Updated: Jul 31, 2019
After a long day of on water returning critically endangered corals to the wild, there is nothing like kicking back with a cold beer. Even better when that beer is also helping to "Raise the Reef"!
Every can of Swamp Head Brewery's "Buggin' Out" is raising money for our mission. We chatted with Swamp Head's owner, operator, and original keg washer, Luke Kemper, to find out why he cares about corals....
What is your earliest memory of the ocean?
One of my earliest memories of the ocean is playing at Crescent beach or sitting on a dock fishing for anything big that would bite.
What is your favorite marine creature?
Honestly, I don't know as I think they are all pretty awesome and all play a role in the marine ecosystem.
Have you experienced a healthy coral reef ecosystem? If so where, and how did it make you feel?
Yes, in the Abacos, Bahamas, specifically Pelican and the massive reef off Guana. Also, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Parkwas pretty cool when I was a kid.
Have you seen a badly degraded reef system? How did that make you feel?
Yes, John Pennekamp. I remember going there as a kid and thinking how magical it was and then going back 20 years later and not being impressed with it at all. It was sad seeing all the bleaching and algae covered bottom, especially knowing that humans are the main reason behind the destruction.
What concerns or scares you the most about climate change?
What scares me is the idea that some people don't think that we need to monitor how we act and behave, and that our actions have no direct impact on our environment.
Why do you, personally, care about coral reefs?
About 70% of our earth is covered in water. Of that water, most of it is salt water. Coral reefs are one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems on the planet.Coral reefs only make up less than 1% of the ocean and yet support 25% of marine life.With all those facts presented, I still love diving, fishing, and spearfishing. In order for these recreational activities to be possible and to have a healthy ocean, we need our reefs in tact as they provide habitats for a lot of animals. Also, if you have ever dived on a thriving reef it is truly magical watching the underwater life and see how it is all interconnected.
Why is protecting and restoring coral reefs relevant to your brand?
Our motto is to work hard and play hard and that includes enjoying nature's natural beauty. We want to preserve nature's natural treasures for future beer drinkers to enjoy. Since Mother Nature doesn't have a voice, we are trying to do our part to give back since, as a business we already taking from it. It just feels like the right thing to do.
Why should the average person care about coral reefs?
The Earth does not need us but we need the Earth.
Once again, it is the right thing to do.
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?
Education, technology, and live by example. I think that high definition TVs help showcase how beautiful nature can be, as well as how ugly it can become once ruined by humans. I also think that social media is a great and powerful tool since everyone is always carrying a phone on them and it easily allows photos and other media to help tell the story.
What do you think are some of the easiest ways that the average person can join the mission to save coral reefs from extinction?
Be aware of your actions and educate yourself to see how bad for the environment our modern way of life has become with our consumerist lifestyle. We too often buy cheap things and throw it away rather than fixing it. Or we buy things for one time use and then put them in the trash.
Do you think there is hope for our coral reefs? Why?
Yes, there is always hope, especially when you are talking about Mother Nature. With that said, we still have to be aware of our actions and make changes as everything is connected and sometimes it is tough to tell how much damage we have really done.