Entertainment News

  • 18 June 2014, 12:40

DiCaprio Donates $7m To Protect Marine Life

Leonardo DiCaprio has donated $7m (4.1m) towards protecting the oceans after witnessing "environmental devastation first-hand".

The Hollywood star told the audience at the US State Department's Our Ocean conference about the importance of protecting ocean wildlife.

"What once had looked like an endless underwater utopia is now riddled with bleached coral reefs and massive dead zones," DiCaprio said.

The conference coincided with President Barack Obama announcing new efforts to protect areas of the Pacific Ocean controlled by the US from overfishing and environmental damage.

Appearing in a video message at the conference, Mr Obama said he was "directing the federal government to create a national strategy to combat black market fishing that threatens our oceans, undermines our economy, and often supports dangerous criminals".

DiCaprio's multi-million dollar contribution will go towards "meaningful ocean conservation projects over the next two years".

He said: "We have systematically devastated our global fisheries through destructive practices like bottom-trolling, where huge nets drag across the bottom of the ocean for miles, literally scraping up everything in their path, permanently destroying abundant underwater forest, teeming with every possible imaginable form of wildlife."

In February the Wolf Of Wall Street actor gave $3m (1.8m) to a conservation organisation which protects sharks and other marine animals.

In November 2013 the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation awarded a $3m grant to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to boost a scheme to help Nepal double its wild tiger population by 2022.

"Time is running out for the world's remaining 3,200 tigers, largely the result of habitat destruction and escalating illegal poaching," said DiCaprio, a WWF board member.

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