Being close to water has always been a truly revitalizing experience for me. I was born and raised in Bulgaria and I've never known a Bulgarian who didn't go to the Black Sea beaches during the hot summer months.
My parents were fortunate to own a summer house in the northern part of the coast and spending every summer at the beach was the law. From spending time with my grandma, reconnecting with old local friends and making plenty of new foreign ones, enjoying fresh local sea food, or just spending worry-free hours at the beach, I can't think of a better experience from my childhood.
While I remember people talking about sea pollution and depleting fisheries back then, I don't remember any well known organization being involved in protecting the Black Sea. Working for Oceana has given me the opportunity to feel like giving back to what has always had a special meaning for me -- the oceans. I get thrilled every morning walking into our ocean themed office. I graduated from the University of D.C. with a B.S. in Computer Science in 2006 and have since worked for Oceana's IT department, helping our campaigns reach their goals.