Driven by its commitment to have the 34th America’s Cup be “more than a sport,” the America’s Cup Event Authority (ACEA) has set an ambitious goal with the AC Healthy Ocean Project to develop the world’s largest communication outreach program focused on improving ocean health. To accomplish this goal, ACEA has partnered with some of the leading voices in the ocean conservation field, including Dr. Sylvia Earle and her organization Mission Blue, OceanElders, Sailors for the Sea, One World One Ocean and IUCN, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
Dr. Sylvia Earle, Oceanographer, Explorer-in-Residence at National Geographic and Global Ambassador to the AC Healthy Ocean Project: “As an ocean scientist and explorer with thousands of hours on, around and especially under the sea, I have personally witnessed a time of unprecedented discovery – and unprecedented loss. Half a century ago, it seemed the ocean was too vast, too resilient to be affected by our actions. Now we know: coral reefs, kelp forests, coastal marshes, numerous kinds of fish and other ocean wildlife have declined sharply owing to pressures we have applied. Dead zones have appeared. Oxygen-producing plankton is declining. The ocean is in trouble – and that means we are in trouble, too.”
The ocean forms one of the key operating systems of our planet. It creates more than half our oxygen, drives weather systems and modulates the atmosphere, as well as providing us with vital resources. Damage to the ocean is not as immediately apparent as terrestrial destruction, but it is just as serious.
Gigi Brisson, Founder, OceanElders: “The situation is now so severe that we are altering the chemistry of the ocean, with significant impacts on marine life and the functioning of marine ecosystems. Ecosystems are collapsing as species are pushed to extinction and natural habitats are destroyed. All of the stressors we have put on the ocean — from over-fishing to pollution — have contributed to its ill health.”
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