I’m Actually More At Home At Sea Than I Am On Land

Ocean Passion Series


Welcome to our "Ocean Passion Series" where we are interviewing ordinary people doing extraordinary actions for the ocean. We believe learning from others can help our own life become more engaged and inspired. This week our guest is an outstanding lady from the USA that has found her journey into the passionate world surrounding Sylvia Earle becoming her Chief Operating Officer. 


Goodmorning Deb can you tell us about yourself and where you are in the world?


Mission Blue   My name is Deb Castellana. I live north of San Francisco, although I was born on Long Island, New York. I have also lived in Massachusetts, Florida, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Sweden. I’m an avid ocean advocate, and have been fortunate enough to make fighting for the health of the ocean and its critters my career as well as my passion.



Now that is the career all of our readers want! To be able to earn while you fight for the ocean is a journey we want to hear about! How long have you known your passion for the ocean and can you remember what brought it to the surface?


I grew up on Long Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean, and my earliest memories are centered around the ocean. I grew up in Cold Spring Harbor, a small village on Long Island Sound in New York. One of my earliest memories was exploring how different plants grew where the fresh spring water joined the salty marsh at the head of the harbor. From sailing to scuba diving, to just being in awe of the ocean world, a passion for the ocean has followed me for my entire life.


Mission Blue


Oh wow those plants sound so interesting. Your life sounds very exciting and adventurous! We see you're passionate about the ocean, so please tell us what action do you do to give back or help the ocean?

Working with Mission Blue and Sylvia Earle is more than a job for me. It is a 24/7 lifestyle! Originally coming on-board as Director of Communications, I built 7 social media channels to the point where we currently reach 40 million people per month with ocean literacy, and advocacy as our goal. There is always something more to do, someone to give encouragement to who is trying to make a difference for the ocean, another project to help launch, another video to edit from an expedition. I feel lucky to be able to make a difference for the ocean through my work with Sylvia Earle and her team.




Our Pelagic Love Team is in awe of you working so close to Sylvia Earle and being involved in her mission. Sylvia is on the top of our list for people to meet in the ocean world. Her documentary "Mission Blue" is one we highly recommend. How has your passion for the ocean changed your thinking and your life?

So many ways! I am much more mindful when it comes to small details – such as where my food comes from, how large my carbon footprint is, and of course – not eating my fishy friends! I think of how my actions affect the environment and the ocean as a first principle. I drive an electric car powered by the sun, I grow my own food organically in my backyard, and I try to keep my carbon footprint as small as possible, in every way I can. And, where plastic is concerned, I refuse, re-use and recycle.
Ocean Drop Bracelet



What a message Deb! You're living the way you want others to live for the planet that gives us life! As Sylvia Earle says "Planet Ocean". Has your passion for the ocean brought out strengths or confidence that would have been a fear otherwise? 

Yes – I became a licensed ship captain, cruised my own 40’ sailboat throughout the Caribbean and Mexico, and my 30 years of scuba diving have also given me confidence. I grew up afraid of the water, but loved the ocean’s critters so much that I forced myself to learn to dive. It was not easy – I was very afraid – but after a year of diving every day, it became second nature to me. I’ve been on my sailboat through a hurricane, participated in numerous search and rescue missions at sea, and much more. I’m actually more at home at sea than I am on land now – quite a switch!
Mission Blue

Oh how wonderful all of that sounds except for being in a hurricane on your boat, that must of been terrifying! We can almost guess this but what ocean organization is your favorite and why? 

Mission Blue of course ;-) Because of it’s founder, Dr. Sylvia Earle. She is my inspiration and my hero!
I feel lucky to be able to make a difference for the ocean through my work with Sylvia Earle and her team. ~ Deb Castellana
Bamboo Watches

We are right there with you Deb! Well except that you get to see her a lot more! We love that you are living the dream in such a positive way. So tell us in your own words what would you like people to know that was a great lesson you have learned because of your passion?

 All of the above! But I think the simplest and the most impactful is to grow your
own organic food. You cut out the dangerous chemicals used to fertilize, you cut out the fossil fuel used to transport the food, and oh my, it tastes so much better and is so much healthier for you and your family!
Mission Blue

When we all have to eat, your message is a very good one to keep in our minds. The way we live today with just food alone has greatly changed us and our world. On another note what would you have done differently to get you to where you are now that may help someone else get further into helping the ocean?

I would have had more confidence in my own ability, and would have stepped up into conservation work earlier than I did. I was always afraid that I couldn’t get into this line of work, that I couldn’t support myself by doing it, so many excuses! As a child I wanted to be a marine biologist, but was afraid that I wasn’t good enough at math and science. My advice would be to overcome your fear and just do it! Everyone can help to save the ocean in their own way… just follow your passion. If it’s writing music about the ocean or creating art from ocean plastic, do it – and let your passion and love for the ocean be your guide.
Sea Turtles


 How wonderful your words are for guiding our readers to their own inner answers that ultimately help the ocean. When there is a will there is a way and let your soul guide your true passions to help, and your life will definitely be uniquely as exciting as Deb's!

Thank you Deb for joining our Ocean Passion Series! Your passion is changing the world from within you to the great big blue. We loved speaking with you and learning so much from your own experience. Please let's talk again soon. 

Check back next week on the Ocean Passion Series to find out who our next ocean passionate guest will be and you will never be disappointed! Check out our past guests here >>Ocean Passion Series<<

So be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and add your email to our list so you will be involved in our mission! 

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