Can You Feel It? The Tides Are Changing!
National Ocean Month ignited the ocean community with can-do energy and saw many positive developments. We at Mission Blue believe that the tides are changing in favor of the ocean — that this moment is truly the sweet spot in time. How could we conclude otherwise in light of these recent developments?
Secretary of State Kerry unveiled his Ocean Action Plan: end overfishing by 2020; reduce nutrient pollution 20% by 2025; reduce carbon emissions; get at least 10% of the ocean protected by 2020. And, Leonardo DiCaprio knocked our fins off with his generosity, pledging $7 million from his foundation to ocean causes over the next two years. All in all, $2 billion was pledged to ocean projects and causes. USAID alone pledged $170 million for capacity building in coastal nations.
President Obama signed an executive order that vastly expands the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, creating the world’s largest marine reserve by placing 782,000 square miles of ocean off-limits to commercial fishing and oil and gas exploration. He also pledged to “ensure all seafood sold in the U.S. is both sustainable and traceable, meaning all customers will know exactly who caught it, where and when.”
The Mission Blue film screened at National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C. thanks to Netflix, who made it possible for delegates of Our Ocean 2014 summit to see the film before its formal release on August 15th. Sheldon Whitehouse, the outspoken ‘blue’ senator from the Ocean State of Rhode Island, kicked off the evening by introducing Dr. Earle and the directors Bob Nixon (a Mission Blue Board Member) and Fisher Stevens.
Report: dramatic decline of Caribbean corals can be reversed! “The rate at which the Caribbean corals have been declining is truly alarming,” says Carl Gustaf Lundin, Director of IUCN’s Global Marine and Polar Programme. “But this study brings some very encouraging news: the fate of Caribbean corals is not beyond our control and there are some very concrete steps that we can take to help them recover.”
Fabien Cousteau and his team of aquanauts successfully completed the longest mission
ever to Aquarius Reef Base in the Florida Keys to pay tribute to his grandfather’s Conshelf Two mission. Mission Blue Director of Expeditions Kip Evans joined the team for two weeks under the waves, while Dr. Earle made an appearance and visited the underwater laboratory with Fabien’s father Jean-Michel Cousteau.
The Global Ocean Commission has called for a new global agreement on the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in international waters. At the gathering in NYC in honor of the release of the report, we were all lifted by the possibilities and opportunities before the global community working to protect and restore the ocean in a broad front internationally. Learn more here.