Introducing Fernando, Seabin Enviro Technician, HawaiiNext post
Without eyes on the ground to report on the Seabins’ catches and empty them, the Seabin Project would not be complete. Fernando, originally from Mexico and living in Honolulu on the island of Oahu in Hawaii since 1998, plays this crucial role for two Seabins in Hawaii. In addition to being a committed environmentalist through @Greenmanhawaii and more for the past 16 years, Fernando operates a massage therapy practice.
What inspired you to get involved with the Seabin Project?
As a nature lover, I’ve always enjoyed hiking and ocean activities, but in recent years I’ve started to notice a lot of plastic and trash in the trails, beaches and harbours. I decided to start my own movement (@greenmanhawaii) to pick up trash and plastic.
While I was out one day, the Hawaiian Volcanic water company, who sponsor the two Seabins in my area, saw me picking trash and plastic from the Ala Wai harbour and asked me if I wanted to be a part of the Seabin Project. My answer was: “I would participate in anything to save the oceans.”
What do you do for the Seabin Project?
I’ve been working on a project that aims to show how Seabins can monitor marine trash and collect valuable data, get the community thinking about this issue and of course, remove rubbish from the harbour.
Through the current project, I’ve emptied the two Seabins nearly 300 times and reported on around 200 kilograms of rubbish from our harbour (note: our current annual estimate capture for 2 Seabins in Ala Wai Harbour is over 9,000pounds/4,000kg!). I provide data reports about the amount and type of rubbish the bins collect so we can report it to the local environment authority.
It has been a unique privilege to be involved in this cross-continental project, to spark further interest and involvement here and to create and maintain connections along the way. I love the project and I am very happy to be part of it.
What do you love about the ocean?
When I was about 5 years old, my father took me for the first time to meet the ocean. As we were driving down the mountains to get to Acapulco, I never realised that first moment when I saw it would live in my mind until today – I feel like it was yesterday!
I remember during that vacation I would sit in the balcony every evening and stare at the ocean for hours. Growing up, I learned to love and respect the ocean and now as an adult I am very concerned about how fast we are destroying it and breaks my heart how humanity isn’t doing enough to save it.
What message do you have for others?
I would love to tell every single person on the planet to be more conscious and just take a few seconds out of their day to pick up a single piece of plastic or trash when they see it rolling down the streets and put it where it belongs. If every person around the world would do that today, the very next day the world will be already a better place.
We don’t have to do anything extraordinary to save our planet, just working together toward a simple common goal like that will make a huge difference. Just like climate change advocate and polar pioneer Robert Swan said once: “The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it”. However we are the only ones who can make it happen.
From the whole Seabin team, we would like to send a huge thank you to Fernando for his extraordinary dedication to cleaner oceans and his hands-on approach for the Oahu Island!