From Skin Diver Magazine November 1999
Environmentalism and capitalism don't always go together. Yet when you talk to Ken Nichols, President of Deep Ecology, there isn't a more appropriate term for him than "environmental capitalist."
Inspired by his love of the ocean, Nichols opened Deep cology in 1996 with a unique marketing idea: use the public's growing environmental consciousness as an element in promoting diving. The public has embraced this novel idea in a big way. "As more and more people see the importance of protecting the oceans, successful businesses include environmental programs in their marketing strategy," Nichols said. "People come to us because they know where we stand right from the beginning." Part of that stand includes a Direct Action Policy. "When we see a creature in trouble or something that needs to be corrected like fishing lines on the reef, we take action." He said. "We take every diver through an introduction at the start of the dive, and if we need to take action during a dive to save a turtle, dolphin or other animal, we do. It's that simple."
The direct action
policy impressed Anne Mihos, a local who dives with Deep Ecology. "They're
very passionate about what they do. I see their intensity and how much
they care," Mihos said. "They are not like some dive stores
just interested in making money-they have a real interest in protecting
Despite the potential for competition, Nichols openly invites other dive stores to copy his ideas. "We can all win if everyone takes a stand to protect our oceans and the places we love to dive," he said. I'd love to see every dive store implement a direct action policy."
From: Captain Paul Watson
This letter is a recommendation of Ken Nichols for his obtaining a Coast Guard Captains license. Ken crewed as a volunteer with my organization for three months and in that time proved to be a reliable and worthy seaman. He was called on to complete numerous tasks often times in stressful situations and proved he was a stable and most valuable crewmember. I look forward to working with Ken on future Sea Shepherd campaigns and I know that he will be a exemplary Captain.
Captain Paul Watson
Founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
From the President of Save The Sea Turtles International Marlu Oliphant
George Balasz of the National Marine Fisheries and Deep Ecology volunteers released Atlantis, featured on the front page of the last issue of the North Shore News on Nov. 23rd back to Alligator Rock Beach. Atlantis was doing well with out his tumors and is expected to be strong enough to survive. Ken Nichols has helped NMF become aware that the turtles should be released where they are found. Previously they have been released on the other side of the island. Save the Sea Turtles Int. is very grateful for all the help Deep Ecology has given to the turtles. Their continued help in the rescue of the Federally protected Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles on the North Shore and all the public TV and News that they have generated has helped the public become aware of the plight of the turtles. On Thanksgiving Day, Ken and his group rescued three more turtles. One turtle brought to Save the Sea Turtles International during Thanksgiving dinner had a badly damaged flipper and was bleeding. We named him "Thanks" and will have further reports for you.
We have a lot of three legged turtles on the North Shore now. Most have been caught in abandoned fishing line and hooks near the rocky shoreline. Turtles can survive loosing one flipper. Fishing line has also been a project of Deep Ecology along with other ocean garbage such as abandoned nets and trash. There is a mountain of marine debris growing daily behind the dive shop and I invite the community to view the results of Deep Ecology's hard work in cleaning our North Shore Ocean. This a great place to take children for an educational tour. Thanks Ken.
From the University
I want to express my sincere gratitude to you for speaking with the Geography of Global Tourism: Ecotourism class participants this summer at the University of Hawai'i. This inaugural course was an overall success. Not only were you enthusiastic in your response to the invitation, but the student evaluations of the course provide some insight as to the importance of your participation. The course also contributed significantly to my own thought process during revisions to my dissertation, a synopsis of which is included with this letter for your information and comments. Perhaps more importantly are these student comments as testament of the need to offer the course in the future. Obviously, any such undertaking will require your continued support and participation.
In response to " My overall evaluation of this course is" were the following observations:
It seemed like too many speakers in the beginning, however, I am surprised how tremendous and valuable the information was and the impact of this single course.
If this course includes guest speakers like the ones this semester, I would encourage every student to take it.
This course is a valuable addition to the University o Hawai'i. The speakers were an excellent opportunity to meet local contacts and learn about local issues. More courses such as this which look critically at issues such as tourism should be offered.
Excellent. More students should be exposed to these issues since they could have a dramatic effect on the economic development of Hawai'i. The course should be better publicized so more students are aware of it; this would be a very popular course. More courses should utilize this course's format and structure.
I feel very fortunate to have been offered a course that can be applied to my personal future goals as well as to the future goals of any given community.
The method used to teach was very effective. I felt that it is important for people to be informed about the types of activities as well as the effects of these activities.
Dr. Murray Chapman, chairperson of the Geography Department, will discuss future options for the course with University of Hawai'i faculty and the Outreach College. I will let you know of developments because our future collaboration will ensure continued success.
From State Senator Robert Bunda
As the President of the Deep Ecology from 1996 to 2001, Ken not only has shared the beauty of Hawaii's top diving locations with countless tourists, but he has done so with an emphasis on the need to respect and protect our marine environment. He has demonstrated this personal commitment by a tireless crusade to increase the level of protection of ocean life at Pupukea Marine Life Conservation District on Hawaii's North Shore. Although the area is an established conservation district, fishing and netting are allowed. Ken has been a vocal advocated for a total ban on the taking of any marine life in the conservation area and was instrumental in bringing about the current grassroots review of the existing rules.
Ken has worked tirelessly to remove abandoned nets and tangled fishing lines from Hawaiian reefs that maim or kill marine creatures indiscriminately. In the last several weeks, Ken has been in the news for his rescue of an ever-increasing number of endangered green sea turtles, all of which have suffered injury as a result of discarded fishing line and hooks.
There is no doubt that Ken has had a direct impact on raising the level of awareness, of both tourists and residents alike, on the importance of protecting Hawaii's marine environment.
I would like to take this opportunity to strongly recommend Ken Nichols to be a part of Greenpeace's Canvas staff in Australia. I have had the pleasure of working with Ken for the last year in the San Diego office of Greenpeace USA, and can attest to his dedication and excellent work ethic.
Since he started, Ken has been one of the highest and most consistent fundraisers in the history of the San Diego office. Not only has he maintained a $135 average since his first week with Greenpeace, his average during the past month is currently $187.
Always present and prompt at crew time, Ken is an integral part of our daily briefings and volunteer workshops. He continually offers positive and valuable insights and information, which the staff regards highly. He has also surpassed the call of duty here be regularly and willingly speaking to school groups and tabling various community events. We are proud to have such an intelligent, committed and well informed individual representing Greenpeace's philosophies to the public.
Ken's ability to motivate and lead others has ensured his promotions to trainer and field manager. Rarely have I met an individual who is able to convey as much passion and sincerity about the issues that confront us, is such a positive and effective manner.
Please accept this as my unqualified recommendation of Ken Nichols. He will be a credit to any office or organization he works with.