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Connection to the Ocean

October 6, 2022

Connection to the Ocean

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Katherine Gomero Katherine Gomero

Growing up surrounded by water on the borough of Staten Island in busy New York City, the Wildlife Conservation Society’s nearby New York Aquarium became the connection to the ocean for me.

My journey with WCS started on a national holiday, July 4, which is also my birthday. As a young 10-year-old girl, I became fascinated with marine animals of all sizes. Each year, when my birthday came around, I was asked what I wanted to do to celebrate the day. My answer – perhaps more often than my parents and extended Latin family would want due to the summer heat – was the Aquarium.

With that request, my family, all of us, would make our way to the Aquarium. In Latino culture, family is very close-knit and includes aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. We all went as a group and created many memories. My family would give me a disposable photo camera, and I took photos of the Aquarium’s sea lions and the orca statue previously located in what is now Sea Change. While waiting in line for the Aquatheater show, I always hoped that the marine mammal trainers would pick me as their surprise stage guest. Those hot summer visits to the Aquarium helped fuel my love for all things marine and animals in general.

Years later, and very much a local New Yorker again after working in Costa Rica and Peru, life brought me back to the Aquarium. I joined the Volunteer Dive Team in 2018 to further develop my diving skills. This has also been an opportunity to learn about WCS’s conservation programs including the New York Seascape program, and the ecosystem of the New York Bight – its waters are the same that I knew as a child.

Today, I combine my passion for the marine world with my job as a Video Producer at WCS. I film underwater (above) with different cameras and hope to inspire the next generation to love the sea as I do.

EDITOR’S NOTE: To celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, Wild View is featuring posts on their contributions that continue to enrich science and conservation.

Nikon D5

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