Through compelling personal stories Sylvia Earle puts the peril of the ocean and its life in perspective for a wide public audience. Less than 10 percent of all fish species remain. Half the coral reefs globally have died or are in sharp decline. Since the 1950s 300 dead zones – oxygen-deficient areas that can't sustain life – have appeared along coasts. Contaminated water is increasing disease worldwide, including cholera. Pollutants in seafood is sickening growing numbers of people. The human impact on oceans and subsequently on climate change is effecting the future of the planet.
The next ten years may be the most important in the next 10,000 years – either because we have turned current environmental declines around, or we have not. Four main messages are major: why everyone should care about the ocean, a living entity; that its decline is directly linked to what we put into it; that the decline of our atmosphere is linked directly to the ocean's health; and, that there are ways to act to ensure its future health.
Known worldwide as the Ambassador for the Ocean, Sylvia Earle is also TIME magazine's first Hero for the Planet and National Geographic's first Explorer in Residence. She is former NOAA Chief Scientist, and the first person to walk untethered at the lowest depth ever – 1,250 feet. She is a major force in the establishment and growth of the world's marine sanctuaries and was personally responsible for convincing President Bush that the recently named sanctuary in Hawaii should be protected. She is founder and director of Deep Ocean Research and Exploration, which designs instruments for deep-sea exploration. She is author of 15 books on the ocean.