“We must treat the natural world differently, with respect, literally as if our lives depend on it. Because they do.”
Parley for the Oceans collaborator Dr. Sylvia Earle is a celebrated marine biologist, explorer, author, lecturer and founder of Mission Blue, a global ocean conservation initiative formed in response to her 2009 TED Prize wish. Sylvia was the first female chief scientist of the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the first person to walk the sea floor at a depth of 1,250 feet, a feat she famously completed in 1979 wearing an untethered, pressurized JIM suit.
“Her Deepness,” as she was nicknamed by the New Yorker and the New York Times, has been a National Geographic explorer-in-residence since 1998 and has spent nearly a year of her life under water. She was named Time Magazine's first "Hero for the Planet" and classed as a "Living Legend" by America's Library of Congress. A true ocean legend and vital member of the Parley community, Sylvia’s contributions to raising public awareness about critical ocean issues are unparalleled, and continue to be a source of inspiration and motivation in the movement to protect marine ecosystems.
In a moving presentation at the September 2014 Parley Wall Street Summit, Sylvia urges the audience to consider the impacts of ocean plastic pollution, overfishing, climate change, acidification and other human pressures that she has witnessed in the span of just 50 years, as well as their longterm consequences for future generations. She reminds us that there is a cost not only to what we put into the oceans, but also to what we take out of them — the things we remove from our own life support system.
“No water, no life. No blue, no green.” Sylvia's wake-up call is a sobering one, but it underlines a very simple and important truth: a world without the oceans is a world without us. In threatening the oceans, we threaten the future of all land-based and human life. Sylvia urges each individual to do anything and everything possible to make a positive difference, while we still have the chance to turn things around.
“Every one of us must break through the attitudes that are holding us back from doing everything we can to change the way people think and act toward the ocean, and to this little blue speck of the universe in general.”
We are honored to count Dr. Sylvia Earle among the growing network of Parley for the Oceans collaborators.
Watch Sylvia’s Parley Talk, In the Span of a Lifetime: