My Ocean takes listeners on an adventure into the minds of some of the world’s true ocean champions and dives in to the remarkable ways they are protecting our blue planet. Each episode profiles a new personality, someone who has thrown convention to the wind and instead followed their own path to making a difference for the world’s oceans. Hosted by Alexis Brown.

Check back every other Thursday for a new episode or subscribe in iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, or Google Play Music.

June 07, 2018

Damian Foxall: a round-the-world race against plastic

Damian Foxall

Damian Foxall has sailed around the world not once, not twice, but six times with the Volvo Ocean Race. He’s a veteran of what’s known as the longest sport in the world and the pinnacle of ocean sailing, a nine-month adventure that visits six continents and crosses four oceans. He’s also a passionate environmentalist, working with the Volvo Ocean Race youth education program to teach students 6-12 about the ocean, sailing and plastic pollution. This year, some boats in the Race are helping to collect important data and sample of microplastics in the far-flung places they sail. It’s part of an ongoing effort by Damian and Volvo Ocean Race to reduce their plastic and carbon footprint while encouraging the cities and communities they visit to do the same.

Dive deeper: Learn more about the Volvo Ocean Race sustainability education program here.

Facebook Vestas 11th Hour Racing and Volvo Ocean Race

Twitter Vestas 11th Hour Racing and Volvo Ocean Race

Vestas 11th Hour Racing and Volvo Ocean Race

May 25, 2018

Captain Liz Clark: Navigating our plastic use

Captain Liz Clark

After a chance encounter at a cocktail party in California, Captain Liz Clark was gifted a sailboat by a retired professor. The only catch – if you can call it that – was that he wanted to live vicariously through her as she sailed around the world. She spent more than a decade sailing and surfing her way through Central America and the Pacific Islands and doing her best to live sustainably. In a new memoir, Swell, Liz details her ocean adventures and the life lessons she learned along the way. Through platforms like her book tour and her role as a Patagonia ambassador, she’s sharing not just the challenges she has seen from plastic pollution around the world but innovative ways to address it too.

Dive deeper: Order Liz’s book from Amazon or Patagonia.

Facebook Liz Clark and Changing Tides Foundation

Liz Clark and Changing Tides Foundation

May 10, 2018

The Hon. Catherine McKenna: When politics meets passion

Hon. Catherine McKenna

Two days into her role as Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, The Honourable Catherine McKenna was in Paris for the UN climate negotiations. She’s continued full-steam ahead since then to make Canada a leader in environmental policy, including changes to tackle ocean pollution. That includes a ban on microbeads, introducing an ambitious zero plastic waste charter for G7 countries and a record federal budget spend of CAD$1.3 billion on conservation (over five years). Clean waters are near and dear to her – as a mom and a lifelong swimmer who has been known to take a dip in the Arctic, she wants to ensure her children inherit a healthier planet.

Twitter Catherine McKenna and Environment and Climate Change Canada

Facebook Catherine McKenna and Environment and Climate Change Canada

Catherine McKenna and Environment and Climate Change Canada

Dive deeper:
Got an idea on how to tackle the plastic problem? Visit this link to share it

April 26, 2018

Dr. Claire Simeone: Zoognosis – spread the word

Dr. Claire Simeone
📷 Bill Hunnewell

Dr. Claire Simeone is the first-ever veterinarian in the TED Fellows program, a select group of rising stars in various fields from around the world. This year, she presented not only a big idea on the TED stage but also a new word: zoognosis. It refers to sharing knowledge about health between humans and animals.Case in point: Dr. Simeone discovered a gel used on humans during cardiovascular surgery can be mixed with antibiotics to treat eye ulcers in sea lions. Her work as a vet feeds into her desire to leave the world a better place for her son. She had a health scare right after he was born and it clarified for her that life is too short to not do work that really matters for our planet.

Dive deeper:

Twitter Dr. Claire Simeone and The Marine Mammal Center

Facebook Dr. Claire Simeone and The Marine Mammal Center

Dr. Claire Simeone and The Marine Mammal Center

April 12, 2018

Chef Ned Bell: Cooking up a seafood movement

Ned Bell

Chef Ned Bell has worked in noteworthy kitchens across Canada and regularly collaborates with other world-renowned culinary stars. Over the last 10 years he’s dedicated himself to one simple cause — sustainable seafood — in an effort to address the issue of overfishing. In 2016, he left a (very) comfortable job at the Four Seasons Hotel in Vancouver to become executive chef of the non-profit Ocean Wise seafood program, and his peers thought he was nuts. He once rode his bike across the country to raise awareness about sustainable seafood and says he wants to do it again. He’s a risk-taker and he knows it. Ultimately, though, he wants the real payoff to be healthier oceans.

