Sylvia Earle

by Daniel from San Diego

Sylvia Earle showing a fellow colleage algae  (National Geographic  (Bates Littlehales))
Sylvia Earle showing a fellow colleage algae (National Geographic (Bates Littlehales))

The ocean is the base of all life on earth, pollute the oceans, kill the fish, and kill ourselves. No one realizes the effects humans had on the ocean. We treated the ocean as if it were a big trash can, throw some garbage in the ocean and then it's not our problem anymore, or is it. Sylvia Earle, an American oceanographer and marine biologist, took notice of the horrible things we did to our ocean. Over-fishing, oil spills and every which way we hurt the ocean does not stand with Sylvia Earle. Born on August 30, 1935 in Gibbstown, New Jersey, Sylvia Earle was raised around nature and became very compassionate for living things. "I wasn't shown frogs with the attitude 'yuk,'"(Sylvia Earle). Sylvia soon moved to Florida, where she fell in love with the ocean and its mysteries. She researched Algae and also became an explorer. Sylvia was a pioneer in SCUBA gear and in the development of submarines. She also held the record for deepest dive. Someone with passion is someone who will succeed. Having passion and doing what you love makes you a hero to yourself. Determination, working towards your goal and overcoming all obstacles even in the hardest of times. Sylvia Earle is a hero because of her Passion, and her none stop determination to help and save the ocean. Even as a woman in a time that only believed men could do hard work.

Earle exploring the ocean 1,000 feet deep (The Terramar Project (Kip Evans/Mission Blue))
Earle exploring the ocean 1,000 feet deep (The Terramar Project (Kip Evans/Mission Blue))

Sylvia Earle has a passion for the ocean, and she was passionate to save it. The oceans are dying, and they still are. There couldn't be more things human could do to try and destroy it. The ocean creates half the oxygen we breath, it also absorbs most the carbon. No one took account that we needed to stop destroying it if we didn't want to kill ourselves. But Sylvia Earle did. "I hope for your help to explore and protect the wild ocean in ways that will restore the health and, in doing so, secure hope for humankind. Health to the ocean means health for us." (Society, National Geographic). Sylvia's passion for the ocean made her want to save it, obviously she couldn't do it alone. Sylvia wanted the help from other people who were also passionate for the ocean. These people are also considered heros, although their names aren't as well known. Sylvia also is a pioneer to self-contained underwater breathing apparatus, or SCUBA. She loved to explore the oceans what better way then scuba gear and the development of Submarines. With Sylvia's advancements in exploring the oceans, she had more ways to see what ways we were ruining our oceans. "She watches sea life being destroyed from every direction, between overfishing and pollution and rising temperatures, with the ocean's chemistry going to hell and reef paradises that she used to love now dead and rotting" (Frazier, Ian). Sylvia, who has always been so passionate for the ocean, over time watched the oceans reef turn from full of life to a bleached reef wasteland. The ocean is being destroyed almost beyond its limit to ever make a recovery. Sylvia wouldn't just stand around and watch us destroy not just the ocean but destroy ourselves. Sylvia wanted to make a change. But as women who were disregarded as scientists or in general thought of as not as capable as men, so it was hard for her to try and make difference. Nevertheless, Sylvia's passion for the ocean made sure she was a hero for mankind. Trying to restore the oceans back to when they were thriving and full of live. Because "only we humans make waste that nature can't digest" (Sylvia Earle).

Sylvia Earle next to the Tektite Habitat  (Mission Blue (Kip Evans/Mission Blue))
Sylvia Earle next to the Tektite Habitat (Mission Blue (Kip Evans/Mission Blue))

As a women, Sylvia's opinions were usually overlooked. But with her none stop determination she could succeed her goal of saving the ocean. She even had more accomplishments than most men and even held the record for deepest dive. "Earle was named the first woman to serve as chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the agency that conducts underwater research, manages fisheries, and monitors marine spills" (Frazier, Ian). Just by having more determination she became a huge success, not just for herself but other women. She always was working towards her goals. Being the first women to be a chief scientist at NOAA was reward from her none stop work. Also, becoming a chief scientist gave her a higher position and allowed her to work with other high position people. Her underwater research, a big part on attempting to manage the health of the ocean, Plus her ability to manage fishing laws and spills such as the one in the gulf of Mexico, led for her to help our ocean by keeping control of the man-made disasters that hurt our ocean even more. Earle's success not only lead to her own personal pride and fame. It led to the opportunity of other determined people who want to save the ocean to become their own. "Earle has led more than a hundred expeditions and logged more than 7,000 hours underwater, including leading the first team of women aquanauts during the Tektite Project in 1970" (Society, National Geographic). Sylvia being one of the first to work with SCUBA and a big part of the development of submarines, only someone as determined and just as well brave could go on these expeditions. She once even help the record for deepest dive. Sylvia Earle was chosen to lead a team of scientists on the Tektite Project, the project was building an underwater habitat/laboratory for people to live in 10 to 14 days at a time. But of course since Sylvia Earle led the team she chose for only female scientist to be on the crew. Though they believed only men would be capable to do it because they are "stronger" and were proven wrong because these girls were more determined for the research. Earle's determination was one of the reasons she was a successful female scientist. All she wants is to save the oceans and explore its mysteries. Of course, only Sylvia was determined enough to try and change the way we treated our world.

Sylvia Earle piloting a submersible  (Outside Magazine (Kip Evans))
Sylvia Earle piloting a submersible (Outside Magazine (Kip Evans))

Again, Sylvia Earle is a hero because of her passion for the ocean and her determination to save it and save us from extinction. The ocean is currently dying, without realizing humans are slowly killing themselves and all other life on the planet. Not many people care because they think it's not their problem, they think it's future generations problem. Sylvia Earle didn't think that way, she took our oceans problems into her own hands, she didn't need to, but her passion for the ocean and her determination gave her the strength to make a difference. Sylvia inspired people to love the ocean and inspired people who love the ocean to help her save it. She raised over 17 million dollars to the hope spots she created to preserve ocean life. She had to be very inspiring to get that much money committed to the ocean. Also as a women she inspire other young girls to enter the scientific fields. The fate of humanity is determined by the fate of our ocean. The oceans fate can be controlled, whether we make the decision to stop abusing its waters and let the ocean make a recovery. With all its given us from oxygen, food and even life itself. The world needs more heroes like Sylvia Earle, people who recognize that when we restore and protect the wild oceans, we secure hope for mankind.


Page created on 5/22/2017 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 7/9/2019 11:06:53 PM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Links


Frazier, Ian. "Can Sylvia Earle Save the Oceans?" Outside Online. Outside Magazine, 08 Mar. 2017. Web. 28 Apr. 2017.

Society, National Geographic. "Sylvia Earle, Oceanographer Information, Facts, News, Photos." National Geographic. National Geographic, n.d. Web. 01 May 2017.

"Sylvia A. Earle." Encyclopedia of World Biography, Gale, 1998. Biography in Context, Accessed 4 May 2017.

"Sylvia A. Earle." Encyclopedia of World Biography, 2nd ed., vol. 5, Gale, 2004, pp. 180-181. Gale Virtual Reference Library, 586eb. Accessed 4 May 2017.

Bryce, Emma. "Sylvia Earle on Eating Fish: 'Think of Them as Wildlife, First and Foremost'."The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 18 Sept. 2014. Web. 05 May 2017.