Our next four speakers have addressed the theme “Change Comes Through Action” in very different ways, from being an environmental activist and filmmaker in Indonesia to creating dramatic sustainable change in your local community or dive business to being a philosopher of the Seas. Join us to hear these inspiring stories.



Turning Inspiration Into Real Action — Shawn Heinrichs

shawn-heinrichs, underwater photographer, ocean activist, marine conservation, ocean issues“If we can’t protect manta rays, the most magnificent and gentle of underwater creatures” says Shawn Heinrichs “then I don’t think we can protect anything. Mantas are like angels sent to us as one final test to see what we are willing to save,” 

This impassioned cry comes from an Emmy winning, cinematographer, underwater photographer and marine conservationist. Shawn Heinrichs decided to find out for himself in 2000 what was really happening to our ocean environment. What Heinrichs discovered was a “strip mining of the oceans” where he witnessed massive over fishing, and incredible cruelty in cutting the shells off live turtles and cutting fins off live sharks and manta rays. For Shawn it brought him to a profound awakening and became a call to action.

“It is not enough to get people to say when will they stop.” Shawn asks “We need to stop saying they and do it ourselves.

Discover more about the creation of an Ocean Activist and learn what you can do to make a difference, read Shawn’s “Turning Inspiration Into Real Action” at Ocean Profiles: Shawn Heinrichs




Boosting Your Bottom Line: Building Sustainability into the Dive Center Business Model — Sacha Greene Belter

sacha-greene-belter, sustainable dive business, sustainable diving, sustainable business practices“It’s been full of good challenges and a lot of passion,” says Sacha Belter Green of working with Graham Casden in creating a dive business with a difference. Ocean First Divers has a mission to emphasize sustainable diving and marine conservation. The first step, however, was to put the dive operation onto its own path of sustainable business practices and that started with the little things. Like turning out the lights.

“Then we took the big leap”…. We started with solar panels on the roof and a thermal system that helped to heat the pool water. We changed lighting fixtures.  “We installed a UV filter for the pool” Sasha says to “decrease the chemicals we use to treat the water.”

We also translated sustainable business practices to those operators that we partner with when planning our dive trips. We can now offer marine conservation and voluntourism programs that attract customers looking for eco-friendly alternatives.

Dive deeper into how you can transition to choosing sustainable practices, see Sacha’s: “Boosting Your Bottom Line: Building Sustainability into the Dive Center Business Model” at: Ocean Profiles: Sacha Greene Belter




Blue the Dive Industry: Working Within to Promote Conservation Below — Vicki Nichols Goldstein

vicki-nichols-goldstein, marine conservation, ocean ambassadors, bluing the dive, sustainable diving, save the ocean Vicki Nichols Goldstein has always been passionate about the ocean and her resume shows it. From clamming as a child on the New Jersey Coast; to earning a degree from Yale in marine policy; to conducting research in the Caribbean; to working for NOAA and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

Most recently Vicki has brought her ocean conservation experience to Boulder, Colorado. Vicki created the Ocean Ambassadors Certification Program and the Blue the Dive Industry campaign at the Colorado Ocean Coalition that she founded.  As Vicki appropriately puts it:

“We see the changes in the oceans and now we want a voice in protecting the oceans.”

To find out how you can become an Ocean Activist or learn to participate in the Ocean Ambassadors Program or find out what is going on now at the Colorado Ocean Coalition, read Vicki’s article “Blue the Dive Industry: Working Within to Promote Conservation Below” at: Ocean Profiles: Vicki Nichols Goldstein




Caught in the Same Net: The Ocean and Us — Dr. Carl Safina

“The question isn’t, “I’m just one person; what can I do?” Carl Safina explains ”Everyone who has ever lived has been one person. The question is what can you do? And who can you do it with? Who do you need? Who needs your help? Where will you start?”

carl safina, ocean activist, ocean author, marine conservationist, save the ocean, ocean change-maker, writerCarl Safina uses these inspiring words in his exploration of how the natural world and human dignity are intertwined. Carl’s many works explain not only the issues of today’s environment but also the ethics of sharing this moment in time with nature. Carl grew up on the ocean’s shore and those early experiences led to a life-time passion that has given a distinctly ocean flavor to many of his works. Safina began as a scientist, studying nature, defended it as an activist and transfixed readers with descriptions of his travels among coastal peoples and the creatures of the sea in his works of lyrical nonfiction. Ever the activist Carl states that the bottom line is  “But one doesn’t wait for a revolution – one becomes it”.

Safina has written nearly 200 scientific articles, 6 books and popular publications, including features in the National Geographic and New York Times. Song for the Blue Ocean, Carl’s first book, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. The John Burroughs Medal was awarded for Eye of the Albatross; while Voyage of the Turtle was a N.Y. Times Editors’ Choice, and The View From Lazy Point; A Natural Year in an Unnatural World was the winner of the 2012 Orion Book Award.

Carl has so much to offer so read his  “Caught in the Same Net: The Ocean and Us” at Ocean Profiles: Carl Safina