Sylvia Earl visit DICT

December 7, 2014 by dyertrust

Dr. Sylvia Earle, renowned oceanographer has led more than 100 expeditions with more than 7000 hours underwater exploring the deepest parts of the ocean. Lecturer and author of over 150 publications, she has previously served as chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Her involvement and commitment to ocean research and conservation has won her more than 100 awards and the position of National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence. Her efforts to protect the blue heart of the planet won Earle a TED Prize in 2009 and with TED’s support; she launched Mission Blue, which aims to establish marine protected areas (dubbed “hope spots”) around the globe.

Mayor Nicolette Botha-Guthrie of the Overstrand Municipality (This Mission Blue initiative defines Hope Spots as special conservation areas that are critical to the health of the ocean Earths blue heart. Some of these Hope Spots are already formally protected, while others still need protection. Mission Blue is committed to changing this. Networks of Hope Spots maintain biodiversity, provide a carbon sink, generate life-giving oxygen, preserve critical habitat and allow low-impact activities like ecotourism to thrive. Through engaging governments, businesses, schools, research organizations, universities, civil society and the media, Mission Blue hopes to effect significant changes so that future generations can thrive on a healthy planet, with a healthy ocean.

Our 200km long Cape Whale Coast area from Rooi Els to Quoin Point is unique in its combination of rich and abundant biodiversity, spectacular scenery and cultural heritage.

In February 2014, a group of like minded people came together to listen to Dr. Tony Ribbink from the Sustainable Seas Trust (SST) about the plans to proclaim 5 Hope Spots in South Africa. The choice of participation was left up to the initial Hope Spot Committee, and a sober decision was made to have to feasibility study done to ascertain if this was viable for our region.

Wilfred Chivell (Marine Dynamics Shark Tours Together with supporting organizations, such as the Dyer Island Conservation Trust, the Overstrand Municipality and Cape Nature championed this initiative facilitated by the Sustainable Seas Trust and the official launch of this newly proclaimed conservation area took place on the 6th December 2014.

The main objective? The gaining of public support for marine conservation, the reawakening of our pride in the cultural marine heritage which our communities thrive on, and the continued promotion of the Overstrand as a tourism destination.

For more information on the Hope Spots, please contact Alouise Lynch of the Dyer Island Conservation Trust Tel: +27 82 907 5607