Date: 8 June 2023
Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, world champion sailors and founders of Live Ocean are joined by global ocean advocates as they step forward to speak about what they’re calling ‘the greatest cover up in history’ for World Ocean Day, 8 June 2023.
The satirical video exposé, and content on realwatergate.com, highlights the vital role of a healthy ocean as our greatest ally in the fight against climate change. The Real Watergate, created with VICE Media group, features a stellar cast of ocean and sporting legends from New Zealand and around the world.
International marine biologist Dr Diva Amon, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean Ambassador Peter Thomson, youngest solo round-the-world sailor Jessica Watson, swimmer and UN Patron of the Oceans Lewis Pugh, and pro surfer Ace Buchan are among the international voices in The Real Watergate.
Among the line-up from New Zealand, whale scientist Professor Rochelle Constantine, champion free diver William Trubridge, Tohunga Waka Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr and pro surfer Ella Williams feature in the tongue-in-cheek video.
Sally Paterson, Chief Executive of Live Ocean Foundation, the organization behind the campaign says; “The aim of The Real Watergate is to re-frame how we see the ocean and to do that in a way that challenges our assumptions and opens our eyes. When we look to the role nature and biodiversity has in climate resilience, we must look to the ocean.”
“The ocean has done the heavy lifting for us as the planet’s largest carbon sink and kept global temperatures at a habitable level. Somehow though, the ocean doesn’t feature in government’s dialogue or action at a level it should. We must have a healthy ocean to have a healthy future, which means that decision makers must act with urgency to protect and conserve it”.
Paterson adds; “Earth has only one ocean and it covers 70% of the planet’s surface. We need to start recognising it for the hero it really is.”
Burling and Tuke acknowledge the high calibre and collective knowledge of those who have joined them in The Real Watergate and this push to elevate the message of ocean health for World Ocean Day.
“This brings together a wide group of ocean champions – from scientists to surfers, swimmers and sailors, local and global voices who were willing to use their voice to lean into this message. A healthy ocean is our greatest ally in the fight against climate change. Our future quite literally depends on it.,” says Blair Tuke.
Pete Burling adds context for New Zealanders; “Right now, only a tiny percentage of the world’s ocean is protected. This is no truer than at home where less than 1% of New Zealand’s ocean space is protected.
“We might think we’re too small to matter, but New Zealand is guardian to one of the largest ocean spaces on the planet. We’re ocean people and it’s time to get ambitious about ocean action.”
Marine Biologist and global advocate for the deep ocean Dr Diva Amon from Trinidad and Tobago has a leading role in the Real Watergate story.
Amon explains why a healthy ocean is vital for our survival; “A healthy ocean is absolutely critical to life on Earth. Even though it may not seem like it, we all interact with the ocean on a daily basis – it provides ecosystem services like climate regulation, feeding billions of people around the world, providing jobs and resources, supporting livelihoods and well-being, and even contributing to the air that all life breathes.”
Her hope is that ten years from now; “We will be well on our way to tackling the climate crisis, we would have halted all damaging activity in the ocean, and there will be many more marine protected areas, including in the high seas, that benefit people and planet.”
The Real Watergate calls for people to become ocean champions themselves – by sharing and tagging change makers to help drive action for a healthy ocean.
Ocean action is climate action.
The Real Watergate is live at www.RealWatergate.com