Ocean Spirit is devoted to fostering in humanity a deeper and more harmonious relationship with our Ocean Planet home – the only one we have.
It is not our right to interfere in the lives of other species
But when our paths cross
It is our duty to behave in such a way
That we do no harm.
Let’s look after her!
22 March 2018
Another article in the NZ Herald!! This time it’s about our Seabin – the 1st in NZ that’s coming to Tutukaka Marina thanks to Ocean Spirit, The Marina, Huanui College Interact Club and the Whangarei City Rotary Club! What a fantastic collaborative effort.
13 March 2018
Glenn gets interviewed by the NZ Herald.
Check out this link to the article in the He Tangata section on 13 March.
NZ National Seaweek and Ocean Spirit teamed up with Debris Free NZ & Sup Pro Paddle Boarding NZ for a community beach clean at Sandy Bay on the Tutukaka Coast. We enjoyed a beautiful afternoon ‘sweeping’ the beach with an awesome team of enthusiastic locals! The kids took a lot of care shifting through the seaweed and sand for micro-plastics – the very small bits of plastic – which in the ocean can be ingested by sea creatures and sea birds, filling their guts with toxic plastics resulting in their deaths.
We had a fantastic day at the Volvo Ocean Race Village in Auckland last week with Lucy Hunt and Robin Clegg who are behind the Ocean Plastic Education Programme for the race. We saw our 1st Seabin in action and sifted through the contents – lots of small fragments of plastic, plastic nurdles, food wrappers etc mixed in with shrimps, sea grass, mangroves seeds etc.
We came away even more motivated and enthusiastic!
We all love our beaches! Keeping them free of our rubbish helps the Ocean stay healthy and makes her a safer home for all beings who live within her watery embrace.
Sandy Bay, Tutukaka Coast – community beach clean during National NZ Seaweek
3pm – 5pm bring a picnic and join the fun!
Ocean Spirit is co-hosting the event with Debris Free NZ.
Skupors our Tongan dog – a total beach lover!
Waitangi Day celebrations at the Waiting Treaty Grounds – Feb 6th 2018
Once again a place of coming together to honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and once again a small but dedicated team of volunteers were there to sort waste into recyclable, compostable and landfill streams. Organised by CBEC EcoSolutions.
Ocean Spirit is thrilled to be the catalyst for getting the first Seabin to New Zealand!
“WE HAVE RUBBISH BINS ON LAND,
WHY NOT HAVE THEM IN THE OCEAN?”
The Tutukaka Coast continues to play its part in the growing worldwide awareness of the need to change our relationship with plastic.
The culmination of a two year collaboration between Ocean Spirit, Tutukaka Marina Management and Trust Board, the Interact Club at Huanui College, Glenbervie and Whangarei City Rotary Club represents another valuable step in the Tutukaka Coast Plastic Free Initiative.
Made financially possible by the phenomenal fundraising efforts of the Interact Club students at Huanui College and by sponsorship from the Whangarei City Rotary Club, Tutukaka will receive the first Seabin to be installed in a New Zealand marina.
Students Pippa Benton and Lagi Paul, the Interact Club organisers, were so inspired by a presentation given to Huanui College in 2017 by Ocean Spirit, that they committed to fundraising for the Tutukaka Seabin. Supported by Whangarei City Rotary Club, the target was achieved in November last year and the order placed.
Pippa has chosen the Seabin as her science project for the 2018 National Secondary Schools Science Fair. She plans to monitor the Tutukaka Marina Seabin’s activity, conducting a regular weekly survey of its contents. Pippa is passionate about the ocean and is a keen diver. This is a wonderful educational opportunity for her and for The Seabin Project, who are committed to education as the most effective long term solution to ocean pollution.
What’s a Seabin?
- A rubbish bin that sucks in floating marine litter, micro plastics, surface oil and pollutant spills.
- Moving up and down with the tide, it sucks in water, catches any floating rubbish in a catch bag and pumps pollution-free water back into the marina.
- It can trap roughly 1.5kgs of floating debris per day (depending on weather and debris volumes), including micro plastics down to 2mm small.
- Five years of research and development have gone into its design
- It evolved from a passion for the ocean held by two avid surfers, Andrew Turton and Pete Ceglinski, who quit their jobs to develop it.
December 2017 / January 2018
Ocean Blessings for the 2018 Season to all our Friends!
