“No Water. No Life. No Blue. No Green.” ~ Dr. Sylvia Earle
We were honored to have Sylvia Earle kick off our Blue Ocean Summit 2015 on World Oceans Day: In the Summit opening interview, “A Sweet Spot in Time,” Sylvia pulls no punches as she outlines the many ocean issues that we can no longer ignore. Sylvia reminds us that we are here in a moment in history like no other: We are being called on as individuals, and as a community, to come together to activate the sustainable practices that are available right now. “we’re right at that critical point…when never before could we know what we now know. Never again will there be a chance as good as what we now have to take action, to do something. Everybody can do something.”
“we can see the cause and effect relationships of what we put in the ocean and what we’re taking out of the ocean”
As Dr. Earle makes clear: “We’re seeing the eco-systems upon which everything we care about rests, the life support system, the systems that maintain the integrity of a planet that works in our favor. You can see it clearly in coral reefs, in kelp forests…the degradation has been relentless.” “we can see the cause and effect relationships of what we put in the ocean and what we’re taking out of the ocean. The connection between what we’re putting into the atmosphere and how its affecting the chemistry of the world’s oceans, how it’s affecting the temperature of the ocean.”
As Sylvia explains “It’s important that people know why the ocean matters, our lives depend on it. It’s not some time far in the future that the unraveling of the ocean systems could happen. It’s happening on our watch…in our time that we have an opportunity, a responsibility,” to make sustainable choices and “to restore what we can and protect what is still there.”
Known by many simply as “Her Deepness,” National Geographic Society Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Sylvia Earle is an oceanographer, having logged more than 7,000 hours underwater; Leader of over 100 scientific expeditions; Lecturer in over 90 countries and; Author of 13 books (most recently “Blue Hope” published in 2014). Former Chief Scientist of NOAA, Dr. Earle is the Founder of Deep Ocean Exploration and Research, Inc. (DOER) and Founder of the Sylvia Earle Alliance.
Sylvia won the TED Prize in 2009 based on her wish entitled “Mission Blue” – to protect the ocean by creating “Hope Spots” in a network of marine protected areas around the globe. These “Hope Spots” serve to safeguard the living systems that provide the underpinnings of global processes, from maintaining marine biodiversity and giving basic life support services (like food and oxygen!) to providing stability and resiliency in response to accelerating climate change.
Sylvia’s goal is to protect 20% of the world’s oceans by 2020
In 2009, less than 1% of the ocean was protected in marine reserves and it is Sylvia’s goal to protect 20% of the world’s oceans by 2020. In 2014, Sylvia was featured in an original Netflix Documentary “Mission Blue” that spotlights her more than four decades of work in the forefront of ocean exploration and marine conservation: The film underscores why the Library of Congress calls her a “Living Legend” and Time Magazine named her as the first “Hero for the Planet.” (photo – Kip Evans)
“We have to rethink the ocean…the ocean is the most important aspect of the Earth.. Our economy, our health, life itself…this is the blue heart of the planet”
There is so much that is inspiring in Sylvia’s interview, including both situations of deepest concern but also solutions holding hope for the future. To share Dr. Earle’s complete interview, join with us as a member and visit the Ocean Blue Summit 2015: Sylvia Earle (Membership Website in Development). You can also follow Dr. Earle’s TED talk, visit Mission Blue HQ and watch the Netflix Documentary. To support the Blue Ocean community and to review and order any of Sylvia Earle’s books or films go to the store (Store in Development).
For an additional perspective on the global issues that Dr. Earle’s article presents follow Dr. Peter Sale who as a scientist has witnessed the decline of our coral reefs over many years. He provides a compelling explanation of why we need to make serious changes if we want to have a quality of life for our children. See: Ocean Profiles: Dr Peter Sale
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