Dive deeper:

Check out Chef Ned’s cookbook on Amazon.

Facebook Ocean Wise Life

Twitter Ned Bell and Ocean Wise Life

Ned Bell and Ocean Wise Life

March 29, 2018

Paul Nicklen and Cristina Mittermeier: In focus: photographers on a mission

Cristina Mittermeier

When Cristina Mittermeier once searched the term “conservation photography” all she found was info about how to preserve photos for museum display. Today, she and her partner Paul Nicklen are some of the most recognizable names in the field and are regular contributors to National Geographic – the magazine and Instagram feed. Together, they’ve amassed a social media following like few other photographers out there. They co-founded the organization SeaLegacy, whose mission is to create healthy and abundant oceans and they’re using their photographic prowess to tell critical stories about ocean life. Select music by Keian Sanjari.

Paul Nicklen

Dive deeper:
Check out the polar bear photos and video we talked about here.

Facebook SeaLegacy, Paul Nicklen and Cristina Mittermeier

SeaLegacy, Paul Nicklen and Cristina Mittermeier

Twitter SeaLegacy, Paul Nicklen and Cristina Mittermeier

March 15, 2018

David Katz: Paying a price for plastic

David Katz

One of the reasons plastic is such a popular material is that it’s cheap. It’s also a key reason for why it’s wreaking havoc on our planet and especially our oceans. We simply don’t value plastic as we should, according to David Katz, CEO of The Plastic Bank, and so much of it is single-use. This is more true in the world’s poorer countries than anywhere else, where there isn’t the proper infrastructure to recycle it. So he’s paying residents in those countries to collect it and then selling it to large companies that want to be more socially responsible with their plastic use. It’s an innovative business model – one that’s making not only an environmental impact but an economic one too.

Facebook The Plastic Bank
Twitter The Plastic Bank and David Katz
The Plastic Bank

March 1, 2018

Simon Watt: The curse of cuteness

Simon Watt

The blobfish has been described in a variety of ways, from ugly to depressed-looking to an “anthropomorphised piece of colon.” Biologist and comedian Simon Watt founded the Ugly Animal Preservation Society to lobby for the “blobby” – as he affectionately calls it – and other aesthetically challenged animals that are facing various threats. Our love for all things cute mean the more homely creatures are overlooked, even though the very thing that makes them so ugly is also often what makes them remarkable.

Dive deeper:
Check out Simon’s podcast, Level Up Human, here.

Facebook Ugly Animal Preservation Society and Simon Watt
Twitter Ugly Animal Preservation Society and Simon Watt

February 15, 2018

Jessica Schultz: Serving the oceans

Jess Schultz

How do you get from serving in Afghanistan to observing sea stars as they lose their limbs in B.C.’s Howe Sound? Just ask Jess Schultz. She’s a marine ecologist with Ocean Wise and has helped keep tabs on species old and new in North America’s southernmost fjord. Much of its wildlife disappeared after a copper mine fed waste into it for decades, and Jess is part of the team that’s helping revive this vital ecosystem. It’s all part of her drive to serve a purpose greater than herself, whether it’s her country or the ocean.

Dive deeper:

Click here to take a look at the Ocean Watch report on Howe Sound.

Twitter @EmeraldSeaJess

Karina Oliani: Diving in style

Karina Oliani
Photo Credit: Ale Socci

Our attention spans are shorter than ever so in order to get noticed, sometimes you have to do something that really makes a splash. Enter Karina Oliani, a Brazilian TV personality whose diving photos are the definition of “wow” factor. A doctor with a specialization in wilderness medicine, she has a thirst for adrenaline that has taken her up Everest (twice!) She’s also put on designer dresses and done a four-hour underwater photoshoot surrounded by sharks to raise awareness about humans illegally killing them. Next up: a photoshoot to take on plastic.

Dive deeper:
To see more of Karina’s incredible photos and videos, visit her website.

Twitter @KarinaOliani
Facebook Karina.Oliani

Dr. Wallace J. Nichols: Brain on water

J Nichols
Photo Credit: Jeff Lipsky

What is it about being near water that makes us so happy? Why do crashing waves have such a calming and meditative effect on our minds? Dr. Wallace J. Nichols is a marine biologist based in California. He’s a pioneer in studying the therapeutic effects of being on, above, under or near water and risked his reputation along the way because his ideas were so unconventional. J envisions a world where we might treat mental health not just with medicine but maybe a surf lesson too.

Dive deeper:
Check out J’s Indiegogo campaign for a documentary here.

Twitter @WallaceJNichols
Facebook @WallaceJNichols