I had the good fortune to spend quite a bit of time in and around the ocean and sea during the last few months of my hiatus from “Private Practice,” both for work and for pleasure.
My love for the oceans is obvious, to be sure, but nothing reinvigorates my commitment to keeping our oceans clean, sustainable and beautiful more than swimming, snorkeling, sailing and swimming in them.
The waters off the coast of Anguilla and the Bahamas are so clean, clear and warm and I got to see so much ocean life, from a vast array of colorful fish to the lush and intact coral reefs. I also love to visit the azure waters of the Aegean Sea that surrounds the islands of Mykonos and Santorini.
Last month, I placed a banner on my website encouraging my fans to “Be an Ocean Hero” this summer (I pledged to clean my local beach.) So I was a little surprised (and very humbled and flattered) when some of these people – The Walshies as they’re affectionately known – wrote me to relate how my involvement with Oceana inspired them to become advocates too.
With that in mind, I’d like to share with you a few inspirational notes from The Walshies that reveal the capacity for the oceans to inspire and the power each of us holds to encourage our friends, family (or even fans) to get active in their protection:
Nicole (Miami, FL): After hearing about Oceana’s Be an Ocean Hero pledge, now I too look beyond to what lies ahead, not only the superficial aspect of our waterways. Thanks Kate and thanks Oceana!
Annabel (London, UK): Since learning more about your work with Oceana I have started to be much more aware of the animals in the ocean. When I was younger I wanted to be a marine biologist and now your work has inspired me to try to protect the ocean. During my gap year I’m hoping to get a placement doing ocean conservation and have the opportunity to give something back.
Ruth (Stockholm, Sweden): I’d never even heard of Oceana before becoming a member of Team Walshies, but Kate’s involvement with Oceana has impacted me in two ways:
1) Sea turtles. We don’t have them here – and I had no idea that so many species of sea turtle were on the endangered list. I want my grandchildren to have sea turtles in their oceans, so this is a message I find myself repeating at any and every available opportunity.
2) Fish sold in stores/served in restaurants. Sweden is pretty savvy when it comes to protecting certain fish, [but] you & Oceana have made me acutely aware that this is sadly not the case everywhere, and these days I play it safe when ordering food abroad
Chara (Greece): As a Greek that grew up in an island at the Aegean, I cannot imagine my life without the sea. Any person that spends personal time helping the preservation of the quality of life in our seas and oceans, is a hero to me.
Barb (Pittsburgh, PA): As a child, I spent my summers exploring the beaches of Amelia Island, Florida with my sister and cousins. One of our favorite activities was watching the baby sea turtles hatch and make their way to the ocean at sunset. Over the years, our oceans have become polluted and many beautiful marine animals are dying mostly due to offshore drilling and this breaks my heart.
The devastating BP oil spill last year, the worst in our country’s history, killed hundreds of sea turtles, sea birds and other marine life. Thanks to Kate Walsh, I became aware of an organization called Oceana after seeing the beautiful pictures of her swimming with sea turtles on her website. I decided to become a member of Oceana last year and join Kate and others in the campaign to save our oceans and the beautiful creatures who call it home. As part of my membership, I adopted a dolphin now called Maya.