A water lover from the beginning, Jennifer grew up in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and some of her earliest memories involve long days spent at the beach. Since then she has become a scuba diver and sailor and loves to explore the shore, tide pools and coral reefs whenever she can. In 2008, Jennifer and her husband moved aboard their sailboat, Lyra, in Newport, Rhode Island, and raised their two young daughters afloat. During this time, the family lived mostly off the grid, using solar and wind for electricity, and a desalination system for water. As a result, conservation became a way of life. On winter cruises south to the Bahamas, Jennifer enjoyed showing her kids firsthand the beauty of the ocean and all its creatures, and the importance of minimizing our impact on the environment. On the flip side, her family also became a witness to some of the challenges our oceans face: plastic pollution, coral bleaching, overfishing, and invasive species to name a few.
Jennifer has a bachelor of art’s degree in Journalism from the University of Central Florida and is excited to use her passions for story telling and the ocean to promote Sailors for the Sea’s mission.
What is your earliest memory of the ocean?
My earliest memories of the ocean are all the weekends and holidays spent at Fort Lauderdale beach with my family—jumping in the waves, playing in the sand, and learning how to snorkel and boogie board.
What is the biggest threat to preserving the ocean and local waters for future generations?
The biggest threat to preserving the oceans for the future is the continuing climate crisis and the slow pace that the world is dealing with it. With rising sea temperatures we see rising sea levels from ice melt, coral bleaching and loss of breeding grounds for marine fishes and mammals. All of this has a direct impact on humans.
What was your “aha moment” that turned you into a conservationist?
Several years ago, I was snorkeling on a reef in the Bahamas that I had been to years previously, and it was heartbreaking to see how the condition of the corals had degraded. The abundance of invasive lionfish was also alarming. It really hit me how delicate this ecosystem is, and how important it is for all of us to do our part to protect it.
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