News : Blue Ocean Society Works to Protect Gulf of Maine

Dec 29, 2014

Originally Published in the Portsmouth Herald.

By Ali Plankey

HAMPTON – The Ocean is a vast mystery. Marine naturalists Jen Kennedy and Dianna Schulte watched as the ocean – which makes up 70 percent of the Earth - was polluted and littered, overfished, and slowly degraded, until they could no longer sit back and consciously let the destruction continue. In 2001, they set out to raise awareness about local ocean life. Kennedy and Schulte founded the Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation and made it their own personal missions to protect marine mammals in the Gulf of Maine. With the power of education they have slowly, but steadily, increased research and conservation efforts in the Gulf of Maine.

“We wanted to start the Blue Ocean Society so we could produce our own data, and have an outreach component, really try to get that data to the public in as close to real time as possible,” says Kennedy.

Blue Ocean Society has become the missing puzzle piece for marine conservation and research on the northern East coast. Each year from May until October, Blue Ocean Society collects observational data on marine mammals from three to four commercial whale watching boats. These boats focus primarily around Jeffreys Ledge, a popular area in the Gulf of Maine for biodiversity as well as for fishing and recreation.

Read the full story here.