The Environment

Saving the High Seas

March 28, 2019  • Ben Berliner

They cover more than 70 percent of the globe’s surface, yet the world’s oceans remain largely unexplored. We understand more about the surface of Mars than we do about the Earth’s seas. And most of these waters are unregulated, unprotected, and under threat. One person who has taken the plunge and committed her life to defending this part of the world and all the life that teems within it, is Dr. Sylvia Earle, co-chair of the Aspen High Seas Initiative.

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Dr. Earle set the record for taking the deepest untethered walk on the seafloor, has led more than 100 expeditions, launched a marine engineering company that built personalized mini-submarines, and discovered myriad and varied species of marine life from seaweeds to crustaceans. She was the first woman to be chief scientist at NOAA. Most importantly, she’s a lifelong advocate of ocean preservation, having been named Time Magazine’s first “Hero for the Planet” for working on the issues that ail the ocean, from over-fishing to plastic pollution.

Earle’s work with the Aspen High Seas Initiative brings “the ocean community and world leaders together to sustainably manage and protect the high seas, our greatest and most neglected global commons,” according to the Initiative.

On this episode of Aspen Insight, we hear from Dr. Earle about her life charting the depths of the oceans, and we also learn the ways we all can better sustain them, and finally, we speak with Aspen High Seas Initiative Executive Director Michael Conathan on what the Initiative is doing to protect these most vulnerable parts of the world.

For more information about the topics discussed in this episode, visit the links below:

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