmers markets... are great places to collect a lot of Visual Petitions. Bring your camera along with your chosen image(s) of a Maui's/Hector's Dolphin and "Show Us Your Love"!! TEAM UP* with a couple of friends, and you'll collect heaps!!~; )` *Working in teams of 2-3 people works well for collecting many Visual Petitions. Here's how: • "Ambassadors": 1-2 persons briefly explain the situation of the Maui's & Hector's Dolphins and "Let's Face It" campaign. • "Photographer": When people agree to have their photo taken, person with camera will take photos while the Ambassadors go on to the next person to explain. People love smiling to save Dolphins!!! * If you'd like information to download, print, and share, please visit our Visual Petition Collectors Packet page. http://www.lets-face-it-dolphins.com/... *Read about these threats to the Maui's Dolphins in this news/blog: http://www.lets-face-it-dolphins.com/... Watch for my "Let's Face It" Visual Petition campaign posts here: http://www.lets-face-it-dolphins.com/...


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