Swimming with whale sharks in Cancun, Mexico

Face to Face with the World’s Largest Fish Species

Swimming with Whale Sharks in Cancun

 

We’re not even in the water yet, but already my heart is pounding in my chest.

 

I’m on a boat about 2 hours from Cancun, on the perimeter of a circle of dozens of other boats filled with eager tourists. Like my 12-year-old daughter and I, they’re all here for a singular purpose: The once-in-a-lifetime experience of Swimming with Whale Sharks, the largest known fish species in the world.

 

Though the glare of the morning sun on the water is nearly blinding, the 35-foot, 20,000-pound whale sharks aren’t difficult to spot. In fact, their hulking forms are everywhere we look, swimming in slow, lazy circles to filter-feed on krill and plankton at the surface, seemingly oblivious to our presence. Thankfully, our captain stays far away from the other boats, so that when one of these gentle giants swims near we will have them all to ourselves.

 

As he brings the boat to a halt, a massive whale shark swims straight for us. He looks as wide as a VW Beetle, and as long as a school bus, gliding effortlessly with his mouth wide open. At the last second his spotted form swerves past us, changing directions surprisingly quickly with a mere flip of his tail. I’m 6’2″ and built like a linebacker, but suddenly even I feel very small by comparison.

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Ivanpah Solar Plant Project

Photo by Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images for Bechtel

NRG Energy CEO David Crane on the

Ivanpah Solar Plant

 

Over the past decade, NRG Energy’s David Crane has emerged as a leading voice on the topic of climate change and curbing carbon emissions. He was one of the first power industry CEOs in the U.S. to call for mandatory climate change measures. Now, in the Mojave Desert’s Ivanpah Dry Lake,  Crane is leading a project that could add a turbo-charged boost to America’s Clean Energy revolution.

 

Known as the Ivanpah Solar Plant, the $2.6 billion venture boasts some impressive stats, using 170,000 heliostat mirrors to generate 392 megawatts of solar-generated electricity. Offsetting millions of tons of carbon emissions, Ivanpah is the largest solar energy plant in the world, powering around 100,000 homes with emission-free electricity.

 

But Ivanpah is not without its fair share of controversy: Some environmentalists have protested the project as “a deadly trap for wildlife,” because the heat it generates has reportedly killed hundreds of birds.  Other critics carp that “The Ivanpah Solar Plant is already irrelevant,” because it relies on thermal rather than photovoltaic solar energy.

 

But with huge votes of confidence from President Barack Obama, huge investments by the U.S Department of Energy and Google, and the U.S. lagging behind other countries in developing renewable energy resources, Ivanpah has received considerable ink in sustainability circles since its opening ceremony in February.

 

During an extensive conversation with Crane, we discussed America’s need for an increased focus on renewable energy resources, the economic and environmental impact of the Ivanpah Solar Plant, and the future balance between sustainable energy and fossil fuels.

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The Top 5 Nature Attractions in Kauai, Hawaii

Photo provided courtesy of Kauai Visitors Bureau / Dana Edmunds

The Top 5 Kauai Nature Attractions

 

(The following is a guest post by Jessica Kay of A Passion and A Passport, a blog focused on balancing travel with a full-time 9 to 5  job. You can follow her adventures on Facebook and Twitter. If you’re a blogger looking to guest post on GGT, please email Bret Love at info@GreenGlobalTravel.com.)

 

I traveled to Kauai, Hawaii last summer with my husband, and quickly fell in love with the island’s diverse wildlife and natural attractions.  Just minutes after our arrival, it was clear that Kauai is full of natural beauty and has a ton of ecotourism offerings waiting to be discovered.  From dramatic coastlines and majestic mountains to native Hawaiian wildlife on both land and water, each of these activities left me nearly breathless. Here are my picks for the Top 5 Kauai Nature Attractions:

 

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Mardi Gras Indians Super Sunday, New Orleans

 Mardi Gras Indians on Super Sunday:

New Orleans’ Next Generation

 

Like most people outside of New Orleans, we knew nothing about the cultural heritage of NOLA’s Mardi Gras Indians until we watched the HBO show Treme.