Woolleys Bay, Tutukaka Coast, NZ
Here’s a series of videos from our favourite local beach, Woolleys Bay – just picking up any rubbish that shouldn’t be there and enjoying the Ocean!
The Natural Phenomena Conference over the weekend of 17 – 19 November was truly phenomenal! The quality of the presenters, keynote speakers and organisational team was exceptional… It took place in a sacred and beautiful space surrounded by wise old trees, under canvas in absolutely pouring rain!!! Everyone’s spirits stayed surprisingly high kept up by the camaraderie and utterly yummy food supplied in abundance by a local restaurant, Wahi Bar in Tutukaka! Vegans and vegetarians equally catered for.
Ocean Spirit ran a workshop – bringing the Ocean to the conference – helped by the rain!
It was a single use plastic free conference – the delegate bags were Boomerang bags all sewn by the committee and included hand made pottery mugs, metal straws, bamboo toothbrushes and handmade produce bags.. an incredible effort!
The Natural Phenomena Conference 2017
When we launched the Tutukaka Coast Plastic Free Initiative at the beginning of this year we had no idea where the journey would take us. It just felt like the right thing to do. Ten months later and so much has sprouted from that one little ‘idea seed’.
Many little ‘plastic free’ seedlings have taken root and are sprouting up along the Tutukaka Coast. Some have blown farther afield to flourish in homes across the world.
We don’t always get to hear about the fruits which are being enjoyed by people and communities, but one that we are immensely blessed to be able to share in, is the journey of the home school families from Kaeo, Northland. For 6 months we supported their science project to see if so-called compostable takeaway coffee cups really do compost in a home compost bin. They won a gold in the annual school Science Fair for Northland! Their creativity has now blossomed into making Boomerang Bags and yesterday they drove down to visit us and handed over 4 of their bags! They are a work of art and we now get to experience the joy of carrying our shopping around in beautiful bags made with love and laughter!
Bag Ingredients = heaps of fun, buckets of learning, cupfulls of creativity, dollops of imagination and the coming together of community.
What started as a project with the coffee cups has grown into Plastic Free Kaeo involving people in caring for their community and their surroundings..
The Tutukaka Coast Plastic Free seed has been a catalyst of inspiration for initiatives such as this and we feel incredibly blessed to be a part of the on-going support which strengthens the roots and enables the projects to grow on their own.
Whilst we are still supporting these initiatives to build their own momentum, we feel we are now able to devote some more of our time and energy towards other projects dear to our hearts such as – The Reef Guardian Programme and 3D Ocean Permaculture.
More on that coming soon!
The Natural Phenomena 2017 ~ a nature education conference in the outdoors ~
During the weekend of 17th – 19th November Ocean Spirit will be presenting at the Natural Phenomena Conference 2017. Organised by the Nature Education Network, this unique tented conference is run in the outdoors. Suitable for just about anyone who is passionate about re-connecting with our roots on Papatuanuku. Attendees include educators, parents, playscape designers, academics, artists, policy makers who believe nature is a powerful teacher.
In 2008 we were living in the Kingdom of Tonga running a diving and whale watching operation. Our base was on Foa in the Ha’apai group of islands.
Life was busy. But we were often reminded by our dog friend, Skupors, to slow down and enjoy life. A tropical island girl through and through she came into our lives at 6 weeks old and swam, kayaked, whale watched, ran in the bush and beach walked with us.
When we left in 2010 leaving her behind wasn’t an option – even though our rational minds said, “too difficult” our hearts said, “no way!.” Landing in New Zealand as an immigrant her life changed dramatically. “We took the dog out of Tonga, but you can’t take Tonga out of the dog.” Her spiritual home is still the beach and her foraging skills are unsurpassed!
Skupors is an integral part of Ocean Spirit and as we deepen our relationship with all of life, so our connection with her deepens. Relationships are at the very heart of Life, connecting us to the wider consciousness, to the seen and unseen world we are deeply embedded in.
Underpinning our whole way of being is our belief that all life has intrinsic value beyond what it offers mankind and :
It is not our right to interfere in the lives of other species,
But when our paths cross
It is our duty to behave in such a way
That we do no harm.
