About Me: I'm a freediver and marine conservationist based out of Hawaii. I grew up obsessed with the ocean and after trying freediving for the first time, I was completley hooked. After developing a spinal injury, the ocean became my sole place of peace and refuge, but it was impossible to ignore what was happening to this underwater world that has given me so much. A few years ago, I co-founded Keiko Conservation, an international 100% volunteer-run group with chapters in the USA, Norway, Ecuador, Italy, Japan, and Russia. Our goal has been to create a platform that allows the public to participate in marine conservation efforts regardless of their age, occupation, or location. Through call-to-actions and campaigns, we try and bring as many ocean lovers and animal lovers behind a single cause to create strength in numbers for an issue in need. One of the primary issues we focus on is cetacean captivity, particularly in Hawaii. Two years ago, I wrote a resolution with two partners to phase out cetacean captivity in the state of Hawaii by banning breeding and transfers. This past year we tried again and I aided in getting a bill heard at the Capitol in Honolulu to ban these same acts. It's inspiring to see this issue to get closer and closer every year to being a thing of the past in Hawaii. I hope we can join the many others who achieved similiar bans and set an example for the rest of the world!
The Fundraiser: Since all of my conservation efforts are volunteer-based, the only way I'm able to join Dolphin Project in Japan is through fundraising, and I'm really grateful they've given me the oppurtunity to do so. Learning about the horror cetaceans face in Taiji was one of the main reasons I decided to get involved in conservation work. I've been incredibly inspired by the team at Dolphin Project and their relentless drive to keep an international spotlight on the acts that go on in this town every season. This year, I hope to aid their efforts on the ground, help document the drives, and bring back what I have learned to share and testify for stronger laws against cetacean captivity in Hawaii. Witnessing these acts will be difficult but it is necessary to record them and make them seen by the world. If you are able, please consider contributing towards getting me there. Mahalo!