|Born Maya Plass in Kent in 1978, her early childhood was often spent in and around the Kentish rivers examining minnows and sticklebacks. As nature would have it, Maya’s world would follow the rivers out to sea when she was brought to live on the Wirral. Trips to Hilbre Island with her biology-teaching mother would enchant Maya as she explored the colourful rock pools and marvelled at the birds and seals. Inevitably, the long days spent absorbing the wonders of the coast – coupled with a passion for natural history and the great outdoors – led Maya to pursue a career in marine biology.|
Her aquatic fate was set when Maya moved to Devon to study for a BSc Marine Biology and Coastal Ecology, later followed by an MSc Integrated Coastal Zone Management in Bournemouth. The incredible beauty of the underwater world - the life stories of the inhabitants, the amazing diversity of food provided by the sea and the coastal, historical, ecological and mythical stories which make the seas so very important to our society, never ceases to amaze her.
Professionally, Maya’s career began as project officer in coastal Argentina, and later on a European project on the Exe Estuary, as she developed sustainable coastal management projects. In 2007, Maya fulfilled her lifetime ambition of sharing her love for the sea when she set up her own marine education business – Learn To Sea.
Learn to Sea enabled her to share her passion and knowledge of the sea within workshops for both children and adults. This led to several trips and projects across the UK’s coasts and abroad – including a life-changing trip to the World Heritage Site Midway Atoll – which inspires much of Maya’s workshop content.In 2009, Maya was invited to work with the BBC Spring/Autumnwatch team as a contributor, and has returned as a regular guest presenter. The experience of filming highlighted a potential outlet for Maya to ‘use’ the magic of modern media to inspire, inform and educate. She has since been seen on BBC Coast and ITV’s Hungry Sailors.
In 2011 through the powers of twitter, Maya had the chance to follow her dreams of writing a seashore book – inspired by her collection of new and old seashore guides. The RSPB Handbook of the Seashore (published May 2013 by Bloomsbury) is full of incredible facts, stunning pictures, exquisite illustrations and the beloved creatures that Maya knows so well.
Maya’s passion for marine conservation and campaigning had led her to raise money for charity in long distance open water swims, rowing lengths of the Thames and even triathlons. This dedication to marine conservation includes her role as patron for three fantastic charities Sea-changers, MARINElife and Mires Mor.
Maya’s interest in the sea is not limited to her career. Maya’s life revolves around the daily ebbs and flows, and the water sports associated with them. When she is not working by the sea she will inevitably be found diving, kayaking, fishing, surfing, hunter-gathering, or simply swimming in the sea with her family. When not in Devon, she’ll be somewhere near her beloved British coastline in a self-converted camper van – the means to explore other coastal locations around the UK.
Diving qualifications include: HSE commercial level 4, oxygen administration, HSE First aid at work, boat-handling and VHF Radio certificate.If you are interested in booking Maya for an event or for filming, then please contact her agent.