Rachel's Ocean Conservation project

Looking out at the ocean, everything seems fine, right? The waves are still crashing and the waters moving.. But sink below the surface and you will find just how devastatingly trashed our oceans are.

My name is Rachel and I'm a full-time student finishing my last year as a Marine Biology major. Living along the coast my whole life has sparked a growing interest about the ocean and all it encompasses. I'm currently residing in the Destin/Pensacola area along the Gulf of Mexico which is arguably one of the most diverse marine ecosystems, it is a protected National seashore that is home to 4 out of the 7 species of sea turtles in the world and other endangered species. Diving the reefs around this area alone has exposed me to the many threats that our oceans face..

And this is why the ocean and I seriously need your help

Your donations will allow me to accomplish two goals:

(1) Organize a mass underwater clean up
(2) Use creative outreach as a method to spread awareness

So, what does creative outreach entail, and what major issues are currently impacting our local marine ecosystems that I need your money to help fix? 

(1) Mass underwater cleanup
Yards and yards of fishing line are entangled at various dive spots that are home to a diverse marine ecosystem of sea turtles, dolphins, sharks, and many more. On my dives alone I have seen sharks dead and entangled in fishing line, I have personally saved numerous fish with their jaws ripping out from being stuck on hooks wedged in rocks. 

Your donations will allow me to get the resources I need to organize a team of scientific divers to assist me in this massive underwater clean up. While many projects are dedicated to beach clean ups they only touch the land. My goal is to clean up the ocean beneath the surface, money will go towards dive equipment, transportation, and a dive charter.

(2) Creative outreach
I am currently working on a project that is going to publicize the issue of marine mammals in captivity. This project is going to allow me to reach out to a wider audience to spread awareness about this serious problem in our society. Your donation will help me gain access to resources I need in order to make this project successful. 

Although this may only seem like a small step in the uphill battle of ocean conservation it is a necessary piece to the puzzle. It’s time to fix what we started, without the ocean there is no us. It is crucial that we come together and begin implementing these changes now. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
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Rachel Richardson 
Pensacola, FL