This article presents four terrific speakers that address the issues of ocean education, sustainability and how to drive the conservation message in schools and dive programs. One speaker is reinventing what a National Aquarium should be while another reaches out to people worldwide with his conservation message. A third creates marine sustainability programs for scuba divers and our last is a marine biologist and tireless advocate for shark conservation. They all have important stories to share and tips that can help make dive and travel businesses sustainable and profitable.
We Protect What We Understand – Jean-Michel Cousteau
The “Cousteau” name is synonymous with a love for the ocean. Jacques Yves Cousteau’s legacy is today carried on by his son, Jean-Michel Cousteau. Jean believes that we can create a more sustainable world if we educate people to the plight of our marine environment. The younger generations, are the ones we need to reach for they will inherit the planet with its marine treasures but also its ocean issues. As Jean-Michel says: “[Kids] are the best ocean ambassadors and the best communicators.”
Jean-Michel,grew up aboard Calypso and Alcyone and with his famous father Jacques, explored the world’s oceans. Honoring this heritage, Jean-Michel in 1999 founded the Ocean Futures Society. Ocean Futures’ conservation and marine education programs, serve as a “Voice for the Ocean”, focusing on the bond between people and the sea and the necessity for wise environmental policies. Jean-Michel, as Ocean Future’s spokesman, is an impassioned diplomat for the marine environment, communicating both the plight and beauty of our blue ocean world.
Get your feet wet and dip into Jean-Michel’s article “We Protect What We Understand” at: Ocean Profiles: Jean-Michel Cousteau
A New Blue Print for the Future of Aquariums – John Racanelli
John Racanelli is the chief executive officer of the National Aquarium in Baltimore, and a passionate advocate for the ocean. John’s position enables him to pursue the Aquarium’s mission to inspire marine conservation and the sustainability of the world’s aquatic treasures.
“we exist to change the way humanity views and cares for the ocean that sustains us.”
John’s job is to ensure the success of one of the leading aquariums in the United States, but also to promote worldwide action in behalf of ocean conservation. As John sees it, this includes changing the fundamental way that the world views today’s ocean issues that affect our marine eco-systems.
Dive deeper into how John is reinventing the National Aquarium and its educational programs by reading his article “A New Blue Print for the Future of Aquariums” at: Ocean Profiles: John Racanelli
Shifting the Dive Certification Model – Doug McNeese
Doug recalls that back in the 80’s if you were in a scuba diving class there was “a lot of attention put on training…. making the customers very comfortable in the water .. controlling your bouyancy and how to use your fins.” Doug has seen the results caused by today’s scuba divers when they do not have this control. “they can do a lot of damage to the coral reef.”
“I guess everybody thought that the beauty of the oceans and the fish …would always be there. We took it for granted”
Doug feels that now we all understand that our coral reef environment is much more fragile and that it has become imperative for divers to do no harm while diving. One of Doug’s priorities is to insure that divers are better trained and that requires changing the dive certification process to allow for more time in the water. His sustainable diver programs enable divers to acquire better control of their equipment plus a deeper understanding of the environment that they will be diving in. “we have to be part of the solution and not part of the problem.”
Join Doug McNeese and fellow diver Sage Donald from Ocean First Divers to discover how effective their sustainable diver programs are in preparing students for diving on fragile coral reefs. Read their article “Shifting the Dive Certification Model” at Ocean Profiles: Doug McNeese and find out how you can turn a dive operation into a sustainable business.
Sustainable Standards for Profitable Dive Businesses – Dr. Mikki McComb Kobza
Dr. Mikki McComb Kobza shares her story about her work as a Sharkbiologist-turned-Executive Director at the Ocean First Institute and how Sustainable Travel International plays a role in the making of a sustainable dive industry?
Dr. Mikki wears a lot of hats and sometimes dive masks as she guides dive operators through her program to get their business onto a path of making sustainable choices.
“We humans are having a huge impact on the ocean” Mikki says, “we are changing the very fabric of the ocean through our actions” but there are things “that we can do to improve that situation and to be part of the solution.”
Find out how you can put your dive business on the path to sustainability, check out Mikki’s entire article “Sustainable Standards for Profitable Dive Businesses” at Ocean Profiles: Dr. Mikki McComb Kobza