In support of International Plastic Free July, The Ocean is Alive is available until 10th July on Amazon at the following special prices:
Amazon.com US$12.00 paperback / US$1.99 Kindle
Amazon.co.uk £9.34 paperback / £1.99 Kindle
amazon.co.eu Euros 11.36 paperback
If you live in New Zealand, the paperback is available for the whole of July at the special price of: NZ$25.00 + $5p&p, direct from us. Please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
“… The Ocean Is Alive is first and foremost a celebration of the Ocean in all her living splendour. It takes the reader on a fascinating and informative voyage of discovery into the blue heart our planet, from the Ocean’s formation more than four billion years ago and the emergence of life deep below her surface, to the incredible diversity and exuberance we know today. But much more than this, it is a journey of discovery into Ocean consciousness: through the evolution of the senses, the emergence of sentient behaviour, and finally an intriguing exploration of what the author calls ‘Ocean Mind’.
In telling the Ocean’s story…Glenn draws on his thirty years experience as an Ocean ecologist, underwater naturalist and professional diver to take us beyond the science and into the depths of what it is like to be an Ocean being. Using a combination of personal experience, stories and insights from others, along with guided visualizations, Glenn weaves a highly readable and thought provoking tale of an Ocean alive to itself, and alive to anyone willing to ‘take the plunge’.
But no contemporary story of the Ocean would be complete without investigating the current threats to the Ocean’s wellbeing. In addressing these issues the author presents a compelling case for recognition of the Ocean as a living being with intrinsic value far beyond the benefits she provides humanity, and offers a new vision for our relationship with the living Ocean.”
Introducing our local school on the Tutukaka Coast – Ngunguru Primary. They are showing great leadership – going Single use plastic free this month.. scroll down..read on
“This month at school we are celebrating Single use plastic free June! This is to inspire the wider community to participate in the international Plastic Free July. We are concentrating on “CHOOSE TO REFUSE” single use plastics, these are items that are used for minutes, then thrown away and are then around forever.
Our target items are:
2. Plastic Bags
4. Takeaway containers and coffee cups
5. Plastic Bottles
Please send in your photos of your children “choosing to refuse” plastics, or even picking up plastic to email@example.com
The families who send in the most pics will win an awesome plastic free prize at the end of June 🙂
Together we can do it, Plastic Free Tutukaka Coast!
Remember, plastic never breaks down, it just breaks up.”
Since 2015, when we founded Ocean Spirit, we’ve been working on a variety of projects and initiatives all with the underlying theme:
The need for greater harmony between humans and all other life
who share our big, beautiful blue home.
We are loving the journey Ocean Spirit is taking us on – giving presentations, writing articles and books, running workshops, working with schools and creating videos that inform and educate on serious ecological issues. Because these issues are human generated – we are responsible – which also means we have the power to respond and take action!
An example of this is our relationship with plastic. In only six decades we have gone from plastic free to global ecological catastrophe – we are literally drowning in plastic. But everywhere there is a huge groundswell of grassroots response to ‘stem the tide’. We’ve been playing our part through education and advocacy; working with businesses to help them transition away from single use plastic; coordinating with community groups to organize clean-ups and of course, just getting out there and Picking-It-Up ourselves (see our Just-Pick-It-Up Facebook page).
Currently we’re working with three home schooled girls who are testing whether ‘compostable’ coffee cups and lids really do compost in a home compost bin (check out their initial results here).
But for Ocean Spirit to be as effective as possible in this vital work for the planet, it needs to become self-supporting to give us the freedom to devote more time and energy to being a catalyst for the change our planet so desperately needs.
At the beginning of this year we were introduced to Patreon – a web portal putting ‘Doers’ and ‘Donors’ together in a mutually beneficial and on-going relationship – People supporting People and sharing a creative journey. It gives us a greater sense of working together with like-minded people like you and gives you the opportunity to share in our passion for living in harmony with this beautiful planet we call home.
It’s built on the original concept of ‘Patron of the Arts’ and is a way of supporting projects, work and action that you’d love to see happening in the world, but aren’t necessarily in a position to do yourself.
We gave the concept a lot of thought and decided that it is the perfect way to enable our Ocean Spirit work to continue to grow and be supported.
So at the beginning of June we launched our presence on Patreon.
