A seafaring man wants to know what an energy company is hiding from him and his ocean community.
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The Wilderness Society

A dolphin spotter has spotted a problem.

Andrew Neighbour is a born and bred Kangaroo Islander. He relies on a clean ocean for his livelihood as a charter boat operator. He operates those boats as a dolphin spotter — a job its name exactly suggests. (Way to make good life choices, Andrew.)

He's one of just around 4,000 residents on this island off the coast of South Australia. I'd never heard of Kangaroo Island. After learning about the abundant wildlife and sealife, I'd jump at the chance to leave my home in San Francisco and visit the beaches and sea cliffs where Andrew grew up working on boats.


Andrew knows how tides work. And where a likely oil spill would go.

Having grown up on Kangaroo Island and the sea around it, Andrew can easily forecast what would happen in an oil spill. He says:

"Any oil, if it comes this way which it will with tidal movement, it's going to get us north and south. You're not going to get away from it. If a spill happens, it'll be devastating."

The island, surrounded by an oil spill that should be left in the ground.

Another Deepwater Horizon? No thanks.

The picture Andrew paints of the drilling risk reminds me of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Five years on, we're still learning about the repercussions of the largest accidental marine oil spill ever.

The problem is BP's relentless search for oil.

Right now, BP is looking for spots to drill for oil in the pristine wilderness of the Great Australian Bight. (A bight, by the way, is a big open-mouthed bay. Kangaroo Island is nestled in the curved coast of South Australia.)

There it is, Kangaroo Island. Population 4,417. Four thousand people, that is. I didn't count the kangaroos. Image via OpenStreetMap.

We should definitely leave this oil in the ground (the ground under the sea).

The Wilderness Society has this to say:

"The future of Kangaroo Island, and many other coastal communities, is in danger as BP prepares to start exploratory drilling for oil in the Great Australian Bight. This is a risky process at the best of times, with 80-90% of all oil spills happening during this phase. But in the remote, wild waters off South Australia it is even more complicated."

And these “wild waters" are very alive. Kangaroo Island, though remote to many, isn't some blank canvas dead zone.

"The Bight is home to an amazing array of marine life, including many threatened and endangered species: great white sharks, humpback, blue and southern right whales, southern bluefin tuna, Australian sea lions, white-bellied sea eagle and albatross. These waters are an important marine nursery for the Australian sea lion colonies to raise pups and southern right whales to nurture their calves."

Folks, there is a *baby whale nursery* here.

That whales are choosing to give birth near Kangaroo Island is a big deal because they are Southern Right Whales.

"Hunted almost to extinction in the 1800s but now protected in Australia, the population is still recovering. Over 200 were observed along this stretch of coastline in 2014, mostly mothers and calves."

Andrew is excited in the video that the whale numbers are increasing. Out on his boat, I bet he's witnessed that increase personally over the years.

Do whales pick their birthing spots by jumping on them? I kinda hope so. I imagine the momma whale leaping free of the water, splashing down and thinking "MINE." All GIFs via The Wilderness Society.

Help Andrew be a good guardian of his island.

Help Andrew and the other few thousand people on Kangaroo Island keep our beloved ocean alive.

Stop another Deepwater Horizon from happening. Here's a great resource for learning more and a place to donate.

Photo courtesy of Justin Sather
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While most 10-year-olds are playing Minecraft, riding bikes, or watching YouTube videos, Justin Sather is intent on saving the planet. And it all started with a frog blanket when he was a baby.

"He carried it everywhere," Justin's mom tells us. "He had frog everything, even a frog-themed birthday party."

In kindergarten, Justin learned that frogs are an indicator species – animals, plants, or microorganisms used to monitor drastic changes in our environment. With nearly one-third of frog species on the verge of extinction due to pollution, pesticides, contaminated water, and habitat destruction, Justin realized that his little amphibian friends had something important to say.

"The frogs are telling us the planet needs our help," says Justin.

While it was his love of frogs that led him to understand how important the species are to our ecosystem, it wasn't until he read the children's book What Do You Do With An Idea by Kobi Yamada that Justin-the-activist was born.

Inspired by the book and with his mother's help, he set out on a mission to raise funds for frog habitats by selling toy frogs in his Los Angeles neighborhood. But it was his frog art which incorporated scientific facts that caught people's attention. Justin's message spread from neighbor to neighbor and through social media; so much so that he was able to raise $2,000 for the non-profit Save The Frogs.

And while many kids might have their 8th birthday party at a laser tag center or a waterslide park, Justin invited his friends to the Ballona wetlands ecological preserve to pick invasive weeds and discuss the harms of plastic pollution.

Justin's determination to save the frogs and help the planet got a massive boost when he met legendary conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall.

Photo courtesy of Justin Sather

At one of her Roots and Shoots youth initiative events, Dr. Goodall was so impressed with Justin's enthusiasm for helping frogs, she challenged the young activist to take it one step further and focus on plastic pollution as well. Justin accepted her challenge and soon after was featured in an issue of Bravery Magazine dedicated to Jane Goodall.

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Jeff Bridges photo by Gage Skidmore/Wikicommons

An image from Jeff Bridges' personal note on his website

Way to bury the lead, Jeff! Yesterday's news of Jeff Bridges' cancer remission revealed the beloved Hollywood icon also faced COVID 19, which had him hospitalized for over a month. This put many things on hold, including filming for his new FX thriller series Old Man.

Taking on chemotherapy is no easy task. Pile that onto losing smell, restricted breathing, and medical isolation, and anyone would want to throw in the towel. But for the ever optimistic Bridges, dealing with two health crises simultaneously became a beautiful life lesson, which he shared in a handwritten letter found on his website.


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