November 20, 2014  |  off

The Galapagos archipelago is located at a point where major ocean currents come together, mingling nutrient rich cool waters from the south, warm currents from the north, and a deep cold current from the west. This convergence of ocean currents has combined flora and fauna from contrasting environments, and given rise to unique marine species.

Nearly 20% of marine life in Galapagos is endemic, found nowhere else on earth. This level of endemism is rare for marine species, which tend to migrate and intermingle to a much larger degree than terrestrial (land-based) species.

Galapagos is one of the only places where pelagic species (species that live neither close to the bottom of the ocean nor near the shore) such as tunas, manta rays, and hammerhead sharks can be seen close to shore. No other site in the world showcases such a diversity of marine life forms.

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"People ask: Why should I care about the ocean? Because the ocean is the cornerstone of earth's life support system, it shapes climate and weather. It holds most of life on earth. 97% of earth's water is there. It's the blue heart of the planet — we should take care of our heart. It's what makes life possible for us. We still have a really good chance to make things better than they are. They won't get better unless we take the action and inspire others to do the same thing. No one is without power. Everybody has the capacity to do something." Oceanographer Sylvia Earle

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