Our oceans are incredible. Beneath the waves lies the birthplace of life itself and home of the highest levels of biodiversity on the planet. We have only just begun to explore what lies within this endless blue and discoveries are being made daily. Unfortunately, our oceans are in danger.

Entire ecosystems, including coral reefs, face collapse. Many species have become threatened with extinction. The oceanic white tip shark, for example, was once thought to be the most prolific animal in the ocean, but now, just over 50 years since this observation was made, their populations have declined to less than 93% of what they once were. What makes this all so disastrous, is that this ‘illness’ which has infected our seas, is due largely to human activity. However, even with all of this devastation, still lies hope. It’s not too late to change.

They say “there is another world, but it’s in this one;” and they are correct.

As you take that first stride off the boat platform into the waves and sink below the familiar surface, immediately you feel the overwhelming sensation that you have left the world which we call home and have entered into somewhere new and mysterious, yet alluring. To me, that’s one of the greatest treasures the ocean holds. It’s almost as if we become a child again, entering the world for the first time.

Everywhere we look yields discovery, gives rise to beauty and inflicts us with sense of wonder. From admiring the intricate beauty and dazzling colors of a reef community, to the indescribable sense of reverence and awe which builds within while in the presence of a fourteen foot tiger shark, there’s nothing on earth quite like it. I encourage everyone to take the plunge and experience the sea as diver or snorkeler, as I do believe that if we could all see beneath the surface and for a moment become a part of that enchanting expanse, there would be no battle to save the ocean.

Artwork also has the amazing ability to enkindle such emotions within individuals. I’m passionate about combining both my love for the sea and art to promote marine conservation, preserving these creatures and ecosystems for not only the future of my generation but for those to come. Artwork can provide an opportunity for those who may have never even seen the ocean, to form a physical and emotional connection with the sea, from which appreciation and inspiration arise.

I hope you will join me and take that first stride into the sea, to help preserve what is left of our world’s oceans today and ensure a better tomorrow.

I am very grateful to be a part of fantastic organizations such Blue Sphere Media and the Ocean Artists Society, which focus on using painting, photography, cinematography and all other forms of artwork to call attention to beauty and artistry found in nature.

I am also currently working with organizations such as The Shark Whisperer, and passionate individuals such as Jim Abernathy, focusing on the worldwide protection of sharks, which currently are facing tragic decline.

Although there is still much work to be done, every journey must begin with a single step. I hope you will join me and take that first stride into the sea, to help preserve what is left of our world’s oceans today and ensure a better tomorrow.