Weâ€™ve gathered hundreds of nominations for this yearâ€™s Ocean Heroes Contest and over the next 6 days, Oceanaâ€™s Finalist Selection Committee will have the difficult task of choosing six Adult and six Junior Finalists. They will be announced on June 27 and the rest is in your hands â€“ youâ€™ll vote to decide who will be the 2012 Ocean Heroes.
In the meantime, Iâ€™d like to use this break in the action to recognize our two primary sponsors for the Ocean Heroes Contest â€“ Nautica and Revo Sunglasses. When the recovery of the worldâ€™s oceans is your primary mission, itâ€™s good to have allies who are willing to put substantial capital and resources towards that mission.
Iâ€™ll have more to write about Nautica in the coming weeks, but letâ€™s start with Revo, a partner since 2011. Revoâ€™s support for Oceana begins with our habitat protection campaigns, as the official eyewear partner of our expedition work and extends to the Ocean Heroes Awards, which â€“ as you know â€“ is a program aimed at highlighting and celebrating the achievements of concerned activists, researchers, educators, rehabilitators, conservationists and just about anyone else who pours their heart into the protection of our oceans.
This concept â€“honoring real heroes â€“ is mirrored by Revoâ€™s own choices for their brand ambassadors. Theyâ€™re not superstar athletes or famous musicians, but artists, environmentalists and adventurers, like mountain climber Jimmy Chin, explorer Sebastian Copeland and ocean activist Alexandra Cousteau. Coincidentally, Alexandra recently joined Oceana as a Scientific Advisor.
Just last month, Alexandra joined our expedition in the Baltic Sea to help its crew explore the Balticâ€™s brackish waters and collect data that will assist Oceana in conservation and fisheries management proposals. Because of her association with Oceana, you wonâ€™t find Alexandra listed among the finalists for the Ocean Heroes Awards next Wednesday, but you will find 6 adults and 6 young people whose spirit, dedication and energy make them, like Alexandra, valuable artillery in the fight to the protect the worldâ€™s oceans.
Members of our Baltic Expedition crew have been diving in the waters around Finland's Ă…land Islands. Even in the shallow waters pictured here, the poor visibility felt "like diving at night," according to diver and deck coordinator JesĂşs Molino. In this water, it would be hard to see your hand sticking out in front of your face.
Even close to the shore, the water reached depths of up to 100 meters. The crew sent in remote operated vehicles (ROVs) to survey the seabed in these deep waters before heading in themselves.
The divers braved dark, icy waters to film the marine life in the waters near these isolated islands. They found a variety of shrimps, eels, isopods, fish like the fourhorn sculpin, and even a submerged bird egg.
The crew has spent the last few days in the Ă…land Islands, and will set off on the next leg of their journey tonight. They will be sailing north for about 15 hours to reach their next working site in the Baltic Sea.