Selva Ozelli

Selva Ozelli, 57 and from New York creates oil paintings of life on the reef.

The ocean in trouble

GenOcean: What challenges do you see the ocean-facing?  

Selva Ozelli: The Ocean acts as the largest carbon sink of our planet and hosts 80% of all life while providing half of the planet’s oxygen. According to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA): “More than 90% of the warming that has happened on Earth over the past 50 years has occurred in the ocean.”  The Ocean is warming at the same rate as if five Hiroshima bombs were being dropped into its immense area every second. It is warming faster than the rest of the planet. This has contributed to the rise of sea levels from the melting of ice sheets in the Arctic, degradation and loss of reefs, which occupy only 0.1 per cent of the global sea surfaces, but support more than 25 per cent of marine biodiversity. 

GO: How does the ocean inspire you? 

SO: I just love the ocean. It is a place that never sits still, yet can create such calm.

Do everything you can

GO: What action(s) are you taking to restore and protect the ocean? 

SOI have been making and curating Ocean-themed art shows to raise awareness of the role of the ocean in our everyday life and inspire action to protect it.  I have exhibited my art shows extensively around the world in Museums, United Nations Conferences and NGOs.  I have also donated my art to support foundations that support the Ocean.  

I have also been writing articles, conducting interviews and writing a book on sustainability which will be published this year, 2022.


GO: What message do you have for others to inspire them to take action for the ocean? 

SO: If you love the Ocean, then do everything you can to inspire action to protect it.

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