Daniel Kingsbury's Passing

It is with great sorrow that we share with you that The Jellyfish Project co-founder, Daniel Kingsbury (DK), passed away unexpectedly on Monday June 1st, 2015. He was our soul mate, our friend and our foundation. DK was a beautiful soul, whose passion, talents, kindness and dedication to the environment inspired us all. Words cannot express how he will be missed. Thank you for the out-pouring of support and concern. 

Among his many achievements, DK was an award-winning videographer, accomplished musician and respected environmentalist. Yet his greatest gift was his care for others and the planet; he held the entire world in his heart. Many people from all walks of life have shared their connections and memories of him with us. We invite you to continue to take time to read the tributes others have left on social media, such as the Tall Tree Music Festival's heart-felt tribute to Daniel and share some of your own treasured memories.

Always motivated to make the world and the lives of others better, DK was a warrior focused on positive actions. If you wish to honour Daniel's life and be a part of his legacy, please connect with us. Here are some potential ways you can be involved:

1) Create: Use your talents to support the environmental movement (write a song, paint a picture) and share it with us via social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

2) Engage: Volunteer with or donate to The Jellyfish Project 

3) Support Young Talent: Donate to Daniel's Music for Youth Endowment Fund 

4) Environment: Plant a tree, take a picture of you planting it and post it on social media using the hashtag #TreesForDaniel

5) Share: Listen to DK's music and share it with others. It was his final gift to the world. 

One of our family members wrote this final message, reflecting on Daniel's impact and we thought it was fitting.

"Life is change. Change plus love is growth. DK, you planted the seeds and it's on us to nurture your legacy and grow alongside it." 

We love you, DK.

With great sadness,

The Jellyfish Project Society Board

Go Diving Without Getting Wet: An Introduction to The Fish Eye Project

Submitted by Fish Eye Project

Have you ever wanted to go diving without getting wet? Do you want to see the unseen from the comfort of your computer or handheld device? Well, now you can.

Let's start with explaining exactly what Fish Eye Project is and what you can expect from our blog over time.

Photo by Scott Stevenson

For starters, Fish Eye Project is our nonprofit ocean education organization based out of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Who are we? We are a team of ocean enthusiasts with experience in education, marine exploration and conservation, international business, technology and live dive events. For more information about everyone involved, we encourage you to check out our bios.

But right now you're probably wondering what exactly it is that we do...

We connect people to the ocean in an engaging, entertaining, and educational way. How do we do it? That's a great question. First, we research interesting dive sites that our expert dive team can explore. Then, we host events and investigate those sites with our underwater web cameras, which we use to stream the dives live to the Internet so that people from all around the world can join us on our journey. But that's not all.

Because we stream our dives to the Internet on our Youtube Live Channel, not only can you watch us explore the depths of the ocean live from your computer or handheld device, but you can also ask questions using the chat box to learn about any of the creatures we come across. In addition to using the Youtube chat box, you can also engage with us through the social media outlets we use such as Facebook and Twitter; it's really easy, just post your questions using the hashtag #livedive and you can participate in the exploration from anywhere in the world.

You may be wondering: "Ok, but what's the point of asking questions if no one can answer them?" That's another great question, and we have an answer.

Photo by Scott Stevenson

Photo by Scott Stevenson

Our star diver, Valerie Mucciarelli, wears a mask that allows her to hear and speak from underwater. This means that while you watch Val and the rest of the dive team explore, she can communicate and answer your questions in real-time. And we receive lots of interest from viewers around the world (over 30 countries so far) who are also curious about what they are seeing; too many, in fact, for Val to answer on her own, so that's why she has some help. Our event commentators and co-founders of Fish Eye Project, Mike Irvine and Maeva Gauthier, facilitate and relay as many questions as possible directly to Val below the surface, so you might even get your inquiries answered from Val underwater.

Part of the Fish Eye Project also includes our Social Media Response Team that is made up of marine scientists and educators. Our SMRTeam also facilitate and help answer the countless number of online questions that we receive from our viewers during the live dives.

