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SAN FRANCISCO & GENEVA – May 22, 2024 In a significant move to bolster global marine conservation, Mission Blue and the MSC Foundation announced a strategic three-year partnership today—which happens to be the International Day for Biological Diversity—to implement an ambitious ocean literacy program and seagrass restoration project. This collaboration unites Mission Blue's expertise, led by renowned oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle, with the MSC Foundation's extensive outreach capabilities to inspire and mobilize widespread support for ocean protection.

Mission Blue and the MSC Foundation will collaborate on two main components:

  • An ocean literacy program, launching this summer, designed to educate and inspire 4 million guests across MSC Cruises Division fleets about the importance of the oceans. The program includes lessons, activities and onboard presentations for cruise guests from luminaries in ocean conservation. It will emphasize the important role of Hope Spots and essential marine ecosystems such as mangroves, seagrass meadows, coral reefs, and kelp forests.
  • A restoration project that will plant up to 37,000 seagrass plants over the next three years to help restore vital seagrass meadows around Formentera, Spain. The objective is to support ongoing efforts in the region to replenish these meadows and help create a cascade of ecological benefits, including fostering an increase in biodiversity, enhancing fish stocks, and sequestering carbon.

Dr. Sylvia Earle, President and Co-Chair of Mission Blue, shares her vision: "The ocean is at a breaking point, demanding not just our attention but urgent global action. We must protect it as if our lives depend on it—because they do! By joining forces with the MSC Foundation, we can now reach millions of people who are out on the ocean each year to help educate them on what is below the ship and inspire greater marine stewardship. The MSC Foundation has demonstrated its commitment to ocean conservation at sea and on land at Ocean Cay in the Bahamas, and through its outreach programs aimed at engaging the public on a grand scale at a critical moment in time.”

The partnership between Mission Blue and the MSC Foundation is driven by a shared commitment to safeguard the "Blue Heart" of the planet. Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve is MSC Cruises’ private island, which the company developed by rehabilitating a former sand mining site. In July 2023, Mission Blue declared the island and its surrounding waters a Hope Spot in recognition of the ongoing ecosystem recovery spurred by those efforts, along with the coral reef restoration and resilience-building of the MSC Foundation’s Super Coral Program.

Pierfrancesco Vago, Chair of the MSC Foundation Executive Committee and Executive Chairman of the Cruise Division of MSC Group, emphasized the collaborative spirit of this new venture: "Our joint commitment with Dr. Earle and Mission Blue enhances our capacity to drive significant change. As the Hope Spot Champion for Ocean Cay, I am eager to see our efforts catalyze widespread support for protecting vital ecosystems in the communities where we sail, with MSC Group peers and stakeholders worldwide, including our cruise guests."

Vago also serves as the Hope Spot Champion for Ocean Cay. In October 2023, Dr. Earle became the Godmother of Explora Journeys’ Explora I at a traditional maritime naming ceremony.

Daniela Picco, Executive Director of the MSC Foundation, added: "This partnership is about education as well as restoration—two of the Foundation’s focus areas. Thanks to this partnership, we are adding an important new restoration project to our portfolio, involving replanting up to 37,000 seagrass plants around the island of Formentera, Spain, over three years. We aim to boost ongoing efforts to replenish seagrass meadows to mitigate the effects of human activity and climate change, restoring ecological balance and supporting marine life.”

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Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the MSC Foundation is the philanthropic entity of the MSC Group. Established by the Aponte family in 2018, the Foundation supports causes in environmental conservation, community support, education, and emergency relief. Its mission is to use MSC’s global reach and knowledge of the sea to take action that contributes to protecting and nurturing the blue planet and its people. For more information, visit: and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.


Mission Blue inspires action to explore and protect the ocean. Led by legendary oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle, Mission Blue is uniting a global coalition to secure protection for healthy areas in the ocean and restore damaged systems in a global network of places designated as Hope Spots. Under Dr. Earle’s leadership, the Mission Blue team implements research expeditions, science-based ocean policy, and communication strategies through documentary films, talks, webinars, print and social media, and creative use of Esri's Arc-GIS Storymaps. Currently, the Mission Blue alliance includes more than 300 respected ocean conservation groups and like-minded organizations, from large multinational companies to individual scientific research teams. Together with Mission Blue, the vision of igniting public support to safeguard areas large enough to save and restore the ocean, the blue heart of the planet, is being realized -- a growing global network of hope for the future of life on Earth.  For more information, visit: and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

For more information, please contact:

MSC Foundation in Switzerland:,  +41 79 249 8434

Mission Blue in the United States:, +1 973 570 3327