The 2012 Great Decisions Foreign Policy Discussion Series
The lecture series will continue every Monday night at Aquinas College through February and March. Click here to view upcoming presenters.
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Don Walsh is little-known for traveling deeper into the ocean than any other human being. Over half a century ago, Walsh and his team plunged over 35,000 feet into the Pacific Ocean. Since then, no one has traveled 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 humans.
Dr. Guggenheim, also known as "Dr. Ocean," addressed the matter on Feb. 6 at Aquinas College with a lecture entitled, “The New Green is Blue: What the Oceans Are Telling Us.” His talk was 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, he said. 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.
Seventy-five percent of seafood in America is imported because we have already ravished the seas around us, said Guggenheim. 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. Forty percent 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. Guggenheim's work focuses on restoring marine life back into the seas.
Guggenheim is currently on a 50-state expedition to teach audiences about the oceans and conservation through lectures, research and positive action.
Freelance Journalist, Journalism and Communications Intern with the West Michigan Environmental Action Council