National Geographic: Brian Skerry Takes First Underwater Photo of a U.S. President

Our partner for the ocean, National Geographic photographer Brian Skerry, took the first photograph of a U.S. president underwater when President Obama visited Midway Atoll last summer after announcing the expansion of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Weeks later, the president announced the first marine monument in the Atlantic and cemented his legacy as the “ocean president.”

In an interview with National Geographic, here’s what Brian has to say about the increased attention now being paid to ocean conservation:

“In my own career there’s been this evolution. I began just wanting to make beautiful pictures of things that interested me. Animals I thought were cool, places I was interested in traveling to. But over time, I’ve seen this steady degradation occurring in our oceans, things that aren’t evident to most people. As a journalist I have a sense of responsibility and a sense of urgency to tell those stories . . . It’s very satisfying for me, having spent most of my life out there in the ocean, finally seeing these issues resonating at the highest levels among people who can really do something about it and make a difference. I just hope it’s not a one-off. I hope we continue.” Read the full interview here.

To hear more from Brian, mark your calendars for the premiere of Sea of Hope: America’s Underwater Treasures – featuring Cashes Ledge – airing Sunday, January 15 at 7 p.m. EST on National Geographic Channel.