After college, I did a lot of traveling, and my experiences as I journeyed from country to country opened up my eyes to the incredible beauty and magic in the world. But my ability to convey my sense of awe and wonder to my friends and family back home was sadly lacking, and I began to yearn for a better way to share the world as I saw it.
Thus the seed of photography was planted. But it wasn’t until a year or so later, when I got my first digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera, that the seed began to sprout. After that, all hope was lost: like a rampant vine, my love of photography grew and grew until it pretty much took over my life.
What do you value most in a photo?
What I value most in a photo is a good story, especially a story of a place I haven’t seen or heard of before. When I see a photo, I want to feel compelled to find out more about what’s happening in the image, where it was taken, how it came to be and what it makes me think about. A good photo should provoke something in the viewer. Continue reading »
Being a waterman who has owned boats ranging from catamarans to skiffs throughout my life, I always look forward to the Miami Boat Show — a premier event each year for those of us who love the salt life. Thanks to the generosity of the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), Ocean Conservancy was granted a complimentary booth at the show to share our GoodMate “Charting a Course to Clean Water” program made possible by the Brunswick Foundation.
It was inspiring to see the advancements and mindset of the boating and salt life community toward conservation on display throughout the show.
Balloons that soar eventually fall, with serious impacts for wildlife. Credit: Jerry Downs flickr stream
What’s more joyful than the sight of colorful balloons soaring up into the blue sky? People release festive bunches of them for lots of reasons, including to
celebrate birthdays, weddings and anniversaries
commemorate the passing of a loved one
inspire excitement at sporting events
announce the opening of a business or a super sales event
And sometimes they simply escape our grasp and go skyward.
What goes up must come down
Alas, balloons eventually fall back to Earth. That’s when the dark side of their existence begins. When balloons and their ribbons or strings fall or blow into the ocean and waterways, wildlife can suffer and die. Continue reading »
Love clean water? Pick up as you go to keep it that way! Credit: JohnCramerPhotography flickr user
With record temperatures coloring the weather map red across much of the country this summer, many of us are seeking relief on lakes, rivers, bays and the ocean. This past weekend, I beat the heat by floating blissfully down the Shenandoah River at Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia in an inner tube.
But right away I saw that my fellow tubers and I weren’t the only things being carried downstream. Around me bobbed all kinds of trash heading for the Potomac River, the Chesapeake Bay and eventually the Atlantic Ocean. Wind and ocean currents might even carry this trash to the North Pacific Gyre, or Pacific Garbage Patch.
My friend Steve and I made a fun and friendly competition of spotting and cleaning up Styrofoam cups, food wrappers, red-and-white fishing corks and even someone’s lost Croc. Continue reading »
This Fourth of July, celebrate your independence from unnecessary trash. Credit: flickr user Thomas Hawk
It’s time for the great American barbecues, picnics and parties that—along with patriotic music and fireworks—create great Independence Day memories.
Food, drink, décor and fireworks can mean a lot of trash—trash that often ends up in the ocean. That’s right, even if you live hundreds of miles from the ocean, trash from your area can travel down waterways to the sea, fouling the water and endangering wildlife.
How big is the problem? Last year during Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup, volunteers picked up enough food packaging alone for one person to get takeout breakfast, lunch and dinner for the next 858 years.
So if you’re planning to entertain on July 4th, think red, white and especially blue: Keep these tips in mind for a clean and healthy ocean: Continue reading »
After participating in Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup for five years, researching and writing three ocean trash reports and seeing hundreds of photos of wildlife sick or dying because of this major pollution problem, I know how badly trash can affect our ocean.
The dangers are stamped on my mind and heart, so I produce as little trash as possible, recycle whenever I can and – when I remember – take along reusable shopping bags, cups and carryout containers when I go out.
However, when I recently attended a conference out of town, I realized I hadn’t brought my trash ethic along on the trip. Continue reading »