You know those kids who jump into every puddle they come across? That was me. Swimming pools, lakes and duck ponds. You name it, I jumped into it. I practiced holding my breath in the bathtub (Once I made it 4 minutes!). Some kids had invisible friends, I had an invisible pet dolphin.
As an adult I learned to jump into new experiences with the same enthusiasm. I’ve had the opportunity to head multiple successful teams in a billion dollar plus organization, working to develop top quality leaders and systems in the process. I am thrilled to bring those experiences to work saving the planet, one reef at a time, with the Coral Restoration Project.
Ask me about: Creating leadership experiences in and on the water, having fun negotiating and what you can do to save a reef today.
Jane Silver-Bagford is Vice President of Operations
“Leave the World a better place than when you found it.” Words to live by, and I try to live by them every day. When I teach, I see the light go on for students and know that I made a difference. When I make music, someone sings along, and I know that I have made their day a little brighter. When I hike or dive, I bring back garbage so the ecosystem is not wounded.
I struggle when I see a reef that is dying, and have always doubted my ability to do anything about it. Now that I am member of the Coral Restoration Project, I have found a way to make a difference to the oceans as well. Join me in “leaving the World a better place than when we found it.”
Jeff Bagford is a Middle School Math Teacher
Growing up on the west coast of Florida it is safe to say I have always been a water baby. I was always in support of reduce, reuse and recycle but it wasn’t until I took a scuba diving course and began my diving adventures that I fully realized just how important what was underneath the water and how it affects our environment, even the air we breathe!
Our first ocean diving adventure happened in Bonaire which has some of the best shore diving in the world. The reef was healthy, especially the walls where the water is just a bit cooler. The entire island is a marine sanctuary and fishing is limited.
The next big diving adventure happened in Ambergris Caye, Belize and I was shocked at how different the reef was compared to Bonaire. Macro algae covered most of the coral and a much lower number of fish. Heavy tourism, ocean acidification, warmer water, agricultural runoff, destruction of mangroves, and over fishing all contributed to the sad state of the reef in that area.
Witnessing the impact that man has on the environment I knew I needed to do something. I am a Family Nurse Practitioner where healing and educating my patients allows me the opportunity to make a real difference in their everyday lives. As a part of Coral Restoration Project I’m excited about the tangible difference I’ll get to make with coral reef restoration which I believe will make a difference for the entire planet for generations to come.
Who would have guessed a farm girl from the Midwest would fall in love with ocean life? Not me, but I have. I love being in water. I have found diving and the sense of peace it brings me when I am below the surface. But life below the surface has not been as serene as it used to be. I am seeing the effects of the deteriorating of the reefs. As the plant life dies so do the fish that live in them. As these fish disappear, so do the larger ones. Instead of being bright with color and full of life, the reefs are becoming dull and scant of life.
I have been an educator for more than 15 years and involved with education for an additional ten years beyond this. As an educator, I am always learning. I am excited to learn how to regrow corals to help rebuild reefs throughout our oceans. I look forward to bringing my skills to a hands-on classroom and being able to teach and involve others in what I know and learn. What an awesome way “To Save the World…One Reef at a Time.”
Debra Tjoland is an Elementary Teacher in Utah
I have enjoyed being around water all my life. Growing up in Minnesota there were rivers and stream, lakes aplenty. After getting my Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from South Dakota State University, my career took me to the US Air Force as a civilian engineer in Utah where I completed a Master’s degree in engineering at Utah State University. While in Utah, I gained an interest in diving in the early 90’s and grew to love heading to freshwater and saltwater diving locations, along the way I obtained my PADI Divemaster certification.
Diving over the years, I have personally seen changes in the quality of ocean reefs and corals degrading. By actively participating in the Coral Restoration Project, I want to make a difference in preserving this area of our ecosystem, for me and for future generations.
Wayne Tjoland is an Electrical Engineer in Utah