Today we’d like to highlight Sean, a freediver in the Halifax area and the #LocalHero this month!
Sean is a freediver and explorer on a mission to see what lurks beneath the oceans and lakes of Canada and to keep them clean! The main motive behind the Saltwater Sean page/project is to bring attention to ocean and lake conservancy. Sean takes everything he finds underwater back up with him to show what’s down there isn’t exactly treasure. He posts his findings on his Youtube, Tiktok, Instagram, and Facebook pages. With hundreds of years of trash found in our lakes, Sean has found everything from antiques to all sorts of different types of garbage!
1 & 2) Tell us a bit about yourself, what motivated you to start getting involved with the environment & how you first get involved with diving?
I’ve been snorkelling and free-diving since I was a teenager but only started filming my underwater adventures with a GoPro in May 2020 as a way to pass the time during the early days of the pandemic. From there, it just kind of morphed and took a life of its own, and became an obsession. It started with just looking for interesting bottles, but I quickly realized if I’m picking and choosing what I take and leaving the garbage, that wasn’t good. So, I started taking everything out with me, photographing it and sharing it online.
3) Can you tell us why having clean lakes is so important?
Our earth is all we have. I don’t think we’ll be heading to Mars anytime soon. I’m only one person but if more people see what I’m doing, perhaps it’ll motivate them to get in their rivers, lakes or ocean and do the same.
4) What actions do you take to help the environment, and why are they so important?
Every time I go for a dive, I take out as much as I possibly can. Lately, I’ve been using my kayak as a garbage can because my dive bag gets too full too quickly.
5) What challenges or obstacles do you face when pursuing your goals?
Seasonal usually. Winter here in Nova Scotia can be brutal. Also, new gear can be expensive.
6) How do you keep yourself motivated?
Although it’s just me, it feels good to know that at the end of the day there’s just a little bit less trash in the water and with social media today, I know my efforts can be shared with thousands of people and maybe it’ll strike a chord.
7) Who inspires you in terms of activism and making a difference in the zero waste space?
A few years ago, I became friends with environmentalist & actor Adrian Grenier who was filming a movie in Halifax. My wife and I hit it off with him and his organization Lonely Whale inspired me to do something. I learned that just one person really can make a difference if they truly care. He’s become a mentor to both of us and supports what I do still to this day.
I ended up partnering with my friend Alexa Goodman to start an organization called Stop Trashing It. Her work is absolutely incredible and she’s been doing this a lot longer than I have and I learned a lot about plastics from her. From there, that morphed into Saltwater Sean.
(Alexa completed a Master of Marine Management at Dalhousie University, with a background in marine biology and environmental sustainability (BSc.))
8) What has been your favourite experience so far?
Anytime spent in the ocean is a gift. There’s been a couple of finds that have been rather interesting like finding a sawed-off shotgun. Most recently, I had a video go viral on TikTok getting seven million views which brought a lot of eyeballs to my content.
9) What was something that surprised you while trying to maintain your goal?
That people actually cared about my hobby. I would do this if no one was watching but it does feel nice that people are interested.
10) Do you have any recommendations for people wanting to make a difference in their communities?
It starts with having that desire to want to make a difference. From there, you really can shape the world. That sounds cliche and maybe it is, but it’s true.
Thank you, Sean, for sharing your progress and journey!
Make sure to check out more of his findings on his socials!:
Know anyone that you think could be our next #LocalHero? Let us know below!