All posts filed under: Ocean Lover

aerial photo cayman islands sunset house

Force Blue: On A Mission To Protect Coral Reefs

“One Team, One Fight.” Force Blue is an innovative non-profit organization embarking on an unprecedented mission to change the lives of Combat Divers and Special Operations Force Veterans by repurposing their skill set to aid in the recovery and preservation of critical coral reefs.  By virtue, teaching the veterans to adapt their skills for the betterment of the environment acts as a form of therapy and helps to restore the lives of veterans dealing with PTS and depression.  Force Blue has carefully built the program focusing on improving the lives of vets and offering them an opportunity to continue living a life of purpose, giving them a new mission— saving critical coral reefs and ecosystems.  Veterans often struggle with the need to be part of a team and have a mission to accomplish and/or cause to fight for.  Force Blue has devised a way for veterans to maintain that core component of their lives by deploying them all over the world to help communities save their critical coral reefs.  Veterans taking part in the initiative …

coral reef cayman islands

Cayman Islands: Coral Nursery Conservation Program

  The caribbean has already lost 80% of its coral reefs. Grand Cayman Eco Divers in collaboration with the Cayman Islands Department of Environment and various local dive establishments have teamed up for over a year aspiring to maintain coral nurseries to aid in conservation, sustainability and restoration of Cayman’s coral reefs. The program has developed effective strategies for protecting and restoring damaged areas of coral reef.  In short, their innovative approach is to grow Staghorn coral in nurseries.  Coral fragments are grown on structures referred to as coral trees.  These “trees” are made from PVC and fiberglass rods.  The fragments of coral grow into colonies.  After significant growth they are then later removed from the tree and out planted onto damaged coral reef areas to aid in their recovery.  For longevity it is proven to provide a sustainable way to maintain healthy reefs.  The successful transplantation and growth of the coral fragments help create diversity in the ecosystem as well as more resilient  reefs. Cayman Eco Divers are seeking to expand the current Coral …

Sea of Hope: Preserving the Heart of our Planet

  Photo Credit: National Geographic SEA OF HOPE follows iconic ocean explorer and conservationist Dr. Sylvia Earle, renowned underwater photographer Brian Skerry, author and captain Max Kennedy, and their unlikely crew of teenage aquanauts on a year-long quest to secure their future. Deploying science and photography, they hope to inspire the creation of blue parks across an unseen and imperiled American wilderness. It was an absolute honor to be published in Mission Blue’s Ocean Stories.  Please visit their website to read my full article Sea of Hope: Preserving the Heart of our Planet.  Sea of Hope is airing 15th January 2017 on National Geographic. Photo Credit: Ellen Cuylaerts

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Epiphany: How A Family Of Explorers & Conservationists Overcame Their Fears

  View Epiphany Movie Trailer A popular definition of epiphany as defined in the Oxford Dictionary is: “A moment of sudden and great revelation or realization.  For me, an epiphany is a sublime moment.  It is an awakening, when your thoughts come into focus and there is a moment of clarity.  The opportunity presents itself as an illuminating thought.  A moment of such great revelation can bring forth incredible things. I have had the privilege to get to know award-winning filmmaker and wildlife cinematographer Michael Maes and his wife Ellen Cuylaerts, an award-winning wildlife photographer.  They are truly two of the most amazing people I have ever met.  They are inspiring, compassionate, kind, generous, brave and humble people.  I am grateful to know them.  As a family they live intriguing and extraordinary lives as explorers and conservationists.  They explore the world and use their gifts and talents in film and photography to share their passion for conservation with the world.  An underlying message in their documentary Epiphany is the power of film and photography.  I …

Best Blog Posts of 2016

  The Best of 2016 Just a few days into the new year, I thought it might be nice to reflect a little on the past.  Most importantly, I would like to thank all of you wonderful readers.  Your support means the world to me.  I am so grateful that you have enjoyed reading my environmental blog.  It has been a journey finding my voice and writing articles for my blog.  I have met some incredible people along the way.  I am very thankful for the amazing contributors to my blog: guest writers and photographers— your contributions have been incredible, thank you.  Collaboration is a wonderful thing.  The biggest milestone for me this year, was the privilege to be published in Mission Blue’s Ocean Stories.  It was an absolute honor. I look forward to writing new posts.  I hope that you will enjoy reading future articles. Here are the Top 5 Blog Posts of 2016 (Please click the links below to read the full article.)   1. The Cayman Islands: A Haven for Sharks & Rays  This article was …

The Cayman Islands: A Haven for Sharks & Rays

Photo Credit: Ellen Cuylaerts The Cayman Islands has built its name and reputation primarily on being a renowned diving destination.  Pioneers in our local diving community over the last few decades contributed to building our diving industry into the premier operation that it is today.  They recognized the exquisite beauty our underwater landscape had to offer and have since then made it accessible for locals and tourists to recreationally experience and explore the beauty that lies below the surface for themselves.  With a desire to showcase our natural resources comes with a commitment to preserve them.  Our duty towards conservation for both land and the ocean is beneficial not just from an environmental perspective but also an economic one.  Our tourism industry is strongly tied to our island’s natural resources.  Ergo, an obvious reason to ensure that our natural resources are protected.  Last year on Earth Day (2015), the Cayman Islands officially became a Sharks and Rays Sanctuary.  The sanctuary expands across all three islands.  This is a positive step towards ecotourism as many tourists …