Disney recognizes our old friend

We are so pleased to learn that Godfrey Merlen, a longtime, relentless, stalwart, behind the scenes conservation champion of Galapagos has been named a Disney Conservation Hero.

Godfrey came to Galapagos over 40 years ago, looking for adventure. Experience seaman, salty mariner, over the years, Godfrey has ingratiated himself not only with important conservation institutions in the islands (Galapagos National Park Service, Charles Darwin Foundation), but also with international NGOs such as World Wildlife Fund and Conservation International and with scientists looking for local help when monitoring whales in Galapagos waters.

We have had the pleasure of knowing Godfrey over the years, and tapping into his wisdom on ship building during the days we worked for the Darwin Foundation.

There are many things Godfrey does, and has done, that deserve a medal - but in this case, Disney recognized his work in encouraging the Galapagos National Park Service to "embrace a conservation project to increase penguin populations and is now helping to create expanded protected areas for the birds. His ability to work across cultures and organizations, and generously share his diverse skills in art, science, sailing, natural history, and conservation problem solving have made him key to the Penguin Project’s success."

Well done Godfrey - we look forward to congratulating you in person during our next visit to the islands.