When asked what propelled me into activism, I only need think of my childhood. I would adopt the lonely kitten with crusty eyes, or the dog that shied to the back corner of their kennel. I was inspired to help those that couldn’t help themselves, to give them their best chance at living a happy, healthy life.
Five Caves Five Graves Dive Site, Wailua-Maui, Hawaii, January 2005
In January of 2005 I saw my first sea turtle when shore diving “five caves five graves” in Wailua-Maui, Hawaii. A dive master took this photo after this sea turtle literally tapped me on the shoulder, surprising me. This turtle stayed with me, swimming by my side for more than 10 minutes. It is an experience I will never forget.
Then, on my honeymoon in July 2006, my husband and I ventured as far East as possible on-foot from our resort on Kauai to watch the sunrise over the ocean. We found a vacant strip of beach, ocean side of the Lihue airport. Because this beach was just a small strip of sand strewn with lava rock (or “ah ah” in Hawaiian — for the sound you make after you step on it) and because the beach was not wide enough to bask on, it was not frequented or maintained by the tourism industry. It was littered with large balls of net that washed ashore from fishing boats, buoys made of plastic and styrofoam, dozens of left flip-flops (no right flip-flops) and mounds of plastic containers. All of this debris lay in the midst of tide pools where the ocean’s various juvenile fish populations mature, and where, sea turtles lay their eggs. We noticed a few nests that had already hatched, and several that had not.
If you want to learn more about the mystery of the deep, and if you’re considering donating to a cause that helps to preserve our oceans, please visit the Ocean Conservancy website at: www.oceanconservancy.org. And remember, if the ocean is healthy, so too are the species within it — and without a healthy ocean, this blue planet will struggle to continue supporting life.
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