People from all walks of life have inspired me to work hard for our little blue planet. This is a short list of some of them.

Elzéard Bouffier

A shepherd, who made holes in the ground in a barren valley with his curling pole and dropped arorns that he has collected from many miles away into the holes. Over four decades, Bouffier continued to plant trees, and the valley turned into a kind of Garden of Eden, vibrant with life and peacefully settled. The valley received official protection after the First World War, as authorities mistakenly believed the rapid growth of this forest to be a bizarre natural phenomenon, as they were unaware of Bouffier's selfless deeds. More than 10,000 people moved there, all of them unknowingly owing their happiness to Bouffier. In 1947 Bouffier, the man who planted trees, peacefully passed away.

Sylvia Earle

Dr. Earle inspires me and my family not only for all that she has accomplished but for the way she has done it.

Sinkey Boone (1937-2010): Fisherman and Friend to Many

I’m fond of pointing out that successful conservation efforts often include unexpected alliances...and that there is common ground to be found between so-called ‘enemies’ of nature. In efforts to protect sea turtles, fishers often play the villain. Rightly so, bottom trawling, longline, and gillnetting catches hundreds of thousands of sea turtles every year. Mr. Boone was a shrimp fisherman AND a champion for sea turtles. His simple, smart invention helped fishermen and turtles at a time when lines were drawn and most people were seeing in stark black and white.

“It was GREAT being his friend. Lots of fun, and learned a lot, I owe quite a lot of my career to him.” -2010 Goldman Prize winner, Randall Arauz, Costa Rica

“Besides his important contribution with the design of the Georgia Jumper, Sinkey has GREAT heart and an enormous capacity to share with everybody.” -Hedelvy Guada, Venezuela

"These devices [TEDs] are now employed all over the world where shrimp trawlers and sea turtles interact. When used properly, and when law enforcement sees that they are, thousands of turtles are saved. So today at cocktail time, raise a toast to Sinkey and remember what he did for sea turtles." -Sally Murphy

“Hopefully Sinkey's passing and especially the significance of his life's work will find its way onto a mass media platform and into the public consciousness.” -Steve Cornelius

Here’s Mr. Boone’s obituary:

Sinkey Howell Boone, 73, of Darien, died Wednesday September 1, 2010 at Hospice of the Golden Isles in Brunswick. Funeral Services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2010, in the Chapel of the Edo Miller and Sons Funeral Home, with the Rev. Bill Brown officiating. Interment will follow in Whispering Pine Cemetery in Darien. Active pallbearers will be Bryan Boone, Kevin Boone, Michael Boone, Joseph Boone, “Lil Ricky” Boone, Keith Davis, and Michael Davis. Honorary pallbearers will be Larry Boone, Darry Boone, Clifton Boone, Matthew Varnum, Ryan Wallace, James Caldwell, Jared Caldwell and Jacob Caldwell. The family will receive friends in the Funeral Home from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 3. He was born Jan. 24, 1937 in Tattnall County, Georgia. Sinkey was the son of the late Tessie and Alifare Boone. He, as many of his family members, was a shrimp fisherman. Seeking to reduce his by-catch, Sinkey invented a device that is known as The Georgia Jumper. It is an original one-of-a-kind design. By decreasing the number of unwanted fish and creatures caught in trawl nets, fisherman can trawl longer. In 1987, the United States required all trawling shrimping boats to equip their nets with turtle excluder devices (TEDs). As a follow-up, two years later, the shrimp-turtle law was implemented. Thos required all countries that the USA was importing shrimp from to certify that the shrimp they shipped were harvested by boats equipped with TEDs. Countries that cannot guarantee the use of the escape devices are banned from exporting shrimp to the USA. Survivors are his sister, Taffie Pierce of Darien, brothers, Don and Dot Boone, Dan and Mildred Boone, and Mack Boone, all of Darien, six children, Howell and Bertha Boone of Darien, Greg and Holly Boone of Darien, Nancy and Leon Davis of Brunswick, Jeannette Boone of Darien, Milledge Boone of Darien and Shaun and Lindsey Boone of Athens, Ga., mother of the Children, 12 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

Ed Drane

My friend Ed volunteered for twenty years as the Treasurer for the International Sea Turtle Society. He made it look easy. Among the many fond memories and appreciations of Ed, riding a tandem bicycle with him to the bank in Loreto, Mexico through the unusually hard rain to turn in some large heavy sacks of coins collected from the ISTS live auction stands out. Ed, drenched from the rain, hopped off of the tandem and strode up to the bank teller, two-fisted set the sacks on the counter and requested large bills in his calm, cool, friendly way. despite this somewhat strange request the teller counted out all the coins, which took some serious time, and handed Ed a small stack of large bills. Ed thanked the teller and we rode off on the rusty tandem into the rainy Mexican desert. Cool Hand Ed he will always be in the hearts and minds of sea turtlers around the world.

