Mission Blue

Synopsis: Legendary oceanographer and TED prize winner Dr. Sylvia Earle is on a mission to save our oceans. Mission Blue is part action-adventure, part expose of an Eco-disaster. More than 100 scientists, philanthropists and activists gather in the Galapagos Islands to help fulfill Dr. Earle's lifelong wish: build a global network of marine protected areas, like underwater national parks, to protect the natural systems that keep humans alive. As the expedition ends, the Deep water Horizon oil well explodes. With oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, Sylvia and an environmental dream team race around the world trying to defend her 'Hope Spots'.
Production: True Blue Films
  1 win & 3 nominations.
95 min

Look at this.

It's an ocean full

of whale sharks.

I can't even count

the number of fins.

Are we awake or are we...

are we still dreaming?

They've been living here

for millions of years.

We're newcomers in

their backyard.

I love being a part

of their world.

They're completely innocent

of anything humans do.

Since the oil spill, this

group of whale sharks,

the largest ever witnessed

in the Northern Gulf...

has not been seen there again.

Guess we'll put this little...

beast inside.

There you go. Thank you.

In the last few years, I'm on the road...

probably 300 days out of the lot.

And I give a lot of talks... some

days just from dawn to dusk.

I can't think of anything I'd rather

be doing... other than diving.

Aren't you a radical about

protecting the oceans?

If I seem like a radical, it may be

because I see things that others do not.

I think if others had the opportunity to

witness what I have seen in my lifetime,

what I see when I go diving

and the perspective that I've gained

from thousands of hours underwater,

I would not seem like

a radical at all.

She has seen with her own eyes,

parts of this Earth few

others could even imagine.

Sylvia Earle, this country's

foremost oceanographer,

exploring depths thought

impossible to reach.

It's a pleasure to

introduce a scientist,

an engineer, a teacher

and an explorer,

Dr. Sylvia Alice Earle.

I can see in my mind's eye...

a different world,

a world that's changed

enormously just in my lifetime.

Sixty years ago, when I

began exploring the ocean,

no one imagined that we could

do anything to harm it.

It seemed at that time

to be a sea of Eden.

But now, we're facing

paradise lost.

And this is not, "Woe is me,"

this is just the reality

of what's happening.

But it's also the reality, we

have a chance to fix things.

Please welcome Dr. Sylvia Earle.

On any given night,

Sylvia Earle can be found

in Norwalk, Connecticut,

or Stockholm, Sweden, or

Cape Town, South Africa.

Her Deepness, Sylvia Earle.

In Beijing, Belfast, Davos

or the Galapagos Islands.

Think of the changes

that have occurred

in the world in the lifetime of

a 200-year-old orange roughy.

But they don't know why

their world has changed.

And that's where I met her,

at a sort of ocean summit.

I'm a big scuba diver.

I love the oceans.

I love them more now

that I've met Sylvia,

but, um, it's also people like...

like you in this room

that can save the ocean.

The world's largest fishery was,

and still the largest

fishery in the US,

is Alaskan pollock, and it's

moving into the Arctic.

Bluefin are pursued

wherever they go.

It's really wiping bluefin

ecologically off the planet.

If we fail to take care of the ocean...

nothing else matters.

I've been diving for

over half my life now...

but that is nothing

compared to her.

She's been exploring the ocean

since before I was born.

Sylvia, that turtle was a trip!

- And she came back here.

- Yeah!

She went up, got a breath of air,

came right back to that same place.

I spent one week with

Sylvia and I was hooked.

- Gular flutter.

- Gular flutter.

How could I have not known

who she was before?

After the Galapagos trip,

I really didn't wanna

leave Sylvia's world.

So I didn't.

Is that her? Yeah, yeah.

That's her.

That's her. There she is.

Thank you!

What a beautiful place.

What I didn't realize

at the time...

was that this would be the beginning

of a three-year odyssey...

a chance to see the ocean and the

world through Sylvia's eyes.

Sylvia, the minute I met you,

you became an example for me.

Like, seriously.

Just take me back to how

you became so passionate

about the ocean.

Well, it all started

in New Jersey.

As a kid, I had complete freedom

to go play in the woods,

to spend all day out,

just fooling around.

On my own, often.

I mean, a lot of the

time, just on my own.

Left bank, I'm

waiting for someone

Someone to be my friend

My mother was known as the

bird lady of the neighborhood.

People would bring injured

squirrels, birds, frogs...

anything that needed help.

Without you...

My father, who was really so bright

and so capable of fixing things.

When I was a little kid, I'd try to take

things apart to see how they worked

and he always reminded me to save

all the pieces, don't lose any,

and be sure you know how to

put it back together again.

I can't hold the sun

We're losing a lot

of the parts...

the loss of the diversity

of life on Earth...

the bits and pieces have

just disappeared...

and we don't know how to put things

back together again once they're gone.

When I was 12, we picked

up and moved to Florida.

At first, I was not particularly charmed,

because I loved the other place so much.

But the Gulf of Mexico was

this great blue body of water

that created almost this mythic

place that lured my parents there.

Some kids play in the streets.

Some kids have a backyard

and my backyard was wet.

It was the Gulf of Mexico.

It was glorious.

That's where I first fell

in love with the ocean.

I could see it. I could hear it.

I could smell it.

I could touch it.

I could splash around in it.

I loved when seaweed came

ashore in huge amounts.

It was like going to the zoo.

I had fun finding these creatures...

like little crabs.

You could take them and then gently

put them back into the ocean,

and they'd scurry off.

It was just heaven for a kid...

for me.

It will always be that way in my

mind, it's just this paradise.

Happening now, an

explosion and fire

devastate a massive oil rig

off the Louisiana coast.

Last week's deadly

oil rig blowout

remains unchecked tonight.

And it's raising fears of an

environmental disaster in the making.

As long as the oil is flowing

down here in the Gulf,

this will simply keep growing

and growing and growing,

and they have no idea

where the end will be.

How'd you feel? What was

your first reaction?

It was shocking.

And it just got worse

as the news unfolded.

Of course, the tragedy was

the human lives lost.

Then this gush of oil wouldn't stop,

wouldn't stop, wouldn't stop!

When I was a child

living in Florida,

there was only one offshore oil

well in the Gulf of Mexico.

Today, there are more

than 33,000 drill sites.

All of us... we are the beneficiaries

of having burned through fossil fuels.

Coal, gas, oil.

But at what cost?

I really come to

speak for the ocean.

We put billions into what takes

us into the skies above...

and it's paying off handsomely.

We've neglected the ocean...

and it's costing us dearly.

The thing that's impressive

to me about Sylvia

is that she's not afraid

to point fingers...

and say, "You know what you're

doing, and it's wrong."

You know, she's kind of the

Joan of Arc of the oceans.

- Go!

- She's the one that's out in front

leading the charge in the

fight to save the ocean.

And she's made it her life's purpose

in the last couple of decades

to make sure everybody else understands

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Mark Monroe

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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