Join me in the cold, dark, life-sustaining NE Pacific Ocean to discover the great beauty, mystery and fragility hidden there.

Posts from the ‘Positive Action’ category

We are the environment . . .

Below, please see a collection of my images and texts I have been posting as “#OceanVoice”.

At this critical time of decision-making, they are directed at increasing hope; awareness of our connection to the environment; and positive action for the sake of greater health and happiness

Hoping they thoughts resound with you.

From the depths  . . .

It is such a limitation to think, and feel, and speak in a way that this is somehow about something outside ourselves . . . saving “the environment.” We are the environment. It’s not about saving something outside ourselves . . . whales, wetlands, trees, fish. It’s about choices that benefit ourselves and future generations, providing the greatest chances for health and happiness. It’s about children. That's what all these photos and words are about here on "The Marine Detective" folks. Inspiration. Connection. Understanding our capacity for positive change. Caring More. Consuming Less. Voting for the future. And, knowing our place IN the environment. ©2015 Jackie Hildering; #OceanVoice; www.TheMarineDetective.ca

©2015 Jackie Hildering; #OceanVoice.

Caption for the above image: It is such a limitation to think, and feel, and speak in a way that this is somehow about something outside ourselves . . . saving “the environment.” We are the environment. It’s not about saving something outside ourselves . . . whales, wetlands, trees, fish. It’s about choices that benefit ourselves and future generations, providing the greatest chances for health and happiness. It’s about children. That’s what all these photos and words are about here on “The Marine Detective” folks. Inspiration. Connection. Understanding our capacity for positive change. Caring More. Consuming Less. Voting for the future. And, knowing our place IN the environment.

Vote as if you can feel the warmth of your grandchild's hand in yours. Spencer Wilson meets an Ochre Star. As so many here are aware, it is a critical time of decision-making. In this #OceanVoice album, I will share memes directed at increasing hope; awareness of our connection to the environment; and positive action for the sake of greater health and happiness. ©2015 Jackie Hildering; #OceanVoice; www.TheMarineDetective.ca

©2015 Jackie Hildering; #OceanVoice.

Caption for above image: Vote as if you can feel the warmth of your grandchild’s hand in yours. Spencer Wilson meets an Ochre Star.

Yes, I'm going there. It is a critical time of decision-making. Those that have the power now use fear as a blunt tool to perpetuate false dichotomies like jobs vs. the environment / social problems vs. environmental problems. "Saving our planet, lifting people out of poverty, advancing economic growth . . . these are one and the same fight . . . Solutions to one problem must be solutions for all." What a wonderful world it would be if more would connect the dots between climate change, global health, food security, sustainable employment, children’s safety, and gender equality*. We have tremendous potential for positive change when fear is replaced with knowledge and empowerment. It is an essential time to reach out - reducing fear; connecting the dots; creating positive change. ©2015 Jackie Hildering; #OceanVoice; www.TheMarineDetective.ca

©2015 Jackie Hildering; #OceanVoice

Caption for above image: Yes, I’m going there. It is a critical time of decision-making. Those that have the power now use fear as a blunt tool to perpetuate false dichotomies like jobs vs. the environment / social problems vs. environmental problems. “Saving our planet, lifting people out of poverty, advancing economic growth . . . these are one and the same fight . . . solutions to one problem must be solutions for all.” What a wonderful world it would be if more would connect the dots between climate change, global health, food security, sustainable employment, children’s safety, and gender equality*. We have tremendous potential for positive change when fear is replaced with knowledge and empowerment. It is an essential time to reach out – reducing fear; connecting the dots; creating positive change.

Fear . . . such a limiting factor to positive change. A lesson learned from Killer Whales - how wrong we can be but how quickly we can change when fear and misunderstanding are replaced by knowledge and connection. Yes, fear sometimes saves lives but too often: Fear masks truth. Fear chokes potential. Fear makes us automatons, marching on, ignoring the reality around us. Fear walks hand-in-hand with disempowerment, the same neurons firing, limiting the way we look at the world and ourselves. And above all, FEAR LOATHES CHANGE. Thereby, fear is such a powerful tool to be used by those who benefit from things remaining the same. #OceanVoice - thoughts about hope, our connection to the environment, and positive action for the sake of greater health and happiness. ©2015 Jackie Hildering; #OceanVoice; www.TheMarineDetective.ca

©2015 Jackie Hildering; #OceanVoice

Caption for above image: Fear . . . such a limiting factor to positive change. A lesson learned from Killer Whales – how wrong we can be but how quickly we can change when fear and misunderstanding are replaced by knowledge and connection. Yes, fear sometimes saves lives but too often: Fear masks truth. Fear chokes potential. Fear makes us automatons, marching on, ignoring the reality around us. Fear walks hand-in-hand with disempowerment, the same neurons firing, limiting the way we look at the world and ourselves. And above all, fear loathes change. Thereby, fear is such a powerful tool to be used by those who benefit from things remaining the same. #OceanVoice – thoughts about hope, our connection to the environment, and positive action for the sake of greater health and happiness.

