Time to Address our Oceans – The Unmet Opportunity

foreign [Music] don't worry is it a little too early for a french lesson yes hello everyone it's such a pleasure to be amongst all of you and thank you for sharing one of the two most precious resources we have on our planet which is time the other one being water um so as an addict of water I hope we all are uh it has been my pleasure to experience the planet from a very different angle
I want to talk about a very a special project but first let's imagine for a second that we are hurtling through space with a certain backpack that backpack being the little blue Oasis in space that we all love that we all cherish that we all depend on that we take advantage of for virtually everything in our lives and all too often we forget about that we all are just visitors Riders of this planet and as we've seen in the recent past at least the last few decades are are taking advantage of this with great abandon has unfortunately created a situation that we're now faced with in many different ways the good news is that we have opportunities we have
Technologies we have communication systems that afford US the ability to change the course that we set for ourselves imagine for example that you could work and live underwater to break the bonds of gravity and time what doors would that open to us what solutions would that afford US would be revealed in front of our very eyes imagine that the solution that the ocean is your backyard unbridled access for 10 to 12 hours out there to the Cradle of life as we know it and we depend on imagine the problems you could solve because in three years this will become reality so let me share with you my vision
before it was reality the moon landing was just a dream wide-eyed idea that hardly anyone thought could come true until it did there was plenty of room for doubt along the way where we're strong and where we are not but when a dream is audacious enough [Music] 50 years later we're embarking on the next great mission led by Aquanaut Fabian Cousteau a mission so daunting it has forced many explorers to stand down inspired by their attempts these brave men and women are picking up the torch
meet the Aquanauts who dreamed to live and work deep below the ocean surface this is our generation's moon landing this is proteus the world's most advanced underwater station to accelerate the most pressing Oceanic research together we'll Venture deeper into the place where life began and the place that has the potential save Life as We Know It because the research and knowledge that we will uncover down here will forever change the way generations of humans live up here
let's make history while saving the future let's make history with proteus welcome to the movies um the the idea of parodius is becoming reality now there have been underwater habitats for decades as a matter of fact my grandfather built the very first three habitats in history but that said the reason why I'm addicted to Ocean is thanks to this gentleman right here I don't know how many of you may recognize them uh not the little one on top but the the gentleman below was a Pioneer in his time uh just happened to be my grandfather had built the tools necessary to go longer or deeper and further to explore this curious alien world and that was really my background growing up as a matter of fact it's all
his fault that I was a terrible student in school I was always looking out the window dreaming of the next adventure but it was also thanks to him and the crew of calypso and my grandmother Simon Cousteau that the education that I received was from the ocean and the experiences there I've been on Expedition since I was seven I've actually had the opportunity to go scuba diving for the very first time on my fourth birthday and when we went down as a family off of cattle Catalina Island if you've ever been there it's a beautiful place to look up through the kelp forests and see the shafts of light and the colors of the Garibaldi which are bright orange and all the movement including sea otters and all that as a four-year-old child this became mesmerizing and it's held me in its grasp ever since and my grandfather taught me a very very
valuable lesson which is very simply that people protect what they love they love what they understand and they understand what they're taught how can we understand the intricacies of our life support system the ocean if we've explored less than five percent of the 3.4 billion cubic kilometers of volume and yes we have tools for ocean exploration such as boats and submersibles and autonomous underwater vehicles and so on and so forth but we don't have the luxury of time on our planet's final frontier why do I know that Proteus is a reality because I had the privilege of leading the longest ever Expedition mission in the world's only remaining under sea Marine laboratory a glorious 400 internal square feet where the six of us were crammed in there and based out of
there for 31 days but the idea was not to be inside the habitat the idea was what the habitat afforded us which was a stepping off point into the undersea world as saturation diverses Aquanauts to live for 31 days it was deemed impossible and the experiment was to see if people still cared about ocean topics and what we could learn from the ocean during those 31 days and thanks to those Intrepid folks who followed me down Into the Depths and to live at which is now a 38 year old uh platform a little bit Antiquated we were able to leverage the access to the bottom world as saturation divers to walk to our business if you will in our suits our wetsuits and walk into that ocean world to generate over three years worth of scientific research because of that unprecedented access to
the bottom world and thanks to our scientists from MIT or actually Engineers from MIT are scientists from Northeastern and FIU they generated over 12 research papers and the information and data that we gathered then is still generating papers today but science is just one part of the coin one side of the coin if we don't talk about the beauty the fragility the majesty and the integral codependent nature of humans and ocean then it's all for naught and so with this Proteus has for goal to be not the same as before but to address the shortcomings of past habitats to be able to be modular upgradable continually future looking to be able to tell stories the way Hollywood tells stories to the vast majority of the planet of 7.8 billion and growing to impassion people to care about what ocean means to each and every
one of us not only the tangible economic value but also the intangibles the things that people go to beaches for go scuba diving go sailing go fishing Etc and also to be able to provide a platform for those individuals and those entities who may be able to leverage that coefficiency of time that 30 to 1 coefficiency of time to be able to come back with Solutions and answers in biotechnology in robotics and so on and so forth the time is now we have over 90 percent of our ocean left to discover virtually everything that we depend on depends on a healthy ocean so how can we make better decisions in our government in our private practices and as individuals if we know nothing about what's going on out there below the blue veneer it is the quite literally the missing
