|OCEAN CITY, New Jersey. April 20. ADVENTURERS and heroes - both real and mythical - have always inspired and enthralled mankind through the millennium. Risk-takers, stewards of the Earth, protectors of the people or the environment, their legacies are passed on from generation to generation.
From Hercules to Paul Bunyan, from George Washington to Jacques-Yves Cousteau, these larger-than-life figures have cut a romantic swath through history.
And the open water swimming world has its own number of daredevils who have overcome incredible odds to make their mark on the sport: Captain Matthew Webb and Lynne Cox to name a few.
But there are others, less celebrated, who are inspirational. Craig Dietz, the limbless waterman, and Freda Streeter, the legend of the English Channel, are two examples.
These modern-day heroes have "The passion to care, the strength to act and the vision to inspire."
Which is precisely the motto of the Legion of Ocean Heroes, the program developed by ocean advocate Bruckner Chase.
In this program, everyone can become an Ocean Hero.
The Legion of Ocean Heroes are the patrons that create a supplemental, emotional and financial support system that enables Bruckner to pursue the mission to positively impact how people of all walks of life and from every background feel, think and act towards the oceans. Whether the initiative is new opportunities for a low-income school district in the United States or in the South Pacific these Ocean Heroes help Bruckner bring the joy and challenges of the ocean environment to the forefront of the media on a macro level and to local individuals on a micro level. The goal is to create the freedom to participate in socially-influential projects of change without being limited by a single partner, a Grantor's resources or other restrictions.
Bruckner remains globally active with non-stop gusto in his aquatic expeditions with famed filmmakers, pursuits of new expeditions with world-class watermen and waterwomen, and the establishment of ocean conservation programs in marine preservation areas.
The Legion of Ocean Heroes program was inspired by one of Bruckner's partners, Wallace J. Nichols (www.wallacejnichols.org) who created the 100Blue Angels (100blueangels.org) program. Bruckner and his wife Michelle Evans-Chase will join J. as co-presenters at the BLUEMiND Summit in June, a summit bringing together the best in the field of ocean conservation and neuroscience to discuss new ways to personally engage people in the waters of the world.
Supporters of the Legion of Ocean Heroes provide donations that help the non-profit organization, Bruckner Chase Ocean Positive, expand its global reach. "Any and every amount will help us to develop new initiatives and to inspire countless other heroes to protect their communities and the oceans we all love. Individuals can participate in a number of ways and levels."
* Ocean Heroes who contribute US$5-10 per month receive a Samoan tapas print recognizing the ancient connection that humans share to their environment and the ocean.
* Ocean Heroes who contribute US$25 per month receive a copy of one of the winning films from the BLUE International Film Festival highlighting one of an infinite number of stories that connects mankind to the world's waterways.
* Ocean Heroes who contribute US$50-75 per month receive a Samoan 'Ava bowl, a central part to one of the most hallowed ceremonies in Samoan culture dating back millennium.
* Ocean Heroes who contribute US$100 per month receive a specially designed, ocean inspired sculpture from an artist in Mississippi that celebrates an ocean connection that exists regardless of how distant the waves may be.
* Ocean Heroes who contribute US$500 per month can be my guest at the BLUE International Film Festival in Monterey, California or can receive a special behind-the-scenes experience at the National Aquarium in Baltimore or the Monterey Bay Aquarium near San Francisco. They may also choose to schedule Bruckner to speak at any organization or group of their choice anywhere in the United States.
* Ocean Heroes who contribute US$1,000 per month can join me on an upcoming trip to American Samoa, or can elect to be the patron who enables an American Samoa Ocean Hero to visit the East Coast to further their training as a lifeguard or budding ocean scientist.
For more information, see www.legionofoceanheroes.com.
Courtesy of Open Water Source