Hope Spot Expeditions


Since 2008, Mission Blue expeditions have visited Hope Spots around the world, documenting these vibrant marine environments and engaging local stakeholders to protect them. Led by Dr. Sylvia Earle and Expeditions Director Kip Evans, these voyages explore our most critical ocean habitats and are designed to create awareness, foster partnerships and build broad public support for the creation of marine protected areas across the globe.

Expedition Program Goals

  • Explore and document Hope Spots from the Arctic to the Antarctic
  • Inspire action to protect these critical ocean habitats
  • Magnify impact through meaningful partnerships

Where have we been?


Balearic Islands, Spain

11/10/2015 - 11/11/2015 @ - In November 2015 Dr. Earle and the Mission Blue team visited the Balearic Islands to launch it as the first Hope Spot in the Mediterranean in partnership with Asociación Ondine and Stefan Hearst. Read more about it here. The Balearic Islands consist of Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera. This archipelago is strategically located in the middle [...]
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Cashes Ledge, Gulf of Maine, USA

08/07/2015 - 08/13/2015 @ - Called the “Yellowstone of the North Atlantic” by Dr. Sylvia Earle, Cashes Ledge is a biological hotspot in the Gulf of Maine that is home to the largest cold-water kelp forest on the Atlantic seaboard of the U.S. and provides a nursery for important New England fish species like cod, pollock, Atlantic halibut, and white [...]
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Gulf of California, Mexico

02/25/2016 - 02/28/2016 @ - In 2009, Dr. Earle named the Gulf of California one of her top “Hope Spot” locations and vowed to help bring attention and support to the region. Through expeditions in 2010, 2015 and 2016, Dr. Earle and the Mission Blue team have developed close ties to community groups and policy makers in the Gulf of [...]
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Cocos Island, Costa Rica

03/22/2015 - 03/30/2015 @ - Dr. Sylvia Earle and the Mission Blue expeditions team visited Cocos Island, Costa Rica in 2011 and 2015 to highlight the immense diversity and fragility of species populating the waters surrounding what Jacques Cousteau called “the most beautiful island in the world.” During the 2015 expedition in partnership with Fusion and Univision Media, the team [...]
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Costa Rica Dome & Playa Grande, Costa Rica

01/22/2014 - 01/28/2014 @ - In early 2014 Mission Blue and MarViva launched a film expedition with Dr. Sylvia Earle to highlight the Costa Rica Dome. Partners supporting the expedition were The Baum Foundation, The Leatherback Trust, LightHawk, Bula Bula Hotel and National Geographic. The team documented the ecological and commercial value of the Dome’s resources to raise awareness and support for the protection of [...]
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South African Coast

12/04/2014 - 12/12/2014 @ - In December 2014, Dr. Sylvia Earle and the Mission Blue expedition team established six Hope Spots along the coast of South Africa in partnership with the Sustainable Seas Trust: False Bay (from Cape Point to Cape Agulhas); Cape Whale Coast (from Rooi Els to Quoin Point including offshore islands); Knysna (including the Knysna Estuary, marine [...]
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Swan Islands, Honduras

07/16/2011 - 07/24/2011 @ - Known as the “Galapagos of the Caribbean,” the reefs surrounding the Swan Islands of Honduras are a biodiversity hotspot teeming with over 500 species of fish and 350 species of mollusk. The Swan Islands are situated at the southern boundary of the Mesoamerican Reef—the Atlantic Ocean’s largest coral reef and a Mission Blue Hope Spot. [...]
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Exuma Cays, Bahamas

05/21/2012 - 05/28/2012 @ - Consisting of over 3,000 islands, islets and cays and covering an area of over 14,000 square kilometers, the nation of the Bahamas contains several priceless marine habitats. This expedition in cooperation with The Nature Conservancy was concentrated in the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park, which was created in 1958 by the Bahamas National Trust [...]
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    "With knowing comes caring." - Dr. Sylvia Earle