Speaking at the US State Department’s “Our Ocean”; conference in Washington D.C. today, Wolf of Wall Street star Leonardo DiCaprio pledged $7 million to protect marine life.
“I’m standing up here as a concerned citizen of this planet who believes that this is the most important issue of our time,”; the 39-year-old actor said. “My foundation recently announced a $3 million grant to the organization Oceana to support their efforts to protect sharks, marine mammals, and key ocean habitat in the Eastern Pacific. Today, I’m here to commit even more of my foundation’s resources to this cause.”;
DiCaprio added that his numerous diving trips (one of which famously resulted in him nearly getting eaten alive by a shark) provided him with the opportunity to “witness environmental devastation firsthand.”;
“This isn’t simply an exercise in wildlife conservation,” he continued. “If we don’t do something to save the ocean now, it won’t be just the sharks and the dolphins that suffer. It will be our children and our grandchildren.”;
DiCaprio’s remarks were preceded by a speech (delivered via video link) from president Barack Obama, who promised to create a new oceanic preserve in the South Pacific waters that are controlled by the United States as well as adopt new measures to deter illegal fishing.
DiCaprio was introduced by US Secretary of State John Kerry, whose 2004 presidential bid the actor supported. “I’m pleased that Leo DiCaprio is lending his powerful voice to our call to action to work together to protect the world’s ocean,”; said Kerry.