Sunday, January 18, 2009

Inching closer to the launch ramp

We have been fine tuning the hydrophone and running some tests. The weather has cleared, after closing schools and government offices this week, but our launch boat is broken. We are looking for a boat and hoping to set a launch date for midweek. Pictured here (l to r) are Shelly, our diver and anchorwoman, Leanna, who is a boat captain and environmental educator on Maui and in Santa Fe, Sher, a Whalesong Board member. Leanna talks about our project to visitors when she takes them out into the ocean. I thank each of these fine women for their help, inspiration and support of the project.

And I want to thank BJB Charitable Trust for their substantial financial support of the project. The economic situation is a challenge for our project, as it has been for many. Each of you out there who has sent money has our deep gratitude. We have been running on $5,000 to $15,000 per year, all volunteers, no salaries......all costs above what comes in are carried by me and our other volunteers. We would very much like to move this project substantially forward, and that is going to require us focusing some time on fund raising. The buoy is the first priority so we are going on credit cards until she is working.

I also want to welcome President Obama. We look forward to working with him to keep the oceans healthy.

I've been very uncomfortable in many ways with our outgoing president, but I want to thank him for creating and providing protection to Papahānaumokuākea, the Northwest Hawaiian Islands National Marine Monument, and adding three other National Marine Monuments in recent days. Mahalo, George Bush, for these important gifts to the world. I hope Democrats and Republicans can now work together and with other world leaders to create the peace, stability, awareness, and proactive programs required to further protect our precious oceans.

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