Amber Stronk MAS
Amber is a passionate marine conservationist with deep love for nature. She has a unique combination of skills in the natural sciences, communications and project management with experience in both multinational corporations and nonprofits. In 2016 she obtained her master’s in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
As an ocean professional Amber is adept at creating public awareness about our oceans and raising funds for its preservation. Her interests include SCUBA diving, international travel and long walks on federally protected, unpolluted beaches.
What is your earliest memory of the ocean?
Growing up my family and I would travel to Sanibel Island, Florida. As a toddler my mom and dad would take me out to the sand flats where we would search for and collect sand dollars. I remember feeling around in the sand with my toes until I felt that hard, smooth familiar shell. At that point I would yell for my mom and she would dive down to bring them up into the sunlight where they seemed to sparkle like lost treasures.
What is the biggest threat to preserving the ocean and local waters for future generations?
I think the biggest threat is warming ocean temperatures. Because of global warming the temperature of our world’s oceans is increasing. This can cause severe storms, sea level rise and can negatively impact many different kinds of marine species. These detrimental consequences will only become more dramatic over time and our future generations will see a very different ocean than we get to experience today.
Why did you choose to get involved with an organization focused on ocean conservation?
To me the ocean is the greatest part of our earth and unites people all over the world in so many ways. I don’t think the majority of people give much thought to our world’s oceans or understand how much our livelihoods depend on the health of these marine ecosystems. I believe there is a huge lack of knowledge worldwide about ocean health and feel as though this should be at the forefront in regards to environmental priorities. I’ve always wanted to be part of an organization that focuses on ocean conservation in an effort to make tangible, positive outcomes occur.
What was your "aha moment" that turned you into a conservationist?
I will never forget my first time snorkeling at Xel-Ha in Cancun, Mexico. Discovering a whole other world underwater filled with so much untouched beauty, it blew my mind!
I’ve continued to snorkel and dive at various reefs around the world and have witnessed firsthand the rapid decline of so many precious marine ecosystems. I am a mission driven individual and realized that my life would have so much more purpose if I could work towards fixing an environmental issue that is bigger than myself.