Expedition to the Last Pristine Marine Areas

Green Sea Turtle. Creative Commons: Laura Gooch, 2009.

The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation has made a three-year commitment to the National Geographic Society’s ocean conservation project Pristine Seas, led by National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Enric Sala. This commitment will help support 10 new expeditions to pristine marine areas, including the Artic and the Galápagos Islands in 2015, as well as related research and communications work in an effort to help protect some of the ocean’s last wild places. Future target areas could drive conservation of an additional 5 million square kilometers of marine habitat, contributing to the global goal of protecting 10 percent of the world’s ocean by 2020.

National Geographic’s Pristine Seas project conducts scientific research to measure biodiversity and the abundance of marine life. In addition to research, the team captures compelling footage to share with a variety of audiences. Together with its partners, Pristine Seas evaluates the benefits of creating protected areas and the revenues associated with alternative economic uses. The scientific data, economic analyses and media products developed by the team are used to inspire country leaders to protect these critical marine ecosystems.

Through collaborative partnerships, we support innovative projects that protect vulnerable wildlife from extinction, while restoring balance to threatened ecosystems and communities. Our work is divided into six main program areas – Wildlands Conservation, Oceans Conservation, Climate Change, Indigenous Rights, Transforming California, and Innovative Solutions.

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