Nothing else will matter if we fail to protect the ocean. OUR FATE AND THE OCEAN'S ARE ONE.
-Dr. Sylvia Earle
WHY Deep HOPE?
Each of us is faced with dilemmas every day. Who we associate with, what we eat for dinner, where we shop, and which causes we choose to support are all problems we need to address for the health of our families and ourselves. In the same way, on a global scale, the core dilemma becomes finding ways to help industries focus on conservation issues which address the needs of our families and therefore the needs of us all.
Deep HOPE for our oxygen.
70% of the oxygen we breathe comes from marine plants.
Only 28% of Earth’s Oxygen is produced by rainforests. Therefore, the health of marine plants (kelp, algal plankton and phytoplankton) is crucial for every breath you take. Dr. Sylvia Earle has estimated that just one type of phytoplankton in particular, Prochlorococcus, is responsible for providing the Oxygen for 1 in every 5 breaths that you take. Our ability to keep these vital marine plants alive and healthy depends on a complete understanding of their habitat and ecosystems. Deep HOPE will explore these ecosystems, gather data and help scientists come up with ways and means to keep these essential marine organisms functioning for our benefit.
Deep HOPE for our food.
Rules governing commercial fishing are often based on incomplete knowledge, making most fishing unsustainable.
Fish populations that were once abundant are in some cases now more than ninety percent depleted. At the same time, man-made carbon emissions are causing physical changes to ocean chemistry, increasing acidity and temperatures. The results are dying coral reefs and lower survival rates for larval fishes and the plankton they eat. Without tools like the Deep HOPE submersibles to increase our direct knowledge about deep reefs and the full life cycles of large migratory fish such as tuna, we can’t make good decisions about fishing or effectively protect key breeding and feeding areas. If we want to continue eating ocean wildlife, we need to rethink and retool with an eye towards enduring sustainability and restoring ocean health.
Deep HOPE for our future.
Up to 48% of all man-made carbon emissions are stored in marine plants and the oceans they inhabit.
The world’s oceans are home to the largest mass migration on Earth. Animals ranging in size from pin-headed sized copepods to whales travel from the depths of the deep ocean trenches to the surface waters in search of food on a nightly basis. While the larger animals eat the smaller ones, it is the tiniest of these creatures that are absolutely critical for mitigating the carbon dioxide that we are pumping into the atmosphere.
The photic zone (the zone in the ocean where sunlight can penetrate) is home to countless millions of microscopic plants. These tiny plants use sunlight and carbon dioxide to make carbohydrates that they need to survive. Rich in carbohydrates, these plants then become food for larger animals, like copepods, which in turn become food for even larger animals. As daylight approaches, these animals return to the depths of the oceans taking their meals of carbon rich plants with them. The carbon is then recycled at great depths in the form of feces, dissolved organic carbon or through respiration. In this manner, it has been calculated that as much as 48% of all man-made carbon emissions are being absorbed and stored in the oceans. This represents a huge amount of the carbon cycle; it is critical that we are able to study this further in order to assess the future of our planet’s health. The Deep HOPE submersibles are the perfect vehicles to take on this crucial task.