Immersive Mixed Media installation currently on display at National Geographic Encounter Times Square on 44th Street between 7th and 8th Avenue. The display features celebrities, scientists, journalists, artists, activists, authors, astronauts and youth voices for the Ocean.
I hear the ocean in my conch as I rest it by my ear. It once had life within it. If we are not careful and we do not come together to revive the blue’s breath and beat, I fear the earth too shall hollow out like this empty shell and be filled with nothing but the memory of the pulse it once contained.
Asher Jay, Artist, National Geographic Explorer
One Biological Process
We are the ‘environment.’ The world is literally one biological process. The trees are our lungs. Look at the Amazon River system next to a human cardiovascular system, look at corals or trees and look at our lungs, you literally cannot tell the difference. They’re the same. So when we destroy our environment, we’re effectively destroying ourselves.
Ian Somerhalder, Actor, Founder of ISF
Watch Your Footprint
There’s no panacea, there’s no one solution. There are as many solutions as there are people on the planet. We have to bring ourselves to the solution and care for one another and our earth.
We are the first species that has dominion over our own evolution. We are homo-evolutis. We can effect our own fate. What an awesome yet, delicate responsibility.
We must give ourselves permission to be better, to do better, to be more caring and compassionate. To be more human, and to show the leadership we are capable of as the most evolved species on the planet. We can transform ourselves to be environmental stewards of our shared earth.
Adrian Grenier, Actor, UNEP Goodwill Ambassador, Producer, Director and Musician
Like many others, I have often fantasized that the ocean was once my home. Be it as a sailor, a whaler or naval officer aboard some great ship, I once spent a lot of time at sea.
On land you admire God's handiwork. On the sea, you meet God and, ultimately, submit to God.
Alec Baldwin, Actor
I am the ocean. I'm most of this planet. Every living thing here needs me. Humans take more than their share. If nature isn't kept healthy, humans won't survive. Simple as that.
Harrison Ford as The Ocean
The Voice of the Ocean in Conservation International's "Nature Is Speaking" film series.
The Blue Tribe
I can’t do better than Frank Herbert, Author of Dune, “This is the bond of water. A man’s flesh is his own, the water belongs to the Tribe.”
The reason I chose to be a voice for dolphins and whales is twofold. First, dolphins and whales are beautiful, intelligent, charismatic creatures. Second, they are like canaries in the coalmine, telling us that something is seriously wrong with our oceans. I truly believe that as go the dolphins and whales, so go our oceans, as go the oceans, so goes all life on earth so you see its easy - if we save the dolphins and whales, we will save our oceans and ultimately our planet and ourselves!
Hayden Panettiere, Actress, Model, Singer.
Where Threshers Thrive
Those of us who spent our childhood summer days playing atop the pristine ocean - we thought all was well beneath the surface. We saw trouble only in the form of sharks, but now we know that sharks are a vital link in the circle of submarine life that we humans have ignorantly trashed and slaughtered.
David Rockefeller Jr. Chairman of Rockefeller & Co, Philanthropist.
We must protect what we love. For those who appreciate the beauty, bounty and mystery of our oceans comes a responsibility to help save them.
Susan Rockefeller, CEO and Founder of Protect What Is Precious.
A Turtle's Dream
Turtles have been around since before the dinosaurs, over 200 million years and today over half of all turtles are threatened with extinction. Turtles are the most threatened group of vertebrates on earth.
Turtles and tortoises have been around for over 200 million year as crucial ecosystem engineers, building tunnels, dispersing seeds, and grazing sea beds. They are also important indicator species of the health of our environment.
They are important indicator species as to how humans are changing this planet. They are the new canaries in the coalmine as to how humans are changing the planet.
Eric Goode, Founder of Turtle Conservancy
Our ocean is a singular source of health, wealth, sustenance, oxygen and joy. Surely we should be smart enough to protect such a valuable asset.
