The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy (AWSC) is partnering with Heroes in Transition (HIT) to provide military veterans an opportunity to participate in its popular white shark excursion trips this summer.
The charter experience will provide more than 20 veterans with a unique opportunity to observe white sharks in their natural habitat and witness firsthand the Conservancy’s efforts to study the species and conserve Cape Cod’s biologically diverse marine ecosystem. Each 2.5- to 3-hour charter is guided by a spotter pilot aircraft and accompanied by a Conservancy naturalist. Passengers are also encouraged to participate in “citizen science” by adding white shark sightings to the Sharktivity app, using a hydrophone to determine if a shark has been tagged and assisting the white shark research team by recording observations.
Seven special veterans’ excursions departing from Chatham are scheduled from late-July to early-September when sharks are most commonly spotted in greater numbers off the coast of Cape Cod.
Funding for the excursions, which cost $2,500 each, was made possible by the Conservancy’s Giving Tuesday campaign, and an AWSC Board of Directors match, in November 2021.
“We’re honored to share a fascinating white shark excursion adventure with brave men and women who have served our country – it’s the least we can do,” said Cynthia Wigren, CEO and co-founder, Atlantic White Shark Conservancy. “I’m excited to work with Heroes in Transition on this project and I’m beyond grateful and humbled by the generosity of those who supported the project on Giving Tuesday, and to our Board of Directors who matched those donations.”
“One of our missions at Heroes in Transition is to build a community of support amongst our veterans and military families beyond their service and their units,” explained John Alexander, HIT’s Veterans Coordinator. “We do this through events that allow them to socialize and experience incredible programs such as the white shark excursions. Partnering with organizations in the community is vital and thanks to the incredible generosity of the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy and their partners, our veterans and service members get to take part in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to observe and learn about these magnificent creatures up close and in their natural habitat.”