The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation provided a three-year, $3 million grant that is allowing Oceana to expand conservation work across the Pacific Ocean and approach conservation from a hemisphere-wide scale. This article uncovers some of the beatiful, biodiverse locations that Oceana is focusing on because of this grant. This feature originally appeared in the summer issue of Oceana magazine.
Last weekend I had the honor of recognizing award-winning actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio for his dedicated and generous support of ocean conservation. DiCaprio was Oceana’s guest of honor at our annual SeaChange Summer Party in Laguna Beach, California.
This past weekend, Oceana hosted the seventh-annual SeaChange Summer Party, a sold-out fundraiser event that raised $1.4 million for the oceans. Celebrities, ocean activists, and Oceana board members attended the event in Laguna Beach, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Ted Danson, Dennis Haysbert, Laura Dern, Miranda Cosgrove, Austin Nichols, Oscar Nunez, Rachael Harris, and Jenna Ushkowitz.
I’m proud to announce that the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation just awarded Oceana a grant of $3 million to aid our conservation efforts in the Pacific and Arctic Oceans. Over the next three years, this grant will help fund existing and new campaigns that target ocean habitats and keystone species, like sharks.
Oceana is pleased to announce that we have been awarded a $3 million grant from the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. The grant will aid our efforts to protect threatened ocean habitat and keystone marine species in the Pacific and Arctic Oceans.
“Protecting our planet’s oceans and the marine species that call it home is one of the most pressing sustainability crises facing humanity today and a moral imperative that we must acknowledge,” DiCaprio said. “It’s my hope that this grant will help Oceana continue the tremendous work that they do daily on behalf of our oceans.”
New York state is the largest importer of shark fins on the East Coast, but if a new bill passes, this fact could be history.
This trade is driven by a demand for shark fin soup, which can sell for hundreds of dollars. Sadly, shark numbers are dropping worldwide due to relentless fishing for fins, and in many places sharks have their fins cut off while still alive (a cruel practice called “finning”). Finning is illegal in the United States, but the demand for fins in New York and elsewhere in the US add to the pressure. Imported fins can come from countries with less regulations, and many shark populations in the US are dropping dangerously low, with some hammerhead populations falling as much as 98%.
But New York is considering a bill that would ban the trade of shark fins within the state, and we’re so excited to announce that it’s moving forward! After a huge push by Oceana and other shark supporters, which included thousands of your signatures and personal pleas from Leonardo DiCaprio and January Jones, both the Senate and Assembly committees passed the bill. Now it’s up for a vote in the Assembly and Senate. But the New York legislation session ends this week, which means they have to act soon.
We’re still gathering signatures to send to New York legislatures. Please sign today and pass the petition along to your friends. The world’s sharks need you.