News clip below provided by Jacksonville's Action News. Kistel of TISIRI recently applied for a Shark Week Host Opportunity in an effort to bring more attention to the significance of artificial reefs and related efforts.
Below from Action News Jacksonville
Reported by: Amanda Warford
-- Far below the surface of waterways throughout Jacksonville are hundreds of sunken ships that act like artificial reefs for wildlife. Now the group that puts them there wants to be part of Discovery Channel's Shark Week.
"My recreation has always been water related," said Joseph Kistel, "in fact I couldn't imagine not living anywhere close to the coast."
A student of marine science, Kistel is the Executive Director of TISIRI, or "Think It, Sink It, Reef It," a non-profit group that sinks ships. There are very few natural reefs in North Florida, so TISIRI recycles old boats into artificial reefs, placing hundreds throughout Jacksonville alone.
"By placing appropriate structures in appropriate areas it creates a fish habitat, which attracts recreational and commerical fish to those areas."
But now Kistel wants a different job. He recently applied to be Chief Shark Officer for Discovery Channel's Shark Week later this year. All he knows about the job is that the network wants someone new to host the popular week-long series.
"I don't know what all it entails, but I'm ready for whatever that is. A face, personality, experience, and kind of a go-get-it attitude is probably what they're looking for."
Kistel and the TISIRI team submitted an audition video outlining his qualifications in January.
"I'm pretty calm and can control myself, and I'm not intimidated by things in the water. So we thought, let's go for it."
The cutoff for applying for Chief Shark Officer was in January and it may be weeks before Kistel knows if he got the job, but he says it's not all about him. Exposure for the artificial reef project in Jacksonville is his number one goal.
"What's neat about it is it shows my potential for the position, but it also highlights TISRI efforts so it kills two birds with one stone."
TISIRI is currently working on bringing another artificial reef to the Jacksonville waters that is expected to be laid to "reef" in Spring of 2012.
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