“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the places and moments that take our breath away.” – Mark Twain, Cheryl Patterson’s favorite quote

Cheryl Patterson, saving sharks, ocean activist, sustainable seafood, sustainable travel, sustainable scuba diving“We started Good Will Diving as a non-profit company that stresses sustainability and giving back. More and more people want to be involved in giving back. On trips to Fiji I noticed that many Fijian villagers were unable to see properly and did not have access to eye care or glasses. So Eyes for Fiji was created to get tourists going to Fiji to throw a pair or two of eyeglasses into their luggage and take them to Fiji. Now we collect glasses at trade shows and through dive shops for distribution.”

 

Be an ocean activist by making sustainable choices every day

 

Cheryl Patterson’s company also supports The Pledge for Saving Sharks, a non-profit organization. “People can get distracted by how big the world’s problems are … we are trying to encourage the little changes that people can do that will add up and snowball into something larger.” She recommends being an ocean activist by making sustainable choices every day. For example, educate restaurant chefs to serve sustainable seafood and never serve shark fin soup, “telling them that if they did, you will not eat in their establishments. Another strategy is to let airlines know that if they ship shark fins, you will take your business to another airline.” For dive operators “educate divers coming out of their diving classes in coral reef conservation. This can be as simple as reminding divers to watch where their fins are, buoyancy control and being aware of potential damage to the coral reef.” Make scuba diving into sustainable diving and in the process help save the ocean.

 

When traveling “blend sustainable travel and responsible travel”

 

Patterson suggests that when visiting a foreign country, be respectful to that culture and blend sustainable travel and responsible travel, “small efforts go a long way like being careful of bringing plastic packaging to island destinations where they do not have adequate recycling available.”

“To choose dive resorts and live-a-boards that are sustainable, consumers must do their homework. Look for Green Tourism Certifications and PADI’s Green Star Award for PADI Resorts is a good beginning. Patterson believes divers will be willing to pay more for sustainable live-a-boards and resorts if they understand what to expect. The travel provider can stress the benefits of having a richer experience with the cultures that they are visiting and protecting the environment at the same time.”

“I have seen what happens to resorts that do not take action,” says Patterson,” and I have seen resorts that are thriving because of actions that have been taken.”

Cheryl was born and raised in London, England, and has been an avid traveler since the age of 8. During her school years, she traveled extensively throughout Europe and the Mediterranean and her early passion for travel romanced her into earning a degree in Travel & Tourism at age 18. She began scuba diving in 2007 and went on to become an instructor in order to share her love for diving with others.

 

Above and below and everywhere in between, there is an untold story to share with the planet.

 

Cheryl recognized a large gap in the dive travel industry when it came to providing full customer service and an honest and quality product to scuba enthusiasts. In response, she combined her two passions and in 2004, Deep Blue Adventures, her highly successful dive travel company, was created. Cheryl’s deep love for the sport fuels her goal to show that above and below and everywhere in between, there is an untold story to share with the planet.

Join us and hear Cheryl’s entire interview at Blue Ocean Summit 2014: Cheryl Patterson See her Deep Blue Adventures website for eco-friendly travel tips. Click here to learn about the Global Sustainable Tourism Council and  read the article To Make Tourism Count for local communities. If you would like to read the reviews on Cheryl Dodds book Sustainable Tourism in Island Destinations visit the Store where you can both support your Blue Ocean community, order the book and also see reviews for other ocean books and films.

Steve Weaver passionately believes that retailers are the backbone of the dive industry. He also believes that it is critically important for retailers to work together not only with each other but with the other stakeholders in the industry in order to help business grow for all. Weaver’s travel company is Dream Weaver Travel and he has been organizing trips for 31 years.

To find out more about Steve and what he is doing read his article “It’s Not Easy Being Green” at Ocean Profiles: Steve Weaver