Faces of Conservation: Julie Packard

She talks to us here about her love of oceans and her work to conserve them.

You’ve devoted your career to oceans. Why?

Julie Packard:

I have a deep appreciation for the beauty of life in the oceans, the complexity of ocean ecosystems and how much we rely on healthy oceans for everything that supports human life on Earth—including the air we breathe and the food we eat.

What’s the economic importance of the oceans?

Julie Packard:

The abundance of the living oceans has been integral to the story of human society throughout history. Fishing has been the economic basis for coastal communities for millennia, and it provides a vital source of protein for more than a billion people worldwide.

What shape are our oceans in?

Julie Packard:

Scientists today tell us that 90 percent of the large animals in the oceans are gone as a result of ever-more-efficient fishing methods; that human-induced climate change is altering ocean chemistry in ways that imperil life at the base of the food web; and that coastal development and pollution are degrading productive waters close to shore.

Is there any good news?

Julie Packard:

The good news is that our oceans are resilient, and with some changes on our part, we can ensure that our oceans continue to be a source of vital services, and inspiration, for the future. Today's environmental challenges may seem daunting, but I'm energized by the progress we're making together.

Why The Nature Conservancy?

Julie Packard:

I’m involved with The Nature Conservancy because you’re making an important difference in the oceans and the rest of this amazing planet that supports us.

Why is science so important to you?

Julie Packard:

It's so important to invest the time—and money—in studying our oceans. If we don't give scientists an opportunity to learn what's out there, and how these living systems function, how can we make decisions that will protect and restore the health of our oceans?

Julie Packard

Julie Packard is the executive director of the renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium and a member of the California Board of Trustees of The Nature Conservancy.


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