Sven-Olaf Lindblad, Founder & President of Lindblad Expeditions
Penguins are an indicator species, alerting us to the health of the ecosystems they inhabit. Humans have always been the greatest threat to penguins and our oceans - but we are also their greatest hope.
Dyan deNapoli Penguin Expert, Author, TED Speaker
A Sense of Belonging
Inside of us, there is a place that longs to be in nature.
Jody Allen, Founder of Wild Lives Foundation, businesswoman and philanthropist.
The Gift of Life
As the circulatory system of our planet, the ocean world offers the gift of life and enchantment of spiritual wellbeing. It is therefore only fitting that we strive to express our love and respect for her as if our life depended on it … because it does.
Fabien Cousteau, Aquanaut, Oceanographic Explorer and Conservationist
Only the Whole Can Stand for the Whole
Mind Body & Nature are a unified activity in consciousness. Knowing this, feeling this, perceiving this truth, is the experience of love as ultimate reality. It is a return of the deep memory of wholeness in which we are holy and healed.
Deepak Chopra MD, Author, Alternative Medicine Advocate, Speaker, Spiritualist.
Our oceans are in immediate need of protection. Industrial fishing, pollution and marine debris, habitat destruction, coastal development, global warming, and ocean acidification, are all threatening to irreversibly destroy the ocean’s delicate ecosystems. I believe art can be an essential tool in halting this destruction of ocean life. By reconnecting people with the beauty and vulnerability of threatened marine species, I intend to ignite a new level of curiosity and passion for marine conservation.
Shawn Heinrichs, Photographer, Filmmaker, Founder of Blue Sphere Foundation
Give Oceans A Voice
We can produce imagery to share the beauty of the oceans and what is there to protect. We can also expose the truths about overharvest, climate change, and habitat loss to give oceans a voice.
David Doubilet, National Geographic Photographer, Avid Diver, Ocean Enthusiast
As they go, so do we.
Literally every creature in the sea, whether it swims, slithers or just stays put, is a true work of art, shaped by eons, to perfection. Large and small, they sizzle, hiss, groan, bubble, sing and whistle, reminding us that the time is now to pay attention, and cherish, each and every one. After all, as they go, so do we.
Joel Sartore, Founder, National Geographic Photo Ark, Photographer
More has been learned about the ocean since the middle of the 20th century than during all preceding history.
At the same time, more has been lost. Global warming, ocean acidification, calving ice sheets, receding glaciers, sea level rise and shifting weather patterns are stressing natural systems above and below the ocean’s surface. Many commercially exploited species of fish have declined by 90%; about half of the coral reefs have disappeared or experienced serious decline; hundreds of coastal “dead zones” have developed. Destructive deep-sea mining activities are moving forward. The good news is that 10% of the sharks, swordfish, tunas and other depleted species remain. Half of the coral reefs are in reasonably good shape. Many coastal areas have been spared lethal pollution, some with healthy marshes, mangroves, and sea grass meadows.
It isn’t too late to shift from the swift, sharp decline of ocean systems in recent decades to an era of steady recovery. There is time, but not a lot. The next ten years may be the most important piece of time in the next ten thousand years. Opportunities to save the ocean, and ourselves, are slipping away.
Sylvia A. Earle Oceanographer, Explorer, Author, Founder of Mission Blue and Explorer in Residence National
Having the ocean close by as I grew up as a child in Southern California was a blessing. It was my escape, my connection to nature, a place to ponder our past, present and future for myself, my friends, my family, and our place in it.
Gary Knell, President & CEO National Geographic Society.
I am a patriot. I fight for spacious skies. For amber waves of grain. For purple mountains majesty. I submit to you that we the people have an inalienable right not just to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness but to clean air, clean water, and a stable climate. Our survival demands it. Our children deserve it."
James Balog, National Geographic Photographer (2017)
An Arctic without ice is like a garden without soil. Ice is the foundation of the entire polar ecosystems. If we lose ice, we stand to lose an entire ecosystem.
