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Conservation

An initiative to Raise Awareness and Funding for the Exploration and Conservation of Ocean Liner Wrecks

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RMS Titanic was a British passenger liner, operated by the White Star Line, which sank in the North Atlantic Ocean on 15 April 1912 after striking an iceberg during her maiden voyage from Southampton, UK, to New York City.

May 5, 2022, SANTA MONICA, CA—Nikolaus Thomas Grohne has turned his longtime passion into a personal mission with purpose: He recently launched his charitable business initiative, The Ocean Liner Conservancy, intended to generate support for nonprofit entities conducting scientific projects exploring and preserving shipwrecks for future generations. 

Over the past 100 years, many famous ocean liner wrecks, such as the RMS Titanic, RMS Lusitania, or HMHS Britannic, have been disintegrating at an ever-increasing pace, and time is running out to save them. But iconic ocean liners that have been spared the ultimate sacrifice, the scrapyard, like the SS United States, and the Queen Mary, are in bad shape and require urgent repairs to stay afloat.

Mr. Grohne, who had been a fundraising volunteer with the late Mr. Gregg Bemis — the American explorer and previous owner of the RMS Lusitania — in his planned expedition to the wreck, gained insights into the challenges nonprofit entities tend to face when trying to secure funding for their scientific research and conservation projects. Subsequently, he started devising various business concepts by speaking with deep-sea divers, people from maritime organizations and other nonprofits. 

Instead of creating just another nonprofit entity looking for corporate sponsors, Mr. Grohne has taken the reversed approach: In June 2021, he registered Ocean Liner Endeavors, L.L.C., a California for-profit entity, with the ultimate goal of becoming a corporate sponsor for nonprofits struggling with the extremely high costs associated with underwater expedition projects. 

To qualify for funding, nonprofits will be required to meet certain criteria; they will have to be properly registered in their respective countries, plus, all projects need to be scientific as well as licensed by local governments, if applicable. 

Nikolaus Grohne

Referring to the official launch of his charitable business initiative, the former financial manager-turned-entrepreneur has pledged to adhere to strict ethical business practices. “There are some for-profit companies out there that have consistently been exploiting maritime tragedies commercially by selling rather questionable and distasteful products,” said Mr. Grohne. “Shipwrecks, unfortunately, are silent witnesses to and remnants of maritime disasters,” he added. “While it is our mission to generate funding for  undersea research and conservation projects, it is of the utmost importance to us that the respect for, and the dignity of, the victims will be preserved at all times.” 

Mr. Grohne has launched a brand-new website, TheOceanLinerConservancy.com, to raise awareness about the importance of shipwreck exploration and conservation. In addition, the website includes an online store featuring a collection of beautiful ocean liner themed artwork created by up-and-coming artists from around the world. From every product sold, a share of the proceeds verifiably will be collected for future shipwreck conservation projects.

“Launching The Ocean Liner Conservancy has just been the first phase of our charitable business initiative. But to accomplish such an ambitious mission, we will need the support from ocean liner enthusiasts around the world. It is our vision to not only share the wonder of deep-sea wreck exploration and conservation projects, but also to provide them with opportunities to get actively involved in this unique adventure,” an excited Mr. Grohne explained. 

To learn how to become part of his mission, visit TheOceanLinerConservancy.com or follow @TheOceanLinerConservancy on Facebook and Instagram.

Art

Rock & Water

Sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor evokes the sacred, populating underwater seascapes with corporeal objets d’art, meant to be assimilated by the sea.

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Text, photography and art courtesy of Jason deCaires Taylor.

Crossing the Rubicon, Museo Atlántico, Lanzarote, Spain, Atlantic Ocean

“Museums are places of conservation, education, and about protecting something sacred. We need to assign those same values to our oceans.”

Nexus, Oslo Fjord, Norway
Museo Subacuático de Arte, Isla Mujeres, Cancun, Mexico
Museo Subacuático de Arte, Isla Mujeres, Cancun, Mexico

As soon as we sink them, they belong to the sea.

The Rising Tide, River Thames, Vauxhall, London

“The Rising Tide was located within sight of the Houses of Parliament. The politician on a petroleum horse was an obvious metaphor for how fossil fuel companies are embedded into our politician system. I think we really have to start holding people accountable for what they are doing. And that needs to be documented in stone rather than in a few words in a newspaper column that disappears. There are a lot of people whose actions need to be immortalised.”

The Raft of Lampedusa, Museo Atlántico, Lanzarote, Spain, Atlantic Ocean
Museo Subacuático de Arte, Isla Mujeres, Cancun, Mexico
Nexus, Oslo Fjord, Norway
The Coral Greenhouse, John Brewer Reef, Australia, Pacific Ocean
The Silent Evolution, Museo Subacuático de Arte, Isla Mujeres, Cancun, Mexico

“It is named a museum for a simple reason. Every day we dredge, pollute and overfish our oceans, while museums are places of preservation, of conservation, and of education. They are places where we keep objects that have great value to us. Our oceans are sacred.”

Check out www.underwatersculpture.com for a lot more amazing work!


Jason deCaires Taylor MRSS is an award winning sculptor, environmentalist and professional underwater photographer. For the past 16 years, Taylor has been creating underwater museums and sculpture parks beneath the waves, submerging over 1,100 living artworks throughout the world’s oceans and seas. Themes explored by these artistic installations include, among others, the climate emergency, environmental activism, and the regenerative attributes of nature. The sculptures create a habitat for marine life whilst illustrating humanity’s fragility and its relationship with the marine world. Taylor’s subjects mainly feature members of the local community, focussing on their connections with their own coastal environments.

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