tool in the toolbox of ocean exploration and will complement all the other tools that we are currently using today imagine for example Jane Goodall and all her amazing work that she's done imagine if she was relegated to an air balloon floating over the rainforests and have to bungee jump down and during that Apex when she's down at the bottom take quick snapshots and notes before she gets pulled back up to her balloon how much longer would it have taken for her to reach the conclusions that she has and to Enlighten the world with what's going on behind the scenes this is the same thing on a much larger scale and a much more alien scale in the ocean we're looking at Food Systems we're looking at at uh biochemistry this is quite literally Pandora's Box waiting to be opened and
if we look at the uses for platform like proteus we can accommodate things like payloads we can accommodate um individuals or groups such as right here in this room to be able to leverage that uh where where I have to dance around ndas so excuse me if I hesitate a little bit we are looking at Food Cycles at renewable energies at new biochemistries to keep Pace with the challenges that we Face we're looking at bioactive compounds to be found in marine organisms imagine what's what we could do I was talking last night to some of you about the things that have already been discovered in the medical field for example pre-alt which is a pain mitigator derived from cone snail Venom who knew that [ __ ] snail Venom could provide us a treatment that is a
thousand times more powerful than morphine without the opioid side effects that's from the ocean what about the deep water Coral chemistry the the the chemical chain that was that's now used in targeted chemotherapy so that we can keep the patient healthier while treating the issues that human beings are faced with today and that's just the scratching the surface of course I can talk about marine biology because we have yet 90 of the biodiversity that lives and thrives in the ocean that has yet to be discovered imagine all the new species the new techniques that we can learn from biomechanics and so on and so forth and of course looking at technology I'm a bit of a tech nerd myself a little bit of a Sci-Fi geek imagine this as an anecdote to space exploration look at the recent disaster economically speaking of launching things into space
without having thoroughly tested them in an extreme environment how much of wasted money and billions of dollars that we could have saved by doing that underwater in simulated circumstances imagine how much safer the the astronauts would be if they first trained as aquanauts the ocean is our great barometer it is quite literally what has tempered a lot of the extreme weather patterns it is the basket of food that so many of us depend on billions of people around the world just to make a livelihood and of course all of us who enjoy sea life at the bottom of the sea sometimes on our plates please don't eat my subjects before I film them the point of this is that this especially here it may be more most poignant is that if we don't understand
the patterns that are going on in the ocean we will never be able to make appropriate decisions to help save lives and infrastructure here on land what's happening to the ocean is quite literally happening to us and I unfortunately am saying this at a time here in Naples when if you go to the beach you'll see the very real repercussions of human activity left unchecked and without the proper information and decision-making processes now Proteus will be a leader in Ocean innovation of course accelerating time I can't emphasize this enough my biggest frustration as a lifelong scuba diver is that just when things start getting interesting just as the fireworks display of Life Starts revealing itself it's time to go back to the surface world imagine if that was a chain that one can break
and this is the only kind of platform that allows for us to do that that human technology interface can now be placed at the world's final frontier we had the privilege and honor of having an exclusive Story come out in Forbes in July of 2020 and since then uh without any proper uh press uh approach we still managed to Garner over 10 billion unique media Impressions those out there who know what the value of that is may even be able to to explain that better than I can I'm just a I'm just a scuba diver but apparently it's a huge value and to me as a Storyteller this is of crucial importance to be able to connect human beings who may never get a chance to peek below that blue veneer to understand and connect with the value the beauty and of course the Majesty of our ocean world and the uniqueness
now we have for plan and have had made a lot of progress our first jurisdiction will be the island of Curacao where we have agreements with the government and support from the government private entities and of course individuals who have a vested interest in this happening we are blessed to be encouraged now because Curacao is the Bastion of one of the last remaining accruing coral reefs in the entire Caribbean so the fact that we have been given access to be able to live and work underwater in a marine protected area to see and learn and experience and come back with the information that that accruing coral reef is giving us will give us the ability to look at microplastics would give us the ability to look at weather patterns underwater imagine for example since we're talking
about weather earlier if we could predict hurricane patterns not days or weeks ahead but weeks months and possibly longer because now we have a much more complete image not just above the surface but below the surface of what's happening with those kinds of information but Proteus doesn't stop there we have for plan to make multiple of these platforms available in various strategically located parts of the world so that we can have a network to offer as a global solution to learning more about the ecosystem and the things that we depend on now it's tried to say that there is no Planet B I'll leave you with this my grandfather once said that in order for us to survive
for centuries and thousands of years man has had to fight nature in this century for the very first time we're starting to understand that in order for us to survive we must protect it so it behooves us to look at our life support system as a natural resource bank account and to start living off the interest that it bears to Shepherd it as if our lives depend on on it because they do and if we're to look at giving to our future Generations what we've taken for granted the tangibles that play into Hospitality that play into uh tourism that play into our everyday lives of and our our farming practices and so on and so forth and the intangibles walking on the beach breathing in that nice fresh Breeze
going scuba diving going fishing with your buddies and just generally enjoying the well-being that the ocean provides us including 70 percent of the oxygen that you breathe every single day then we must protect it we must learn from it and we must evolve to live in symbiotic relationship with our life support system and this beautiful little Oasis in space and with that merci Muchos Gracias thank you all very much have a great conference [Music] foreign