Paul Nicklen, Biologist and Photographer, Co-Founder of SeaLegacy
Eye of the Storm
When you trap more energy in the narrow envelope of atmosphere where we reside, everything gets amped up: evaporation and hence drought; rainfall and hence flooding. The wind can blow harder than we've ever seen it blow before. It's a new planet, with a new physics.
Bill Mckibben, Founder of 350 Org
The Unseen Depths
With only 10% of the World Ocean explored there are wonderful career opportunities for future explorers. Join me in investigating oceanspace. Exploration is merely curiosity acted upon. Be curious, learn and teach others. And think deep! (In 1960, the US Navy Bathyscaph Trieste dove nearly seven miles into the deepest place in the World Ocean. Jacques Piccard and Lieutenant Don Walsh USN were the pilots.
Don Walsh, Explorer, Submarine Pilot
Bright Beaked and Puffy Feathered
Seabirds don’t get much cuter than the clown-like puffin, but these feathered footballs aren’t just apt entertainers. They also carry an urgent message about our changing earth and oceans—recovered from overhunting, they are now threatened anew by a changing climate.
David Yarnold, CEO, The Audubon Society
Cage-diving with great white sharks is like meeting a procession of great movie stars - having seen these enigmatic, awe-inspiring creatures in films, on television, in newspapers and on the covers of magazines for years, suddenly there they are in the flesh. ‘How on earth can you top that?’ I once asked a fellow diver. ‘What can we possibly do next?’ He thought for a moment. ‘I dunno’, he said eventually. ‘Maybe space travel?’
Mark Carwardine, zoologist, best selling author, TV host, radio presenter, columnist.
Sharks are the gateway drug to the ocean.
Jessica Cramp, Marine Conservationist, National Geographic Explorer.
For me, diving in an ocean teeming with life is like floating in space with the most extraordinary of aliens. Except those aliens happen to be terrestrials that share our planet with us.
When people talk about the images from your life that flash before you as you are about to die, I have always known for sure that amongst those flashing images, there would be this memory: underwater off the coast of Fiji, the sight of five giant manta rays, like the most perfectly designed spaceships, slicing through the water right above, below, to the side of me. But at the current rate of destruction, by the time I die, they will likely be gone, plundered for Chinese 'medicine', for something as tragically absurdly inconsequential as their gills.
Nick Brandt, Photographer, Conservationist.
Jaws brought the beauty and the challenges facing the ocean into my life—forever. Forty years later momentum and new solutions abound. Love working with WildAid’s brilliant campaign to change attitudes in China and dramatically reduce shark fin demand.
Wendy Benchley, Board Member of WildAid, Host of Benchley Awards.
Open Your Eyes
Out of sight, out of mind. That is the essential tragedy of the ocean. Home to the most exquisite ecosystems of our planet, its waters are the veil which make these systems invisible to most humans most of the time. So in a generation, we are wantonly destroying majestic creatures, exquisitely designed by nature over hundreds of millions of years. The first step to a solution: open your eyes.
Chris Anderson, TED Curator
If we're destroying our trees and destroying our environment and hurting animals and hurting one another and all that stuff, there's got to be a very powerful energy to fight that. I think we need more love in the world. We need more kindness, more compassion, more joy, more laughter. I definitely want to contribute to that.
Ellen DeGeneres, TV Host, Actor, Comedian, Conservationist, Social Good Advocate
Asher Jay makes our ugly profligate waste beautiful because that is the only way she can get us to look at it long enough to realize that it deserves reincarnation.