Focusing on 3 themes – Exploration, Education, Conservation – we are cultivating positive action:
- Running workshops and talks in schools
- Presenting and running workshops at conferences
- Working with businesses at a local level on plastic-free alternatives
- Consulting on ecological issues from an holistic perspective
- Writing books
- Publishing articles
- Making informative and educational videos
Supporting positive action
To find out more about our work and supporting us as a Patron:
Click here to go to our Patreon page.
We’d love to have you onboard!
If you think our work is worthwhile, then please consider sharing this on your networks.
Monday 1st May
Woolleys Bay, Northland, NZ – join us on our favourite local beach checking for rubbish after ‘cyclone’ Debbie passed through. https://youtu.be/Rjp3fSGwIqU
Thursday 27th April
The Great Coffee Cup Challenge – three home schooled girls from Kaeo, Northland NZ are running a science project on the compostability of ‘compostable’ coffee cups and lids…… Follow their progress with us: https://youtu.be/oWfvgoNMl4E
Friday 7th April
This is our favourite beach on the Tutukaka Coast – it’s also our local! We love it and try to visit every week for our own health!! as well as the health of the beach.
This week we visited after the storm had passed through and picked up a bag of rubbish.. Amongst many plastic items, we were interested to see quite a few colourful plastic clothes pegs – where’s the washing..? Also a light stick full of toxic chemicals used by the fishing industry to attract fish to their nets at night.
Woolleys is now a cleaner beach for our visit! That feels great!
Tuesday 14th March
Bright Stars Childcare Centre in Whangarei kindly invited us to come and talk to the children about plastic pollution in the Ocean!
Even though aged from 2 – 5 yrs, they were surprisingly attentive and crowded round our pile of plastic picked up from Woolleys Beach on the Tutukaka Coast at the weekend!
Thank you Brenda and Bright Stars for inviting us to come and share our plastic journey with you all!
Friday 10th March
Goodfor – New Zealand’s first zero packaging store just opened in Auckland and we visited them in their first week to interview James Denton whose brilliant idea it is!
Thursday 2nd March
A big THANK YOU to everyone who came to our Seaweek talks and the wonderful trip out to the Poor Knights Marine Reserve last week.
We thoroughly enjoyed meeting and chatting with everyone who came to make them so successful.
We are planning to post an edited version of the talks, Healing the Ocean Saving Ourselves, here and onto our FB pages – Ocean-Spirit and Just-pick-it-up
NZAEE Seaweek 2017 http://seaweek.org.nz/
New Zealand’s annual national week about the sea is hosted by the NZ Association for Environmental Education (NZAEE) and focuses on learning from the sea. It’s about exciting and inspiring all New Zealanders to renew their connections with the sea! it’s a time for all of us to get to know our Ocean, its habitats, characteristics and inhabitants better.
Living in New Zealand means that everyone is affected by the influence of the sea. Even high up in the Central Plateau or low down on the Canterbury Plains, its presence is felt through our maritime climate. Now look at the bigger picture. Her unseen influences reach into the remotest village in the Himalaya. Every 2nd breath we take is thanks to the phytoplankton at the Ocean’s surface, who produce half of the oxygen in the atmosphere. The Ocean is the primary life support system for our planet. So, whether you live on the coast or inland, a healthy sea matters.
NZ Seaweek not only gives us the opportunity to celebrate the things we love about the Ocean, but even more importantly to honour the critically important role she plays in our survival.
The Ocean is the main player in the short and long term carbon cycles, as well as the source of nutrients essential for life such as sulphur and phosphorous.
You might be surprised to know that Ocean plants sequester 20 times more carbon than land plants. Knowing this makes us think differently about the beautiful Matapouri and Ngunguru estuaries and their precious mangroves. Most of us are aware of their role as fish nurseries, but as the most efficient carbon sinks on the planet, they are without doubt our community’s biggest contribution to mitigating the effects of climate change.
There are many individuals and organisations working behind scenes to keep our seas healthy and there are opportunities for all of us to do our bit – like thinking more consciously about our use of plastics and just picking up any on the beach; about the way we fish and the run-off from our land use.
The Ocean – something really worth celebrating! Thank you NZ Seaweek!
Ocean Spirit gave a series of talks and hosted a day trip to the Poor Knights Marine Reserve during New Zealand Seaweek .
Celebrating SeaWeek at the Poor Knights Marine Reserve.
New Zealand Seaweek www.seaweek.org is about inspiring and exciting all New Zealanders to renew their connections with the sea.
