Published on May 20, 2014

Ghislaine Maxwell is a British philanthropist and the founder of the TerraMar Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building a global community who will advocate for the world's oceans and high seas. The TerraMar Project encourages people to sign a pledge and become what Ghislaine terms an "ocean citizen," joining the world's first ocean community dedicated to giving a voice to the least talked about and most forgotten part of our planet.

A passionate deep-sea diver, Ghislaine devotes considerable energy to raising awareness and focusing attention on the issues surrounding oceans. With less than 2% of the world's oceans being protected, Ghislaine encourages us to pay more attention to the ocean because it feeds the world's population, provides over half our oxygen and creates the planet's weather, but faces huge challenges like overfishing, marine debris, ocean warming, ocean acidification, pollution and unsustainable development.

"The oceans have become the world's dumping ground", says Ghislaine. Literally, the world's largest landfill happens to be floating in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, or the Western and Eastern Pacific Garbage Patches, significant amounts of the world's plastic waste has been caught in currents and transported to these gyres. Greenpeace reports that of the 200 billion pounds of plastic the world produces on an annual basis, 10 percent of it ends up in the ocean. The Eastern Garbage Patch floats between Hawaii and California, and scientists estimate its landmass to be twice the size of Texas. The Western Garbage Patch floats between Japan and Hawaii. These garbage patches are extremely hazardous, poisoning our oceans and killing off marine life. It's evident that international attention needs to be given to this man-made disaster.