"I can still feel that leap of enthusiasm, and real joy, at the prospect of finally getting out to the beach, and running around. But probably the most important thing, to me, aside from just the freedom of it and the power of it, was the kind of creatures that you could see along the beach, that you can't find anywhere else."
Sylvia Earle is an American oceanographer and devout ocean advocate. Former chief scientist of NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), she can lay claim to being one of the first underwater explorers to use SCUBA gear and as a result discovered and identified hundreds of new marine species. She was also instrumental in the design process of a submersible craft that could reach depths of up to 3000 feet.
Read some of her most inspirational quotes below, as we salute this true matriarch of the oceans.
"Every time I slip into the ocean, it's like going home"
"We need to respect the oceans and take care of them as if our lives depended on it. Because they do"
"Ice ages have come and gone. Coral reefs have persisted"
"Just as we have the power to harm the ocean, we have the power to put in place policies and modify our own behaviour in ways that would be an insurance policy for the future of the sea, for the creatures there, and for us, protecting special critical areas in the ocean"
"I hope for your help to explore and protect the wild ocean in ways that will restore the health and, in so doing, secure hope for humankind. Health to the ocean means health for us"
"For heaven's sake, when you see the enemy attacking, you pick up the pitchfork, and you enlist everybody you see. You don't stand around arguing about who's responsible, or who's going to pay"
"We have been far too aggressive about extracting ocean wildlife, not appreciating that there are limits and even points of no return"
"Humans are the only creatures with the ability to dive deep in the sea, fly high in the sky, send instant messages around the globe, reflect on the past, assess the present and imagine the future"
"People still do not understand that a live fish is more valuable than a dead one, and that destructive fishing techniques are taking a wrecking ball to biodiversity"
Find out more about Sylvia and the incredible work that she does. Her charity “Mission Blue - Sylvia Earle Alliance” is centric to inspiring action and exploring and protecting the ocean.
Alternatively, watch her 2014 documentary “Mission Blue” which is currently showing on Netflix.
Maluhia a me ke aloha