Deep Ecology philosophy is summarized with the words of the man who has done more to enlighten the people of the world about the priceless and irreplaceable resource we call the ocean.
“If human civilization is going to invade the waters of the earth, then let it be first of all to carry a message of respect – respect for all life.” Jacques-Yves Cousteau.
Deep Ecology do not simply repeat the words of Captain Cousteau, we adhere to them in every way. The Deep Ecology Coalition is our initiated contract holding us accountable to the philosophy of “respect for all life.” But Deep Ecology has many unique qualities that make it a truly one of a kind dive facility. One of the major goals set forth by Captain Ken Nichols, President is to compel other dive facilities to copy Deep Ecology’s policies. His reason for this is simple. To him it is of utmost responsibility for dive operators to protect the marine environment from which they derive their incomes. “If the environment you operate in is safe, well protected and flourishing. The duty becomes then maintaining of that existence. If conversely the environment is under siege from pressures such as pollution, over fishing, inadequate conservation laws and enforcement, and overcrowding by divers the obligation then becomes to change that reality for the better.” On the island of Oahu where Deep Ecology is based all of the above apply. The trend for dive operators has been towards large boats with often times 25 divers and more.
Volume has clearly been the focus and as a result quality of service has been greatly reduced and negative impact is amplified. Businesses continue to fail even though their boats are often times full. “I believe the most profitable businesses going into the new millennium are going to be those that have proven track records of ecological commitment.” With an initial capital investment of $8000.00 in May 1996 Deep Ecology has experienced excellent growth in Hawaii’s dive industry and now has undoubtedly the most impressive facility in physical appearance, educational achievements, quality service, unsurpassed diving and without question the State’s undisputed leader in protecting and improving Oahu’s marine environment through direct action. In the last two months alone, Deep Ecology’s accomplishments would make any dive operation proud if accomplished over several years. In that time 3 ghost nets have been removed from Oahu reefs. A total length of 500+ feet recovered in depths up to 200 feet. On one shallow recovery a young boy and customer from Oklahoma was brought along to observe.
“Make a Difference”
Several beach cleanups have been conducted and many thousands of pounds of ocean waste recovered. Again, many visitors and locals have taken part. Thus far Deep Ecology has rescued 37 endangered Green Sea Turtles. Three turtles was have been recovered dead, and most all of the turtles were victims of entanglement in fishing line and/or hooks. Sadly, 11 turtles required the amputation of their fins. Without question many marine lives have been saved. Approximately 60-70 local news stories about our efforts have aired on Hawaii’s television news reaching 1.2 million viewers. Several local radio broadcasts and two national television profiles and several international programs have additionally reported on our operation. Also during this time massive progress has been gained with the goal of changing Hawaii’s shameful lack of marine sanctuaries. Two senators, the mayor, and several different agencies have become involved and are directly aware of Ken Nichols’ and Deep Ecology’s efforts. On August 16th 1999 a front page story chronicling the events above was printed in Hawaii’s largest newspaper, The Honolulu Advertiser. All in all, no operation has effected so much , so fast in the diving industry in this state and perhaps globally as Deep Ecology.
The proudest accomplishment which is now a very real possibility is the forming of the North Shore’s first marine sanctuary which has only become a realistic possibility due to our compelling documentation of marine destruction. “I am eminently confident the North Shore will have its first marine sanctuary. My focus is simply getting it sooner, rather than later.”
When you are fortunate enough to interact with whales, turtles, and Scuba Diving – Ken Bumpydolphins on a regular basis, you cannot help but feel truly blessed. Conversely when you have a turtle so hideously covered in tumors that he is one step from total blindness and death swim directly into your arms, you may feel as we do. Dissatisfied.
“When you realize the value of all life, you dwell less on what is past and concentrate more on the preservation of the future.” Dian Fossey – Last entry into her journal the night she was murdered.
All to often our industry turns a blind eye to serious problems such as the above or simply pays lip service to the problems. Without doubt, we as an industry could be doing far more. Our vision is to see the day when all ocean tour operators not only take. But give, for the oceans that provide their income. Through the employment of simple, ethical, and sound ecological policies (see Deep Ecology Coalition) we can indeed make a difference. Our operation has undeniably had a huge impact for the better in the environment we operate within. What if every operation conducted business this way?
