Led by world-renowned marine biologist, ocean advocate, and explorer Dr. Sylvia Earle, Mission Blue helps to build and support marine protected areas by drawing attention to the world’s “hope spots.” Hope spots are special places that are critical to the health of the ocean. They are, as Dr. Earle likes to call them, Earth’s blue heart. Hope spots are about recognizing, empowering, and supporting individuals and communities around the world in their efforts to protect the ocean.
“I wish you would use all means at your disposal—films, the web, expeditions, new submarines, a campaign!—to ignite public support for a network of global marine protected areas, hope spots large enough to save and restore the ocean, the blue heart of the planet.” —Dr. Sylvia Earle’s 2009 TED Prize wish that launched Mission Blue
Dozens of Mission Blue hope spots are also OGL collection sites, including the Agulhas Front; Aliwal Shoal; Bahamian Reefs; Bay of Fundy; Bocas del Toro Archipelago; California Seamounts; Central Arctic Ocean; Coastal Southeast Florida; Coral Sea; Coral Triangle; Eastern Pacific Seascape; Exmouth Gulf and Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area; Florida Gulf Coast; Gulf of Mexico Deep Reefs; Gulf of the Farallones; Mayan Riviera; Mesoamerican Reef; Micronesian Islands; Monterey Bay; Moreton Bay; New Zealand Coastal Waters; Northwest Passage; Pacific Subtropical Convergence Zone; Patagonian Shelf; Ross Sea; Sargasso Sea; and the Subantarctic Islands and surrounding seas. OGL already holds samples from more than 5,400 specimens collected in these important locations.
Aerial view of the Caribbean Sea’s Bocas del Toro Archipelago, which is both a Mission Blue hope spot and an OGL collection site. Photo credit: Aaron O’Deaf
OGL’s mission to explore and preserve the biological diversity of the sea through genome banking dovetails with Mission Blue. OGL provides resources that can help document the importance of these locations to assist Mission Blue in better understanding and protecting these unique and important habitats and ecosystems.
We are beyond excited to help our Mission Blue partners build a global wave of community support for ocean conservation!