Oceanographer Sylvia Earle is on a Mission to Save Our Seas

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Sea habitats are being destroyed at an alarming pace.

Since the 1960s, humans have removed over 20 million tons of wildlife from the world's oceans by means of dragging nets across the ocean floor. 90 percent of fish and sharks are snatched from the ocean and placed on dinner plates faster than they can reproduce. Not to mention scientists believe climate change and pollution have also put our oceans in jeopardy, putting one of our most valuable natural resources at risk.

In part one of our series on oceans "Trashing the High Seas," renowned oceanographer and National Geographic Explorer-In-Residence Sylvia Earle has had a lifelong fondness and connection with our oceans, ever since she got knocked over by a wave on the Jersey Shore. Earle's mission to save the seas is shaped by her friend and author E. O. Wilson's writing: Leave half of the Earth alone. She wants to create "blue parks" — safe spaces that humans do not harm in the same way we create national parks on land.