By Richard Salas

With the decline of the big-fish species in the last 50-60 years our ocean’s food web is out of balance, which spells trouble for us all.  The ocean is responsible for over 50% of our oxygen and regulates our climate. We need to take swift action to protect, preserve and restore our oceans or we stand to lose everything. The ocean covers 71 percent of our planet’s surface, and holds 97 percent of its water. I believe that as a species we need to focus more of our conservation attention on this, the largest piece of the planetary survival puzzle.

My name is Richard Salas and I am an ocean advocate and underwater photographer.  I have been diving for over 10 years and I’ve been a professional photographer for 35.  I remember as a child watching Sea Hunt and listening to Lloyd Bridges talking about the importance of taking care of the ocean at the end of his show in 1960.  Now, in 2014, that message is more urgent than ever.  I have talked to many marine biologists and dive masters and the answer always comes back the same: the ocean is in trouble.

My love of the ocean was nurtured in 1976 by Ernie Brooks II, a legend in the underwater photography field, at Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara California.

The last ten years I’ve spent diving and doing underwater photography have given me a profound sense of kinship with all underwater life, and a desire to be a voice for these beings who don’t have a voice of their own. I give lectures, create gallery exhibits, and work to educate people on their plight.  I portray their lives to people who would otherwise never get to see them as I do, or hear their story.

I have produced two books of underwater photography, “Sea of Light – Underwater Photography of California’s Channel Islands” and “Blue Visions – Underwater Photography from Mexico to the Equator” and am working on the final book “Luminous Sea – Underwater Photography from Washington to Alaska”.  With the printing of “Luminous Sea” I am going to donate 50% of the profits to the Ocean Foundation so that anyone who buys a book will also be donating to the health of our ocean planet.

I chose Indiegogo for crowd funding because their campaign allowed me to partner with a non-profit and give this book even greater impact. The link is here in case you’d like to join the team, get a beautiful book, and be part of the ocean solution!