CLF Joins Forces with Renowned Photojournalist Brian Skerry to Reveal the Treasures of New England’s Ocean

CONTACT:
Karen Wood, CLF, (617) 850-1722, kwood@clf.org

BOSTON, MA  August 8, 2011—Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) announced today that it is partnering with renowned underwater photographer Brian Skerry to bring to light the natural treasures of New England’s ocean. Skerry, an award-winning photographer for National Geographic Magazine, travels the globe shooting the spectacular flora and fauna that live beneath the waves to raise awareness of the fragility of the world’s oceans. An Uxbridge, Massachusetts resident, Skerry will return to his native New England to photograph the abundant ocean life and unique topography of the region’s special underwater places, including Cashes Ledge, Stellwagen Bank and more in conjunction with CLF’s Gulf of Maine campaign.

Priscilla Brooks, PhD, director of CLF’s Ocean Conservation program, said, “New England is inextricably linked to its ocean:  for food, recreation, tourism, industry and all the jobs and prosperity that it brings to our region. While every New Englander would argue that our ocean is worth protecting, few stop to think about the enormous pressure it faces from all of those uses, as well as a changing climate. In the first comprehensive effort of its kind, Brian will take people to see the magnificent animals, plants and features that make this ocean special. By revealing this hidden ecosystem teeming with life through his watchful eyes, we hope to deepen New Englanders’ relationship with their ocean and their commitment to protect it. We think people will be amazed by the enormous beauty, diversity and majesty of New England’s ocean.”

“Coming home to New England to undertake this project has special meaning for me,” said Skerry. “While I have dived here all my life, this is an opportunity to bring my fellow New Englanders along with me and show them that our ocean is every bit as thrilling and surprising and beautiful as seemingly more exotic locales. I am excited to be working with CLF to help raise awareness of both the amazing riches of New England’s ocean and the very real issues facing it, and advance their efforts to sustain it for future generations.”

Background on Brian Skerry

Brian Skerry is praised worldwide for his aesthetic sense as well as his journalistic drive for relevance. His images tell stories that not only celebrate the mystery and beauty of the sea, but also help bring attention to the large number of issues that endanger our oceans and their inhabitants.

Unique within the field of underwater photography is Skerry’s ability to pursue subjects of great diversity. He typically spends eight months each year in the field, diving in environments from tropical coral reefs to beneath polar ice. While on assignment, he has lived on the bottom of the sea, spent months aboard fishing boats and traveled in everything from snowmobiles to canoes to the Goodyear Blimp to get the picture. He has spent more than 10,000 hours underwater over the last thirty years.

For National Geographic Magazine, Skerry has covered a wide range of stories, from the harp seal’s struggle to survive in frozen waters to the alarming decrease in the world’s fisheries, both cover stories. His images have been featured in magazines such as Sports Illustrated, US News and World Report, BBC Wildlife, GEO, Smithsonian, Esquire, Audubon, Men’s Journal and in countless other publications worldwide. His latest book, a 160-photo monograph entitled Ocean Soul, will be released in Fall, 2011.

Skerry frequently lectures on photography and conservation issues, having presented at venues such as TED Talks, Harvard University, The National Press Club in Washington, DC and the Royal Geographical Society in London. He is also a regular guest on programs such as NBC’s Today Show, CBS’s Sunday Morning and ABC’s Good Morning America.

Skerry will conduct a series of dives for CLF, exploring both coastal areas and deep sea habitats far offshore. CLF’s Gulf of Maine campaign is dedicated to the protection of special places in New England’s ocean, including: Cashes Ledge, Jeffreys Ledge, Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, Jordan Basin, Deep Sea Canyons and Seamounts.

CLF intends to mount a multi-media campaign showcasing Skerry’s work beginning this Fall. His first dive will take place at Cashes Ledge, 80 miles off the coast of Gloucester, MA in late August.

The Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) protects New England’s environment for the benefit of all people. Using the law, science and the market, CLF creates solutions that preserve natural resources, build healthy communities, and sustain a vibrant economy region-wide. Founded in 1966, CLF is a nonprofit, member-supported organization with offices in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.