June 8 is World Oceans Day. From the conservation of endangered species to the establishment of marine protected areas, here are five stellar Goldman Prize winners working to protect our seas.
1. Jacqueline Evans
Thanks to the leadership of Goldman Prize recipient Jacqueline Evans (Cook Islands, 2019), all 763,000 square miles of the Cook Islands’ ocean territory are sustainably managed and conserved. The new marine protected area, Marae Moana, means “Sacred Ocean.”
2. Von Hernandez
Von Hernandez (The Philippines, 2003) won the Goldman Prize for leading efforts to institute the world’s first national ban on waste incinerators, in the Philippines. But he’s not stopping there. Today, Von is the global coordinator for Break Free from Plastic, an international movement envisioning a future free from plastic pollution.
3. Claire Nouvian
Claire Nouvian (France, 2018) led a campaign against deep-sea bottom trawling, a brutal and unsustainable fishing practice likened to “clear-cutting a forest to catch a few birds.” Her advocacy ultimately led to an EU-wide ban. Today, Claire continues to work with her NGO, Bloom Association, against destructive fishing practices.
4. Howard Wood
Howard Wood (Scotland, 2015) spearheaded a campaign to establish the first community-developed marine protected area in Scotland, in the western Scottish waters near his home on the Isle of Arran. Howard continues to work with Community of Arran Seabed Trust to protect coastal ecosystems.
5. Luis Jorge Rivera Herrera
A surfer and ocean lover, Luis Jorge Rivera Herrera (Puerto Rico, 2016) helped establish a nature reserve in Puerto Rico’s Northeast Ecological Corridor—an important nesting ground for the endangered leatherback sea turtle. The land was initially proposed as a site for mega-resorts, but is now an ecotourism destination.
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