Captain Charles Moore, Founder of Algalita Marine Research Institute, Co-Author Plastic Ocean
Beyond the Obituaries
We all have heard the bad news, time and again, about the state of our oceans. Overfishing, pollution, invasive species, habitat destruction, warming, and acidification – is there anything that can be done about any of these, much less all of them? We used to think the ocean was too big for humans to have any impact on its health, while now we assume that the problems are too big for any individual to make a difference. As serious as the problems are, and they are serious – we have lost 80% of the living corals of the Caribbean, for example – we will never make progress if we don’t move “Beyond the Obituaries.” There are still healthy parts of the ocean, where only a few marine species have gone extinct. We know that protection from local stressors helps build resilience, allowing ecosystems to recover from some of the stressors we can’t easily control. In some places marine mammals, turtles, fishes, sharks, and shellfish are coming back, and even reefs are slowly recovering when given protection. In many cases these successes stem from the activities of a one or a few individuals determined to make a difference. So while there is no room for complacency and no excuse for doing nothing, there is room for hope!
Nancy Knowlton, Coral Reef Biologist, Sant Chair for Marine Science, Smithsonian Institution.
I spent days flying over the beauty of the oceans during my around-the-world flights in a balloon and in a solar airplane. Protecting the oceans is not only important for the environment, but assures the quality of life for humankind.
Bertrand Piccard, Explorer, Balloonist, Psychiatrist, Pilot of Solar Impulse
Ice Ice Baby
'Ice ice baby' resonates through my head as lie flat on my belly in the cold, connecting with a harp seal pup to get an image that would touch hearts. No ice, no pups, sadly a given for the last two years. But I keep singing because the world is a better place with seals. Balance make the world go around...just another song!
Ellen Cuylaerts, Underwater & Wildlife Photographer
Knock It Off
If we could send a message in a bottle back 50 years it would read — It’s true. We do have the power to change oceans; its height, temperature, even acidity and with it we forever alter the fate of humans and millions of species … so knock it off!
Dr. M. Sanjayan, CEO of Conservation International.
Vast Bodies of Blue
The vast bodies of water that surround us are amazing places where innumerable fascinating species live. We cause an incredible amount of harm to the animals who live 'beneath the surface' but it goes unnoticed because these awesome beings are hidden from view to the vast majority of people. We need to enhance our understanding and appreciation of the world's oceans and their magnificent inhabitants and seriously curtail the innumerable ways in which we redecorate their homes. We must rewild our hearts and expand our compassion footprint and stop ignoring nature as we go about our lives with little concern for the other animals with whom we share our planet.
Marc Bekoff, Ethologist and renowned author.
The ocean isn’t a barrier to other people and places — it’s what connects us all. We have to think local and make sure the actions we take are global in order to create a world where all the oceans are sustainably managed and allowed to flourish.
Aulani Wilhelm, Senior VP, Center for Oceans, Conservation International
Love and Respect
The World is sacred,
It can’t be improved.
If you tamper with it,
You will ruin it.
If you treat it like an object,
You will lose it.
Laozi Chinese philosopher, sixth century BCE
Hiking in a veil of heat across barren desert mountain in Pakistan, I suddenly realized that I was on an ancient ocean floor. Stems of crinoid lilies and delicate scallop shells had been trapped in the somber rock, and an occasional sea urchin gleamed like marble. Gusts of wind pounded me like waves of the sea. This place was a reminder that the earth is unstable, always changing, everything dependent on everything else for survival. Humankind may have emerged from the ocean long ago. We are now bound to land, though we continue to use the sea, just as tigers do today in the mangrove swamps of India and the polar bears on the northern ice. And some species, such as the intelligent dolphins and whales, returned from land to the water.
In these desert mountains with their sparse vegetation and wildlife, I wondered if this is how our whole planet will ultimately look as we mindlessly continue to destroy it. We tend to forget that everything we have, want, and need comes from nature and that we are wholly dependent on a healthy environment for survival. We don’t have two earths, one to squander and one to treasure. This is the only home we shall ever have, and we must strive to keep it beautiful. Everyone of us. We all hold the future of the earth in our hands. Look closely at nature and discover your place in it.
