Reflections of Rincon del Mar

It has been a few weeks since I returned to Monterey from a long summer spent in the mangrove forest of Rincon del Mar, Colombia. I took a risk by choosing to work on a rural first-of-its-kind conservation project for South America over a well vetted ‘big box’ agency or office job, and although it didn’t turn out how I had envisioned, I don’t regret my decision at all, especially after a few weeks of reflection. I set high expectations for myself and I wish I could say that I left Rincon with a pristine plastic-free mangrove and a thriving fishing community, but that is not the case. Instead, I received a strong dose of adversity and a taste of what it might actually take to protect our ocean and coastal resources worldwide, especially in all the areas so far away from the spotlight. In hindsight, this may have just been the most valuable experience possible – a “forward failure” some might say. It is with the utmost gratitude that I thank the Center for the Blue Economy and its donors for making this enriching opportunity possible, this summer was truly unforgettable and something that will forever inform my future work. Continue reading

How do we fix the way we fix things?

The study of science, no doubt, is of utmost importance. An understanding of the body of laws that govern our natural world, biological processes and ecological principles, in my opinion, is some of the foremost valuable knowledge that one can possess, and we must continue to develop this cognizance. When it comes to protecting human wellbeing from the irrefutable ills that we have caused ourselves and this planet however, which I will categorize under the catchall of climate change, at what point can we all agree that there is ample scientific evidence to catalyze tangible action? Or is it something more than that, a fear to face the problems of our future head on, an inability to see that such endeavors are now in pretty much everyone’s own self interest, or simply bystanders along for the ride at any rate? Perhaps it is an unwillingness to give up some petty comforts? Let me tell ya’ folks, things are about to become a whole lot less comfortable. Continue reading

Product of our Environment

It is said that the hardest part is getting there. After horrendous traffic in Los Angeles, expensive surprises after standing in an hour long queue at LAX, a restless redeye, and setting a personal best mile time through the Panama City Airport in order to make my connection, I would tend to agree. I arrived in Cartagena, Colombia, and my adventure had only just begun. I was greeted by smiling faces, and what must have been 100+ degree heat and 90% humidity.  Continue reading