LEARN

Projects of this nature take the hard work of volunteers, contributions from supporters and participation form people who are willing to carry the message. The following individuals and groups assisted in the creation of the We Are Water documentary film at the centerpiece of our mission.

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS

  • Jill Heinerth
  • Robert McClellan

ORIGINAL SCORE

Xavier Fleuranceau

CO-PRODUCERS

  • Dan’s Dive Shop
  • Great Lakes Technical Divers
  • Light Monkey
  • Renata Rojas

SUPPORTERS

  • Christian Clark
  • Layne Fleuranceau
  • Brian Kakuk
  • Marc Laukien
  • Kristine & Murrey Olmsted
  • Tom Rae
  • Riana Treanor
  • Jan, Steve, Matt & Holly Jang
  • Bob and Mary Rabjohn
  • Gord, Kelley & Cori Rabjohn

UNDERWATER TALENT

  • Graham and Lila Maddocks
  • Martha McCullough
  • Barbara Wynns

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER

  • Megan Cook
  • Stuart Grinde
  • Daniel Tomosovich

ENVIRONMENTALISTS

  • Carlos Fonseca
  • Annette and Mark Long
  • Matt Mandziuk
  • Ocean Support Foundation
  • John Sapp
  • Joseph Sferrazza
  • Triangle Diving, Bermuda

DIVE SUPPORTER

  • Aquatica
  • Kenny Broad
  • Captain Don’s Habitat
  • Jack Chalk
  • Alberta Underwater Council
  • G&S Watersports
  • Hollis
  • Brian Nadwidny
  • ORIS Watches
  • Santi
  • Scuba Diving Magazine
  • Perry Smith
  • Ursuit
  • VR Technology
  • Waterproof
  • Chris Wickman

ADVOCATES

  • Stephanie Benincasa
  • Carmine Benincasa
  • Chris Corfield
  • Alex Djermanovic
  • Natasa Djermanovic
  • Kevin Frillman
  • MichaelAngelo Gagliardi
  • Zelda Gagliardi
  • General Ecology
  • Randy Kliewer
  • Lora Laffan
  • Richard Moccia
  • Beth and Jerry Murphy
  • Ocean Quest Dive Center
  • Gene Page
  • Pacific Pro Dive
  • Wendy Quimby
  • Jason Sapp
  • Lana Taylor
  • Wendy Thurman

SUPER HEROES

  • Aqua Sport Scuba
  • “Bear” Rae Olmsted
  • Dawn & April Bencze
  • Rich Best
  • Bird’s Underwater
  • Sharron Britton
  • John Buxton
  • Shannon and Ken Caraccia
  • John Cheeseman
  • Joel and Jacki Clark
  • Bill Coltart
  • Vlada Dekina
  • Delmont UMC
  • Dive Outpost
  • Luigi Di Raimo
  • JoAn & Derek Ferguson
  • Sam Gillis
  • Grant Graves
  • Richard Harris, MD
  • Adrian Hartley
  • Lee Ann Hughes
  • Eiko Jones
  • Larry Kalyniak, PhD
  • Marian Lane
  • Carol Lippincott
  • Cathy Lesh
  • John Minigan
  • Sharon Morgan
  • Bill and Tonya Nadeau
  • Niagara Divers Association
  • Lisa J Norelli, MD
  • Diana and Bill Oestreich
  • Renee Power
  • Luigi Di Raimo
  • Wendy J Richards
  • Jeff Rose
  • Stu Seldon
  • Dave Serafine
  • Sean Sexsmith
  • Suzanne Sferrazza
  • Jeff Shirk
  • Phil Short
  • Giovanni Soleti
  • Jim Stevenson
  • Sunken Treasure Scuba
  • Matthew Sypherd
  • Bonnie Toth
  • Wendy & Frank VanVliet
  • Lee Ann Waggener
  • Heidi Wallace
  • Jeanie Weimer
  • Tom Wilson
  • Cindy Wolff
  • Pam Wooten

HEROES

  • Sara Calvin
  • Cuyler
  • Eric Deister
  • Jeffrey Fossmo
  • Dmitri Gorski
  • Emily Greer
  • Wendy Grossman
  • Keene Heywood
  • Rick Kilby
  • Rita Lemgruber
  • Ken Mayer
  • Janine McKinnon
  • W Roderick O’Connor
  • Chris Parker
  • Karen Peist
  • Jim “Robbo” Robinson
  • Gerald Sliker
  • Mark Stringer
  • Julianne Ziefle

