Queen of the Deep: Sylvia Earle’s Journey in Ocean Conservation

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Sylvia Earle is an outstanding marine biologist, diver and environmental advocate, dedicating her life to the exploration of the deep sea and the preservation of marine ecosystems. Revered as the “Queen of the Deep,” her acclaim stems not only from her adventures in the deep sea but also from her passionate commitment to ocean conservation, making her a global leader in environmental protection.

Sylvia Earle’s deep-sea exploration began with a profound interest in nature. Growing up between land and sea, her deep curiosity for the mysteries and diversity of marine ecosystems developed early on. As a young woman, she delved into scuba diving, discovering a whole new world beneath the ocean’s surface. These early experiences laid the groundwork for her future scientific expeditions.

Becoming a seasoned deep-sea diver, Sylvia actively participated in explorations worldwide. Enthralled by the peculiar and marvellous creatures of the deep sea, she became a discoverer of numerous deep-sea species. Her efforts brought the mysteries of the deep into the public eye, fostering a deeper understanding of this enigmatic realm.

However, as she ventured further into the deep sea, Sylvia also witnessed the severe challenges facing the oceans. Ocean pollution, overfishing and climate change posed threats to marine ecosystems, deeply troubling Sylvia. She recognised that the deep sea was not merely a realm of fantastical creatures but a crucial component of the Earth’s ecosystem. To protect this vast oceanic expanse, she embarked on her journey of environmental conservation.

Sylvia founded ‘Mission Blue’, a nonprofit organisation dedicated to safeguarding the world’s oceans. Her goal was to establish marine protected areas, providing safe havens for marine ecosystems and encouraging global collaboration for sustainable ocean utilization. She conveyed this vision globally, urging governments, businesses and individuals to join forces for the future of our oceans. Sylvia, through her personal efforts and the work of ‘Mission Blue’, continuously pushed for the realization of SDG 14, encouraging global society to actively participate.

As a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, Sylvia engaged not only in scientific research but also actively participated in educational and advocacy initiatives. Through lectures, books and documentaries, she communicated the importance of ocean conservation to the public. Sylvia inspired the younger generation to be environmentally conscious and act, nurturing them to become future leaders in environmental protection.

Under her advocacy, Sustainable Development Goal 14 (SDG 14) became a focal point. This goal aims to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources to address issues like marine pollution.

Sylvia is an unwavering guardian of the oceans, and her story inspires people worldwide to cherish and protect our seas. Her deep-sea explorations, environmental advocacy and educational work have immortalized her as an environmental hero, bringing hope and instigating change for our shared home.

About SDGs


Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

Goal 14: Life below water – The Global Goals