Table of Content
Hawaii is the southernmost state in the United States. In the center of the Pacific Ocean, Hawaii is one of the most isolated yet populous places on Earth. Hawaii is one of the smallest states in the U.S. The 6,425 square miles of land consists of 8 large islands and 124 small islands, reefs and shoals. The Hawaiian Islands were formed by volcanic eruptions and these eruptions still continue today on the Big Island of Hawaii. Hawaii generally has a tropical climate. Because of the effect of the mountains on wind patterns, most of the islands have significant rainfall. The surrounding ocean keeps temperatures from becoming extremely warm. The highest temperature recorded for the Hawaiian Islands was 100 degrees Fahrenheit in 1931.
The obvious beauty of the Hawaiian Islands disguises the fact that many indigenous plants and animals are already extinct or endangered. Mostly because of habitat destruction and the introduction of plant and animal species from outside Hawaii. It is clear that human impact has profoundly impacted the life that evolved in complete isolation here for millions of years. Hawaii, as a result of this impact has become known as one of the endangered species capitals of the world. In fact, over 50% of all the endangered species within the US, come from the tiny landmass of the Hawaiian Islands.
What makes Hawaii Special? As a former Southern California resident I was one of the many who believed Hawaii to be over rated and over developed. Although there is some truth to the latter, the former could not be further from the truth. To start, the Hawaiian Islands are comprised of eight main islands and are the most isolated island chain on the planet. Right in the middle of the vast Pacific Ocean. The eight main islands are Oahu, Kauai, Niihau, Molokai, Lanai, Maui, and Hawaii (which is not the main island. Oahu is) The isolation provides some of the purest breathing air on earth. If you come from any populated area (So Cal), you learn immediately the wonder of clean fresh air. One of the many valuable resources of Hawaii is the phenomenal weather. There is little temperature variability from summer to winter (about 9° F at the coastal areas) Temperatures are usually in the 80’s F with moderate humidity. You will understand very quickly why so many people dread leaving our truly magnificent weather. Many people never leave. I know, I’m one of them. Aside from the weather the terrestrial environment is simply unmatched. The world class beaches here offer black and white and pink and green sand beaches. What else? The tallest sea cliffs in the world (2000 feet plus!), the wettest spot on the planet, the tallest mountain in the world (top to bottom), the worlds most active volcano, we even have a mini “Grand Canyon”. You could spend a lifetime exploring all the nuances of Hawaii’s natural splendors and still not see it all. Common activities include hiking, sunbathing, sightseeing, shopping, nightlife, helicopter and plane tours, and of course whale watching, snorkeling, and scuba diving.
Diving & Snorkeling
We based our shop on the North Shore of Oahu. Known to surfers around the world as the “Surfing Capital of the World”, it is less known but equally spectacular for its diving and snorkeling. The same monster waves that pound these shores through much of the winter have chiseled incredible and dramatic formations out of the lava underwater. Steep drop offs, lava tubes, and caverns are among the many features found in abundance here. Water temperature varies little and is around 78-80° F. The water is usually an indescribable iridescent blue with visibility from 40 to 100 feet and beyond. Marine life includes endemic species (life found only in Hawaii) at a very high rate of 20-30%. There simply is no diving like Hawaii anywhere else. To say that the diving is better elsewhere is like comparing apples to oranges. The only way to truly appreciate the magic of Hawaii’s marine environment is to study the many books on the subject, or to have the company of an expert guide. In all honesty, many dive operations will simply give you a tank and basic briefing and off you go. To myself, and our staff that is a great shame. There is much you will never see if your tour is conducted this way. We provide detailed briefings with site maps so you will get the most for your dive.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) How long have you been in business?
2) What is your safety record?
No serious incidents – virtually perfect
3) Do you own & operate your own boat?
Yes – Custom design, visiting exclusive dive sites
4) What is you maximum capacity for boat dives?
6 passengers total!
5) What impact does your operation have on the marine environment?
Our record is unparalleled & we are directly responsible for the formation of a Marine Sanctuary in our own backyard
6) Are you a full dive operation with your own fill station, rental gear & store?
Yes – We offer Air/Nitrox fills, superior rental gear & and renowned art & photo gallery, T-shirts and more
7) What are your prices?
We are competitive with Hawaii’s best dive operations