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On gratitude

November 24, 2020

It’s the season of giving–and I want to start by giving thanks for the things I am grateful for at Seacology.

Dr. Paul Cox
  1. First and foremost, I want to thank you for your support and encouragement. Seacology could not be successful in its mission of protecting island environments and cultures without the generous gifts of many donors. As they say in Samoa, “E tele ni lima e mama ai se avega” (Many hands make a burden light).
  2. I also want to thank our remarkable Seacology staff. There are few conservation organizations in the world that have such a large footprint, and this is due largely to our extraordinarily productive and deeply devoted staff members.
  3. A particular vote of gratitude goes to our Executive Director, Duane Silverstein. Formerly, Seacology was a totally volunteer operation. Since we all had day jobs, at most we could execute 2-3 island projects per year. Since Duane professionalized Seacology, we now have established 339 Seacology projects in 64 countries.
  4. I am deeply grateful to our Directors and Fellows who have generously supported Seacology through the years and have defined the strategic envelope in which we achieve our conservation mission.
  5. Nothing Seacology has accomplished would have occurred without the indigenous people who serve as our conservation partners. Their devotion and the sacrifices they make to protect their islands continue to inspire all of us.
  6. Equally inspiring is the group of 31 Seacology Prize recipients who have faced extraordinary obstacles in their heroic efforts to protect their environments and cultures. 
  7. I am particularly grateful to my wife Barbara who offered to mortgage our house to fund a new school for Falealupo village in Samoa in order to save the rain forest from loggers. Together with Verne and Marion Read, Ken Murdock, Rex Maughan, my university students, and family members, we were able to assemble the $85,000 required to build the school and repay the village loan from the loggers.
  8. I am also grateful to Nu Skin’s Force for Good Foundation, for providing an ongoing revenue stream to Seacology based on sale of Epoch personal care products.

Most of all, I am grateful to Seacology for showing a new way to conserve island environments through indigenous partnerships. Please join with me on Giving Tuesday, December 1, to help Seacology continue its important mission.

Paul Alan Cox, Ph.D.
Chair