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Stunned by widespread ignorance about the Gulf of Mexico following the 2010 Macondo oil spill, underwater photographer Jesse Cancelmo decided to turn his camera on the marine life of this 600,000 square mile international sea that connects five US states, six Mexican states, and the island nation of Cuba. With the goal of countering dismissive descriptions of a Gulf plagued with dead zones and overrun by oil rigs, Cancelmo set out to capture a world rarely acknowledged, let alone seen.
Between the Gulf's rich shoreline habitats and its prolific oceanic communities, thriving amid dazzling coral reefs, brine seeps, canyons, salt domes, and hard bottom banks, are more than 15,000 species, including an iconic cast of sea animals: sperm whales, manta rays, whale sharks, manatees, spotted dolphins, and more.
Capturing images from locations all around the Gulf, Cancelmo reveals the beauty and glory of these diverse habitats and species.
Although this is a book of sensational underwater photography, Cancelmo intends it to be more than a celebration of oceanic beauty. He also hopes to inspire better understanding and appreciation of the natural marine habitats in the Gulf and to strengthen support for their protection and sustainment.
Jesse Cancelmo is a Houston-based writer and an underwaterphotographer whose articles and photographs have appeared innumerous diving and wildlife publications. He is the author of Texas Coral Reefs.