Watermen Project | Our Story
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Our Story

In its humble beginnings, the Watermen project came out of a desire to be of service in the effort to protect our oceans for future generations.  Along the way, it became clear that there was no simple solution nor simple approach to the large and global challenges of ocean conservation. When we took notice that people from all walks of life and all ages responded best to the plight of the ocean when presented to them in story form, we shifted the way we operated. Over the years, through thousand of hours of collecting photos and filming our expeditions, we documented honest interactions with large marine animals in their natural environment. This is what made us realise that our calling was in becoming full-fledge storytellers. Today, we continue to learn and evolve as an organisation dedicated to ocean conservation.

Our Mission

Our Mission is Simple…

Using compelling stories and conversations, we motivate people of all ages to volunteer their service in the preservation and conservation of all habitats but most importantly to inspire and demonstrate a love for all things in the ocean.

We measure the missions’ success by the impact that our educational programs has on young people and children. Through our guidance and real life tools they feel self-empowered and understand they can easily make a difference.

Our Team

William Winram

is an ocean explorer and storyteller who works to motivate future generations to protect and respect our oceans. He is an IUCN Oceans Ambassador, Fellow International of the Explorers Club and founder of the Watermen Project, an NPO dedicated to ocean conservation. An accomplished photographer and filmmaker William spends his time traveling the world for exploration/conservation related projects and events, conferences and expeditions organized for the Watermen Project. He has been exploring the underwater world and sharing stories of his endeavours on a single breath of air for more than four decades. William gives talks and teaches on topics ranging from risk and stress management to optimized breathing and breath-hold diving. Winram has been featured in the IMAX film Great White Shark 3D and has regularly appeared in programs on National Geographic channel, Discovery Channel, ABC Nightline, Arte, as well as publications such as Maxim, the LA Times and The Age to only name a few.

William Winram

is an ocean explorer and storyteller who works to motivate future generations to protect and respect our oceans. He is an IUCN Oceans Ambassador, Fellow International of the Explorers Club and founder of the Watermen Project, an NPO dedicated to ocean conservation. An accomplished photographer and filmmaker William spends his time traveling the world for exploration/conservation related projects and events, conferences and expeditions organized for the Watermen Project. He has been exploring the underwater world and sharing stories of his endeavours on a single breath of air for more than four decades. William gives talks and teaches on topics ranging from risk and stress management to optimized breathing and breath-hold diving. Winram has been featured in the IMAX film Great White Shark 3D and has regularly appeared in programs on National Geographic channel, Discovery Channel, ABC Nightline, Arte, as well as publications such as Maxim, the LA Times and The Age to only name a few.

Michèle Monico

Team member (2012 – current)

Michèle is a founding partner, a passionate woman with impeccable vision for management and project development, who still finds time to be an advocate of human health and environmental conservation. Born and raised in land-locked Switzerland, she grew up terrified of water following an incident during a swimming lesson at the tender age of four. Many years later, like many others, Michèle discovered breath-hold diving through the movie Le Grand Bleu, though it left her with feelings of panic. In 2002, after her first visit to the Big Island of Hawaii, she felt the need to face her fears and thus began her journey, which meant she first had to learn to swim. Since that time, she has dove off shore in the company of sharks and manta rays. Although she was a judge for AIDA Intl freediving competition for several years, she favors recreational freediving as a tool to connect with the underwater world. A nature lover since always, she became actively involved in ocean conservation by raising funds and organizing expeditions in support of scientific research and documentary filming. Michèle holds a BSc (’97 Hon) in Biology from the University of Waterloo, Canada.

Rodolfo Robatti

Team member (2012 – current)

Rodolfo was born in Geneva, Switzerland, and has been involved in any and all sports as long as they were set in the outdoors.  Throughout his life, he has endeavoured to explore the world, from backpacking in the Amazon forest to freediving with sharks in remote oceans.  As such, he has had the opportunity to see first-hand how human activity can have negatively impactful consequences on those ecosystems.  A man of many trades and an entrepreneur, Rodolfo is capable of building and repairing almost anything from scratch – a set of skills he is happy to put at the service of the Watermen Project’s expeditions.  Like any other expedition set in remote places, there is always something in need of repair.  Rodolfo is a well-read human being who derives his wisdom from delving into the writings of philosophers and poets, from antiquity to modern times.  The mind deserves equal exploration to figure out how to help people shift from deleterious to constructive and sustainable behaviours. Rodolfo’s mindset is a blend of realism and optimism. “The best is yet to come” are words that he lives by daily.

Angelos Metaxa

Team member (2012 – current)

Angelos is an entrepreneur who is currently involved in ventures in the field of Real Estate and Private Equity with a focus in Europe and the USA. With a strong passion for the mountains as well as the oceans, Angelos devotes a significant part of his private time mountaineering or under-water. Having the possibility to explore nature in an adventurous way is what drives Angelos’ desire to assist in conservation work. Meeting William Winram in 2011 was a wake-up call to the grave condition of our planet’s oceans and he immediately volunteered to be a part of the Watermen Project’s journey all the while lending his expertise in social entrepreneurship and fundraising.

Lukas Muller

Former team member (2013 – 2018)

As part of the Watermen Project’s Young Ambassador program, Lukas was mentored by William Winram. During his time with the organisation, he contributed to and benefited from a variety of opportunities, ranging from collecting scientific data to film making. He also contributed to the development of its web presence. Lukas’ natural curiosity for exploration led him from university undergraduate degree to a masters program in MAM (Marine Resources Management) program at Wageningen University (NDL). He left the Watermen Project at the end of 2018 to assist Dr Andrea Marshall’s research in Mozambique.