The Florida Gulf Coast Hope Spot encompasses over 130 miles of coastline along the Gulf of Mexico, from Anclote Key near Tarpon Springs to the Ten Thousand Islands near Naples. This area is home to a diverse array of marine life, including dolphins, manatees, sea turtles, and a variety of fish and invertebrates. The Gulf of Mexico is also an important breeding ground for many species of migratory birds.
The founder of Mission Blue, Dr. Sylvia Earle, is a world-renowned marine biologist and oceanographer who has dedicated her life to studying and protecting the world's oceans. Dr. Earle has led over 100 expeditions and logged more than 7,000 hours underwater, and has been a strong advocate for marine conservation for over five decades. She founded Mission Blue in 2009 with the goal of inspiring a global network of marine protected areas and promoting public awareness of the importance of ocean conservation.
Dr. Earle has been recognized for her contributions to marine science and conservation with numerous awards and honors, including the TED Prize, the National Geographic Society's Hubbard Medal, and the Rachel Carson Award, among others. She continues to be an influential voice in the field of marine conservation and is dedicated to inspiring people around the world to protect our oceans.