''We must protect and value vital marine ecosystems,'' says actor Leonardo DiCaprio during a high-level conference in Washington, DC on protecting the world's oceans. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Actor and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio gives a keynote speech on day one of a two-day conference in Washington, DC on unsustainable fishing practices, marine pollution, and the effects of climate change on the world's oceans. "We need more leaders and communities to take bold actions like this as a global community. We must protect and value vital marine ecosystems rather than treating the oceans as an endless resource to be exploited and as a dumping ground for our waste," said DiCaprio. The United States on Thursday (September 15) joined more than 20 countries in creating 40 new marine sanctuaries around the world to protect oceans from the threat of climate change and pollution. The sanctuaries, unveiled at a high-level conference in Washington, limit commercial fishing, oil and gas drilling, and other human activity that affects ocean ecosystems. Altogether, countries at the oceans conference will announce new sanctuaries covering nearly 460,000 square miles (1.19 million sq km) of ocean, an area around the size of South Africa. President Barack Obama designated the first U.S. marine reserve in the Atlantic Ocean: 4,913 square miles (12,724 sq km) known for their underwater mountains and canyons off the coast of New England.