You win some and you lose some . . . or do you?
On January 19th, I had the extreme honour of accepting the Vancouver Aquarium’s Murray A. Newman Award for Excellence in Aquatic Conservation. In the thick, wonderful soup of positive emotions associated with this, I delight in the award being known as The MAN Award.
On January 25th, it was announced that the Marine Education and Research Society’s Humpback Comeback Project would not receive funding dollars from the AVIVA Community Fund. This was a shock as this small local project succeeded in getting the third highest number of votes out of more than 520 in our category, more than 1,100 votes ahead of the forth place. After the intensive on-line voting, the projects were judged and Humpback Comeback was determined not to best meet the AVIVA criteria/priorities.
It was a shock yes, but there are far more similarities between winning the MAN award and the AVIVA result than just my exclaiming “Oh man!” at the end of both.
I could not have achieved what was recognized by the award without the opportunities and support provided by the people of Northern Vancouver Island. The astounding community support and encouragement we also experienced for the Humpback Comeback Project provided an equally potent affirmation of purpose.
Losing? Every time someone voted for the Project or that we had a media opportunity, awareness was created for whales and for the threat of entanglement; positive attention was focused on our area and its remarkable biodiversity; and people responded to an opportunity to create positive change. There are those that have now even decided to support the Project through donations or by helping to find alternative funding sources.
Sometimes life deals a challenge that only intensifies focus, strengthens resolve, and enhances creativity to achieve what you believe in. Oh man, I assure you that this is the case with the Humpback Comeback Project!
Great thanks to all for the support.
Jackie Hildering is a biologist, avid scuba diver and marine educator. See www.themarinedetective.ca and www.mersociety.org.