April 19, 2010

Orca by TED/James Duncan Davidson

After an amazing four days of dreaming, learning, envisioning and committing to a better future for the ocean, the Mission Blue Voyagers are home–and a sea change is already underway. Eight definitive initiatives were launched, and $15+ million was pledged by many of the individuals on board the National Geographic Endeavor.

Here’s a summary:

  • $1 million to help improve the protection of the waters around the Galapagos Islands
  • $500,000 to establish a network of marine protected areas in the Arctic, including a high seas science reserve 
  • $3.25 million to initiate a public affairs campaign to end fishing subsidies 
  • $350,000 to create educational programs to teach students about the ocean issues 
  • $1.1 million to launch a plan to support efforts underway by the government of Bermuda to protect the Sargasso Sea and commitments to raise a further $2.5 million to support the long-term efforts 
  • Initiative to bring together a pan-Pacific alliance to link seascapes across the Pacific 
  • $8 million to create a new partnership to fund longer-term oceans projects 
  • Campaign to promote the development and use of new technologies for ocean exploration and research 

Guests out on the water
TED/James Duncan Davidson

The Mission Blue Voyage comprised 100 leaders, thinkers, visionaries, conservationists, and no small number of celebrities—all of whom demonstrated their care for our planet’s Blue Heart. Joining our founder Sylvia Earle were Leonardo DiCaprio, Edward Norton, Glenn Close, Elizabeth Banks, Daryl Hannah, Steve Case, Ted Waitt, Bill Joy, Jackson Browne, Damien Rice, Chevy Chase, Jean-Michel Cousteau, 30 leading marine scientists, and other forward-looking individuals.

In addition to the ocean initiatives noted above, 20 information-packed TED Talks were recorded–all of which will be shared with the world on TED.com in the coming months, bringing Mission Blue to millions of people.

Lobster seen on a dive
TED/James Duncan Davidson

As TED Founder Chris Anderson described it, the voyage “turned into an epic event that may have significant impact on global efforts to save our oceans. It happened because the individuals and organizations on board chose to abandon the obstacles that often engulf nonprofit work, and engage in a process of emergent collaboration that I, for one, found truly thrilling.”

We agree, and we will keep you apprised of progress on these initiatives in the weeks ahead. The big news: there is hope for the life support system that sustains us all. That’s also very good news.

Dr. Sylvia Earle Celebrates!
TED/James Duncan Davidson
Written by John Racanelli 

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