Here’s Ed’s obituary:

Edwin (Ed) Byrd Drane, 60, long time Islander, Conservationist, Architect, and Town of Hilton Head Island Urban Planner passed away on Thursday, August 6, 2009 after a brief illness. Ed was born in Atlanta, Georgia on January 17, 1949, the son of Myrtle J. and Louis E. Drane, Jr. He grew up in Savannah, roaming the forests near his family home, spending his summers at his grandmother's beach house, surfing, and going camping with the Boy Scouts and earning his Eagle Scout rank. Ed followed in his father's footsteps and was a 1973 graduate of Georgia Tech, with a degree in architecture. He was a member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity and was actively involved in Campus Crusade for Christ, spending one summer on staff at their National Training Center. He was a member of the American Institute of Architects and the American Institute of Certified Planners. A gifted residential architect, he joined the firm of Corkern, Wiggins, Lee & Lominack in Savannah, and in 1975 made the move to Hilton Head Island to work with Jake Lee at the firm Lee & Partners. In 1991 he joined the staff of the Town of Hilton Head Island as an architect and urban planner. He was responsible for the design and remodel of the current Town Hall facilities. During Ed's years with the Town he worked diligently to maintain and enhance the visual character of the Island. He worked with the Town's Design Review Board and was instrumental in the development of the Town's "Design Guide". Much of what people see around the Island was impacted by his hard work and dedication. One clear example of this is the Compass Rose Park. Ed's imagination, love of the Island, and hard work brought to life a park that will serve to educate all who visit it on how aesthetics has taken the center stage in the development of Hilton Head. He was one of the founding members of the Nancy Cathcart Chapter of the Sierra Club, serving as one of its Chairmen and later served as State Chairman of the Sierra Club. He was also involved on a national level and served on several conservation committees. He was one of the founding members of the Coastal Discovery Museum and served as the President of the Board of Trustees. He served on the Advisory Board of the South Carolina Heritage Trust, the Town of Hilton Head Island Natural Resources Advisory Group, and the Hilton Head Committee for the Arts. He received a conservation award for his work with the Savannah Coastal Wildlife Refuge stating that he single handedly changed the face of our refuges where public use areas are concerned. Many of the refuges that make up the system now have signs, visitor displays, shelters and parking areas that were lacking before he offered his help. Regarding Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge adjacent to Hilton Head Island, his recommendations on the design of the original parking area, visitor's display, and hiking area were followed to a tee. He has been instrumental in the Hilton Head Turtle Watch protection since 1985, in the beginning walking the beaches and looking for Loggerhead Sea Turtle nests and later the hatchlings. In recent years the Coastal Discovery Museum has taken on this important project and Ed served as Project Coordinator Emeritus. Because of his love and desire to help protect Sea Turtles, he became involved in the International Sea Turtle Society, traveling all over the world to learn more and enhance the conservation of Sea Turtles. His contribution was to serve as Treasurer for the last 19 years. He is survived by and will be deeply missed by his wife, Betty, son David Edwin Drane and wife, Tricia, of Bluffton; daughter Laura Elizabeth Curvin and husband, Jason, of Columbia, SC; mother, Myrtle Drane Scott of Savannah; sister Karen DeLoach and husband, Danny, of Savannah; and brother and sister "in heart", Carl and Donna Johnson of Reidsville, NC. There are numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, extended family and especially his nieces and nephews whom he loved dearly. Ed was known over the years for bringing home pets and then telling the family that Betty did it. He is survived by his beloved dogs Bally, Sassy and Pooh the $10.00 cat. He was pre-deceased by his father, Louis E. Drane Jr. and Stepfather Peter Scott. Ed was happiest spending his time in God's outdoors. Watching the sunrise, walking the beaches, hiking in the woods, the mountains and by the streams, admiring the flowers, the wildlife, the trees, watching the sunset and sleeping under the stars.

His general philosophy of life was to "Treat others as you want to be treated", "Be kind to everything that lives" and "Do all things with love".

Wallace Stegner

For his writing, his spirit, his edge, his love of nature, we’re all better off.

Read this NYT article

Arne Naess

OSLO, Norway - Norwegian philosopher, writer and mountaineer Arne Naess, best known for launching the concept of "deep ecology" has died, his publisher said Tuesday. He was 96. Naess is credited with creating the deep ecology concept, promoting the idea that Earth as a planet has as much right as its inhabitants, such as humans, to survive and flourish. He cited the 1962 book "Silent Spring," by Rachel Carson as a key inspiration. Naess' publisher, Erling Kagge, told The Associated Press that the philosopher died in his sleep Monday. "Naess' ecological philosophy is still important to Greenpeace," said Truls Gulowsen, leader of the group's Norwegian division. He said Naess was the first chairman of Greenpeace Norway when it was founded in 1988. Arne Dekke Eide Naess was born on Jan. 27, 1912 in Oslo, the son of banker and businessman Ragnar Naess and Christine Dekke. He earned a doctorate at the University of Oslo and, at age 27, became its youngest professor. He wrote numerous books and articles, including what the University of Oslo called his key work "Interpretation and Preciseness." Naess was also a driven mountaineer, and led the first expedition to conquer the roughly 7,700 meter (2,300 foot) mountain Tirich Mir in Pakistan in 1954. He led a second Norwegian expedition up the mountain in 1964. After stepping down from his university post in 1970, he became active in protecting the environment, writing extensively on the subject and joining protests.

Cool Hand Luke (1925-2008)

Paul Newman: philanthropist, actor. My all time favorite film is Cool Hand Luke. Thank you Paul Newman for all that you have given this world.

My Parents

They adopted me, my brother and three foster sisters. Their generosity and love are legendary. I do my best to carry on the tradition.