Protecting our planet with ocean tech pioneer Jeremy McKane
“I'm just an average guy that loves the ocean.”
That’s what Jeremy McKane will tell you when asked to describe himself. And he’s not lying — Jeremy is ocean-obsessed. “It’s like a drug. Once you start experiencing it you wanna go in a little bit further, and next thing you know you’re spending 2,000 hours underwater filming humpback whales.”
Jeremy is a guy that loves the ocean, but he’s also a lot more than that. As an underwater cinematographer, tech entrepreneur, global artist, and philanthropist, Jeremy is not unlike the marine biomes he works so hard to protect: diverse and wide-ranging. At 18 he found himself working in a startup that would one day become the world’s largest web hosting provider. That ultimately led to his founding of The Ocean Currency Network (OCN) — an Ethereum Blockchain solution that measures and quantifies the true value of marine protected areas using tech and AI — as well as a prolific art career that combines technology with thought-provoking ocean imagery.
“Everyone loves the ocean,” says Jeremy. “If you pass someone on the street and ask them if they love the ocean, they’re not gonna say ‘oh, the ocean sucks!’ But the ocean itself is a finite resource, and right now this is the best in the universe that we know of that sustains life. If the ocean goes, we go. We have a huge responsibility to protect it. And I think we can do it.”
The Ultramarine Ocean Action Summit
Unsurprisingly, Jeremy’s ocean conservation efforts extend well beyond his work at OCN and his artistic activism.
“For years I was going to these events about the ocean and I would think to myself, this is really cool, a lot of great people are talking about what we can do. Then I would come back the next year and they were saying the same things. I thought…when do we get to do the things!”
That’s why, in 2019, Jeremy founded the Ultramarine Ocean Action Summit alongside his friend and colleague Susi Mai. The event aims to inspire greater marine action and solutions by broadening the set of capable people contributing to ocean conservation. Or as Jeremy puts it, by bringing a “whole group of people that normally don’t talk to each other together in one room.”
“We invite artists, scientists, politicians, investors, and business leaders. All these people who are really focused on doing the right thing,” Jeremy explains. “If we are going to do something on a massive level to make a great amount of impact, this seems like a good place to start.”
Heading into its fourth year, the Ultramarine Summit continues to bring together luminaries in the ocean space. And now they’ve got a new goal: to protect 30% of the global ocean by 2030.
“We're just regular people that are concerned about big issues,” concludes Jeremy. “We're only going to solve these problems if we actually team up and take charge.”
Jeremy spent years filming humpback whales, a once-endangered species.
A navy of ocean conservationists
Jeremy’s ultimate mission is to inspire others to discover their own passion for protecting the world’s oceans. Quoting the famed marine conservationist Jacques Cousteau he explains “people will protect what they love, but they cannot love what they don't understand.”
Jeremy’s philosophy is simple: to get people to love the ocean, they have to get in it. He sees products like the Radinn electric jetboard as a great first step for bridging the divide.
“There's a certain comfort level for somebody who's just getting used to the ocean,” says Jeremy. “Trying to understand the dynamics of the currents and all these things. The Radinn is the perfect entry point to help take people to the next level. It has the capability of creating a navy of ocean conservationists."
“Plus,” Jeremy adds, “whether you’re a surfer or not, everybody knows that when the wind’s out and the water’s flat, you can’t catch waves.”
But can you jetboard? Yes, you can.
Jeremy rides the Freeride Element in Biscayne Bay, Miami.