Question: What is your earliest memory of the ocean?

Answer : My grandfather taught to me to scuba dive when I was seven. I was a little bit nervous at first and then I got into it at about 30 feet when I was engulfed in this school of tiny silver fish and I saw the sunlight filter through the surface onto their little bodies as they swam in perfect unison— I’ll never forget it.

"We need to understand that all the water that leaves our life ends up in the ocean in some way."

Q: What about the ocean piques your attention?

A: I’m particularly interested in the interconnectivity between our water resources. In the 60 years since my grandfather started scuba diving and taking this inventory, we’ve learned so much about what is in our oceans and why they’re important to us, yet there are still so many concerns. What I’ve noticed through my travels is how quickly we’re degrading, overfishing and polluting them.

Q: What can the individual do to help?

A: For starters, understanding how connected our water resources are. We may not live on the coast but we always live on a waterfront and that may be the drain in our sink but we need to understand that all the water that leaves our life ends up in the ocean in some way.

Being mindful of what we put down the drain, how we clean our homes, what we put on our gardens and making changes can have a huge impact. Choosing not to eat endangered species and trying to eat local, sustainably-fished seafood is incredibly important.

My grandfather used to say: “we protect what we love and we love what we know,” so going out to know, love and protect the ocean is important. Support conservation legislation and organizations — like Oceana— that are focused on the oceans.