Rigs to Reefs: Looking For The Silver Lining Of Offshore Drilling October 08, 2015 15:38

  
Names: Emily Callahan and Amber Jackson

 Occupation: Co-founders, head explorers for Blue Latitudes // Project Scientist

We are two San Diego natives, and aren’t your typical diving duo, diving on active Oil Platforms off the coast of California to explore the artificial reefs growing there with a goal to conserve these unique ecosystems by documenting and researching there existence.
 
We are both masters graduates of Scripps Institution of Oceanography and members of the Explorer’s Club, and we have been on a mission to explore, understand and try to communicate the value of a healthy relationship between offshore oil and gas development and conserving ocean resources.
We are fascinated by the Rigs-to-Reefs initiative in light of the continuing realities of natural energy development and the need to synergize these worlds to mitigate the impacts of offshore development on fragile ocean environments. Our project involves diving on oil platforms off the coast of California, and in the future the Gulf of Mexico, and International to visually document the current state of the ecosystems that grow on and around the platforms. Through this study, we are working to interpret the essential principles and fundamental concepts of the Rigs-to-Reefs program in order to help the public make informed and responsible decisions regarding the ocean and its resources.We are on a mission to reveal the silver linings to the realities of offshore energy development, through visual documentation and research diving on the platforms found around the world. 

“The first time I dove on an oil platform off the coast of California, as soon as I slipped below the surface I was stunned to see that I was looking at a skeleton the size of the empire state-building, and it was covered in life,” recalls Emily Calahan. 

  
On October 23rd we will be headed out to three of California’s oil platforms for a research dive with several other scientists. We will be visiting Eureka, Elly and Ellen. The expedition will be documented on our National Geographic Ocean Views Blog: http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2014/11/06/artificial-reefing-the-blue-solution-to-americas-aging-infrastructure/, as well as on our website: http://www.rig2reefexploration.org/. We will be looking to plan a trip back to the North Sea in 2016 as well, to continue to work with our partners seeking to develop a North Sea Rigs to Reefs program as well.
You can follow our adventures on our Instagram account: @Rig2Reefexplorers