Our Ocean

Without the Ocean the Earth would just be another lifeless planet! Let’s learn that!

Notes

OUR OCEAN is a 27-minute lesson that highlights the importance of the Ocean for our planet.  

The lesson recounts the extraordinary beauty of the ocean and how we are threatening its future.

“Wherever you live, your future depends on the Ocean and the future of the Ocean depends on you”.

Learn FREE with videos and interactive exercises

Introduction to the lesson

Video youtube

Anne uses the stories and the symbology of four of her installations created around the planet to bring to life Unesco’s “7 Principles of Ocean Literacy”.  

She also addresses certain educational themes that are becoming increasingly relevant for the school of the future: urban responsibility and the importance of choice, the connections and interconnections between events and between us and the planet.

Download the text of the video 

To support the activities of the United Nations Decade for Ocean Science.

One Ocean

Video youtube

The lecture concludes with her beautiful short documentary One Ocean, that premiered at the 75th Venice Film Festival. Anne urges each of us to make a choice: CHOOSE THE OCEAN! 

Art and Science - LIWA, DUSK

RUB’AL KHALI, ABU DHABI, MIDDLE EAST, MAY 2014

The desert roses I placed around the camel bone are made of sand crystallised by the wind. A perfect and unique sculpture which would grow with time if left untouched. Because of the extreme heat and dry air the two glass bulbs of my hourglass broke apart that day. The ancient sand inside spilled unto the desert. The hourglass was empty when I photographed the TimeShrine.

TO DISCOVER MORE

Water scarcity can refer both to a lack of availability due to a natural shortage and to the lack of access due to the inability of the institutions to guarantee a regular supply or to a lack of adequate infrastructure.

Water scarcity already affects all continents. Over the past century, water use has globally increased more than double the rate of population growth and more and more regions are reaching the limit within which water services can be provided in a sustainable way, especially in arid regions.

Scientific Research shows that 2 billion people already experience high water stress, and it is estimated that in 20 years 600 million children will be living in an area of extreme high water stress. 

Art and Science - PREGNANT BULL SHARKS

20°37'27.2"N 87°03'37.0"W, MEXICO, DECEMBER 2018

Every time I encounter a shark my heart fills with admiration. You sense it before understanding it; they are sentient beings genetically evolved to perfection over the course of time. They travel back here to give birth. Every season, at the same place since time immemorial. They wait off the sandy coast until their time has come to deliver in the mangrove paradise. Their ritual has become an opportunity to experience them and they have grown accustomed to our steady presence. They could destroy me with a single nudge and yet its only their curiosity that I can feel. They already know that cohabitation is the only hope to save their species. They circle the TimeShrine and listen to my heart at a distance. I wish I could answer their question.

TO DISCOVER MORE

Marine megafauna, the largest animals in the oceans, serve key roles in the ecosystem’s regulation. Megafauna affect ocean ecosystems by consuming large amounts of biomass, transporting nutrients within and between habitats via excretion, connecting ocean ecosystems via long-distance migration; and physically modifying habitats by way of their feeding, locomotion, and mortality. Yet, one-third of these great animals are at risk of extinction. 

As Apex predators sharks are a key species to ensure the balance of the greater ecosystem. 190 sharks are killed every minute for their fins.

Art and Science - LADY

LUSA, WEST PAPUA, JANUARY 2018

I spotted the feathered branch, so intricate it would make any jewel pale in comparison. The purple soft corals an invitation to rest, grassland protecting the TimeShrine whilst softly embracing your every move. An impossibly beautiful dream where you can feel everything without ever touching, where you can see what you could never imagine, where you understand that it’s only through connectivity and diversity that you can achieve true beauty and life.

TO DISCOVER MORE

Coral reefs support a quarter of all marine life, which represents around one million species. They provide at least one billion people with food security and livelihoods; they protect the coasts from damage by mitigating the impact of waves, storms and floods. In addition, some studies have shown that being close to the ocean has a positive effect on human health and well-being, it is called the "blue gym effect".

Over the past 30 years we have lost between 25% and 50% of the world's living corals and it is predicted that by mid-century we could lose the functional ecosystems of coral reefs on most of our planet. 

