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Non-Profit Organizations

Aug 29 - Savannah Ocean Exchange Set to Sail into Savannah Sept 7-8; Begins Month of Events

By Lou Phelps

It’s a major event, one designed to create true change and put Savannah on the international map of those who think about global issues. The Savannah Ocean Exchange, a non-profit organization created to bring attention to environment issues and solutions - will launch its inaugural ‘Public Exchange’ Sept. 7 – 8 at the trade center, but the two day event is just part of a month-long celebration of our connection as individuals with the Ocean and the Coast.

Four Public Exchanges will focus on Culture & Cuisine, Vessels & Viewing, Presentations & Performances, and Events & Excursions. Through these four Exchanges, internationally acclaimed speakers, authors, artists and scientists will join local businesses, ocean leaders, arts organizations, educational institutions and community groups, to host public events throughout the Savannah area, according to Howard J. Morrison, Co-Founder and Chair. A website with information on the conference can be found at www.

The Savannah Ocean Exchange board hopes that each year individuals and organizations from diverse fields of expertise managing global issues will meet in Savannah, including solution creators, businesses, organizations and individuals from around the world who submit inspirational solutions to present at The Exchange, based on the current year’s theme.

The Board of Governors will select a new Ocean related theme each year, with a call for submission of solutions then sent around the world. The 2011 Theme is ‘Shaping the Future of Our Coasts.’

Throughout the Exchange, invitees will network with solution presenters and other attendees discussing applications, opportunities and the global potential of the solutions showcased.

Attendees will then provide insight and guidance to the solution presenters. The winning solution will receive the Gulfstream Navigator Award 2011, a financial award of $100,000. The Exchange members will then work with the recipient and other presenters for 12 months to advance the adoption of the solutions presented at the Exchange around the world.

The Exchange asks for ideas that will drive sustainable change, improve ecological, economic, and worldwide connectivity while respecting the unique cultural sense of place of coastal communities, according to Morrison.

This year’s Culture & Cuisine Exchange will include:

- Taste of Savannah: Connecting with Coastal Cuisine

-“Oh Say Can You Sea Savannah” showcasing children’s art, art classes & music at the Tybee Post Theater

- a Plein Air art event in Telfair Square

- photography at the Jepson Center

- and special sustainable seafood and coastal cuisine served up all month long for Southern Foodies by our restaurant partners (listed on the Savannah Ocean Exchange web site).

Presentations & Performances Exchange highlights include the Pirates of the Low Country Gala, Gray’s Reef Ocean Film Festival, a model yacht workshop and pond regatta for children, the McIntosh County Shouters, a sea shanty singer, National Geographic children’s films on Tybee Island, and boat building for adults and children.

A series of lectures will share perspectives on the influence of Tybee Island on General George Marshall, the Status and Conservation of North Atlantic Right Whales, Sea Level rise and Shoreline Change, and 500 Years of Challenge and Innovation on Southern Waterways. Films by National Geographic, a partner of the Exchange, will be shown throughout the month in various venues.

The Vessels & Viewing Exchange will host the first Sailabrate the Sea, Savannah Ocean Exchange Boat Parade from Wilmington Island to Thunderbolt, along with the Savannah Ocean Exchange Family Ocean Experience at Lazaretto Creek. Georgia Ports Authority will host The State of the Ports annual luncheon.

Events & Excursions Exchange will support the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup on Tybee Island. Excursion partners will also offer a variety of trips for exploring the salt marsh ecosystem, guided beach walks, in-shore and off-shore fishing trips, kayak trips to barrier islands, and a shrimp boat experience.

The Public Exchanges will follow the Solutions Exchange, where business, technology and ocean leaders from around the world will gather to work with the creators of cutting edge solutions that will Shape the Future of our Coasts around the globe. Gulfstream, worldwide sponsor of the Savannah Ocean Exchange, has donated the $100,000 Navigator Award 2011 to be awarded for the best of the Solutions Inspiring Action. The top ten solution creators and the winner of the Gulfstream Navigator Award 2011 will share their presentations with the public on September 9th, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM at the Savannah International Trade & Convention Center. Admission is free. Video interviews with the top solution creators will be on posted on the website,, starting the week of August 22nd.

Many of the Savannah Ocean Exchange events are Free Admission, though some require reservations and ticket purchase. Ticketing and pricing details are available on the Savannah Ocean Exchange web site. Be sure to check the updated online event calendar, as the Exchange will be finalizing events, times and places during the month of August.

The group has a Facebook page (Savannah Ocean Exchange) and can be followed on Twitter @savoceanex.

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Published by Savannah Business Journal.®All Copyrights Reserved ©2011.®
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