“Many people have never witnessed the biodiversity of the oceans – the coral reefs, kelp forests, seagrass meadows and mangroves, the fish and other ocean wildlife – that I have been lucky enough to know. I have also witnessed the damage humans have inflicted with millions of tons of toxins and plastics introduced into the blue heart of our planet—the decimation of 90 per cent of ocean species, hundreds of coastal dead zones, a sharp reduction in oxygen-generating carbon dioxide-absorbing phytoplankton, acidification of the ocean, acceleration of global warming. E.O. Wilson has said that we are letting ‘nature slip through our fingers.’ Depleting Earth’s fabric of life means we, in turn, could slip through her fingers.
Fortunately, we have arrived at a “sweet spot” in our history. We grasp our dependence on the intact living systems that underpin everything we care about in a way that was not understood when I was a teenager. Never again will we have as good a chance to restore and protect the natural systems that keep us alive. Making peace with Nature is our best hope if we desire an enduring future for humankind.”
—Sylvia Earle, Oceanographer; National Geographic Society Explorer-in-Residence; and EOWBF Board of Advisors