Meet Craig Dietrich, Founder and CEO of Dietrich Clothing Collection. He makes apparel for ocean lovers. But not just any apparel. The beautiful images you see on any given piece were photographed by Dietrich himself.
Craig Dietrich, CEO and Founder of Dietrich Clothing Collection, takes an underwater shot.
As one of our corporate sponsors, Dietrich Clothing helps support our mission to restore the Florida Reef Tract. And recently, they launched the campaign Remember the Reef: Fundraiser for Coral Restoration Foundation™️ to help increase support for our coral reefs.
Dietrich Clothing kicked off this fundraiser, which is taking place on Facebook, with the first donation. Through donating, you have the chance to win an original Craig Dietrich Underwater Photography Aluminum Print.
Thank you to Dietrich Clothing for their continued generosity. We couldn't do what we do without this type of support. Dietrich Clothing was created by ocean lovers for ocean lovers, and they use their collections to help protect and restore our critical marine ecosystems. A purpose that we can all get behind.
Continue reading to learn more about Craig Dietrich's personal connection to our marine world!
Craig Dietrich out on the water.
What is your earliest memory of the ocean?
I grew up going to the Jersey Shore, but at that time I wasn't comfortable in the water. I never had swimming lessons or developed a love for the ocean when I was young. That happened later.
What is your favorite marine creature?
That's a tough one. If I have to choose just one, it would be the shark. I feel such a connection to them because they are so misunderstood.
Have you experienced a healthy coral reef ecosystem? If so where, and how did it make you feel?
Definitely. I've been to the Red Sea (Egypt) twice, most recently this past summer, and the reefs are healthy and beautiful. The reefs are amazing, and it made me feel hopeful that there are still healthy reefs.
Have you seen a badly degraded reef system? How did that make you feel?
Again, definitely - but sadly, a little closer to home. The reefs in the Florida Keys are so degraded, it breaks my heart.
What concerns or scares you the most about climate change?
The lack of urgency, and that it's not a pressing issue to governments around the world. The amount of damage that has been done in recent years is astounding, and my fear is we don't have many years left.
Why do you, personally, care about coral reefs and conservation?
I know the importance of the role they play in the ocean's ecosystem. Without them, the ocean and its inhabitants are all in danger.
Why is protecting and restoring coral reefs relevant to your brand?
As an underwater photographer, I am fortunate enough to see reefs more often than a lot of people. The experience for me is almost spiritual, and I want to be able to share those experiences through my photography with people who either can't or don't get to appreciate the coral reefs in person.
Why should the average person care about coral reefs?
People should be aware of how important coral reefs are to the oceans. They provide both food and protection for sea life, protection for shorelines, and income for local businesses via scuba diving, snorkeling, and fishing. The list goes on and on.
In your opinion, what are some of the most powerful tools at our disposal that we can apply to the mission to save coral reefs?
I think imagery is a powerful tool. The average person thinks of the ocean but maybe has never seen an actual coral reef. My experience over and over is that people see my images of reefs and they understand, maybe for the first time, how precious they are. People then have a more personal connection to conservation of the reefs. I also think education plays a huge part. Saving coral reefs is everyone's responsibility, not just those who live near the ocean.
What do you think are some of the easiest ways that the average person can join the mission to save coral reefs from extinction?
There are so many. Using reef safe sunscreen is a big one, and so are diving and snorkeling responsibly. This means not taking anything or leaving anything (and never ever touching the reefs!). Not throwing trash in the ocean or leaving it on the beach is also important. These little things add up to a big difference.
Do you think there is hope for our coral reefs? Why?
I am an optimist, so I do think there is hope, but things need to change. People need to be educated about the issues facing coral reefs, then hold themselves accountable to do their part. They also need to hold their lawmakers accountable to pass/enforce legislation that is favorable for the environment.