The Emerald Sea Protection Society is a not for profit organization based in BC, Canada. The organization is made up of a group of professional divers and scientists working together to innovate around the issue of abandoned fishing gear and the problems it causes.
Bourton founded the Emerald Sea Protection Society as a platform to carry out research and recovery projects to protect the underwater environments along the Pacific Northwest Coast of Canada. Working the vast coastline of BC as a commercial diver Bourton has experienced first hand the devastating effects of lost fishing gear and marine debris on underwater ecosystems. Eager to improve this situation, Bourton began applying his knowledge and experience to tackle the complex issue of lost fishing gear in Canada to help preserve the sensitive and unique underwater ecology.
Gideon works with multiple NGOs and NFPs internationally, focusing mainly on data analysis, mapping and web application design. He supports ESPS by building online location collaboration tools, developing theoretical models of net and gear distribution and developing mapping tools track progress and build a crucial shared knowledge repository that can help multiple stakeholders. Gideon is a life long sailor and recognizes the value and unique beauty of the Pacific North West's marine ecology.
With the Emerald Sea Protection Society's collaboration with the GGGI (Global Ghost Gear Initiative), Gideon chairs the 'Build Evidence' working group, coordinating researchers from multiple organizations in their work to provide data and evidence relating to the issue of abandoned fishing gear.
Jennifer moved to British Columbia at the age of 16 to begin University in Victoria for her Bachelor of Education Degree. Jennifer has a long standing love of the sea, growing up sailing around the Gulf Islands and continuing to do so through adulthood, has made her an avid environmental educator and activist. Jennifer later completed two masters degrees in counseling and Educational Leadership. Now, as Principal of Ucluelet Elementary School, Jennifer takes the lead on environmental initiatives including piloting a sustainability 5-7 program with local teachers. While living in Ucluelet is a luxury it also to Jennifer comes with the responsibility of being the stewards of our surroundings.
Joel Baziuk grew up in Surrey, BC and has lived in the lower mainland all his life. He first started working for Steveston Harbour Authority in the summer of 1996 while still attending high school. Over the next few years, Joel would work in every department at Steveston Harbour, including maintenance, operations, administration and finance, giving him a solid and thorough understanding of how a harbour runs from the ground up.
Sadly this great body of first hand experience of our interactions with delicate marine ecosystems, has illustrated the devastating effects we as humans have on these precious environments. Joel spearheaded net recycling initiatives based out of Steveston Harbour that coordinated international partners to great effect. He provides invaluable insight to the challenges of end-of-life fishing gear management and the impact of marine debris on the environment.
Joel has been the recipient of the 2015 DFO Pacific Region Individual Commitment Award, the 2015 DFO Prix d’Excellence National Individual Commitment Award, and is a 2017 Canada’s Clean50 Honouree.
Living in Ucluelet, working as a commercial diver, Gabriel has always been a lover of nature and animals. With an extensive background in construction, rigging, a post secondary education of honors physics and mechanical engineering and over 1000 logged commercial dives, Gabriel brings a well rounded background for both the surveying and retrieval of marine debris from the sea floor. Additionally he is an experienced commercial boat operator and is a commercial dive supervisor. His extensive diving experience has unfortunately allowed him to witness to the problem of lost fishing gear on our ocean's floor, and he is committed to help reverse this damage.
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