A certain level of idealism is needed when deciding to pursue ocean conservation work professionally. While idealism can serve as a kind of moral compass, it can quickly become a hindrance when conservationists attempt to convince foreign communities or governments to enact specific policies.
Last Wednesday, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, speaking in Washington, DC, to an audience of 100 governmental, corporate and nonprofit leaders, sounded the alarm about the ever-increasing quantities of plastic waste entering the ocean.
In the long run, we need to fundamentally change our manufacturing paradigm, including how we produce, collect and reuse the range of products we depend upon every day. But in the short run, we have to stop the flow of plastics reaching the ocean.
As is the case with many career paths, my journey toward joining Ocean Conservancy as President and CEO is a long and circuitous one, and it begins with a childhood spent playing along the Rhine River in Cologne, Germany.