Ocean Conservancy Scientist Wallace J. Nichols Joins Esteemed Environmental Thought Leaders in Documentary Film 'The 11th Hour'

Leonardo DiCaprio's film explores environmental crises we face on Earth as

seen through the eyes of prominent thinkers and activists

Aug 08, 2007, 01:00 ET from Ocean Conservancy

    WASHINGTON, Aug. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Ocean Conservancy's
 Senior Research Scientist, Wallace J. Nichols, appears in Leonardo
 DiCaprio's environmental documentary film, "The 11th Hour," to inform the
 film's content on the issues of climate change and the ocean. "The 11th
 Hour" premiers today in Los Angeles. Mr. Nichols joins an esteemed group of
 thought leaders, including reformer Mikhail Gorbachev, physicist Stephen
 Hawking, and Nobel Prize winner Wangari Maathai in the film. "The 11th
 Hour" documents the grave problems facing the planet's life systems. Global
 warming, deforestation, mass species extinction, and depletion of ocean
 habitats are all addressed.
     "It was an honor to be asked to work with Leo and the producers on 'The
 11th Hour' because it offers an intensely honest and thorough look at our
 planet's most urgent environmental problems and also the real solutions
 that exist," said Dr. Nichols. "Climate change is the most pressing issue
 we face because it affects most aspects of our environment, including the
 ocean and its wildlife."
     The ocean's temperature and currents dictate global climate, and
 climate change, in turn, affects the ocean by altering the chemical
 composition and temperature of the water. Ocean habitats and wildlife are
 directly impacted by the absorption of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere,
 for instance, which is making ocean water more acidic, turning the water
 corrosive and resulting in oxygen loss. The ocean is also warming, and
 ocean life has responded by moving poleward. This change in behavior
 results in negative economic impacts for communities that lose sources of
 fishing and other ocean-related income. Warmer water is also exacerbating
 coral reef bleaching in places where productive ecosystems once thrived
 around living reefs.
     "We must not forget that, even at this time of great challenge, there
 are solutions that we can apply to solve crises in the ocean. The film
 presents some important solutions that are beneficial for everyone to learn
 about," added Dr. Nichols. "The message of the film is made very clear: the
 hope is us, and the moment for change is now."
     Dr. Nichols' daughter Grayce also appears in "The 11th Hour" and he
 notes that "Grayce will grow up on a planet that is healthier and safer,
 thanks to the solutions inspired by my colleagues in this film."
     "We are pleased that Dr. Nichols had the opportunity to lend his
 expertise in the development of this history-making documentary that
 addresses dire environmental concerns," said Vikki Spruill, president and
 CEO of Ocean Conservancy. "Climate change is an ocean problem. The ocean is
 where climate change impacts are first being felt with higher water
 temperatures, acidification, rising sea levels and shrinking icecaps. The
 ocean, in fact, is our first line of defense against climate change because
 it absorbs enormous amounts of carbon dioxide that would otherwise add to
 the problem. But sadly, climate change is damaging the ocean environment
 and its wildlife."
     "The 11th Hour" is opening on August 17th in New York and Los Angeles.
 On August 24th, and in following weeks, it opens in more cities across the
 country. For more information on the movie and when it will come to a
 theater near you, visit http://www.oceanconservancy.org/11thhour or
     Ocean Conservancy is the world's foremost advocate for the ocean.
 Through science-based advocacy, research, and public education, we inform,
 inspire and empower people to speak and act for the oceans. Ocean
 Conservancy is headquartered in Washington, DC, and has offices in New
 England, Florida, the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, and California with
 support from more than half a million members and volunteers.

SOURCE Ocean Conservancy