Marine Sport: SCUBA Diving
Current Home/Base: Bermuda
Place of Origin: Bermuda
Profession: Commercial Diver
IG/Twitter Handle: @weldonwade
Key Takeaway: “Start something that matters”
Meet Weldon Wade, one of the most active environmentalists we’ve met. Weldon is a diver and lifelong marine advocate. Two years ago, he left his 20-year career as an “IT Janitor” to pursue ocean advocacy full-time. As a day job, Weldon dives commercially for a local company that performs boat salvages, maintenance, and marine waste management. This, he admits, is just another way to get paid to do what he loves: to dive and protect the ocean.
When he’s not with his partner and 3-year-old son, Weldon spends his spare time working with ocean advocacy groups, running beach cleanups and invasive lionfish tournaments, speaking at schools, launching youth snorkeling clubs, and leading eco-tours. He is a board member for a number of organizations, and an ambassador for both SeaHive and 5 Gyres. If that wasn’t enough, Weldon has spent the last ten years running his own organization, Guardians of the Reef. The charity is not yet a registered Bermuda Registered Charity; however, that has not stopped Weldon from using his platform to engage divers and fisherman to help the environment. Weldon explained that although there are about 30 blue and green nonprofits operating in Bermuda, none had been effectively engaging the skills of the wider local diving community for an environmental cause. So, he put his money where his mouth was and created one, himself. Yet despite his all-encompassing dedication to marine health, Weldon humbly describes himself as “just a guy up the street who fell in love with the ocean and rolled up his sleeves.”
We at SeaHive asked Weldon if he had any exciting projects in the pipeline. Indeed, he recently started a project called the 16 Fathoms Deep Sea Survey. As part of an underwater baseline study out of Florida, Weldon will be coordinating a series of dives to collect benthic data along Bermuda’s South Shore at (you guessed it) 16 fathoms deep. Structured as an invitational, the event is tentatively planned for Spring 2020 and will span a few weekends to allow more people to participate. Divers will survey 10 sites along the shore and will need deep dive experience and their own equipment to participate. This will be an opportunity to be part of something unique; The National Geographic Open Explorer Program has taken an interest in the event, and 16 Fathoms has received sponsorship to offer a live feed of the event, operate an ROV during the data collection period, and use an app called Glympse to track the boat live. As Weldon explained, “No one has ever done anything like this in Bermuda.”
To lock down the event, 16 Fathoms needs a little funding and some administrative support, but otherwise is well positioned to move forward. If you want to get involved or simply follow Weldon’s work, you can find him on Instagram at @weldonwade. We are proud to have Weldon rep SeaHive in the field and we cannot wait to see what results come of his tireless efforts to protect our oceans.
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