Pristine Waters: Exploring Underwater Edens

Invite

Monday, April 1, 2013; 7pm In the Albert
Approximate running time: 70 minutes, followed by Q&A

“As soon as we put our heads underwater from the side of our small boat, our hearts went crazy. This is what we were looking for.” — Enric Sala

Marine Ecologist Dr. Enric Sala, one of National Geographic’s newest Explorers-in-Residence, left a secure post in academia so that he could take a more active role in reversing the decline he was seeing in the oceans. Growing up on Spain’s Mediterranean coast, Sala fell deeply in love with the sea as a boy. He grew to loathe the negative impacts he witnessed from overfishing, pollution, and climate change. 

Since 2005, Sala has fulfilled his passion to make a difference by leading National Geographic’s Pristine Seas expeditions. His mission: to find, survey, and protect the last healthy, undisturbed places in the ocean—places beyond shipping lanes, fisheries, and other human interference. Sala believes that when we understand how healthy marine ecosystems work, we can help damaged ecosystems recover. To highlight some of our planet’s most remarkable underwater worlds, he and his team have conducted scientific expeditions to the Cocos Islands off Costa Rica, the Salas y Gomez Islands near Easter Island, and the Line Islands in the central Pacific.

Most recently, Sala led an expedition to the Pitcairn Archipelago. Famed as the refuge of the HMS Bounty mutineers, Pitcairn Island gained more renown in 1957 when National Geographic underwater photographer Luis Marden discovered the wreck of the fabled Bounty while pioneering the art of underwater filmmaking. Returning to Pitcairn in 2012, Sala’s team discovered a coral “paradise,” where as much as 90 percent of the sea bottom is covered with healthy coral, providing a habitat for a kaleidoscopic variety of dazzlingly colored fish and lightning-quick reef sharks.  Join Sala as he recounts his odyssey from academic to explorer and activist, and enjoy stunning imagery from healthy seas he works to protect.

Photos
  • Hidden Paradises: Exploring Pristine Seas

  • Hidden Paradises: Exploring Pristine Seas

  • Hidden Paradises: Exploring Pristine Seas

  • Hidden Paradises: Exploring Pristine Seas

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