RAQUEL GASPAR

Founder/ Ocean Live

Portugal

Raquel Gaspar is a marine biologist devoted to engaging local communities in ocean protection, specifically empowering women to engage in environmental conservation. She spent nearly 20 years monitoring the population of bottlenose dolphins in the Sado estuary and worked with local stakeholders as a staff member of the Sado Estuary Nature Reserve. As a result of this project she co-founded Ocean Alive, an NGO dedicated to protecting the seagrass meadows that support the Sado dolphins. Raquel uses storytelling to promote ocean literacy and engage teachers and young people in ocean protection. She wrote several  children’s books about marine life and during her journey she prepared storytelling sessions in the Oceanário de Lisboa.


Raquel is also a National Geographic Explorer, she and her designated team are hoping to conserve the Sado Estuary Natural Reserve in Portugal by working closely with the community. She is the winner of the Terre de Femmes award by Yves Rocher Foundation, and the FAZ award of Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. What she earned is a considerable part of the founding of her cooperative “Ocean Alive”.


She had the dream of living in the sea, and she did it! Working in Azores with FAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare), Raquel was the only portuguese on board of a sailboat, and her job was to get in touch with the local community and explained how Whale Watching was so much better for the environment and the city’s tourism than Whale hunting. She was part of that extraordinary change!