About Deep Ecology Hawaii - Skin Diver Magazine Article
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From Skin Diver Magazine November 1999
|Deep Ecology receives international attention in the world's most popular dive magazine.
Environmentalism and capitalism don't always go together. Yet when you talk to Ken Nichols, owner of North Shore Diving Headquarters in Hawaii, there isn't a more appropriate term for him than "environmental capitalist." Inspired by his love of the ocean, Nichols opened NSDH 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 NSDH. "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 the ocean."
The direct action policy is a very tangible way for NSDH to help protect the local waters, but Nichols is involved in a more subtle way. "We are making our money directly from the ocean, so we have an obligation to help protect it. But instead of going out and begging for money, we're using our business to raise money to make a difference."
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."
For more information about North Shore Diving Headquarters, visit their website at www.ecstasea.com.