Faces of Kansas City: Ocean photographer raising awareness - KCTV5 News

Faces of Kansas City: Ocean photographer raising awareness about environment

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A local man said he feels more at home when he's deep underwater and thousands of miles away from home.

"I always tell people I'm a quart low on ocean - I need to get back to the ocean," Joe Robinson said.

The stunning images he catches underwater with his camera are remarkable. His deep sea photography allows others to enjoy the beauty and the mystery of a place he considers sacred.

"It's a spiritual experience. That's where I found God - I found him in the fish swimming under the ocean and in the swells of the water and I want to protect it," Robinson said.

He has become so passionate about protecting the ocean that he's partnered with the University of Hawaii to create a scholarship to attract more marine biologists. Robinson's also begun producing documentaries and short films to illustrate the growing problem of ocean pollution and what ordinary people can do to help.

"I'm in the remotest part of Indonesia off the coast of the island of Komodo and on the second dive of the day I go down and I see American plastic bottles on bottom of the ocean and plastic 6-pack rings that are choking fish," he said.

Robinson said the best way to get people interested in helping the ocean is through simple education.

"Our world is 70 percent ocean and we've explored 3 percent of it - 3 percent. We know more about the moon than we know about our own ocean," he said.

For anyone who is wondering what they can do to help, Robinson said it's easy. He suggests recycling more and using less pesticides and fertilizer.

"The runoff from all of us, the pesticides and the fertilizers that we use in Kansas City, runoff into the rivers which go into the ocean. Those kill coral reefs and, if we can't keep coral reefs alive, we're going to have a tough time keeping the ocean alive," he said.

As an advocate for sea life, Robinson's passion is unwavering, but he said there's strength in numbers which is why he tries to inspire others by taking them on very unique excursions.

"I try to get people to have experiences they'll never forget, swimming with dolphins in Hawaii and giant manta ray and getting up close to these creatures and realizing there's an intelligence here and it changes people's lives and then they begin to become advocates and protect and want to do better," he said.

For more information, go to www.joe-robinson.com.

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