Leonardo DiCaprio made a big announcement at the State Department "Our Ocean" conference on June 16. He declared that he pledged $7 million from Leonardo DiCaprio foundation to marine conservation projects for the next two years.
In the conference, the "Inception" actor was introduced by Secretary of State John Kerry, following a video message from President Barack Obama. In the video, President Obama said, "Growing up in Hawaii, I learned early to appreciate the beauty and power of the ocean. And like Presidents Clinton and Bush before me, I'm going to use my authority as president to protect some of our most precious marine landscapes, just like we do for mountains and rivers and forests."
The proposed marine sanctuary between Hawaii and American Samoa in United States-controlled Pasific ocean area is going to be expanded from 225,000 square-kilometres to more than two million square-kilometres.
The President's plan was welcomed by the actor and activist who also commented on the state of Australia's Great Barrier Reef. "Since my very first dive in the Great Barrier Reef in Australia 20 years ago to the dive I got to do in the very same location just two years ago, I've witnessed environmental devastation firsthand," shared the star of "The Wolf of Wall Street".
He added, "What once had looked like an endless underwater utopia is now riddled with bleached coral reefs and massive dead zones."
The "Shutter Island" actor who dreamt of becoming a marine biologist told the conference attendees, "What we need is sustained activism and courageous political leadership. We cannot afford to be bystanders in this pre-apocalyptic scenario. This isn't simply an exercise in wildlife conservation. If we don't do something to save the ocean now, it won't be just the sharks and the dolphins that suffer. It will be our children and our grandchildren."