Alden Glinert has a background in marine science, aquarium science and environmental policy
“The visibility changed and the temperature changed. And when that happened the diversity of all the coastal tide pool regions went away.” Alden Glinert on the threats the ocean is facing due to pollution.
He’s currently contributing to the work Living Islands – a non-profit which fosters sustainable and healthy communities in Micronesia. And as a surfer, the ocean means everything to him. Meet Alden Glinert, our third Ocean Witness.
So, what’s your earliest memory of the ocean?
I feel like I have a couple memories that have been minced over the years with photographs and stories that have been told to me or I have seen from when I was really young. But it would be my time spent walking the California coastal tide pools in Southern Orange County as a youth.
And what does the ocean mean to you today?
I live in the Pacific Northwest and the ocean means everything to me. I am a surfer, I have been working in marine science and relevant fields for most of my life. Oceans are everything.
“Oceans are everything.”
What are the changes you’re witnessing in the ocean?
As a surfer, I definitely am surfing in Portland Oregon, only about two hours from the coast. All my friends who grew up there talk about how the water is so much warmer now than it was when they were kids. They couldn’t get into the water on most days even in summer unless they were wearing a wetsuit and now the water temperature gets up to 70 degrees at times. It’s a big change in just the surf community.
When I was younger, my mom – who grew up in Southern California, Coastal Orange County – talked about how the tide pools had lobster back in the 1960s that were crawling over each other in the tide pools, along with all these animals that aren’t there anymore. You know there were actually seahorse that used to exist in the shells? My mom still talks about it hurting her heart not to see these things anymore.
Further out you get to kelp forests where there used to be 20-30 foot visibility and now it’s abouts 4-5 foot. Due to the pollution in Southern California, the visibility changed and the temperature changed. And when that happened the diversity of all the coastal tide pool regions went away.
Alden Glinert has been a special education teacher for 11 years and he has a background in marine science, aquarium science and environmental policy. He’s directing the Living Islands junior ocean ambassador camp in the summer of 2018. Living Islands is a non-profit working to improve the quality of life for Micronesian people by contributing to the environmental sustainability, cultural preservation, modern economic development and accessible quality education.