As the ecologist Aldo Leopold wisely said in his 1949 book A Sand County Almanac: “When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect “
George B. Schaller, VP Panthera and Wildlife Conservation Society
The Polar seas: Filled with mystery, uncharted depths, and an intelligence we are only beginning to comprehend. Swimming with dolphins and whales, I see, we are maybe not the smartest creatures on this planet- we just have hands. Care for the great frozen waters.
Wade McCollum - Actor/Composer
Played Ernest Shackleton in the Broadway show, Ernest Shackleton Loves Me.
I Heart Bivalves
My love of the wider world, both human and untrammeled, largely grew out of my love of the sea. Inspired by the work of Jacques Cousteau, as a boy I donned a mask and snorkel (my favorite bar mitzvah present!) and shriveled like a prune as, hour after hour, I probed for clams and followed blue crabs and dancing blue-eyed scallops in beds of undulating sea grass. After college, I was lucky to stumble onto the crew of a circumnavigating sailboat for 17,000 of its blue miles. The sea is with me every day and hour, even as I type this on a wooded hill 800 feet above the Hudson River tide line.
Andrew C. Revkin, Journalist, writer, New York Times Dot Earth Blogger, and Senior Fellow for Environmental Understanding at Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies
Stripes in the Sundarbans
The oceans and forests give us the air we breathe. 50% of our oxygen comes from forest - the other 50% from the oceans. We can protect our major ecosystems, by protecting the main predators sustaining them. 75% of our fresh water comes from forests and grasslands. Forests also pull carbon from the atmosphere and slow down climate change, and they give a home to the wildlife that lives within them, including some of my favorite animals, big cats. We can protect our critical ecosystems by protecting the apex predators that keep these places healthy.
Steve Winter, National Geographic Photographer.
Sailors For The Sea
Sailors for the Sea is a global conservation organization that engages, educates, inspires and activates the sailing and boating community toward healing the ocean. This community is millions strong. By uniting these water lovers, we are creating one of the most significant ocean conservation movements of our time through high impact, results oriented programs. The ocean can live without us, but we cannot live without the ocean.
Mark Davis, Founder of Sailors For The Sea.
For Over 30 years I have walked across the Great Ice Shelves of the Antarctic, which float on the Mighty Southern Ocean . These Iceshelves are now melting, which means the sea level will rise. From November 20th 2017 until January 20th 2018 my Son Barney and I will walk again to the South Pole,600 miles on foot, surviving only renewable energy it has never been done . We hope to inspire people through action to change their energy use.
Robert Swan, Found of 2041, the first person to walk to the North and South Poles.
The Pink Dolphin
The Araguaian river dolphin (Inia araguaiaensis), best know by its distinguished pink color, is endemic to the Araguaia-Tocantins basin, in Brazil. This species populates the imagination of the Amazonian people, and it is at the heart of several folklore legends. Unfortunately, the pink river dolphin faces many threats. They are targeted by illegal bait fisheries, and are also susceptible to pollution and contamination of watersheds [rivers], and the loss of habitat to dam construction. The Araguaian river dolphin is one of the species that are in dire need of conservation efforts. It is critical to preserve them for the generations to come. This pink diamond is essential to this region and we must do everything to protect it.
Renata Emin, Biologist, Project Leader for GENAM Project for Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi.
On natural rafts they were blown out to sea. They touched shore on Madagascar, the only place in the world where they are found. But after surviving their long, arduous journey, they now face a much more dire fate. More than 90% of their original habitat is gone and they are considered the most critically endangered mammal in the world. Lemurs, some with eyes as blue as the ocean they arrived on, need our help to survive. Consider this an SOS.
Mireya Mayor Ph.D, National Geographic Explorer, TV Host, Author.
The ancestors are speaking, can you hear them? The OCEAN is our planet’s life support system. Respect it; protect it, because mankind’s very existence depends on it!
Patty Elkus Board Member Mission Blue, Scripps Institution of Oceanography - Directors Council