FRIENDS

  • Barbara Am Ende
  • Henrik Aronson
  • Kim Cavanaugh
  • Robert Cook
  • Kent Frazier
  • John Groff
  • John Hill
  • Robert H. Hughes
  • Jim Louvau
  • Jenn Macalady
  • Michael Myrick
  • Robert Osborne
  • Brian Rossman
  • Peter & Nancy Williams
  • Michael & Jennifer Wyman

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Marco Alvarez
  • Ronald Apple
  • Chris Clark
  • Jason Cook
  • Richard Dreher
  • Lesley Gamble
  • Matthew Harris
  • Gal Haspel
  • John Moran
  • Lance and Jessica Nelson
  • Luke & Ben Nelson
  • Matthew Pence
  • Janet Schmidt
  • Mary Slusarchuk
  • Christopher Stonestreet
  • Daphne Haspel Soares

THE FUTURE

  • Tzur Haspel Soares
  • Catherine Maddocks

Green Monster

By | All Posts, We Are Water | No Comments
Algae carpets the bottom of the run at Ginnie Springs where native plants used to grow. Higher nitrates from agricultural runoff are the suspected cause. Photo: Jill Heinerth

Algae carpets the bottom of the run at Ginnie Springs where native plants used to grow. Rising nitrate levels from agricultural runoff are the suspected cause. Photo: Jill Heinerth

Algae has been dominating the news. Residents in Toledo, Ohio woke up to a new reality that they could not trust their drinking water. A rush on grocery stores ensued and even boiling water was deemed unsafe due to toxic bacteria growing in the algae soup that is now Lake Erie. This excellent photo essay describes how the algae is getting out of hand and how we might mitigate future impacts. In short, we have to embrace a future where ewe use less fertilizer and pesticides. Agricultural runoff is killing the lake. It is within our power to change the way we farm but it will take public will to make that happen.

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Crossing the Arctic Circle

By | All Posts, Sedna Expedition, We Are Water | No Comments

With 9000 feet of water below us, in the middle of the Davis Strait that separates Baffin Island from Greenland, we watch our Suunto Ambit computers tick down towards the point that marks the crossing of the Arctic Circle. We are determined to swim across this arbitrary point that looms so significantly in our minds.

In early 2000, I crossed the Antarctic Circle en route to making my first documentary film “Ice Island.” We were chasing the largest iceberg in recorded history – a piece of ice the size of Jamaica. It was the first time I had heard scientists speaking gravely about global climate change.

Now, just fourteen years later I lunge into the Arctic Ocean with my nine women colleagues and snorkel across a spot that was bound by sea ice when I visited Antarctica.

We cannot ignore that ocean change and earth change is hurtling towards us like a freight train with no brakes. Though we may feel powerless to halt its advance, we can all make small changes in our lives that help. Talking about it is just the start.

Read the right sidebar on this page for a few ideas.

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Midnight Glacier

By | All Posts, Sedna Expedition, Underwater Photo and Video, We Are Water | No Comments

Sea ice is declining in the Arctic, but that loss is not directly responsible for rising sea level. Think about a cold drink filled with ice cubes. When the cubes melt, the glass will not overflow. When a glacier or ice sheet on land melts, it directly contributes to more water in the ocean and rising sea level. These photos depict part of the Greenland Ice Sheet where it meets the sea and calves into the ocean. As solid as it looks, it is moving like a river and breaking off into the sea creating icebergs we have seen on our entire journey. I sat on a hilltop in Ilulissat listening to the sound of global climate change… distant cracks and thunderous roars of ice breaking into the sea. It was midnight under a glorious canopy of orange clouds. No photos will ever totally capture this place.

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Planning for Safety on Expeditions

By | All Posts, Sedna Expedition, Underwater Photo and Video, We Are Water, Women Underwater | No Comments

Nobody ever had real practice for something that has never been done before. How did Neil Armstrong practice how to walk on the moon? Individually and as a team, it can be challenging to develop an operational safety plan when you don’t know all the factors you will encounter. On our Proof of Concept Expedition, we had a lot to learn.

We spent many hours on Skype and email, but on our project, we were working together as a team for the first time. We hired an expedition support organization Arctic Kingdom which assisted with trip logistics, outfitting and hiring the charter vessel MV Cape Race. Cape Race had experience in the Arctic but had never supported a snorkeling and diving project before. A compressor, tanks, weights and Divemasters were installed on the Cape Race, but we still had to develop a safety document that would address everyone’s concerns, keep us within a tolerable risk envelope and would satisfy all the various insurers who also had a stake in creating a safe expedition.