 

Created  by David Simon and Eric Overmyer (The Wire), the show follows residents from the historic Tremé (pronounced Tre-may) neighborhood– a hodgepodge of musicians, chefs, community activists and Mardi Gras Indians– struggling to put their lives, homes and culture back together in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

 

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Cajun Encounters Swamp Tour, New Orleans

Photo courtesy Cajun Encounters

 Announcing Our Next Big Adventure!

 

We don’t really do cities.

 

Sure, we’ll head to a country like Chile, Costa Rica, or Jordan, and spend a night in the big city (Santiago, San Jose and Amman, respectively) to get a feel for the place before heading off into the wild. But, in the 30+ trips we’ve taken since we started Green Global Travel in 2010, we’ve rarely spent more than 48 hours in any sort of urban metropolis.

 

That is, until now…

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Co-Founded by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett, Green Global Travel is an ecotourism, nature / wildlife conservation & cultural preservation magazine. More about us.

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Green Travel Reviews
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As Seen In:

Destinations We’ve Covered:

• AFRICA
Egypt- Top 5 Eco Attractions
Morocco- A Journey into the Atlas Mountains
South Africa- Londolozi Game Reserve Safari
South Africa- Kruger National Park
South Africa- South Africa- Zulu Memories
Tanzania- Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro

 
• ANTARCTICA
How To Get To Antarctica w/out Doing the Drake
The Haunting Beauty of Icebergs
Penguins of Antarctica
Taking the Polar Plunge
Top 5 Eco Attractions in Antarctica
Whales of Antarctica
 
• ASIA
India- Ranthambhore National Park
Laos- The Pastoral Paradise of Muang Ngoi
Malaysia- Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre
Malaysia- Orangutan Conservation at Sepilok
Nepal- Hiking The Annapurna Circuit
Taiwan- Top 5 Eco Activities in Taipei
Thailand- Top 5 National Parks
 
• AUSTRALIA/OCEANIA
Australia- Top 5 Eco Attractions
Australia-Kangaroo Island
New Zealand- Kapiti Island
New Zealand- Tongariro National Park
New Zealand- Top 5 Ecotourism Attractions
Tahiti- First Impressions
Tahiti- Photo Gallery
Tahiti- Moorea 4x4 Safari Tour
Tahiti- Moorea, Tiki Village Theater
Tahiti- Pearl Diving in Bora Bora
Tahiti- Ruahatu Marine Sanctuary, Bora Bora
Tahiti- Swimming With Sharks in Bora Bora
Tonga- Eua Island Eco Activities

 

• NORTH AMERICA
CANADA
Churchill- Into the Wild of Manitoba
Churchill- Polar Bear Fight
Churchill- Polar Bear Photo Gallery
Churchill- Tundra Wildlife

UNITED STATES
America’s Best Volcanoes
AK- Denali National Park
CA- Hiking The John Muir Trail
FL- Sanibel Island Eco Activities
FL- Crystal River, Swimming with Manatees
GA- Barnsley Gardens
GA- Top 5 Autumn Activities Around Atlanta
GA- Best Christmas Light Displays
GA- Top 20 Atlanta Christmas Events
GA- Jekyll Island Eco Activities
GA- Weekend in North GA Mountains
GA- Top 5 Eco Attractions in North GA
HI- Hawaii’s Big Island
HI- Hawaiian Mythology
HI - Top 5 Kauai Nature Attractions
LA- Mardi Gras Indians Super Sunday
ME- Hiking Acadia National Park
MT- Hiking Glacier National Park
NC- Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge
NC- Asheville's Green Restaurants Scene
NC- Greensboro Travel Guide
NC- Great Smoky Mountains National Park
NC- Outer Banks Wild Horses
NM- Top 5 Eco Attractions
NY- Going Green in NYC
WV- Outdoor Adventures
Yellowstone- Mammoth Hot Springs
Yellowstone- Lamar Valley
Yellowstone- Grand Canyon & Hayden Valley
Yellowstone- Upper Geyser Basin
Yellowstone- Lower Geyser Basin

MEXICO
Cancun- Cancun Underwater Museum
Cancun- Mayan Museum of Archaeology
Cancun- Swimming with Whale Sharks
Riviera Maya- Monkeys, Pyramids & Pottery
Riviera Maya- Rio Secreto
Riviera Maya- Tulum & Coba
 
• CARIBBEAN