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Mike Hirshfield

Chief Scientist and Strategy Officer

Washington, DC, USA


The Living Bay

As a kid, I spent my summers at Woods Hole up on Cape Cod, hanging out on the beach, catching fish and snorkeling. I love to kayak in the Chesapeake Bay. It’s got salt marsh with creeks all through it - it’s wonderful to be surrounded by land but still poking through the water. There’s a big pelican nesting ground you can paddle by, and you see turtles and tons of birds. I’ve seen dolphins, and once a very confused humpback whale. Sadly, I’ve never seen Chessie the manatee, who comes up to the Bay to visit every few years.

Extreme Snorkeling

My wife and I took a vacation to the Great Barrier Reef a few years ago. We were out on Heron Island, which is a spectacular place on one of the coral keys, and a typhoon came up. My wife told me that she was sitting in the restaurant with all these vacationers who were talking about how depressing the weather was. Then one of them looked out to the lagoon and asked, “Who’s that crazy person out there snorkeling in the middle of a typhoon?!” And it was me. I was already wet, so….