Our first Sea Prophet from #take4Florida
As I’ve mentioned before, #take4Florida started out of pure passion… and, to be honest, real FURY with the amount of debris that I have been finding in our ocean. I started the initiative with hopes that a few people might help out and join in. However, I never EVER imagined that any one would be as passionate as I am about this issue. After interviewing our first #take4Florida winner (who submitted the most photographs for the month of June), however, I could not be more delightfully inspired. Thanks to Mr. Taylor Parks, I have a new found hope that people WILL actually take the time to help us conserve our oceans, and that PropheSEA will make gigantic strides toward a cleaner/more responsibly managed OCEAN.
Without further adieu, I present to you the interview of our very first Sea Prophet: Mr. Taylor Parks!
1) Tell me a little about yourself (degree/job/career-goals/etc.)
I’ve lived on the Gulf of Mexico for the better part of my life, on the beautiful beaches of Destin, Florida. I knew from a very early age that I wanted to spend my life on, around, or under the water. As a recent college graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Florida State (Go Noles!), I’m not entirely sure what direction I want to go in just yet. I just know that I want to spread my love for the 71% of the planet covered in blue.
2) What does the ocean mean to you?
We wouldn’t be here without it. It’s as simple as that. There’s so much about it that we don’t know, that we don’t understand, that we haven’t even seen! That mystery is what makes it so alluring. Life under water doesn’t work like it does on land. It’s alien, like an outer space here on Earth, and I can’t get enough of it.
3) How did you hear about #take4Florida?
My best friend’s girlfriend sent me a message about a new page one of her friends started up on Facebook that she thought I’d be interested in, which turned out to be Shark Bytes. She said I might be interested, and I thought, okay, I’m just going to like another “save the sea” page, but your activism on the issues drew me in. Not too long after that, Shark Bytes announced #take4Florida, their new initiative to clean up our oceans and beaches, and I fell in love with the idea.
4) What do you think about when you’re participating and you come across trash in, or near, our oceans? Is there any item that completely blew your mind?
I think about how beautiful the ocean realm is, and how much better off it and its inhabitants would be without all that trash. I think about the gigantic expanse of floating trash in the Pacific Gyre, and just hope that one day, more people will follow the lead of groups like Shark Bytes so that the amount of trash begins to shrink instead of continuing to grow. Most of all, I think about clean oceans.
5) Have you shared the #take4Florida initiative with any of your friends or family, and what do they think?
Absolutely! An idea like #take4Florida only works if you share it. I’ve shared it with many of my friends and one in particular has also become very enthusiastic about it. Whenever we’re at the beach together, we never fail to bring home handfuls of trash, and it’s that sort of contagiousness that is needed to make a difference.
6) Do you have any recommendations for ways that we could reach a wider audience?
I think the use of social media is incredibly effective these days, and Shark Bytes/take 4 is making full use of it. The only thing I can come up with is maybe branching out; How great would it be to see a #take4Texas, or #take4Mass? Then we can work our way up to #take4America and ultimately, a global Take 4 movement!
7) Have you checked outand, if so, what do you think about it? Are you aware of the #FinBan4Florida initiative?
PropheSEA is basically everything I stand for; from science, to conservation, to recreation, it represents my passion for the ocean. I’m so excited to see this organization kicking off, and to help spread its message.
Yes, I’ve heard of #FinBan4Florida, and I think it’s another great idea by the Shark Bytes crew. I’ve seen some very creative and inspiring pictures so far. I haven’t posted my #FinBan4Florida yet, because I’m trying to come up with one that will blow everyone out of the water, including our politicians!
8) If you had the chance to be on the Today Show (or Oprah, or Ellen… it’s totally up to you, haha!) and explain why everyone should get involved with PropheSEA’s #take4Florida initiative… what would you tell them?
One of my favorite quotes is by Sylvia Earle, who said “No water, no life. No blue, no green.” The ocean is our life force and it’s dwindling. We’ve still got some time, though, and helping is as simple as taking a few pieces of trash every time you are at the beach, which unfortunately aren’t hard to find.