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CRISTINA MITTERMEIER

PHOTOGRAPHER AND CO-FOUNDER OF SEALEGACY

“Ultimately, we must realize that Earth is an ocean planet and that we are all ocean creatures. In the end, if we lose the oceans, we lose ourselves.”

I have been in love with the sea my entire life and have spent the last thirty years of my career doing everything in my power to protect it. Through the power of visual storytelling, I have been able to share both my hopes and my fears with millions of people around the world.

I began my career as a marine biologist, thinking that my insatiable passion for the natural world, both above and below the surface, could be satisfied through science. I quickly realized I was wrong. I knew I could make a more significant impact through the lens of my camera than I ever could with data on a spreadsheet. Storytelling is a way of understanding and connecting to the world older than science, all but built into the fabric of our DNA.

Maybe it was the years I spent exploring and studying ecosystems of the Yucatan Peninsula as a young scientist that instilled a ‘burden of knowing’ in me; perhaps it was the stories my indigenous nanny told me when I was a small child. Either way, I carry an innate knowing of how critical each species is to the health of the whole. Humans depend on the integrity of working ecosystems. Our planet is beautiful and special. Nature is in trouble — and so are we.

Maybe it was the years I spent exploring and studying ecosystems of the Yucatan Peninsula as a young scientist that instilled a ‘burden of knowing’ in me; perhaps it was the stories my indigenous nanny told me when I was a small child. Either way, I carry an innate knowing of how critical each species is to the health of the whole. Humans depend on the integrity of working ecosystems. Our planet is beautiful and special. Nature is in trouble — and so are we.

I will not stop working to turn the tide for our oceans until I know that this ocean planet is safe from the negative impacts of human activity.

In 2014, my partner Paul Nicklen and I co-founded SeaLegacy; a global movement that uses the power of visual storytelling and community to drive transformational solutions for healthy and abundant oceans. SeaLegacy harnesses the power of millions of people around the world through unprecedented visual storytelling in conservation to influence change. We focus on defending flagship species, protecting the ocean and coastal habitats and communities, supporting sustainable fisheries and eliminating plastic pollution.

CONNECT WITH CRISTINA MITTERMEIR

Website: www.cristinamittermeier.com

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