#OurOcean #OurPeople: A Personal Ocean Story from Palau

The 7th Our Ocean Conference seeks to put people at the heart of #OurOceanPalau to highlight the importance of the ocean to people at a critical time of ocean action opportunities and events in 2022 – the long-awaited ocean super year.

Shining light on ocean champions and ocean activists across the globe, #OurOcean #OurPeople stories bring local ocean action to life to inspire global action and meaningful Our Ocean Commitments.

First in the #OurOcean #OurPeople Blog series is Cobi Blailes Jones, a passionate ocean advocate.

#OurOcean #OurPeople Story: Cobi Blailes Jones



My name is Cobi Blailes. I am a Naturalist Tour Guide at Paddling Palau. I organize and host kayak and snorkel tours in the rock islands of Palau. Every day I go to work I get to see the joy the ocean provides to families all the time. And I get to share my love for the ocean with others and watch them fall in love with the ocean too.

The ocean is not a far away concept for me, it is not an issue that I care about from a distance. The ocean is part of my every day. I not only work in the ocean, but my home is surrounded by a large body of water. I rely on the ocean; The ocean provides me and my fellow islanders with sustainable food and is the foundation of many of our traditions.

Our ocean is a visual masterpiece; I want to share the beauty of the ocean. I use film and editing equipment to capture my adventures so that they are not just mine.  Our ocean is a mystery I constantly strive to solve. We do not know the extent of its resources, and I am eager to learn as much as I can.

But our ocean is in danger; Us islanders pride ourselves on keeping the ocean healthy. A common phrase here is ’take one clam, plant 5 more.’ I also commit to picking up any trash I find when I am leading a tour. Our ocean is also not understood. I want people to be more informed about the importance of protecting & sustaining our ocean. I strive particularly to educate younger generations about the importance of keeping our ocean healthy. Whenever I lead a tour, I want it to be fun, but I also want it to be educational, and to help others understand the value of ocean protection.

Because our ocean matters for our people, our prosperity.


To submit a #OurOcean #OurPeople story, please complete this form and will get back to you if your story is selected to be featured on the Our Ocean Palau website and/or on social media.