Planet S.O.S

The Mission Blue Organisation

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Last updated on December 29th, 2017

Logo courtesy of Mission Blue

Mission Blue – the guardians of our oceans

In my introductory post of Planet S.O.S I talk about organisations that are set to make a difference in the fragile world we live in. I recently came across Mission Blue while discovering new feeds in The Travelling Cookie’s Instagram account.

The mission statement that is in the profile of this non-profit organisation immediately intrigued me

Mission Blue inspires action to explore and protect the ocean

I clicked on their link and further discovered about an amazing individual who was featured in the front cover of Times magazine. The title read ‘Women who are changing the world’. 

Dr. Sylvia Earl was the First woman to become chief scientist of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. She is the President and Chairman of Mission Blue and a National Geographic Society Explorer in Residence.

She has logged in more than 7,000 hours of underwater research. Her life’s mission is to protect our oceans before it’s too late. When asked about the best places for diving, she sadly replies:

..almost everywhere, 50 years ago!

She still continues to dive, (at age 81). Inspired by some of her actions, former President Barrack Obama decided to quadruple the protected area around the entire coast of the Hawaiian Islands. Following this, he met with Dr. Earl in Midway Atoll of the Hawaiian Islands to celebrate the creation of what is now known as ‘The World’s largest Marine Protected Area’. 

As recognition for the former President’s courageous decision, they named a newly discovered fish after him. While still in Midway Atoll, Dr. Earl presented him with the plaque picturing this endemic fish species. You can see both of these videos

What I truly love about the Mission Blue website is how it encourages public initiative.

One of its coolest features is the ‘Name your own Hope Spot‘. With this feature, anyone can apply and nominate an area that is special to them.

a site that gives HOPE. Collectively all of these Hope Spots will create a global wave of community support for ocean conservation that leaders and policy makers can’t ignore.

Two of these Hope Spots already exist in Greece, and I couldn’t be happier. One of them is in Vatica Bay off the southern coast of the Peloponnese. The second Hope Spot and the newest on the list is located just off the island of Lesvos. You can read about this nomination and why it was rightly chosen here.

The third nomination in the area of Syvota, (west coast of Greece), is still under consideration, but very encouraging that such initiatives are taking place.

You can see a World map of these Hope Spots and perhaps think about other possible Hope Spots that could be nominated around your area. Please read the Hope Spot nomination guidelines and help spread the world.

You never know what difference your actions can make to Mission Blue and our seas.

As Dr. Sylvia Earl so tactfully said,

Together we really can make a difference…The answer is deceptively simple: all doing the right thing, little by little. One action times a thousand, times a billion, and you’ve got change.

There are other ways you can support the Mission Blue cause. You can ‘Make a gift‘ through donations and buy some really cool merchandise through their online store.

Summing it up

I never previously heard of Dr. Sylvia Earl. Watching her story from back in the 60’s, when she was doing important marine biology work, to today, I can safely say that she is my latest hero! A hero that will not be forgotten tomorrow or a few months down the road. She is a legend that deserves a lot more attention than she’s getting. It is through her actions that our world may, after all, have a chance of surviving our brutalities. It is because of her that our largely undiscovered oceans may continue to thrive as they did for thousands of years before us.

Help spread the word by hitting the share buttons. Make her the hero she deserves to be by informing those around you of her actions.

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