On one side of the world, the hovering ash cloud is making it very, very difficult for millions travelers to get home and using up a lot of media air.
Meanwhile on the other side of the globe, a group of over 100 adventurers keen on attending to the woes of the ocean are just getting over jet leg and taking stock, having raised a big bunch of bucks – $16.7 million – to help create more marine preserves.
Mission Blue, the brainchild of TED Oceans and 2009 TED Talks winner Sylvia Earle, kicked of earlier this year, and on a Galapagos trip earlier this month, adventurous celebrities and marine specialists spent a lot of time pondering how to tackle ocean protection. Here’s what they came up with:
1) Hope Spots. Mission Blue has already created, under Earle’s urging, a network of special spots in the ocean, some marine protected areas, some still lacking it, that range from deep ocean to reefs. Currently, less than 1% of the ocean is protected area (about 12% of land is protected in some way) and Mission Blue hopes that expanding the ocean web of protection will contribute to reversing the oceans’ declining health.
2) Hope for Arctic Hope Spots. One initiative to emerge from the Mission Blue voyage was the plege of $500,000 to establish a network of marine protected areas in the Arctic, including a high seas science reserve.
3) Hope to End Fishing Subsidies. Of the money raised during the voyage, $3.25 million will be dedicated to a global campaign to raise people’s awareness of the subsidies that contribute to overfishing.
4) Hope for the Galapagos. Mission Blue also plans to dedicate $1 million to help improve the protection of the waters around the Galapagos Islands.
5) Hope for the Sargasso Sea. A further $1.1 million was dedicated to help the government of Bermuda with efforts to protect the Sargasso Sea, and to find an additional $2.5 milion for long term restoration of this unique water body.