Lisa and Sylvia_(c)KipEvans_9815

Hope Spot Expeditions  are short duration trips, typically 2 weeks or less, that require only a small team to execute.  They are designed to create awareness, foster partnerships, and build public support for the creation of marine protected areas, or “Hope Spots” across the globe.

Expedition Program Goals

  • Highlight areas that need attention, or need to be saved before it’s too late
  • Highlight areas that can serve as a beacon of hope
  • Increase knowledge of current and potential Hope Spots
  • Deliver a strong, strategic “Call to Action” that directly supports protection
  • Collaborate with global partners to bring change
  • Create multi-media materials for social media networks
  • Strengthen the Mission Blue brand
  • Raise funds for programs and partners

Where have we been?

 Gulf of California, Mexico

In 2009, Dr. Earle named the Gulf of California one of her top “Hope Spot” locations and vowed to help bring attention and support to the region. Dr. Earle and the team visited the region in June 2015.

Cocos Island

Dr. Earle and the team visited Cocos Island in partnership with Fusion in March 2015.

South African Coast

Dr. Earle and the team visited six different sites of ecological importance along the coast of South Africa and celebrated their designation as Community Hope Spots in late 2014.

Central American Dome – Playa Grande, Costa Rica

This expedition in early 2014 explored and documented the migration route of the critically endangered leatherback turtle, which leaves the protection of the Pacific coast of Central America to feed on bountiful jellyfish in this high seas Hope Spot.

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Mesoamerican Reef – Swan Islands

The goal of the July 2011 expedition to the Swan Islands was to explore and document the nature of marine life in the surrounding waters and to support designation of the islands as a marine protected area.

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Holbox, Mexico

During July of 2009, the SEA team was on and around the island of Holbox as part of a research expedition to better understand the largest fish on earth.

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The team’s second Cuba expedition took us to the country’s coral reefs. In the late fall of 2009, we explored what remains of a priceless ecological resource.

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Mesoamerican Reef – Belize

Our 10-day trip to Belize in 2010 highlighted research being conducted by scientists studying coral reefs, mangrove forests and sea turtles.

Cabo Pulmo Schooling Jacks(c)KipEvans

Gulf of California – Pangas Cruise

In 2010, Expeditions Director Kip Evans joined the Panagas program for a week-long cruise through the Gulf of California.

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Consisting of over 3,000 islands, islets and cays, the nation of the Bahamas contains several priceless marine habitats, and has been designated by Dr. Earle as one of Mission Blue’s global Hope Spots.


Cocos Island

Surrounded by deep waters and strong currents, Cocos Island has long been admired by scuba divers for its wealth of marine life.

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Aquarius Habitat

Aquarius is an underwater ocean laboratory located in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary – the only one of it’s kind in the world.



Identified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2005, Coiba National Park is located in the Gulf of Chiriquí, Coiba and is approximately 30 miles off the Pacific coast of Panama.