Conservation

Episode 81: Patrick Webster

Patrick Webster -- underwater photography, conservation through story telling

In episode 81 we speak with Patrick Webster, an incredible underwater photographer with an artistic flair for capturing ocean scenes within the Monterey Bay and beyond. Patrick takes us through his transition from underwater video to photography and the community of local photographers he has around him in the Monterey area. We hear how Patrick’s background with the UC Santa Cruz Marine Science program has influenced his photography and his focus on telling stories of the scenes and animals he photographs to inspire others. Patrick shares his perspective on developing social media content for the Monterey Bay Aquarium, a world leader in ocean education and conservation, and the importance of relating the ocean world to the everyday lives of people to help them understand and connect. We also hear about the amazing success story of Cabo Pulmo, a marine protected area near Cabo San Lucas, where Patrick has spent time photographing the amazing ocean life there.

Thanks for sharing Patrick’s ocean life with us. Be sure to check out photos and videos of Patrick on Instagram.

This Ocean Life Patrick Webster

Episode 77: Mellisa Altenburger

Mellisa Altenburger - living afloat in Bahamas, free diving, scuba, ocean protection

In episode 77 we hear stories from Mellisa Altenburger, a woman of the water who has spent the last 6 years in the Bahamas. Mel takes us through her journey from South Africa to the Bahamas where she crews on a 100-ft cruising yacht and found her passion for being underwater. We hear of Mel’s evolution with scuba and free diving, the wealth of wrecks and animals she regularly experiences in the Bahamas, and her amazing (and heart wrenching) story of working to save a green turtle who swallowed a fishing hook. Mel takes us through her strong passion for ocean conservation with trash cleanups, her work to capture the beauty of the Bahamian waters through underwater photography, and gives a great perspective on her love for the ocean — something we can all identify with.

Thanks for sharing Mel’s ocean life with us. Be sure to check out her amazing photos and videos on Instagram. Photo credit: Pia Oyarzun.

This Ocean Life Podcast Mellisa Altenburger

Episode 73: Dan Haifley

Dan Haifley -- ocean activism, preventing oil drilling, preserving the wild

In Episode 73 we speak with Dan Haifley, an ocean activist who has spent decades working to protect California waters. Dan takes us through the amazing story of battling oil companies in the 1980’s and 90’s to block their offshore oil drilling north of Santa Barbara, CA. We hear of the grass roots activism Dan was involved in with Save Our Shores where he worked closely with NOAA and local government agencies to designate the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, a 6,000+ square mile protected area along California’s coast. Dan talks about his interaction with Jack O’Neill leading into development of the Sea Odyssey program to educate and inspire school children on the ocean. Dan shares a lot of great perspective on citizen involvement to protect the ocean, the challenges we face today around conservation, and the amazing people he’s worked with over the years.

Thanks for sharing Dan’s ocean life with us. You can find pictures and video of him on Facebook , Oneill Sea Odyssey, and Save Our Shores.

This Ocean Life Podcast Dan Haifley

Episode 72: Josh Smith

Josh Smith - marine biology, kelp forest changes, scuba diving

In episode 72 we speak with Josh Smith, a marine biologist spending his time underwater in the kelp forests of California. Josh takes us through his research to understand the changes in kelp forests with a relatively recent explosion in sea urchin populations and the interactions of other animals like otters, abalone, and sea stars are involved. We hear about the day to day operations of doing research in the cold waters of Monterey Bay, the physical demands of daily scuba diving, and talk about how the loss of kelp forests and other changes to the ocean environment may be part of larger cycles that we humans just haven’t been around long enough to understand yet. Josh also shares some neat perspective on the importance of mentors, both in the water and on land, to help us pursue our calling. If you want more on marine biology in California waters, see a related episode with Steve Lonhart.

Thanks for sharing Josh’s ocean life with us. You can find pictures and video of him on InstagramFacebook and website.

This Ocean Life Podcast Josh SMith

Episode 71: Ginaia Kelly

Ginaia Kelly - ocean protection, volunteer, professional surfing

In Episode 71 we speak with Ginaia Kelly, a woman of the water who spends her days supporting ocean protection, volunteering to help those less fortunate, and pursuing her own passion in the water. Ginaia takes us through her work with the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation to raise awareness and support for ocean protection along the California coast. We hear of the dynamics behind supporting a designated marine sanctuary and the coordination role that Ginaia plays. Ginaia shares her stories of surfing in the waters of Santa Cruz, stand up paddle boarding with whales, and volunteering her time with Ride A Wave, getting disabled children into the surf, and volunteering with Operation Surf (getting veterans into the surf). Tons of great perspective on helping the ocean, helping others, and loving life in the water from Ginaia.

Thanks for sharing Ginaia’s ocean life with us. You can find pictures and video of her on Facebook and Monterey Bay Sanctuary Foundation website. Photos by Bob Island Kristin Heitzler.