Sunday, August 30, 2015

Global Environmental Guardians Network Launch

I'm in America again much sooner than I expected to be.

The Global Environmental Guardians Network (GEGN), hosted by the Kuwait Dive Team, “Guardians of the Sea”, had its inaugural summit on 29 & 30 August 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. The vision for this Network is to foster collaboration and cooperation between environmental organizations and teams that carry out serious eco-missions and strive to solve tough environmental issues. See more online at

The Kuwait Dive Team brought me to Baltimore to participate in the Summit - a happy addition to the data I am building on their environmental diplomacy efforts. The Summit itself was delightfully close to the Royal Geographic Society's Annual Conference in Exeter, at which I'll be presenting on the Kuwait Dive Team later this week. It's nice to have a refresh and new stories to share for that.

While here, the Team partnered up with the Back River Restoration Committee in northern Baltimore to do a clean-up. Friday evening, we lifted something like five tonnes of rubbish and debris from the river. If only every academic conference started with something similar!

We also got to go on a live tour of the Water Wheel, a really fantastic system that uses solar and current energy to get rubbish out of the river. Check out

The Summit itself brought together a group of organisations to share their work and create ideas for partnerships. The brains are buzzing with potential new activities...of course the danger here is that it means more work! But also more data for me and the research...yippee!

Dari, a member of the Kuwait Dive Team who I met at AMENDS in 2013, is now based in Maryland for his studies. He works as a volunteer firefighter, medic, and rescue diver for the Middle River Volunteer Ambulance Rescue. We got a tour of the station...only for them to receive a call and show off with a dramatic rushing away!

And what environmental conference is complete without a frolic that includes sea turtles and dolphins?! Thanks, Baltimore Aquarium!

My time in Baltimore is also highlighted on the reseach blog for King's Water:


  1. You must have a bundle of frequent flier miles. Baltimore can use all the decent publicity they can get. I hope some local news station covered this one. Uncle Al

  2. Unfortunately all the flights are different operators, so I'm not getting perks!

    But we did have a good amount of press. :)