Don Walsh is little-known for travelling deeper into the ocean than any other human being. Over half a century ago, Walsh and his team plunged over 35,000 ft. into the Pacific Ocean. Since then, no one has travelled to such depths. In fact, “We know more about the back side of the moon than the bottom of the ocean,” says ocean explorer, submarine pilot, and marine biologist Dr. David Guggenheim. Despite knowing so little of life in the oceans, it is constantly plundered of life, habitat, and nourishment by unrelenting humans.
Dr. Guggenheim, or Dr. Ocean, spoke Monday night at Aquinas College with a lecture entitled, “The New Green is Blue: What the Oceans Are Telling Us.” His lecture is part of the 2012 Great Decisions Foreign Policy Discussion Series hosted by the World Affairs Council of West Michigan.
Dr. Ocean has spent his career traveling the world, studying oceans, and working to conserve them. For the last decade he has been working in Cuba documenting marine life. As opposed to other oceans that are decimated by pollution, seafood trollers, and overfishing, Cuban seas are still virtually untouched by modern fishing technology. Because of this, Los Jardines de la Reina (The Queen’s Gardens) as named by Christopher Columbus, has such an unknown level of health and diversity that Dr. Ocean himself felt like he was diving back in time.
75% of seafood in America is imported because we already ravished the seas around us. Seafood trollers, common seafaring vehicles used to catch seafood, wipe clean the ocean floor so that nothing survives. There is no plant life, no fish, nothing but sand. 40% of American streams drain into the Gulf of Mexico and these streams are polluted from common yard fertilizers, stormwater runoff, oil, trash, and other pollutants. Michigan’s Great Lakes suffer from many of these same ailments. Dr. Ocean utilizes effective techniques to conserve and restore marine life back into the seas.
Dr. Ocean is currently on a 50-States Expedition to teach about the oceans and their conservation. He is successfully raising awareness of oceans and fresh water conservation through lectures, research, and positive action.