Dr. Sylvia Earle, founder and president of Mission Blue and a National Geographic Society Explorer-in-Residence since 1999, will headline Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s annual Better Together
Dr. Sylvia Earle, founder and president of Mission Blue and a National Geographic Society Explorer-in-Residence since 1999, will headline Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s annual Better Together community-education luncheon on March 13, 2020. An iconic ocean scientist who has logged more than 7,500 hours under water and is affectionately called “Her Deepness” by colleagues and the media, Earle will discuss the topic “Saving Our Seas.”
“Sylvia Earle is one of the most respected ocean scientists of all time,” said Mark S. Pritchett, President | CEO of Gulf Coast Community Foundation. “She understands so well how our oceans sustain our planet and what we must do to protect them before it’s too late. Our Gulf Coast communities must hear Dr. Earle’s urgent message.”
Dr. Earle has led more than 100 expeditions, authored more than 225 publications, and earned more than 30 honorary degrees. Among more than 100 national and international awards and honors, she was named TIME Magazine’s first “Hero for the Planet,” a “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress, and a 2013 winner of the Hubbard Medal by National Geographic. Earle’s research concerns the ecology and conservation of marine ecosystems and development of technology for access to the deep sea.
“Think of the world without an ocean, you’ve got a planet a lot like Mars,” Earle says in Mission Blue, the 2015 Emmy Award-winning Netflix documentary about her life and work. “No ocean, no life. No ocean, no us.”
Mission Blue is also the name of the nonprofit organization Earle created after winning the 2009 TED Prize. Mission Blue works to galvanize support for a global network of marine protected areas, or “Hope Spots” as she calls them. Earle and her organization recently declared the Florida Gulf Coast, from Apalachicola Bay in the north to the Ten Thousand Islands in the south, as a Hope Spot.
Earle’s ties to Florida’s Gulf Coast go back to her childhood, when her family moved from New Jersey to Dunedin in Pinellas County and the Gulf of Mexico became her backyard.
Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s annual Better Together event welcomes thought leaders and innovators to the Gulf Coast region. Dr. Sylvia Earle’s keynote is part of Gulf Coast’s 25th anniversary celebration and occurs during a year when the foundation is leading important regional work to develop and promote solutions to water-quality issues.