Before I signed on to Sedna Project, I told Expedition Leader Susan Eaton that I was interested in developing the operational plan that would include how individuals prepared themselves for the expedition and how operations would occur on the boat. I developed a clear chain of command so that the Expedition Leader, Team Physician and Boat Captain could feel that they had the opportunity for veto if specific activities made them uncomfortable. I outlined a way for divers and snorkelers to accept personal responsibility and participate in planning and operations in a way that empowered them to take command, and also cancel or abort a dive if they felt they were over their heads.

On the first night of team building exercises in Nain, Assistant Expedition Leader Emily Dowding Smith asked us all to share our deepest fears about the project. She gave us each seven minutes to write down our thoughts and prepare to present them to the group. In the course of seven minutes, I counted all the dear friends and colleagues of mine who did not come home from expeditions. I recalled their smiling faces before the projects that were supposed to actualize their life dreams and I recalled writing letters to family, giving eulogies and going to far too many funerals. When the time came to present my fears I broke down into tears. Barely able to get the words out, my dear teammates offered for me to take a break, but through the pain, I knew this was the time to tell them that they were very special to me and that I wanted to get everyone home healthy above all other goals.

I am incredibly grateful to my teammates for their understanding and for using that empathy to conduct a smooth and safe operation every day. We gelled as team and we grew to be very effective together. We took turns being Dive Safety Officers, Deck Bosses and Deck Hands. We took every role with utmost seriousness even if that role was simply being in charge of safely loading a Zodiac or helping to dress another diver. I am incredibly proud of the focus on detail and concentration that everyone brought to each operation.

We achieved things that had never been done before and safely brought new challenges into our operations each day. Snorkeling on a relay in the middle of the Davis Strait with 9000 feet of water beneath us, I knew we could check off one big accomplishment. We are a great team.

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For the first time in history, fresh water has become a finite resource. Many experts agree that, without significant changes in water policy, wars of the 21st century may be fought, not over oil, but for control of clean water. We Are Water is an imaginative, entertaining, and enlightening documentary, illustrating the fragile relationship between our planet’s endangered fresh water resources, and the ever increasing needs of our expanding population.

ANCHOR SPONSOR

HOW TO HELP

IN THE BATHROOM

  • Turn off water while brushing teeth – save 360 liters per week
  • Fix a dripping tap – save 300 gallons per year
  • Reduce shower form seven to four minutes – save 60 liters each time
  • Install low flow shower head – save 11 liters per minute, 750 gallons/month
  • Install dual flush toilet – save 50% each flush
  • Put a plug in basin while shaving – 9 liters per minute
  • Capture shower water for the garden
  • Flush less – save 2 to 7 gallons each time
  • Put a brick in the toilet tank – save a liter each flush
  • Turn off water while you shampoo and condition your hair – save 50 gallons a week Pee while you shower!

IN THE KITCHEN

  • Turn off water while cleaning up the kitchen – save 100 gallons per week
  • Buy a water efficient dishwasher – save 50% each time
  • Only wash a full load of dishes – save 120 gallons per month
  • Use economy setting on dishwasher – save 4 liters
  • Compost instead of using your garbage disposal – save 9 liters per minute
  • Catch running water while it warms up
  • Plug the sink to rinse dishes or veggies
  • Defrost the night before instead of using running water 
  • Use a wash basin in sink, then recycle water to the garden
  • Fix a drip – save up to 75 liters a day
  • Save cold water in the fridge instead of running the tap
  • Become a part time vegetarian
  • Eat less meat Install a low flow faucet – save 50% of your water use
  • Buy WaterSense appliances
  • Use veggie rinse water on plants
  • Reuse the same drinking glass all day
  • Soak and scrape pots and pans rather than running water
  • Reuse veggie cooking water for tasty soup stock

IN THE LAUNDRY

  • Use a water efficient washing machine – save 30 gallons every load
  • Only wash a full load of laundry – saves 10 liters
  • Consider installing a grey water system to recycle laundry water
  • Pretreat stains so they only get washed once
  • But EnergyStar appliances
  • Use natural soap nuts instead of detergent
  • Attach a hose to your washing machine outlet pipe for use in the garden

AT HOME

  • Use old fish tank water on plants
  • Teach kids to turn off faucets properly
  • Reduce the distance from the water heater to the sink
  • Try on-demand water heaters for the shower or kitchen Insulate hot water pipes to retain heat
  • Look for EPA WaterSense labels
  • Drink tap water
  • Avoid putting medications in the toilet
  • Avoid putting chemicals in the toilet or down the sink
  • Don’t put fat and grease down the sink
  • Mix it with bird seeds and invite birds to your garden
  • Buy a used car. It takes 120,000 to make a new one
  • Reuse clothing. It takes 1800 gallons to make a pair of blue jean
  •  Drive less. It takes 70 gallons of water to produce one gallon of gas.
  • Give $15 to CharityWater.org so someone in the developing world can have a clean water supply.
  • Ride your bicycle instead of driving.
  • Think before you buy. Is there something you can recycle or reuse?  

