HydroHeart focuses on subjects surrounding the hydrologic cycle – our planet’s heart! 

We want to establish a community that shines a light on the progress in conservation, gives even the smallest projects access to funds and a platform to show their success.

What is this about?

Hydroheart focuses on subjects surrounding the hydrologic cycle – our planet’s heart! While the rainforests are often referred to as our earth’s lungs, the hydrologic cycle and the water it carries plays a role just as vital. It constitutes the circulation of water within our biosphere – from evaporated droplets to the formation of clouds, and through rainfall back to rivers, lakes and seas. It is the origin of all life and supplies our soils and waters with nutrients – just like our hearts and the blood in our veins do.

We want to call attention to the fact that our waters are connected as well as to the risks and challenges that poses. A problem that manifests itself in an ocean might very well have its root cause hundreds of kilometers upriver – often across national borders. Think of it this way: we can take out as much garbage out of the oceans as we like; as long as we don’t drain the sources of the pollution at the shores and far up the rivers, the stream of trash will never end. Many problems we face today require a coordinated and holistic approach and we therefore want to put more emphasis on that fact.

Our Vision

The challenges our waters face today are significant, but instead of focusing on the problems, let us shed a light on the good. There are plenty of dedicated people and projects doing tremendous work already. All over the world, people commit themselves to the protection and conservation of our waters. And we want in!

Instead of initiating our own project, we want to support existing ones and provide them with a platform to share their message and stories, thereby increasing their visibility and helping to make sure they have what they need to successfully do their job. According to Giving USA 2018, The Annual Report on Philanthropy, a mere 3% ($11.83 billion) of all donations made in 2017 in the United States went towards the protection of the environment and animals. Considering the importance of the environment for us, this seems highly disproportionate.

Our vision is to help raise that number by making it easier to donate towards specific projects and goals through crowdfunding campaigns, thereby allowing donors to directly and visibly take part in the success of a project.

Our Mission

To bring our vision to life, we want to create a community of nature enthusiasts and supporters on our platform that we can mobilize on the project’s behalf.

To that end we want to…


  • Introduce our community to existing conservation projects and initiatives around the world and put a spotlight on their work and current developments
  • Create a register of projects and initiatives across the world


  • Contribute to the awareness and discussion of current topics concerning our waters and their inhabitants by writing articles, conducting interviews with researchers and experts, etc.
  • Create short documentaries, showing the work of existing projects and initiatives


  • Leverage our community to help raise funds for projects and initiatives through crowdfunding campaigns
  • Help potential volunteers to find suitable volunteering opportunities for them

Who are we?

We are group of optimists who are done waiting on the world to change. We sincerely believe that, instead of standing by, we must gather the courage to take on individual responsibility to what happens with us and our environment. Change starts with each and every one of us, whenever we’re ready to answer that inner call to action. And we answered ours.

Joël Zängerle

Co-President & Co-Founder

Ever since I can remember, I have had a deep respect for our oceans and especially sharks. The highlight of my childhood was Jacques Cousteau’s adventures on the Calypso. I still remember vividly, how I was sitting in front of the tv on the carpet every Sunday evening, watching the man with the red wool cap do what he did best – research and protect our oceans and the creatures living in it.

I eventually started to dive and got informed about the challenges our waters face today and with it emerged a strong desire to be part the conservation efforts. It was the late Rob Stewart with his documentary “Shark Water” who reignited the passion that Jacques Cousteau once sparked off and reminded me that it is up to each and every one of us to make a change. It deeply concerns me to see what humans do to our environment, the waters and the creatures living in it and wish to join the efforts to protect those that cannot protect themselves. Out of this deep desire to contribute, Hydroheart was founded. I hope to welcome you soon into our HydroHeart Family to join our efforts to support those researching and protecting our waters.

  • CAS in International Policy & Advocacy, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  • LL.M. in U.S., International & Transnational Law, Chicago-Kent College of Law, USA
  • Master of Law, University of Zurich, Switzerland
  • Bachelor of Law, University of Zurich, Switzerland

Pavel Soukal


Not much after I could walk, I started to swim and have enjoyed doing that ever since, be it in the lakes and rivers of Switzerland, beaches of Papua and Colombia, underground caverns on Timor or simply the local swimming pool. In other words, water has always fascinated me! Once I started to see the world, I explored the underwater realm by diving and discovered its vast beauty filled teeming with life.

Having seen many parts of this world, including some if its remote corners, has made me more conscious of the importance of water. When I returned to Switzerland, the most rewarding experience was drinking fresh water straight out of the tap – in the bathroom of the airport. Water is the only chemical compound that manages to distribute nutrients essential for life in a continuous and sustainable way. My goal is that we can make sure water does not only stay a source of life but that all beings get the quality of water we all love and cherish.

Hydroheart captured my interest immediately with its genuine, direct approach towards positive change, bringing together even the smallest conservation efforts with generous humans looking to enable change from near and afar.

  • Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Global Management, Doshisha University, Japan
  • Bachelor of Applied Science in Business Administration and Management, ZHAW – School of Management and Law Zurich, Switzerland

Juanma Garcia Cambeiro

Marine Scientist & Nature Writer

I have always wanted to work with wildlife, exploring the world and living in amazing environments that I would only see in TV, such as tropical forests or Antarctica. That desire lead me to study Biology. I started to travel wherever I could, working with chimpanzees, seals and sea turtles. However, after I became a scuba diver, my focus became clear: I wanted to specialize in marine biology, helping to understand and protect the oceans.

