Diana Nyad's Swim in the Gulf

Diana Nyad - a world class swimmer - is about to attempt an amazing and historic feat. She's going to swim from Cuba to the Florida Keys. And she's going to do it at the age of 61. 

This trip will take hours of constant swimming while facing intense ocean elements - the currents, jellyfish, and possibly sharks. 

Earlier this year, a catastrophe raised the possibility of her fighting another element during her summer swim - oil. 

To hear Diana tell it - the threat the spill initially posed could have put an end to a challenge that was already teetering on the edge of impossible.

Luckily, current studies indicate the oil hasn't reached that region yet and may not at all.

But regardless the threat proved to be a tragic wake-up call for all of us and reinforced for Diana that our oceans need protection from the myriad of threats facing them. That’s why she filmed this video for us:


As Diana says in the video she sees herself as having a close relationship with the ocean. She becomes one with it during her swims.

Though we demand a lot from our oceans - from fishing to shipping and energy development - we can develop better, more sustainable, ways to manage the increasing amount of industrial pressure on our seas so that they can continue to provide the food, jobs, and recreation we rely on.

One way to tackle the problem of “ocean sprawl” is through marine spatial planning. Marine spatial planning identifies areas where industrial uses make sense, and areas that should be set off limits. When marine spatial planning is based on environmental protection, it allows human uses of the ocean to co-exist, while protecting the environment.

Thankfully, the Administration just took a giant step forward toward fostering a more sustainable relationship with our waters on July 19 when President Obama signed an executive order that created a national ocean policy to protect and restore our oceans and that created a framework for coastal and marine spatial planning.

Diana's swim is a reminder of what's possible as we strive to sustainably harvest the riches our oceans have to offer.