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Rose Anne Everson, WCA Intern

02/09/2016: Coincidence and Connectivity


Without fail whenever I sit down to write my blog I rapidly deteriorate into a mashup of feelings and questions. What do I wish to convey? What do people wish to read? What will people read? Should I be funny or serious? Should my tone be educational, conversational or matronly? Matter over substance becomes paralyzing and distracting mind chatter.

While searching for a thread or a clue of where or how to begin, I realize just how quickly this incredible adventure and opportunity has changed me – remarkably changed me. I am no longer the novice who applied for the WCA internship just over three months ago.

Most surprising and profound is my growing awareness to the connectivity in what often appears as random coincidence. My Net Effect internship, a partnership with the larger Global Ghost Gear Initiative (http://www.ghostgear.org), landed me in Gloucester, MA for training with the WCA’s responsible whale watch tour operator partner Cape Ann Whale Watch (http://www.seethewhales.com).

Gloucester is where I learned the New England Aquarium Anderson Cabot Centre for Ocean Life is encouraging conversations between scientists and fisherman which is furthering entanglement research (http://www.andersoncabotcenterforoceanlife.org/blog/tim-wernes-post/).

Just down the coast in Provincetown, MA, is the Centre for Coastal Studies who share their expertise in disentanglement around the world via training and is the headquarters for the Global Entanglement Response Network (http://coastalstudies.org/programs/whale-rescue/).

The State of Massachusetts Marine Fisheries is addressing the issue of entanglement and the importance of minimizing by-catch by encouraging research for safer ways to share our oceans via grants (http://www.mass.gov/eea/pr-2016/funding-for-research-to-reduce-whale-entanglements.html).

Each of these discoveries is attributable to a random coincidence of a shared story or conversation about humanity’s role as shepherds, guardians and caretakers of our planet and oceans.

For example, even with my love and commitment to our oceans and cetaceans, I did not realize an International Coastal Clean-up day exists and will take place on the 17th September 2016 (http://www.oceanconservancy.org/our-work/international-coastal-cleanup).

Fortunately, I find myself in a location where I can easily participate in a coastal beach clean-up. Then I think about my home in the mid-western United States where, although there is no ocean, there is Lake Michigan. Perhaps by establishing and encouraging global clean-ups of local lakefront beaches, streams, creeks, rivers, ponds and inland waterways; we can further reduce the random pollution of debris finding its way into our oceans. As a result, non-coastal towns become advocates who share ownership in the increasing health concerns for our oceans.

My life and compassion for cetaceans is forever changed by and through experience, engagement and knowledge. Now whenever randomness or coincidence shows up, I am reminded how inextricably aligned I have become with the collective consciousness of others giving themselves in service to our oceans, its inhabitants and our humanity.


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