The Imaging Foundation is a brand new 501(c)3 non-profit corporation. The organization is young, but our efforts and the work produced toward our mission statement are not. Twelve years ago we launched the Costa Rican Marine Imaging Project, a highly successful precursor of the Imaging Foundation. While the funding was sparse, we recognized a strong need and funded many of the following highly productive initiatives on our own.
1. Documented the shark finning practices at Cocos Island, presented our findings to Costa Rica President Figueres and the Minister of Natural Resources, Alvaro Ugalde. The images were published throughout the Costa Rican press and influenced a positive vote several weeks later that expanded the protected areas around Cocos Island National Park.
2.Partnered with the Costa Rican government and assisted in the development of the successful petition for Cocos Island's inclusion in the prestigious list of United Nations World Heritage Site. (The first petition submitted was rejected.) Our images illustrated the importance of the underwater and land animals resident to the island. We accompanied the United Nations delegation to Cocos Island, and the petition was accepted. Cocos Island is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
3.Developed a series of postage stamps with the Costa Rican Postmaster General illustrating the beauty of the Pacific and Caribbean underwater areas of Costa Rica. This series sold out faster than any other in Costa Rica's history and was lauded by the Costa Rican press, as well as international magazines such as "The Pacific Rim" and the Cousteau Society's publications.
4. Designed an innovative year-long campaign that utilized the widely popular Costa Rican lottery system as an educational tool. We knew that these tickets were finding their way into virtually every Costa Rican household, giving us amazing access. Thus, we designed a ticket that featured an image of a land or underwater animal every week. On the ticket's reverse side, in Spanish, was a description of the importance of a healthy freshwater ecosystem to the livelihood of that species. This project stressed the importance of ecosystem interactions and the need to clean up the then-polluted freshwater areas throughout the Costa Rica countryside.
5. Developed a fourth grade curriculum using our images and research to teach Costa Rican students about their underwater ecosystems and the need to protect them.
- January 2005 - Launched our first website draft.
August 2005 - Launched our first Imaging foundation expedition to Tonga. The first expedition was developed in under three months. We needed to create a website that focused on the biology and economics of South Pacific Humpback Whales.
November 2005 - IF's second expedition found us at Cocos Island. There, we were able to add to a counting survey and further develop the Imaging Foundation catalog.
December 2005 - Launched a brand new website that incorporates a searchable database, representing over 80,000 images that are available to non-profit agencies.
January 2006 - Launched a virtual "Cayman Classroom" connecting third grade students in Ashland, Wis., with their counterparts in Grand Cayman.
- Successful completion of Galapagos, North Sulawesi, and Cocos Island expeditions in 2006.
- Acquisition of the Sony HDW F900 high definition camera.
- Released the first two production chapters of Creative Solutions to Environmental Problems.
- Prescence made at two of the largest consumer SCUBA shows in the U.S.: Beneath the Sea in March 2006 and Long Beach Show in June 2006.
- Launched first internship with Kelsey Powell. This set the footprint for future IF internships and other student programs.
- Successful completion of expedition to Palau in March.
- Launched new website in 2007.
We look forward to continuing our work in helping preserve and heal one of our most precious resources, that of the natural world.