What’s blue, wet and feeling sick? Our ocean. It’s no joke. According to legendary ocean advocate Sylvia Earle our planet is facing a major coronary attack if we don’t look after its blue heart.

She says the oceans are our life support system, generating oxygen, driving climate and weather and providing a home to most of life on this planet.

She should know. Sylvia has been at the frontier of deep ocean exploration for four decades and has led more than 50 expeditions worldwide involving more than 6,000 hours underwater. She says that when she started no one imagined we could harm the ocean by what we were taking out or putting in. Her plea for public support for a global network of marine protected areas large enough to save and restore the ocean totally ties in with the work we are doing at Greenpeace. Our Defending our Oceans campaign promotes the same message of protecting and preserving our oceans from exploitation by creating an extensive network of marine reserves. We also campaign against the acts which have brought the oceans to this point.

Right now marine reserves count for less than 1% of our oceans. It’s not much but, as Sylvia says, there’s still time – but not a lot – to turn things around. She says the next 10 years may be our most important when it comes to protecting the natural systems which give us life.

Greenpeace is campaigning for a global network of fully-protected marine reserves covering 40% of our oceans as an essential way to protect our seas from the ravages of climate change, to restore the health of fish stocks, and protect ocean life from habitat destruction and collapse.

Sylvia’s presentation was made to the Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) conference. It’s no ordinary powerpoint presentation – take a look and you’ll see why she received a standing ovation.