Why launch an ocean campaign?

By Greg MacGillivray, Founder, One World One Ocean Foundation

Greg & Barb

I made my first surf movie, A Cool Wave of Color, in high school. I’ve lived in the same house on the beach in Southern California for 40 years. After work, I go surfing or get in the water with a snorkel and fins. I’ve known the reef out front like the back of my hand for decades.

But it’s not the same as it once was.

You used to see two- to three-pound fish over a foot long, in schools by the hundreds. You would swim right through them in the sea grass. You don’t see fish like that anymore. There are no more abalone, and the only lobsters you see now are tiny.

My experience isn’t unique to time spent in Southern California.

As a filmmaker, I travel all over the world to shoot movies and I’ve been blown away by the beauty, power and importance of the natural world, especially the ocean — our lifeline. But everywhere I go, it’s the same story. We are extinguishing sea life and as a result, putting our own livelihoods at risk.

My grandson Charlie is 8 months old. I can’t wait to take him surfing in the same vibrant ocean I fell in love with. And what we do right now, today, will determine what the ocean is like when he is old enough to be a junior lifeguard. In fact, according to scientists like world-renowned oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle, principal adviser to One World One Ocean, our actions in the next 10 years will determine the health of the oceans for the next 10,000 years.

The good news is that existing ocean protected areas have shown enormous improvement after a handful of years. Marine conservation has succeeded in the Philippines, Indonesia, Mexico and places more devastated than California. Small, dedicated groups of people are acting to preserve the oceans, but true change will only come through collective action.

This movement doesn’t mean we can’t eat great seafood anymore, or ever go fishing again. Rather, this movement will ensure that future generations, like Charlie’s, can enjoy the same beauty and benefits of the ocean that we have.

I strongly believe that people would act if they knew how high the stakes are. If they knew that 90 percent of the big fish in our oceans are gone. Or that scientists estimate that 70 percent of all coral reefs will be destroyed by 2050.

Which is why my wife Barbara and I are committing the next 10 years and beyond to the One World One Ocean campaign — to changing the way people see and value the ocean.

Through compelling films and storytelling, we want to inspire people with a vision for healthy oceans, and motivate them to take action to restore them.  

To do this, we’re producing three IMAX films, an 8-part TV series, countless online videos, photo essays and educational outreach — all of which will showcase the incredible nature of our oceans, our connection to them, and why we must protect them.

While there is no time to lose, there is hope.

Follow our campaign. Watch our content. Participate in the conversation. Better yet, join the movement.


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