When the Ocean erupts, revealing one of her giants (Ripple the female Humpback Whale breaching; BCX1063). It's an opportunity to be awash in wonder, humility, connection, and gratitude. We all depend on the Ocean and where we go from here depends upon knowing while we are so small, our value systems and daily actions have such big impacts. How we consume; how we vote; how much we recognize our great capacity for positive change and how fear of change limits this . . . it's enough to bring giants back from the brink AND increase human happiness. ©2015 Jackie Hildering; #OceanVoice; www.TheMarineDetective.ca

©2015 Jackie Hildering; #OceanVoice

Caption for above image: When the Ocean erupts, revealing one of her giants (Ripple the female Humpback Whale breaching; BCX1063). It’s an opportunity to be awash in wonder, humility, connection, and gratitude. We all depend on the Ocean and where we go from here depends upon knowing while we are so small, our value systems and daily actions have such big impacts. How we consume; how we vote; how much we recognize our great capacity for positive change and how fear of change limits this . . . it’s enough to bring giants back from the brink AND increase human happiness.

Vitamin O. Where are you as you read this? Are you far from the Ocean's shore or feeling her waves below your feet? It doesn't matter. We are ALL part Ocean from the oxygen in our lungs (50%+); to the fluid in our veins; and many of the nutrients that build us. Our connection to the Ocean is the great common denominator of life on this blue planet. Healing, climate regulating, carbon dioxide buffering . . . life sustaining. Share the Vitamin, especially to our friends further inland? Increased awareness of the importance of the Ocean and celebrating our connection to it . . . why, it could change the world. Acknowledging how little we know, inspired by the mystery and beauty; embracing the appropriate humility and precaution in our daily actions . . . caring more, consuming less, voting for the future . . . . knowing the vital importance of Vitamin O. ©2015 Jackie Hildering; #OceanVoice; www.TheMarineDetective.ca

©2015 Jackie Hildering; #OceanVoice

Caption for above image: Vitamin O. Where are you as you read this? Are you far from the Ocean’s shore or feeling her waves below your feet? It doesn’t matter. We are ALL part Ocean from the oxygen in our lungs (50%+); to the fluid in our veins; and many of the nutrients that build us. Our connection to the Ocean is the great common denominator of life on this blue planet. Healing, climate regulating, carbon dioxide buffering . . . life sustaining.  Acknowledging how little we know, inspired by the mystery and beauty; embracing the appropriate humility and precaution in our daily actions . . . caring more, consuming less, voting for the future . . . . knowing the vital importance of Vitamin O.

Go WILD This Christmas – Create Hope, Not Garbage

A39 aka "Blackney" from the A30 matriline of fish-eating "northern resident" killer whales. Photo: Hildering

Go WILD, really WILD this Christmas – but not in raging consumer gluttony; not in garbage-creating obscenity; not in a way that leaves you hollow; and not by extensively impacting both your and the earth’s resources.

I think few will disagree that ours is a society gone mad with consumerism. We are relentlessly and oh-so-cunningly pummeled with messaging that we will be happier, more loved, sexier and perceived to be more successful if we purchase this item, and this one, and . . . this one!

But, there are powerful rays of hope above the landfill. More and more of us recoil at the consumerism, realizing its true cost. There appears to be a powerful societal wave moving us back to simplicity, peace and quality of experience where it’s not about the having . . . it’s about the holding.

As part of this shift, if gifts are to be given, we strive for them to be meaningful; where value is not measured in dollars but in societal/ecological benefit.

Below, I share five WILD ideas for gifts that go deep, benefitting marine research and conservation in British Columbia.

Note that there are of course so many more good causes than those I list below. What has guided my selection is that I have a direct connection to (and resulting depth of knowledge about) the environmental non-governmental organizations listed below.

