Dr. Sylvia Earle, called “Her Deepness” by the New Yorker and the New York Times, “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress, and “Hero for the Planet” by Time magazine, is an oceanographer, explorer, activist, author, lecturer and woman you should know.

Among her incredible achievements, Dr. Earle led the first team of women aquanauts during the government’s historic Tektite II deep sea research project in 1970. Tektite II, which was funded by NASA, was created specifically for women aquanauts, as they were not allowed to participate in the government’s first expedition, Tektite, which was open to men only.

“The ocean is in trouble, so we’re in trouble!”The “aqua-babes” as they were known, received a lot of media attention, first for their gender and then for their groundbreaking work on the effects of pollution on coral reefs. It was the success of this expedition, and proof that women could live in this type of habitat, that prompted NASA to open its astronaut training program to women.

In addition to Tektite II, Dr. Earle has led more than 100 research expeditions worldwide, logging over 7,000 hours underwater, requiring her to live underwater for weeks at a time. A known expert on the impact of oil spills, she has investigated environmental damage following the Persian Gulf War in 1991, the Deepwater Horizon Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, as well as the oil spills from the Exxon Valdez in 1989 and Mega Borg in 1990.

Today, Dr. Earle runs her non-profit, Mission Blue, and is called upon for her expertise to ignite public support for marine conservation.

Clearly Dr. Earle knows what she is talking about. So, when we saw this video, in collaboration with IAMECO, where she tells us “the ocean is in trouble, so we’re in trouble,” we are listening!!

Please watch and share.

Lead photo QUEST via Flickr, creative commons