Waves of hope
Waves of hope
Some 2000 people have swum across the English Channel since Captain Matthew
Webb famously first made it in 1875, But no one had ever done the same along its length.
Until the summer of 2018.
During July and August 2018, Lewis Pugh became the first person to swim the full length of the English Channel, from Land's End to Dover, in just his cap, goggles and Speedo swimming costume, as dictated by Channel Rules.
The first major campaign of the Lewis Pugh Foundation, Antarctica 2020,
was launched in December 2016, hot on the heals of the successful
establishment of the Ross Sea MPA. See below.
Over the next three years, the Antarctica 2020 Campaign will bring together a coalition of voices to push for six further seas that ring Antarctica to be similarly protected.
Together with the recent Ross Sea MPA, these protected areas will span nearly 7 million square kilometres – roughly the size of Australia.
Our ambition is to have these MPAs declared by 2020, to coincide with the 200-year anniversary of the discovery of Antarctica.
In addition to being backed by the United Nations, our Campaign has the support of prominent world
leaders, scientists, Nobel laureates, environmentalists, policymakers and peacemakers. This public
pressure is key since, once again, all members of CCAMLAR (the 24 nations plus the EU who oversee
Antarctic oceans) will need to come together in agreement to extend this protection.
In October 2016, the world’s largest protected wilderness on land or water, the 1.5 million square kilometre Ross Sea MPA came into effect.
This massive success brought with it a sobering realisation: many more MPAs were urgently needed
in other Antarctic seas, and across the oceans of the world, to protect our planet’s waters from
overfishing, pollution and climate change.
The Lewis Pugh Foundation was created to ensure that this happens.
We don't have another twenty years to protect the world's
last true wilderness areas. Protecting these seas makes
them more resilient to climate change, and enables them to
help the whole of the Southern Ocean recover from over-fishing
In 2016 we negotiated the halt to an annual mass balloon release in Gibraltar that had been practiced for 24 years. The practice of releasing tens of thousands of balloons into the air, eventually coming to earth or landing at sea, was very harmful to the environment. After initial resistance, the government of Gibraltar agreed to find a more ecologically sound way of celebrating their national day.
In 2016 it came to our attention that 6 multi-national corporations were sponsoring shark-hunting competitions in the USA – this at a time when the apex predator is endangered around the world. Over 100 million sharks are slaughtered in our seas each year. That's more than 270,000 per day. It’s completely unsustainable and, left unchecked, will result in the collapse of our oceans.
We interact with branded goods and services every single day. In many ways we have a closer relationship with companies than we do with our local or national governments. And in the same way that we make our
wishes known to governments, we can use our voices and our
purchasing power to hold companies to account.
By going straight to the people in charge and pointing out the embarrassment it would cause their corporations (not to mention the dent to their bottom line) should this attract the attention of the global media, we convinced them to withdraw their sponsorship.