About our organization
As husband and wife biologists and photographers, we are passionate about saving marine life and making an impact. With our research and our travels, we try to spread awareness to anyone willing to listen about the struggles our oceans are facing as well as the amazing animals that need healthy oceans to thrive. We created this organization to focus on conservation, fund our ongoing research, and create products that help minimize single-use plastics and save our oceans.
Our research primarily focuses on studying the behavior, ecology, and biology of whales, sharks, and marine life as well as monitoring human interaction and its effects. Our greatest passion is teaching others about our research and these incredible animals, and inspiring new generations of ocean addicts. Whales and sharks often have negative misconceptions that go along with them – especially swimming with them – and we aim to help people better understand and appreciate these animals. We love introducing people to the ocean and to sharks and whales. We believe experiencing these animals first hand in the wild in their natural environment creates a life-long passion and drive to protect them and the oceans they live in. (Ask us about joining us on our research/diving trips!)
Our hope is to spread the word through our research and educational outreach about the importance of protecting marine life, and minimizing our plastic consumption. We can make a huge difference in changing the perspectives of people and helping them better understand the importance of protecting what lies beneath the ocean's surface. If everyone stands up and takes action, even small actions to be more environmentally conscious, it will have a huge impact.
Our oceans are becoming toxic and full of trash at an alarming rate. Whales, dolphins, turtles, fish, and sharks are dying because they are consuming plastic bags and plastic particles as well as other trash. Some animals have literally starved to death because plastic bags were blocking their internal organs, making it impossible for them to digest. Every single piece of plastic ever created is still around. It doesn’t decompose, and even if it breaks down, it doesn’t get digested once it’s consumed. It is even more apparent how, as a population, we are mistreating single-use plastics: we buy coffee and drinks daily in plastic cups, and usually those drinks come with plastic straws. Almost any product purchased comes wrapped in plastic, or is sent off in a plastic bag. And as soon as these products fulfill their purpose, they are immediately discarded.
The US alone uses over 100 billion plastic bags annually, and these bags cause over 100,000 sea turtle and marine animal deaths when mistaken for food (http://www.rensselaercounty.org) These single-use products serve a momentary convenience, and have everlasting consequences. We can easily live without all of these products, yet these are some of the most common pieces of trash found floating in the ocean, and even worse, in the stomachs of animals they have killed.
I came up with our bracelets and our organization one day after browsing through social media. In a matter of a few posts, I saw photos of balloon releases honoring loved ones (hundreds of balloons end up littering the environment and killing many birds and turtles), gender reveals using glitter bombs (microplastic particles that are nearly impossible to get out of the environment and water system), and a barrage of take-out foods (all in plastic containers) and coffee beverages (complete with plastic cups, plastic lids, and plastic straws). It really hit me that little decisions we make every day are having a huge impact on our environment, and most people probably don't even realize. I really think living in the Midwest, we have this preconceived notion that "what we do, doesn't matter" because we're so far from the ocean. It's easy to get caught up in everyday conveniences, and not take notice of the plastic problem. And we want to change that.
Once you swim in the crystal clear ocean waters, a seemingly pristine environment, and you’re surrounded by styrofoam, plastic bags, plastic straws, and plastic debris, it really makes you realize just how big of a negative impact we are having on our environment. There are now literally floating "garbage patches" in the middle of our oceans, and the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is 2x the size of Texas! (for more info, visit: theoceancleanup.com) Hopefully this organization will encourage as many people as possible to avoid single-use plastics at all costs. We have to be the change we wish to see in our world. Our oceans and their future depend on our actions.
We have a variety of products and alternatives to help with the plastic problem.