As you can probably tell, we love questions. Why do we love questions? Because your questions drive the explorations, which leads to discovery, and discovery leads to learning more about this wonderful world we call home. As Dr. Sylvia Earle once said:

"Knowing is the key to caring, and with caring there is hope that people will be motivated to take positive actions. They might not care even if they know, but they can't care if they are unaware."

Now that you have an idea about what we do, we can let you know what to expect from our blog at www.fisheyeproject.org. Over the coming weeks, months, and years you can expect to learn more about us as an organization; about our past and future live dive events; about some of the creatures we find during our dives, which will be highlighted in future Creature Feature posts; and so much more

Our mission is a life-long process, and we are excited to have you along for the journey, because when it comes to building an ocean-conscious global community focused on protecting the ocean we are stronger in numbers.

For now, watch Mike Irvine create history by successfully defending his Masters thesis live from underwater. Get ready to be Fish Eye'd!

The JFP Welcomes Our Newest Ally, GreenLearning Canada Foundation

The Jellyfish Project is excited to announce our new partnership with GreenLearning Canada Foundation!

"GreenLearning Canada Foundation envisions a generation of young Canadians who are empowered and inspired to create a sustainable and just world... and we're making it happen. Their team of dedicated professional educators believe in young people, their idealism and enthusiasm, and their ability to create positive change. Our mission is to empower teachers with the education tools they need to help students understand complex issues and to engage them in concrete action for a sustainable future.

Students building a solar oven

Students building a solar oven

The GreenLearning Canada Foundation provides teachers with free, online education programs about energy,  sustainability and the environment that empower students to create positive change for our evolving world. All programs meet provincial core curriculum for multiple grades and subjects.

Our eLearning programs are developed by experienced teachers of students grade 4 and up. They are complete with online and printable lesson plans, teacher's guides, video tutorials, assessment rubrics, and require no special software to use.

Dr. Dani

Dr. Dani

Better Teaching. Better Learning.
A Better Tomorrow.
Empower your students to create positive change. 
The best web-based teaching tools for an evolving world. 
Developed by teachers, for teachers. 
Easy to use and always FREE.

Nereida Marine Education

by Michelle Mech (Nereida Marine Education), January 26, 2015

The oceans are a huge part of my life and I care for them deeply.  For over four decades, I have spent substantial time on the oceans, cruising in 28-40 ft. sailboats with my husband and, for many years, also with our daughter.  I’ve travelled 30,000 nautical miles at sea as well as countless miles off the southwest coast of British Columbia in local waters nearer to our home on Salt Spring Island. 

Offshore cruising has enabled me to experience the magic of sailing downwind on gentle ocean swells under a starry night; witness the bountiful beauty and diversity of healthy coral reefs; and watch gray whales and sea turtles mating just off our boat, dolphins swim over to zigzag back and forth off our bow, and sea lions outlined by phosphorescence as they break the surface at night.  I have also witnessed bleached and dying coral reefs; unsustainable fishing practices, including fishing of endangered species like sea turtles and vital, reef-maintaining parrot fish and longlines at sea stretching in either direction beyond our visual horizons; and beaches strewn with plastic debris.  

Such cruising experiences have provided me with a perspective somewhat analogous to astronauts who have looked down at the Earth from outer space and seen how beautiful it is and how mankind is devastating it.  This has led me to work on many environmental issues over the years, extensively on climate change.  However, my love of the ocean and visits in recent years to Melaque, Mexico, where every day, the beaches were littered with plastic debris, has drawn me to focus my efforts on the oceans. 

Learning that a large percentage of plastic debris ends up in the oceans and is entangling many marine animals or is being ingested by marine life at every trophic level, along with images of albatross carcasses full of plastic debris, sea lions with necks embedded with fishing line or bands, and whales and sea turtles dead from ingestion of plastic, inspired me to want to educate people about the impacts of plastic debris.  Knowing also that many marine organisms are being threatened by other forms of marine pollution as well as ocean acidification and warming from climate change; unstainable fishing practices are decimating fish stocks and impacting other marine life; and marine scientists predict that on our current trajectory most reefs will be lost as effective, productive systems within a few decades, I felt that education on the other major threats to life in our oceans is also important. 

