The Ocean Does Matter

by Patrik Rollefson (age 18) from Little Rock, Arkansas
      There are many points I could talk about when it comes to my experience with the Ocean Matters group in Hawai’i. Whether it was the field experiences, cultural encounters, or community service we provided, there are certainly many events I will remember for the rest of my life.
      However, even though these activities were certainly significant, for me the best part of it all was meeting so many new people, from diverse backgrounds and homelands that share the same passion as I. I met people from sea to shinning sea that feel a connection to the ocean and want to preserve and protect it for the future. I had lengthy discussions with people from California, to Boston, Massachusetts, to Hawaii itself.
These conversations were not shallow, “lets save the oceans,” kind of talks, but deep debates about how our society needs to change.
     One of those discussions even lasted two hours after a lecture and involved a new way of thinking about how society works. These conversations were not shallow, “lets save the oceans,” kind of talks, but deep debates about how our society needs to change. And the best part is that each person brought a different angle, a different perspective to the dialogue. It is truly amazing what can happen when you bring together a group of people that share the same desire.They can discover amazing things and ignite the desire in others to enact change.
     
     Of course, the diving was quite fun, being an assistant instructor already; it fills me with immense joy to see the excitement and awe in the faces of the newly certified. It is almost a rediscovery of what they love so dear, and it is truly gratifying to watch.

Photo by Patrik Rollefson.

     
      These opportunities are what I am grateful for; these are why I am glad to have joined this group. We can all make a change, that is what I learned, we just have to try. Thank you Ocean Matters for showing me hope: hope for the future and hope for the sea, because the Ocean Does Matter.