Art and Science - ALSO PLASTIC

RED ISLAND, MUSANDAM, ARABIAN SEA, OCTOBER 2015

The Arabian Sea is as colorfully alive as its coastline is magnificently lunar. We had been navigating for days without a human in site. The pyramid appeared at dusk. Its perfect geometrical shape luring us towards a mythical sunset of adventure and fun. We imagined an unknown archeological site, the children convinced the wind had created this oasis for the fleet of Sinbad. A treasure was certainly buried at the foot of the pinnacle. The perfect setting for an Ocean TimeShrine. From the boat I watched the children rush to the shore with their canoes. When I joined them they had already piled up their trophies. It was a mound of plastic. 

All the plastic used in this TimeShrine was found on this remote site.

TO LEARN MORE

It is estimated that 5 to 12 million tons of plastic end up in the ocean each year, which is the equivalent of one truck per minute. In addition to the environmental disaster and damage to marine life, this entails an economic cost of approximately $ 13 billion a year, including clean-up costs and financial losses for fisheries and other sectors.

A study indicates that plastic pollution is so widespread in the environment that we all ingest five grams of plastic per week, which is the equivalent of eating a credit card per week!

About 89% of the plastic waste found on the ocean floor are single-use items, such as plastic bags.  Another example are plastic water bottles, 1 million of them are bought and used every minute all over the world. And only 9% are recycled.

The 7 principles of Ocean Literacy

Towards the Ocean Generation. Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.

The Earth has one big ocean with many features 

Though the five ocean basins (Atlantic, Pacific, Arctic, Southern, and Indian) can be considered as separate bodies, they are interconnected as one global ocean. The connections among the ocean basins allow seawater, matter, and organisms to move from one basin to another.

Throughout the global ocean, there is one interconnected circulation system that is powered by winds, tides, the force of the Earth's rotation, the Sun, and water density differences. This circulation system creates a moving conveyor belt of linked surface and deep-water currents.

The Ocean and life in the ocean shape the features of the Earth

Sea level changes, wave and tidal action, and tectonic activities also influence the many possible formations of the world's coastal areas, including the   geological structure of hills and mountains that can be observed and visited today.

The ocean is a major influence on weather and climate

Ocean currents allow the ocean to absorb, store, and transfer heat. These abilities allow the ocean to have a major influence on climate. Most rain that falls on land originally evaporated from the ocean. As water evaporates from the ocean it transforms into water vapor that is incorporated into the atmosphere. Some of this water vapor rises and helps to form the clouds from which rain falls.

The ocean makes the Earth habitable

Scientists have theorized that life on Earth most likely originated in the sea. 

The ocean is not only where life is thought to originate but it has also generated much of the oxygen that is required by many of Earth 's organisms.  The ocean continues to provide water, oxygen, and nutrients and moderates the climate needed for life to exist on Earth.

The ocean supports a great diversity of life and ecosystems

Ocean ecosystems are numerous and diverse. They include the abyssal plain, polar regions, coral reefs, the deep ocean, mangroves, kelp forests, salt   marshes, and sandy shores, among others. 

Marine biodiversity refers to the variety of living organisms in the ocean:  microbes, invertebrates, fishes, marine mammals, plants and birds.

The ocean and humans are inextricably interconnected 

We depend on the ocean for many resources and not only for food: the ocean is a source of organisms that provide new and potent medicines, as well as new products for use in biotechnology.

The ocean supports the livelihoods of more than three billion people, as well as the stability of national economies.  Our health and wellbeing depends upon the services provided by these ecosystems and their components: water, soil, nutrients and organisms. 

The ocean is largely unexplored

Our everyday lives are connected to the ocean’s depths.  There are opportunities and challenges in this previously hidden realm, and yet, despite the size and importance of the ocean, less than 30% percent of it has been mapped. The global map of the ocean floor is therefore less detailed than maps of Mars, the Moon, or Venus.

Discussions

The protection of the ocean, the climate emergency and its consequences are a problem for all of us. What are the choices you could make that could make a difference?

There is no need to do complicated things. Small gestures like replacing disposable plastic bottles with a water bottle or bringing your own bag to the store already make a difference. Consuming less meat helps reduce gas emissions. Taking the bicycle to go to school is another idea that, in addition to reducing pollution, also helps you keep healthy.

 

We all can and must do our part. We are responsible for our cities. What can we do to help the environment?

Always recycle, ban the use of disposable plastic, use clean energy sources, prefer cycling, consume in a sustainable way, prefer producers that are sustainable, etc.