From a bus encounter to diving ever after
As individuals, we have the opportunity - and the responsibility - to act as the voice of all marine species that don’t have the power to express themselves.
taken from Alana's Instagram: @alanagabriella
This year, W4O has partnered with the Divers Alert Network to advocate for preserving the health of the oceans. We will be joining their European Sustainable Tour this summer alongside Alana Alvarez, one of the ambassadors of DAN Europe. She took the time to answer our questions about herself and her journey to get to where she is now. Meet Alana – passionate, committed and inspiring.
The Impatient Optimist
Read time: 10 minutes
Kind, smart and funny, Anna doesn't let anything get in her way. Originally destined for the arts, Anna couldn't resist the pull of activism and left dreams of Broadway aside to protect the sea. Born and raised in the Philippines, her passion for the ocean is fuelled by her love for the archipelago. In her view, environmental conservation needs to be a part of everyone's lifestyle. It should not only be the preoccupation of NGOs, scientists and government alone but should be accessible, empowering and citizen-led. This approach has led her work to be recognised and awarded more than once. She co-founded 'Save Philippine Sea' (SPS), a non-for-profit organisation that works on shark conservation, community empowerment, and environmental education. In 2012, the Future for Nature award enabled her to start working on establishing the first sharks and rays sanctuary in the Philippines. In addition, Anna is a researcher and consultant on circular economy and waste management at the United Nations Development Program Philippines (UNDP) and she also advises the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as the partnerships and engagement specialist for their Healthy Oceans program. As a communicator, storyteller and community leader, Anna has carved her place in the field of conservation.
Meet the founder of Sharks4kids
Read time: 10 Minutes
Jillian Morris is one of these ocean enthusiasts that share an epic love story with the water: from love at first sight to happily ever after. The second you see her you can tell she is a kind, inspiring and luminous person. Growing up in a small town near a lake in Maine, US, she spent a lot of time snorkelling and cultivating a curiosity for marine biology. Aged eight, she sees her first shark and thinks “This is it! I want to be in the ocean, I want to learn more, I want to study them”. Later, she will study marine biology and shark conservation, become a certified scuba instructor and work as an underwater photographer and videographer. Presently, she lives with her husband in Bimini, Bahamas with “sharks in our backyard”. She is the founder and president of Sharks4Kids, an organisation that provides free shark education resources and materials to foster a new generation of ocean advocates. Sharks4Kids’ webinars and online classes have reached over 128, 000 children all over the world and a month ago they published their second book “Shark Super Powers” at Uclan Publishing.
Zoe Winck is the communications volunteer for Women4oceans. With a degree in Politics, they are passionate about sustainability transitions and always on the look out for the best thrift spot.