Some of the most influential names in business, music and ocean conservation have banded together to form a new nonprofit organization called OceanElders

CNN founder Ted Turner, oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle and Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson are the main driving forces behind the new effort, with Jackson Browne, Dr. Rita Colwell, Jean-Michel Cousteau, Graeme Kelleher, Sven Linblad, Captain Don Walsh and Neil Young also signing on as founders. 

"We are all concerned about the ocean and its declining health. As the ocean goes, so shall we," said Branson, who also helped found "The Elders," a group focused on human rights.

"OceanElders was created to give the ocean a loud and focused voice," he added. "It will act as a center point in this field of ocean conservation. By collaborating with other organizations, OceanElders can provide advice, guidance, and potentially, the tipping point needed to gain media attention and wide-scale awareness."

According to the release, one idea is to form an online "community" of regional OceanElders, allowing local projects to be funded on an international scale. On the official website, it appears that you'll be able to vote for submitted ideas and later see how they're being put into action. 

"I have a great love for the oceans and I believe that we need a plan to save them," said Turner. "I'm honored to work together with global leaders in order to advance critical ocean issues and help protect these ecosystems."

The idea for OceanElders was seeded during the TED Mission Blue Voyage to the Galapagos Islands in April 2010. More than 100 scientists, business leaders, philanthropists and celebrities (including Leonardo DiCaprio and Edward Norton) came together to focus on ocean conservation. 

Earle, a 2009 TED Prize winner, believes OceanElders will help in rallying public support for ocean conservation. "While less than 1 percent of the ocean is currently protected, I am hopeful that the influence and organizing power of OceanElders can save the oceans — and ourselves."

Check out the official site here to learn more. 

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