Windhorse Lightships’ mission is to awaken and engage the citizen scientist, philanthropist, volunteer, explorer and adventurer in all of us; to harness that power and those resources for the preservation of marine biodiversity to ensure future survival of the human race; to support and strengthen the community of 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations that are dedicated to the protection, conservation and restoration of biodiversity of our oceans.
Over the next 100-150 years, climate change will force a population reduction of several billion people to a sustainable level. The planet's ecosystem simply does not have the capacity to support more than about 2-3 billion on a permanent basis. The transition period to the sustainable future may be a troubled time. When the human race emerges on the other side of the transition period, will we have preserved enough of our current biodiversity for a healthy and sustainable ecosystem? Or will we have to suffer for several hundred more years while nature rebuilds the necessary biodiversity? That is our choice to make now.
Many of us have already made our choice and have begun the work of carrying forward as much of our biodiversity as possible to that future through a global network of MPAs (Marine Protected Areas). One of my heroes, Dr. Sylvia Earle ("Her Deepness") calls these places Hope Spots. Dr. Earle has been a "tireless advocate for our oceans and the creatures who live in them" for decades and has inspired many to careers in ocean preservation, including many of us here at Windhorse Lightships.
Dr. Earle's organization, the Sylvia Earle Alliance (SEA) is a founding partner of MISSION BLUE, "a global call to action with a goal to raise public awareness, start conversations, and inspire people to help protect this vital natural resource." We are answering that call. Dr. Earle was awarded the 2009 TED prize. She told us her wish in this TED wish talk, one of her most inspirational speeches ever. She asks us...
How much? Some say 10 percent, some say 30 percent. You decide how much of your heart do you want to protect. Whatever it is, a fraction of one percent is not enough. My wish is a big wish, but if we can make it happen, it can truly change the world, and help ensure the survival of what actually‒as it turns out‒is my favorite species, that would be us. For the children of today, for tomorrow's child, as never again, now is the time."
If you haven't seen this talk, please take a few minutes (18min) and watch it. It changed me, it may change you.
We here at Windhorse Lightships have taken her wish as our own, and plan to fulfill it with your help. We're asking you to commit more than your financial support, we want you. We want you to join our community. We want you, the civilian citizen scientist, to join us in protecting the oceans and their creatures, for Sylvia, for yourself, and for "tomorrow's child". We'll supply the means‒"films, expeditions, the web, new submarines", a fleet of authentically green boats, ROVs, all the tools you need. It's your job to go there with us and do it. You will drive the new submersibles (hell, if a scientist can do it so can you). You will dive with the scientists and gather the data right alongside them. You will help build new coral reefs, and establish the baseline data necessary for long term management of them. You, the citizen scientist, will be the ones who make a real difference in the future of our oceans and the human race.
We are entering a new age that many call the age of transcendence. A time when people are becoming less interested in things and having, and more interested in being and doing things with meaning. We are building a community that will strive to put meaning into our work and play, and save some beautiful creatures along the way.
Maybe I'll never meet the children of tomorrow that our work will benefit, maybe I will. Either way, I want them to know that I did everything I could to give them a life on a planet as wonderful as we've had the good fortune to have. We will do everything we can to save and restore the oceans‒the Blue Heart of the Planet.
Please join us.
We will provide scientists, students, and volunteers with tools to help them accomplish their missions.
Each of our research catamarans will serve as a base for continuous ocean research by housing submersibles, ROVs, scuba gear, data collection and analysis equipment.
We will establish a new fleet of carbon neutral ocean research vessels—sustainably designed, built, and operated—for the express purpose of volunteer supported research, exploration, and biodiversity protection
Imagine if we could have gone along with Jacques Cousteau and the crew of the Calypso on their expeditions instead of just watching on TV.
Imagine if we could have picked up the phone and joined the next expedition as a full‐fledged member of the team; scuba diving with scientists, helping them gather data; diving in the submersibles, logging lifesupport and scientific data; or operating a remote controlled ROV to video the divers and habitat!
All of this used to be the exclusive domain of just a few government sponsored scientists.
Today, by applying intelligent, systems thinking design and technology, we can fully utilize the talent and dedication of the citizen scientist. LEARN MORE
Pardon our dust...
Progress is a dusty affair. Windhorse Lightships is developing this website the same way we do everything we do: transparently, out in the open, and in the public eye. This website is a communication tool that connects a community, rather than selling widgets, T-shirts, or Viagra. As such, It is and always will be evolving.
So while the site is especially not finished right now, it will in fact never be finished. It will always be growing, changing, and evolving to best serve the community. And we hope that you will join in and help us with the community and the website.
Coral Reefs of the World Classified by Threat from Local Activities
Coral reefs are classified by estimated present threat from local human activities, according to the Reefs at Risk Revisited integrated local threat index. The index combines the threat from the following activities: overfishing and destructive fishing, coastal development, watershed-based pollution, and marine-based pollution and damage.
Provided by: World Resources Institute