Oct 19, 2014 08:51 PM EDT
Well, it appears that even after a controversial display last month at the United Nation's (UN) Climate Summit held in New York City, renowned actor and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio is using more than his words to cause a change: he's putting his money where his mouth is.
Earlier last month, the Oscar-nominated actor from films like "The Titanic" and "Inception", DiCaprio was inducted as the UN's newest public figure-head, the "Messenger of Peace". Brought on-board for his extensive work in environmental activism and reform projects, DiCaprio's initial role was to help raise awareness about issues related to climate change. However, this past Thursday DiCaprio and his conservation foundation turned their eyes towards a new frontier; the sea.
"We're dedicated to protecting Earth's last wild places and fostering a harmonious relationship between humanity and the natural world" DiCaprio said in a press release. "Working together with other philanthropists, we are making smarter, more impactful investments for the future of our planet."
Looking to support marine conservation projects worldwide, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation announced last week that in hopes of helping to establish marine protected areas in the Pacific Islands and the Arctic, as well as strictly enforcing fishing regulations and aiding in the protection of threatened shark populations, they were awarding a $2 million grant to the Oceans 5 international funders' collaborative responsible for a large portion of the world's marine conservation projects.
"The sad truth is that less than two percent of our oceans are fully protected. We need to change that now" DiCaprio says. "My foundation supports Oceans 5 projects that are directly improving ocean health by stopping overfishing and creating marine reserves."
And while his foundation has helped fund many worthwhile causes since its inception in 1998, DiCaprio's newest grant may not only help protect the oceans, but also help him keep a promise to the United Nations. As the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimates that nearly 71 percent of the Earth's surface is covered by oceans' waters, marine ecosystems play a large role in many of the Earth's systems including weather and variable climate. And in helping save the oceans and their many species, DiCaprio may just have a hand in helping to bring about a climate change of his own.
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