I have known Sylvia Earle for many years and am proud to count her as a friend and to work with her. She serves as a member of our Board of Directors at Marine Conservation Institute, and works tirelessly to save our oceans on behalf of many organizations around the world.
Better than anyone else she makes oceans accessible for people who don’t know, or currently care, about the “blue heart” of the planet. She graciously accepts invitations around the world to engage with people and stand up for the oceans. She helps them “see” what is below the surface without having to get wet. And she moves them to action because inaction simply feels uncomfortable after she has made them understand the issues. There is no doubt that she is passionate about the oceans, but she also cares deeply about people. One of my favorite Sylvia moments was catching her on Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood years ago.
A new movie, “Mission Blue” about Sylvia and her Hope Spots opened the Santa Barbara International Film Festival where it premiered on January 30, 2014. It was also screened at the Berlin Film Festival and will be shown in Washington, DC this weekend. (It will also be shown in Ashland, Oregon, and Toronto, Canada, in April (future screenings). The film has already received great reviews.
The movie is a wonderful tribute to this smart, delightful and compassionate person, and all that she has given to help keep our oceans healthy. We see Sylvia go in and out of the sea in some of the most exotic gear imaginable and she continues to scuba dive now as if she were still in her twenties. She keeps check on the pulse of the ocean and continues seeking answers. The movie shows the dire, deep trouble oceans are in, but leaves us optimistic. Her “Hope Spots” ― marine protected areas, or ones that can be ― will help keep oceans vibrant and resilient.
We have worked with Sylvia for over a decade and she is a supporter of our Global Ocean Refuge System (GLORES). GLORES provides the rigorous scientific criteria and protection levels that will help facilitate efforts such as Hope Spots. We are all in this together. We all want the same thing: to save our oceans before it is too late.
Today, we at Marine Conservation Institute salute Sylvia and all that she has done and especially encourage you all to see this movie and be inspired by her life and “Hope Spots.”