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While well-known for his high-profile movie roles, from Howard Hughes in “The Aviator” to Jordan Belfort in “The Wolf on Wall Street,” actor Leonardo DiCaprio is also celebrated for doing amazing work for the planet as a humanitarian and environmentalist.
In 1998, DiCaprio established the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, which is dedicated to protecting the Earth’s “last wild places and fostering a harmonious relationship between humanity and the natural world.”
Since the foundation’s launch, DiCaprio has helped bring awareness to environmental and humanitarian issues through grant making, campaigning and media productions like the 2007 documentary, “The 11th Hour.”
Last year, his foundation created a $3 million grant for the World Wildlife Fund directed at doubling wild tiger numbers in Nepal by 2022, the next Chinese Year of the Tiger.
Just this week, Oceana, one of the largest international marine advocacy groups, announced that DiCaprio has again created a very generous grant of $3 million but this time to help save the oceans and keystone marine species like sharks.
More specifically, the grant will be spread over three years and aid Oceana in advocating for responsible fishing measures and protecting marine animals from becoming bycatch. For example, the grant will help Oceana advance a campaign aimed at banning drift gillnets off the coast of California, which kill “large numbers of non-targeted marine animals including sperm whales, gray whales, dolphins, sharks, sea turtles, elephant seals and sea lions,” as Oceana reports.
“Protecting our planet’s oceans and the marine species that call it home is one of the most pressing sustainability crises facing humanity today and a moral imperative that we must acknowledge,” DiCaprio said. “It’s my hope that this grant will help Oceana continue the tremendous work that they do daily on behalf of our oceans.”
Well done, DiCaprio! How wonderful it is to see someone like him using his high profile position and resources to actually make the world a better place.