IN THE YARD

  • Irrigate early or late but not in the sunny part of the day
  • Avoid irrigating on windy days
  • Use less fertilizer
  • Create more shade in your yard to retain moisture in your plants and lawn
  • Use rain barrels
  • Eliminate herbicides
  • Pull weeds instead of using RoundUp
  • Replace part of the lawn with pebbles
  • Plants more shrubs Mulch and compost your garden
  • Use old blankets, carpet or cardboard in between crop rows for weed barriers
  • Group veggies in your garden by water needs
  • Mulch the garden to reduce evaporation – reduces watering 70%
  • Aerate and spike lawns in the spring for deep roots and drought tolerance
  • Check the pool for leaks – 500 liters per day
  • Cover the pool or hot tub (or just get rid of it)
  • Don’t trim the grass too short – longer needs less water
  • Plant drought resistant native plants
  • Direct rain gutters to plants that need it
  • Pee in the yard
  • Cover rain barrels
  • If you irrigate on a timer, install a rain shutoff
  • Pee in your compost pile
  • Direct the air conditioner drips to plants that need it
  • If you have to water, use drip irrigation
  • Check outdoor taps for leaks – save 1000 liters per year
  • Water the garden with a trigger nozzle not a sprinkler
  • Use a bucket and sponge to wash the car
  • Go to a car wash that reuses water
  • Wash your car on the lawn 
  • Collect rainwater for the garden
  • Sweep the driveway instead of hosing it down
  • Look for leaks – check water meter for two hours during no consumption period
  • Add walkway pavers and patio areas and let them runoff to garden
  • Plant more shrubs and ground cover to reduce the lawn
  • Water plants deeply but less often to improve drought tolerance
  • Learn where your master water shutoff valve is located
  • Let your lawn go dormant Wash the dog on the grass  

AT SCHOOL

  • Report leaking taps and toilets to teachers – save 300 gallons
  • Nominate a water monitor to look for leaks
  • Put up posters to remind each other to turn off taps
  • Wash art supplies in a recycled ice cream container
  • Learn how to monitor the water meter
  • Ask your science teacher to help locate your watershed
  • Use less paper
  • Learn how to read a water meter

AT THE OFFICE

  • Wash dishes once at the end of the day
  • Appoint a daily dish washer
  • Upgrade to dual flush toilets
  • Talk about water conservation measures in staff meetings
  • Use less paper
  • Determine if there is a way to reuse water at your business
  • Conduct a water audit of your company
  • Use a refillable water bottle for drinking

ON VACATION

  • Reuse hotel towels
  • Drink tap water if safe
  • Use a refillable water bottle
PROTECT OUR FUTURE

DRINK TAP WATER – Be an example for others. Disposable water bottles waster water and money. It takes 5 quarts to make one bottle of water and a quarter of a bottle of oil to make, transport and dispose of the water. Refill a water bottle and drink safe, clean tap water. You’ll save money.

REDUCE YOUR WATER FOOTPRINT – Click on this site: Water Footprint Calculator to learn about how much water is needed to support your lifestyle. The average American needs 1800 gallons of water per day, twice as much as the rest of the planet. This will help you reduce your use.

REDUCE, REUSE AND RECYCLE – Basic conservation helps save water. Turn off running taps. Shop at a thrift store. Stream movies. Download music instead of buying CDs. Shop at bulk stores with less packaging. Carry re-useable shopping bags.
EAT LOW ON THE FOOD CHAIN – Plant based nutrition requires less water than meat to bring to market. Consider being at least a part time vegetarian. A simple hamburger takes over 600 gallons to produce. Support your local farmer’s market.

THINK ABOUT THE WORLD BENEATH YOUR FEET – Everything you do on the surface of the land will be returned to you in drinking water. Dispose of things such as household chemicals and prescription drugs properly or you will be drinking them later.

Download cool activities for kids aged 7-14!

Junior-Ranger-Booklet