DiCaprio Backs Obama’s Plans for Marine Protection

September 6, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. allot /əˈlɒt/ (v.) – to put or give something
Example: The president allotted a huge amount of the annual budget to wildlife protection programs.

2. preserve /prɪˈzɜrv/ (v.) – to maintain something in good condition and keep it away from harm
Example: Activists preserve marine life by protecting oceans.

3. asset /ˈæs ɛt/ (n.) – a beneficial aspect of someone or something
Example: The fishing industry is one of the main assets of countries near oceans.

4. sanctuary /ˈsæŋk tʃuˌɛr i/ (n.) – a place for protection of animals and other living creatures
Example: The environmental group built a marine sanctuary for the endangered marine species.

5. exploitation /ˌɛk splɔɪˈteɪ ʃən/ (n.) – overusing or overdoing something, usually for extra profit
ExampleExploitation of natural resources can lead to shortage of supplies.


Read the text below.
Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio [lee-oh-NAR-doh dee-KAP-ree-oh] has shown support for US President Barack Obama’s plans to protect marine life.

DiCaprio made the announcement at the Our Ocean conference, which was held in Washington D.C. in June. The actor said that his foundation will allot $7 million within two years for the government’s ocean conservation projects. He also encouraged the authorities to help preserve underwater resources and to fight illegal activities that harm the ocean.

At the same event, President Obama also revealed his plans to create the world’s largest ocean preserve and to conserve marine life. He said that the ocean is one of the world’s major sources of food and serves as a vital asset for economic growth.

Obama’s plans include the expansion of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument – former president George W. Bush’s project to protect uninhabited islands and water areas near Hawaii [huh-WAHY-ee] and American Samoa [suh-MOH-uh].

Obama also wants to strengthen the laws against industrial fishing, drilling, and other activities along the Pacific Ocean that could harm aquatic species. He believes that creating a marine sanctuary in the world’s largest ocean will greatly help preserve sea creatures [KREE-chers]. The expanded sanctuary can reach about 1.5 million square miles, covering all US waters aside from Hawaii.

However, experts say that an expanded marine preserve may only have little effect. Reports show that commercial fishing and ocean drilling are minimal in the areas that Obama specified.

Still, environmental activists value Obama’s plans. Global Ocean Legacy director Matt Rand said that any areas with resources are always under threat and need protection. On the other hand, Beth Lowell [LOH-uh l] from the conservation group Oceana praised Obama, saying that the president made a historical step in the fight against exploitations of marine resources.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         If you were DiCaprio, would you also give financial support to the US government’s ocean conservation projects? Why or why not?
·         Do you agree that the Pacific Ocean is negatively affected by several human activities? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         How do you think illegal fishing can be stopped?
·         As an individual, what can you contribute to increase awareness on ocean preservation? Kindly discuss.

September 6, 2014