Special Report

30 Heroes Fighting to Save Our Oceans

Source: HugoTagholm / Wikimedia Commons

21. Hugo Tagholm
> Occupation: Surfer

Surfer Hugo Tagholm has been an ocean conservationist since he joined Surfers Against Sewage in 1991. That group has become one of the U.K.’s largest marine conservation charities, with more than 350,000 regular supporters who clean the nation’s beaches. Tagholm eventually became CEO of Surfers Against Sewage.

Source: Ernesto S. Ruscio / Getty Images

22. Kevin Costner
> Occupation: Actor

Almost a quarter century ago, Kevin Costner produced and starred in the dystopian film “Waterworld,” set in the deep future after the polar ice caps have melted, leaving no land in sight. Working on the movie proved a lasting inspiration to the actor: In the wake of BP’s 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Costner became a founding partner of Water Planet, which develops water-cleaning technology.

Source: Jason Merritt / Getty Images

23. Richard O’Barry
> Occupation: Animal rights activist

In the 1960s, Richard O’Barry was a trainer for dolphins for the beloved TV-series “Flipper.” But after one of the show’s dolphins died in the arms of a handler, O’Barry became an advocate against dolphin capture. He leads the Dolphin Project that opposes dolphin exploitation and slaughter. O’Barry appeared in a 2009 documentary titled “The Cove,” about the killing of dolphins off the coast of Japan. Among the awards he has received is the Environmental Achievement Award, presented by the U.S. Committee for the United Nations Environmental Program.

Source: Andreas Rentz / Getty Images

24. Pierce Brosnan
> Occupation: Actor

Taking care of the ocean is not a new role for Pierce Brosnan. In 1997, Mikhail Gorbachev, as president of Green Cross International, presented the actor with an environmental leadership award, noting that “his bold actions and clever voice have been instrumental in marine mammal protection, as well as that of fragile ecosystems.” Brosnan’s work continues as a member of Oceana’s Ocean Council, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s board of advisers, and through his own Brosnan Trust and other organizations.

Source: Hawaii Conservation Alliance / Vimeo


25. Nainoa Thompson
> Occupation: Navigator

Nainoa Thompson is the president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, reintroducing the Polynesian skill of navigating the oceans. The Hawaiian resident his crew chart courses by following the stars; travel in traditional, double-hull canoes; and eschew the use of modern tools. After six years of planning, Thompson and his crew of scientists and adventurers in June of 2017 completed a three-year journey of circumnavigating the globe, a 40,000-nautical mile odyssey in which they fended off 70-foot waves and Somali pirates. The mission of the journey was to spread the message of caring for our planet.

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