Blue is the new green. Growing scientific research is proving what real estate agents, restaurant owners, and hotel managers have always known; an ocean view commands a premium price. What is it about the ocean that is so magnetic (and no, not those kind of magnets…)?
Dr. Wallace J Nichols
The leading researcher on why we love the ocean is Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, who likes to be referred to as simply “J.” J is a sea turtle biologist by training. His resume is very impressive, but what I am most impressed with is how he worked with locals in coastal cities in Mexico, and got them to become stewards of the sea turtles there. Through Grupo Tortuguero, thousands of people (in over 50 coastal communities) who once poached sea turtles and their eggs are now saving the sea turtles themselves!
The term for that is community-based conservation. I first heard that term while in college at the University of California at Berkeley. My late favorite professor, Bernard Q. Nietschmann, had traveled around the world for National Geographic. He did a lot of work in Central America (among many other places). He really opened my eyes to injustice in the world when he explained what the Miskito Indians of Central America had to endure to get “red gold” (lobster) for the American restaurant chain Red Lobster. The divers there used primitive (i.e. dangerous) diving equipment and often got the bends. Without a decompression chamber nearby, the bends often cause permanent paralysis. Many families were left without a bread winner for income.
Now back to J, and the phrase he has coined, “Blue Mind.” Blue Mind is his attempt to try and describe humans’ inexplicable draw to the salty ocean by using a new branch of science (he created!) called neuroconservation. For 9 years he has put on a Blue Summit, and speakers of diverse backgrounds have come, including scientists, ocean conservationists, and real estate agents. The last one was in 2019.
Ahh, the ocean…
Simply put, J has concluded that being by the ocean (or for some being on or in it) puts you in a semi-meditative state. Imagine the sound of waves crashing onto the beach, the feel of the ocean breeze on your face, and the gentle cries of seagulls flying overhead; isn’t it relaxing?
Support J and the Blue Marbles Project
To find out more about J and Blue Mind, visit his website, and please consider becoming one of his patrons on Patreon. Since J thinks outside the box, and conventional science is lagging behind on his unique research, he has crowd-sourced his income through Patreon.
Also, read about his Blue Marbles project. Since he started it, there are over 1 million blue marbles circulating the globe, and a blue marble has landed in the hands of celebrities such as James Cameron and his Holiness the Dalai Lama!
UPDATE: Exciting news, J has published a book called, “Blue Mind” out in the U.S. on July 22, 2014! Order your copy of Blue Mind today!
Also see a documentary on one of my role models, Dr. Sylvia Earle! This is a review of “Mission Blue” about her life with breathtaking scenes of the ocean.