USEA believes that the new generation, kids, and young people are the leaders of our future. Therefore, it's our responsibility to connect with youth and introduce ethical and moral principles of marine conservation and cetacean anti-captivity movement at their young age.
To achieve this connection, USEA envisions creating an interactive educational curriculum in the form of video games, cartoons, comics, and phone applications to promote the importance of PRESERVING THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT.
There is a long journey ahead of us, but we firmly believe that access to marine science education is a right, that shall be accessible to all. Within our vision, the significance of USEA Ambassadors, Coast Guardians, Divers and Academies are without any doubt, a crucial part of our alliance.
A USEA Coast Guardian is a professional and experienced patroller, boat driver or captain of a vessel that respectfully monitors his/her environment, reports and collects data during her/his activities on the sea, ocean, river or lake.
Our Coast Guardians are professionally trained and actively apply USEA boat and engine techniques while carefully observing marine mammals activity, their behavior, feeding or socializing during topside views. A USEA Coast Guardian promotes his/her experience and activity on USEA social media, providing articles or photo reports from his/her journey as well.
In the field, a USEA Coast Guardian should control proper behavior of whale watching boats, report and document both good and bad behavior with written articles, pictures or video.
Cathy, "Ocean Shieldmaiden" was educated in the protection of the oceans from a very young age, and her passion for the sea has been reinforced since she moved to the island of Guadeloupe.
From 2003, she has spent time as an eco volunteer, guarding the islets of « Petite Terre », monitoring turtles, organizing surveys and worked as a Marine Mammal Observer too.
In 2015, Cathy created her association called "Breach Antilles", with the main goal to offer specific missions, dedicated to the cetaceans and protection of the oceans.
These missions are built towards the support and marine education of teenagers from disadvantaged social backgrounds.
For about ten years, Cathy was working with experts like Nadège Gandilhon who is a Ph.D. marine biologist or with Olivier Adam who works as a Bio-acoustic researcher. They have taught Cathy a lot in terms of visual and acoustic recognition of cetaceans.
At the same time, swimming with sperm whales, dolphins, false orcas and orcas became Cathy's true passion. In 2018, she joined the ORCA NORWAY and USEA team as a boat driver and Safety Diver.
Captain Alan “Hobbes” Buchanan has been a whale watch captain for over 16 years. For the last 7 years, he has owned and operated his own company out of Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, Washington. He has operated boats since he was 14 years old, where he began on the River Thames in England. As a former non-commissioned officer in an elite regiment of the British Army, Hobbes hopes to crew his vessel with veterans to document violations and respond to emergencies.
After 16-years as a whale watch tour operator, his passion for whales have led him to create Orca Protection & Rescue (OPR), a new organization aimed at helping to save the whales and wildlife of the Salish Sea. OPR will focus on whale watch regulations and enforcement, toxins from stormwater run-off, marine debris, and plastic removal.
When Captain Hobbes began his commercial whale-watching career in 2002, there were only 15-20 vessels engaged with approximately 90 whales that made up the Southern Resident Killer Whale (SRKW) population. Today, over 100 whale watch boats engage with 75 whales, from the San Juan Islands, Anacortes, Everett, Seattle, Port Townsend, Victoria, White Rock, Sooke, Nanimo, Vancouver and other small Canadian towns. “Researchers have found that whales change their behavior and stop feeding when lots of boats and noise are around them, no wonder they are starving to death.”