Hawaii ecologist part of NatGeo Global Expedition to study Pacific Ocean
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - As we mark World Oceans Day on June 8th, ecologists are working to protect the ocean from threats like plastic pollution, global warming and overfishing.
National Geographic Society’s Pristine Seas program just launched a five-year expedition to explore remote areas of the Pacific and support conservation efforts.
Local marine scientist Whitney Goodell is part of this historic venture and joined HNN’s Sunrise Weekends to talk about the expedition’s goals and impact.
During the expedition, scientists gather information through state-of-the-art technology, a specially-outfitted boat and partnerships with national governments and indigenous groups.
“Our goal is to help inspire the establishment of large marine protected areas (national parks in the ocean) in the places that would deliver the most benefits to local communities, the fishing industry, the climate and ocean life,” Goodell said.
NatGeo says the new marine protected areas will each have its own sustainable management and financing plans. The mission aims to help fight global warming, food insecurity, and nature loss by protecting 30% of the planet by 2030.
Crews will travel to Southern Line Islands, Kiribati; Tongareva, Cook Islands; Niue; Federated States of Micronesia; and Palau.
Pristine Seas has established 26 marine reserves, spanning more than 6.5 million square kilometers of ocean—two-thirds the size of the United States.
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