Do you know someone who loves marine life or nature? Check out this gift guide of some unique items, many of which can be purchased at the last minute or online. You could delight the marine enthusiast in your life even more by combining some of these items into a marine-themed gift basket! Thanks to Melissa Mayntz, the Guide to Birding and Wild Birds for her ideas for this article via the Marine Life Forum!
1. Donate to a CharityMaybe you've already bought the recipient every whale/dolphin/shark/etc. knick knack there is. A donation to a marine life charity in the recipient's name is a great gift. There are organizations out there that are large and small, focused broadly on marine conservation, and narrowly on helping particular species or regions. If you need suggestion or help finding a charity, feel free to e-mail me for ideas or ask readers in the Marine Life Forum.
2. Gift a Gift MembershipAlong the lines of donating to a charity, you could purchase an individual or family membership to a local aquarium or science center. Your recipient will remember your kind gesture every time they visit! This gift is especially good for families.
3. "Adopt" a Marine Animal
A virtual adoption of a marine animal such as a whale, seal, shark or seabird is like buying a membership to an organization, in that you're making a donation to support the organization's mission, but the result is a little more tangible. You'll likely get an adoption kit with an adoption certificate and a detailed life history of the animal you've adopted. This is a great gift for kids, who are often thrilled with the idea of having their "own" marine animal! Tip: make sure the organization will stay in touch with the adopter throughout the year to give them information on their animals' whereabouts - I've heard complaints from people who plunked down a donation but never heard anything from the organization after their initial thank you.
4. Give An Interaction With Marine Life
5. Marine Life CDs and DVDsGive a CD of marine life sounds, such as a CD featuring whale songs, or a DVD about marine linfe (the Discovery Channel Store has a bunch) perhaps accompanied by a book about marine life.
6. Marine Life Books
There are a variety of books about marine life, ranging from fictional stories to non-fiction, science-based books and coffee table books. Some of my favorites are World Ocean Census, which features beautiful images and accounts of exciting, innovative research, Voyage of the Turtle, with great information on leatherback turtles, and the Secret Life of Lobsters, an extremely fun read about lobster biology and research.
7. BinocularsMaybe you know someone who is just getting into observing marine life such as whales or seabirds. If so, binoculars would be a great gift, especially when combined with an informative field guide! Here's a helpful guide to buying binoculars
8. Marine Life Calendar
There are lots of calendars out there which feature beautiful images of marine life, many of which are produced by non-profit organizations, so your purchase will help further their work.