Coastal ocean advocates on Friday announced the designation of Georgia's offshore waters as an international Hope Spot.
The Hope Spot is a project of Mission Blue, led by oceanographer Sylvia Earle, and means that our waters are important to our ecosystem and should be protected.
Grays Reef National Marine Sanctuary/NOAA
The push for the designation was led by Paulita Bennett-Martin, Georgia Campaign Organizer for Oceana; Angela Hariche, CEO of Catapult Design; and ocean advocate Dr. Simona Perry.
Partners include the Caretta Research Project, Grays Reef National Marine Sanctuary, and the Georgia Conservancy.
The Hope Spot is comprised of Georgia's continental shelf and the Blake Plateau, which Hariche explains covers 16,865 square miles.
The U.N. says that there are 8,878 pieces of plastic litter can be found on every square mile of the ocean.
"There are 136,235,470 pieces of plastic litter in our Hope Spot, all of which comes from land activity," says Hariche.
Minimizing the pollution of our offshore waters is just one priority. Perry says that the Hope Spot plan has four specific goals: create an official representation site linking all the marine habitats; support and raise awareness regarding sustainable fisheries; prevent and reduce marine and nutrient pollution; and reduce adverse effects to the North Atlantic right whale and take action for their recovery.
"This is a clarion call to the rest of Georgia to start taking action for our oceans," says Perry.
For more information, visit mission-blue.org.