Seaweek gives us the opportunity to not only celebrate what we love about the ocean, but even more importantly to recognise and honour the vital role it plays in our very survival. As the primary life support system for our planet, a healthy ocean matters to everyone.
Yukon Dive’s Pacific Hideaway provided the perfect platform for Auckland based engineering and urban development consultancies, Urban Solutions Project Management and 4Sight Consulting, to celebrate Seaweek at the Poor Knights Marine Reserve.
Like many Kiwis, Urban Solutions’ director Lorenzo Canal loves the ocean and Seaweek offered a great opportunity for him to organise a company day out, or a ‘skive-dive’ as he likes to call it. “The perfect way to connect the two companies outside the work place.” For most of them it was a totally new experience that opened their eyes not only to the beauty of the underwater world, but also to the effectiveness of marine reserves. “It’s great to see that they really work. There just needs to be more of them.”
Heading out from Tutukaka Harbour, excitement rippled through the boat when skipper Bruce Macdonald spotted dolphins. Lorenzo was one of the first on the bow as four common dolphins streaked up to the boat to bow ride. Leaning forward to capture the moment, it suddenly became a very expensive one as his iphone slipped from his hands into the water. Well, accidents happen, and as amusing as it was at the time, it’s a salient reminder of the ‘trash’ our modern society is polluting the ocean with.
Seaweek is also an opportunity to highlight the current threats to the health of the ocean. They read as a long and depressing list. But the good news is that there are many opportunities for us all to do our bit. Glenn and Janey were on board to share their perspective on the ocean and discuss ideas and actions we can all take in our daily lives. “It can be as simple as thinking more consciously about our use of plastic for instance, or fishing with greater awareness about the consequences of the methods we use and the number of fish we take.”
“This is really about changing our behaviour and creating a new normal. It used to be normal to smoke on airplanes, now it’s illegal. We’d like to see this applied to single use plastic items. There really aren’t any excuses now that a mulitude of sustainable alternatives are available.”
Thursday 2nd March 2017
12.30pm May Bain Room, Whangarei Central Library
7.30pm Oceans Resort, Tutukaka Marina
Friday 3rd March – A Day Trip to the Poor Knights Marine Reserve
Tutukaka Coast Plastic Free!
Glenn and Janey live on the stunningly beautiful Tutukaka Coast in Northland, New Zealand. Many call it paradise.
But there is a problem in paradise which is shared with the rest of our planet and it’s one that will only get worse unless we all do something about it:
Plastic, or more precisely – single use plastic.
Our pervasive use of plastic packaging and single use plastic items such as plastic straws, shopping bags, take-away coffee cup lids, water bottles and fast food containers is creating a crisis in our piece of paradise.
The Ocean is fast becoming a plastic soup, where in some places pieces of plastic outweigh surface plankton by six to one. An even more sinister side to this plastic horror story is the ability of marine plastic to act as a “chemical sponge” absorbing man-made chemicals, such as PCBs and DDT, creating toxic time-bombs that are ingested by all types of marine life, including the fish on our plates.
Plastic in the Ocean is a serial killer. Fish, whales, turtles and birds ingest the plastic, die and decompose releasing the plastic to float towards its next victim.
As a coastal community we are on the front line of this worldwide catastrophe and can’t allow this dangerous cycle to continue indefinitely.
Our wish for the New Year is to see the Tutukaka Coast Plastic Free.
It’s a wish shared by many in our community and by many other communities across the globe. Hundreds of similar initiatives are already taking place – all of which grew from grassroots community beginnings.
With so many sustainable alternatives available it is time is to eliminate single-use plastic items from our lives.
Wherever you live, by joining together to support each other and your local businesses, you have the power to make your own local environment Plastic Free!
You can follow the Tutukaka Coast Plastic Free Initiative in the following places:
Facebook pages Tutukaka Coast
Watch the launch video: Youtube
Glenn had the privilege of talking with Tim Lynch from Greenplanetfm.com about the living Ocean on his radio show this week (link below). Tim is a tireless worker for benefit of our beautiful Ocean home.
‘ON THE BRINK’ with JEFF WEFFERSON COMIN’ ATCHA 7 DAYS A WEEK
Listen to an interview with Glenn on Sound Cloud, an internet radio station in the USA.
This show is the first in an on-going series of dialogues between Jeff and Glenn. This one focuses on the nature of water.