Impact of a worldwide coastal cleanup

Each year in September, hundreds of thousands of volunteers of all ages from every continent band together to form an enormous army of volunteers to clean up beaches, lakes, and streams both on land and underwater. The annual event is called the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) and is organized by the Ocean Conservancy to remove trash and clean up water sources and to promote pollution prevention by educating and empowering people to become a part of the marine debris solution. Continue reading

Dear Branson, Gates, Buffet, Turner…

diamondsWhat a wonderful thing Sir Richard Branson has done and how eloquently he’s gone about it. Not only is he financing the search for solutions to global warming he’s brought greater attention to the issue, which is quickly becoming a topic frequently discussed in the media. It’s about time. Over the past few days, Branson has said what many of us fear, but rarely talk about – the fact that we’re destroying this planet at an alarming rate. Quoted from a New York Times article: “Our generation has inherited an incredibly beautiful world from our parents and they from their parents,” Sir Richard said. “It is in our hands whether our children and their children inherit the same world. We must not be the generation responsible for irreversibly damaging the environment.” I believe that statement is what truly drives his generosity, but he has created a win-win situation through his commitment of $3 billion over 10 years, which is very smart. His empire benefits because the money will be invested in Virgin Group companies already exploring options for alternative aviation fuels for Virgin Airline. It’s also a sorely needed investment in our environmental future, one that will benefit us all. Continue reading

Indonesia Expedition 2006

David, Dr. Wood and I recently returned from MarineBio’s expedition to Indonesia where we spent two weeks in the Lembeh Strait and the Bunaken National Marine Park shooting underwater photos and video for MarineBio.org. We’re slowly getting over our jet lag and adjusting to life on terra firma again – not an easy thing after two weeks of nonstop diving in one of the most biodiverse underwater regions in the world.

Overall, the expedition went well and we came back with around 2,000 photos and several hours of video. We were surprised that the visibility in Bunaken only averaged about 40 feet and are trying to figure out why we didn’t see the 100 foot+ visibility we expected. There was quite a bit of plastic and other debris in the water; we’re hoping that it’s not pollution that’s causing the legendary clear waters of Bunaken to cloud, but the small particles in the water looked more like fibers than plankton. In spite of the low viz, the diving was still pretty spectacular and we saw lots of cool critters, particularly during our time in the muck diving capitol of the world – Lembeh Strait. Continue reading