Our oceans make up 95% of all the space available to life. They provide many earth system functions including regulation of climate and the hydrological cycle, habitat for an immense diversity of organisms, transportation, abundant food, and half of our oxygen.  It is crucial that people understand that the oceans are our life support system and if we don’t protect them, we will not only engender the loss of substantial marine life, but also the loss of substantial human life.  As the latest International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO) report states, “the future of humanity and the future of the ocean are intertwined”.

One of the biggest challenges in tackling environmental issues is overcoming the lack of education and awareness and, in turn, the apathy that accompanies this.  I feel that it is vitally important that our youth in particular learn about these issues as it is their future that is primarily being threatened.  

Thus the Nereida project was born.  Its purpose is to provide an educational approach to healthier oceans for high school students, and also adults, and hopefully inspire actions towards oceans conservation.  The educational material on the Nereida website was developed in consultation with a very supportive high school superintendent and science teacher, as well as students from a variety of classes in both academic and technical high schools in Melaque.  Charles Moore, founder of Algalita Marine Research Foundation, also contributed to the material on plastics in the ocean. 

The educational material consists of a series of PowerPoint presentations (available as PDF files), which have been set up so that they contain all the information necessary to be presented by a teacher, or read by an individual, without prior knowledge of the subjects.  The presentations can be utilized individually or as a series.  They are available in both Spanish and English and are also currently being utilized in science classes at the high school on Salt Spring Island.  The presentation on plastics in the oceans is also being utilized by the Algalita Marine Research Foundation and has inspired the mayor of Melaque to initiate a comprehensive awareness and cleanup campaign in this seaside fishing/tourist community. 

One follow-up project, undertaken by Melaque students, was to write essays for local distribution.  Excerpts from these essays can be found on the Nereida website and some are included below.  They demonstrate clearly that knowledge does lead to understanding, caring, and concern. 

As Diana Esmeralda Flores Bivian states, “I wonder how is it possible that we human beings are capable of destroying things so nice and beautiful as are the oceans?  I say ‘we’ because it is not necessarily a large factory or company that contaminates with waste, or a grand hotel that empties its drainage into the sea, but also the simple act of throwing rubbish at sea, a plastic bottle, or debris that you and I throw into the sea, that is sufficient to contribute to the great harm that we do to the oceans and beaches. . . It is difficult to recognize that we ourselves are ending the things that bring us life.

I personally feel that it is so wrong that I have been able to witness so many wonders of the oceans, while these opportunities are waning for our children. The majority of my generation fails to understand or be concerned that we are in an emergency situation. As IPSO reports, human activities are making devastating changes to the oceans at a scale and rate unprecedented in Earth’s known history, exposing organism to “intolerable and unpredictable evolutionary pressure”.   As Mora Reyes Ramo del Rocío describes it, “It is amazing the rapid way with which we are ending our oceans, as if we had the task with a time limit to finish with all the good things that the oceans give us.”

Education provides youth with the tools to not feel helpless; to be able to take appropriate actions and to demand that our generation, the generation most responsible, implement the changes and policies necessary to reverse the anthropogenic degradation of our oceans.  It is our youth and the lives of their children that will be most affected and they deserve access to up-to-date, science-based education so they can act while there is still time to ensure quality of life for themselves, future generations, and other living beings. 

One of the major concerns is how we will leave the environment to our descendants. I am sure that anyone would like to leave their children a planet on which they could live with tranquility and health. It is only fair that our descendants will be able to enjoy the world as we have done until today.” - Dulce María Rivera Ortega  

Let’s take care of the oceans since we need them simply to be able to survive.  If we take care of them, we will be able to take advantage of everything we are offered.”  - Pedro Rogelio García Méndez

Footnote:  I am hoping to spread awareness of the Nereida project, so that more schools will be interested in incorporating this oceans educational material into their curriculum, and so that others may learn more about the oceans.  Nereida’s educational material and other information can be found at  http://nereida.org/.