In 1996 Ernest Brooks II dove and photographed in Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, Philippines, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, is located in the middle of the Sulu Sea and encompasses nearly 247,000 acres of marine habitat, including three atolls, According to UNESCO, the reefs are home to more than 350 species of coral and almost 500 types of fish, including a wide variety of creatures, like whales, dolphins, sharks and turtles.
Brooks’ iconic black-and-white “Silver Seas” photographs captured the fragile beauty of this spectacular underwater treasure. He reflected “my images illustrate the beauty and peace in and around the UNESCO site.” Seventeen years later, a return visit by Brooks to the Philippines coincided with a tragic accident to the reef. On Jan 17, 2013, a US naval minesweeper ran aground on Tubbataha Reef, significantly damaging or destroying a portion of the reef. Brooks remains deeply concerned for the welfare and hopeful longterm recovery of the reefs.
For more information: NY Times story 1/31/13: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/
“There is a strong bond among those who are truly concerned about the ocean and life in and around it. This bond has linked Ernie Brooks with the world’s eminent marine specialists and organizations whose mutual goal has been to educate others about the fragility of the world’s oceans and their essential role in the life on this planet.” ~ Ralph Clevenger