Panel Discussion – Countdown to 2030: Leveraging Art and Creativity for the Ocean Decade


Event is free and open to the public: July 22, 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

WHAT:  The New England Aquarium Lecture Series welcomes several panelists for a discussion about how art and creativity is helping America and the world meet the 30×30 goal to protect 30 percent of our lands, waters, and ocean by 2030. Titled “Countdown to 2030: Leveraging Art and Creativity for the Ocean Decade,” the program will feature Akira Biondo, Director of Operations, PangeaSeed Foundation; Priscilla Brooks, Vice President and Director of Ocean Conservation, Conservation Law Foundation; Linda Cabot, Founder and President, Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs; Kannan Thiruvengadam, Community Engagement and Environmental Resilience Strategist, Sea Walls Boston; and Richard Vevers, Founder and CEO, The Ocean Agency.

Dr. John Mandelman, Vice President and Chief Scientist, Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life, New England Aquarium, will moderate. The program will be part of the Aquarium Lecture Series, which is presented free to the public through the generosity of the Lowell Institute. Registration is required:

The panel discussion is part of a week-long celebration called Sea Walls: Artists for Oceans in Boston from July 19 to 26. Eleven new ocean advocacy murals and public events will be happening around the city, mostly in East Boston, to increase interest in marine stewardship. Renowned contemporary artist Shepard Fairey, who created the famous “HOPE” portraits of President Obama, will be painting a mural on the side of the New England Aquarium’s Simons Theatre during the week. Produced in collaboration with HarborArts, a local public art initiative, this new series of public murals in East Boston will add to the seven murals created last year as part of the Sea Walls Boston’s pilot project. The Aquarium is the Honorary Conservation Partner for the event, sponsored and created by PangeaSeed Foundation.

WHEN:  Thursday, July 22 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

WHERE:  Simons Theatre at the New England Aquarium, 1 Central Wharf, Boston, Mass.

HOW:  The event is free and open to the public, registration is required:

WHO:  Akira Biondo is the Director of Operations of PangeaSeed Foundation. Originally from Switzerland, she holds a BA in Sustainability Studies and a BW in Cultural Anthropology. Her passion for the environment stems from her extensive travels across the globe and experiencing firsthand the human impact on the planet. She joined PangeaSeed in 2010.

Priscilla Brooks is the Vice President and Director of Ocean Conservation at Conservation Law Foundation. She focuses on protecting marine habitat and wildlife and building health fishing communities. Before joining the Conservation Law Foundation in 1994, she performed extensive research on seafood marketing and trade, as well as aquaculture economics. In addition, she has worked on recreational fishing boats and research vessels in waters from Labrador to the Caribbean. She holds a BS from Cornell University as well as an MS and PhD in environmental and resource economics from the University of Rhode Island.

Linda Cabot is the Founder and President of Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs. She is a visual artist who credits a lifetime of sailing for her love affair with the ocean. She founded Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs to inspire and support the next generation of ocean caretakers. She believes in the power of the arts to raise awareness about ocean conservation and enjoys seeing all the tremendous works of creativity and ingenuity that are submitted to the program. She serves on the Board of Women Working for Oceans (W2O) and is a trustee of the New England Aquarium.

Kannan Thiruvengadam is Community Engagement and Environmental Resilience Strategist for Sea Walls Boston. He is also the Director of Eastie Farm, an urban farm in East Boston focused on community resiliency, and a Climate Ready Boston Leader. He has a technology background, has studied climate science, permaculture, and community engagement, and is passionate about regenerative and sustainable practices in agriculture and urban design. He also hosts “What’s up Eastie?”, a radio show about local issues in a larger context.

Richard Vevers is the Founder and CEO of The Ocean Agency. Before diving into ocean and coral reef conservation, Vevers first worked at some of the top London advertising agencies and then as an artist and underwater photographer. It is this background that has guided his unique creative and business-thinking approach to ocean conservation. His imagery, revealing what is happening to our oceans, is some of the most viewed underwater imagery of all time, and his ideas, projects and public speaking have made him a leading voice in the fight to save coral reefs.

John Mandelman is the Vice President and Chief Scientist of the Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life at the New England Aquarium. In collaboration with various colleagues around the globe, his research focuses on the physiological ecology and conservation physiology of marine fishes, with a specific focus on better understanding and mitigating the lethal and sublethal effects of human-induced disturbances on vulnerable and/or socioeconomically important species, particularly in the Gulf of Maine. All his work aims to generate best-practice mitigation strategies that directly aid or inform fisheries management processes and policies. In addition to his role at the Aquarium, he is a research faculty member at the University of Massachusetts Boston.


Pam Bechtold Snyder –, 617-686-5068