I always loved books, and as a teenager a teacher recommended me to read Gerald Durrell. In his novels, Durrell tells his life travelling around the world. He collected animals for different zoos and then created his own, developing captivity breeding programs for endangered species among other conservation projects. He became a role model for me. I wanted to write about travels and wildlife, combining my passions, while helping to raise awareness about environmental protection.

That is the reason why I joined Hydroheart. I want to show the science behind the scenes to the general public. Make it as fun and interesting as it is for me. I hope that this will help Hydroheart and its partners to have more support, growth and having a bigger impact in protecting the environment.

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Biology, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Karen Lucchini

Marine Scientist & Nature Writer

I have been totally in love with the oceans and marine animals since I can remember even though I was born in a rural area of Brazil, far away from the ocean. Thus, I only had a closer contact with marine environments after I got to university, in 2012. Since then, I have been studying and working more closely with what I love: the Oceans.

Once I started to dive and explore these magnificent environments, I got even more enchanted by the underwater world. Then, I got the chance to study in Australia for a while and get even closer to marine research and ocean conservation actions and movements. Back in Brazil, I kept on studying marine mammal behaviour and became more active in the research area.

I started to understand that human activities are very harmful to this incredible environment. This, together with my love for the ocean, is what moves me onwards on trying to support marine science and nature communication to promote ocean conservation. Hydroheart has shown me a way to respect my values and ideals, and how to achieve goals in supporting and acting on ocean conservancy.

  • Master’s Degree in Zoology, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Brazil
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Biology, Universidade Estadual Paulista Júlio de Mesquita Filho, Brazil
  • Sandwich Graduation in Marine Sciences, University of Queensland, Australia

Silvia Gómez

Marine Scientist & Nature Writer

I have always been related to the sea. I was born in Galicia (Spain), a beautiful place of sailors and shellfishermen.

The ocean has attracted me for as long as I can remember. I love snorkeling, swimming and learning about aquatic life. That’s why I decided to study marine sciences and oceanography. I didn’t know then that this road would take me to Chile, where I currently live and work.

I’ve been lucky enough to travel to different parts of the world. I am amazed at how incredible nature and our waters can be. I have also seen environmental disasters in places that should be much better preserved. Some of these experiences reaffirmed to me even more that conservation of aquatic environments is an absolute priority that we have to fight for.

Hydroheart is an organization that wants to achieve that goal. It is a group of people with a very true and real approach to improving the state of conservation of our waters and aquatic life and I am excited to be part of it.

  • PhD in Aquaculture, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Chile
  • Master in Marine Sciences and Oceanography, Universidade de Vigo, Spain
  • Bachelor in Marine Sciences and Oceanography, Universidade de Vigo, Spain

Mallory Bovey

Marine Scientist & Nature Writer

While most Swiss kids spent winter holidays learning how to ski in the Swiss mountains, I was snorkeling in the Red Sea or looking for seashells in the heat of tropical regions. My mum is an aquarium fanatic and my dad is passionate about wildlife photography, hence our rather peculiar family holiday choices. It is probably why I developed this otherwise unexplainable obsession for fish and tropical marine ecosystems. I am now way past the kid stage and have finished my professional education, but to this day I still find coral reefs to be the most enchanting, mind-blowing and fascinating things on planet Earth.

My biggest dream is to live a day where humans have fully realized how precious the natural world is, and have fully fallen in love with it, as I did long ago with coral reefs.

I currently work as an environmental educator and I have decided to join the HydroHeart team because, as a famous forestry engineer once said: “In the end we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught.

  • Master thesis studying the impacts of community-based Marine Protected Areas on reefs condition and fish catch in the Philippines
  • Master in Marine Biology and Fisheries Management, IMBRsea (International Master of Science in Marine Biological Resources) Program at Ghent University, Belgium
  • Bachelor in Biology, Université de Lausanne, Switzerland

Christoph Häberlin


Hi there! My name is Christoph and gracias for your visit on our page.

I grew up in Kreuzlingen, Switzerland, close to the Lake Constance. I really enjoy spending my spare time in and around waters –  be it swimming, snorkeling, diving or surfing. Over time I developed a keen interest in the relevance and importance of waters for our planet. I realized that there is plenty to do and that I want to contribute my part to the protection of the oceans. So we founded Hydroheart.

I am looking forward to present you our work and efforts. Please drop me a line in case you have questions, feedback or other suggestions.

I am very happy to connect.

  • Master of Arts, International Relations, HSG – University of St. Gallen, Switzerland
  • Bachelor of Arts, International Relations, HSG – University of St. Gallen, Switzerland
  • Bachelor of Science, Economic Law, ZHAW – School of Management and Law Zurich, Switzerland
© Vladislav Klapin

This could be you!

Position: Whatever you can bring to the table!

We are looking for interested and dedicated people to further our cause. Whatever your skill is, we are sure we can use it! Nonetheless, we are especially looking for scientists and researchers, journalists, filmmakers, photographers, people experienced with marketing and communications, media editing, web designers, social media pros (insta, fb, youtube, etc.), or any other skill you think we should onboard! We do not care about degrees; students and other passionate people are welcomed just as much!

At this point – and this will not change for the foreseeable future – we are all working pro bono. We may however be able to pay for expenses so that you at least do not have to put up your own money. At this point, we are bootstrapping this platform.

Interested? Reach out to us!