Founded by acclaimed photographers Paul Nicklen and Cristina Mittermeier, SeaLegacy creates compelling imagery and turnkey communications tools that engage audiences, propel existing campaigns, and help further our common mission to protect nature and all things wild.
SeaLegacy works in three key areas:
1. Solutions to Climate Change
The oceans are a leading indicator of climate change, and what we do or fail to do in the next decade will be the most important story SeaLegacy can tell. From disappearing sea ice and dead polar bears in the Arctic, to flooding of low-lying coastal areas in the Pacific Islands, to increased intensity of storms, the planet is already showing the serious effects of climate change. Carbon dioxide levels are rising, as are sea levels; without a doubt, this is the one overarching issue that will overshadow every other environmental challenge on this planet and will be the defining threat that this generation and the next must tackle without delay.
2. Protection of vulnerable marine ecosystems and species through Marine Protected Areas
Regardless of how far away a coast is, oceans touch the lives of every person, every plant, and every creature on Earth. Oceans cover more than 70 percent of the planet’s surface and comprise the largest habitat—99 percent of Earth’s available living space. And yet, less than 2 percent of the ocean’s surface is protected. This most critical ecosystem supports life for nearly 50 percent of all species. The seas’ healthy phytoplankton communities produce half of our oxygen, and oceans are the largest sinks for carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. Thriving coastal ecosystems provide protein for more than a billion people. The loss or extinction of species is an irreversible process, but through Marine Protected Areas we can ensure that such ecosystems remain resilient and that their species have safe habitats for regeneration. Our goal is in alignment with the Millennium Ecosystem Goal of protecting 20 percent of the oceans by 2020.
3. Recognizing and respecting coastal peoples
The oceans’ coastal areas are the most affected by human impacts. That small shoreline that separates the underwater world from the human world stands in urgent need of strategies to protect it from severe threats such as the increasing intensity of storms and rising sea due to climate change, pollution, industrial development, and overexploitation. Fishing fleets fish all over the ocean, but 90 percent of all catch comes from within the 200-mile exclusive economic zones of coastal countries. This is where overfishing occurs, and where half the human population, including some of the world’s poorest people, find their main source of daily protein through artisanal and small-scale fisheries. Over one billion people depend on healthy coastal resources, and 40 percent of this world’s population lives within 100 kms of a seacoast. Making sure that their plight is not invisible and recognizing the places where successful mitigation and adaption are working, is part of the vision of SeaLegacy.
Our unique contributions empower existing conservation efforts and the campaigns of our strategic partners in creating tipping points that push our mutual agenda forward.