1.  OrcaLab
Click here to join the “OrcaLab 100” – one hundred people committing to a monthly donation (be it ever so small) so that the OrcaLab can count on a steady stream of support. You symbolically represent a “northern resident” A Clan whale and receive a personalized write-up of the whale with the whale’s photo; notification of when the whale is first sighted back in the area; and access to an exclusive FaceBook OL100 supporters’ page.
For more than 40 years, Dr. Paul Spong and Helena Symonds (recently joined by Leah Robinson) have served as the watch-keepers/guardians of the whales of the Blackfish Sound /Johnstone Strait area. From the remote Orca Lab, they acoustically monitor the area year-round, 24 hours a day. They record any whale calls, attempt to correlate whale vocals with behaviour and create public engagement and awareness by broadcasting these calls on-line. They also advocate so powerfully to end whaling and having killer whales in captivity. Their work has only become more intense over the last years since, in addition to recording killer whale calls, now humpbacks are vocalizing in the area! Click the image below for a sample of humpback song recorded by the OrcaLab on October 23, 2011.  Click here for a history of the OrcaLab. 

2.  The Wild Killer Whale Adoption Programme (KWAP)
Click here to symbolically adopt one of BC’s killer whales and support the wild killer whale research listed here. All 4 discrete populations of killer whales in British Columbia’s waters are in trouble and hence, there is an acute need for further research. Government funded research is, not surprisingly, very limited.
You can adopt a whale from the birth year of the recipient for an extra personal touch. The gift package includes:  A picture of the whale with its life story; a certificate that tells you’re wonderful; an annual research update; a CD with killer whale vocals and the commentary of leading acoustics researcher, Dr. John Ford and – a cloth bag that can be used over and over again, for further earth-friendly joy. 

3.  The SOS Marine Conservation Foundation (Save Our Salmon / SOS)
Click here to help protect B.C.’s wild salmon stocks and the marine environment from the negative impacts of open net-cage salmon farms and establish B.C. as a leader in creating a globally renowned, stable and viable aquaculture industry.  Include the name and address of the honoree and they will be sent a card letting them know about the donation you’ve made in their name.
SOS is partnered with the ‘Namgis First Nation to build Canada’s first land-based Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) Atlantic salmon farm. This is know as the “K’udas Project” and is 100% ‘Namgis owned.

4. The Marine Education and Research Society (MERS)
Click here to make a donation to MERS and you support the local humpback and minke whale research with which I am directly involved. Include the name and email address of the person you are honoring with the donation and they will be sent an email informing them of how you have helped MERS’ research and education efforts and how invalable this support is to us.

5. The Whale Interpretive Society (WIC)
Click here to adopt a transient killer whale bone so that T44’s skeleton can be put together  (articulated) for the purposes of education.

Fish Forever – The Wisdom of a Nine-Year-Old

Nature gave us sockeye salmon this year. A red-scaled, bounding life source, some 34 million fish strong.

This has led to human voices shouting out in all from gratitude to greed; from delight to denial.

Predictably, sadly, there have been far too many who have been at the “greedy denial” end of the spectrum. I will not tire you with that here though.

I want to fish out two voices of sanity from the ocean of opinions. One voice is that of reporter Stephen Hume from the Vancouver Sun. The other is nine-year-old Avery Walker who I am privileged to have as a member of my Northern Vancouver Island Young Naturalists’ Club.

Stephen Hume, award-winning author,  in The Vancouver Sun: “Columnists who apparently wouldn’t know the difference between a sockeye and a sculpin cluck and scold in a Toronto newspaper. One enthusiastically advances the argument that we should whack 30 million of the 34 million returning salmon . . . . . Instead of permitting a lust for instant gratification to derail a natural process for rebuilding small stocks, now is the time for restraint, for harvest restraint is a critical investment in future abundance. So enjoy your sockeye. Be grateful for this gift from nature. But don’t let the gong show of greed sway us from good stewardship.”

Avery Walker - Salmon Superstar. Photo by Larry Walker and Anna Marchand.

Avery Walker, 9-year-old Young Naturalist, with his prize-winning submission to the Wild Salmon Circle’s “Spawning Ideas” contest: “I fish only with barbless hooks, I’ve taken all the treble hooks from the all the buzzbombs I have and replaced them with single barbless hooks. I don’t jig the fish, I fish the ones who bite. Sometimes this is really hard to do, because not all of my friends fish like this, and so they sometimes take home more fish than I do. I abide by the regulations about which salmon I can keep and which ones I can’t. I never go over my limit. Or keep undersized fish. Most of the time, I catch and release. I love to fish, and I want to be able to do it forever.”

Thank you Avery. Thank you Stephen. Thank you all who make choices that may allow us to have  . . . fish forever.

For insights into the need for precaution in managing the harvesting and threats to the Fraser River sockeye, please click here for information from “Save Our Salmon”.