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Marine ecologist Enric Sala explains the importance of mitigating human impact on marine environments Tuesday morning in the Amphitheater. Sala presented Chautauquans with a slideshow of the ocean’s most remote and untouched areas of marine life. Photo by Lauren Rock.

Sala: Marine reserves can save oceans from humans

The ocean as shown by Jacques Cousteau was filled with life — coral, whales, dolphins, sharks.

But when Enric Sala tried to emulate Cousteau and explored Spain’s Mediterranean Coast, he found nothing of the sort. When he began studying marine biology and ecology, he met the same outcome.

“I thought that that richness and diversity Cousteau showed us was something that belonged only to exotic tropical locations,” said Sala, a marine ecologist, during Tuesday’s morning lecture in the Amphitheater.

He later learned humans were the reason why oceans looked different from what Cousteau showed.

As part of Week Four, themed “Water Matters,” Sala took audience members back 1,000 years to show them what pristine oceans look like and explained what can be done in the future.

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