Cristina Mittermeier@cristinamittermeier

Photographer / Speaker / Contributor to National Geographic / Co-founder of @sea_legacy / SonyArtisan / NatGeoCreative / Founder of iLCP

809 posts 662,598 followers 7,207 following

For the second day of #12DreamsofChristmas, I want to talk about happy bears. A few years back, @PaulNicklen and I were involved in helping get the grizzly bears of Fishing Branch River protected. Seven years ago, we were both involved in kicking off the worldwide coverage of the Great Bear Rainforest and its iconic Spirit Bears, ultimately helping get them protected. The work we do protects bears. It’s also not done yet. We need to create marine protected areas in the Arctic (like the recently created Tallurutiup Imanga / Lancaster Sound), and we need to combat climate change for polar bears in particular. @sea_legacy is working hard build constituencies that demand that world governments cut carbon emissions and create marine protected areas. Consider giving the gift of a membership to The Tide and letting your loved one help in #TurningTheTide for our oceans. Link in bio. #12DreamsofChristmas


My partner @PaulNicklen and I have curated a wishlist for the oceans we’re calling the #12DreamsofChristmas. Our first Christmas dream is healthy reefs. Beneath the thin blue line of our planet’s tropical seas lies a world of biodiversity few will ever see. While on expedition this year to the reefs of Cuba, we raised funds to repair a scientific research centre that had been destroyed by Hurricane Irma. We also discovered a revolutionary concrete product that can be used to rebuild corals. Our dream is to rebuild coral reefs and promote science and sustainable tourism that supports healthy coral reefs around the world. At Christmas, I prefer giving experiences rather than material goods. Instead of purchasing plastic gifts that end up in a landfill, consider giving the gift of a membership to The Tide and letting your loved one help in #TurningTheTide for our oceans. Link in bio. #12DreamsofChristmas


Photos by SeaLegacy Collective members @paulnicklen and @jodymacdonaldphoto // Swipe left to view the SeaLegacy Winter fine-art poster collection or click the link in my bio. Thank you for your generous response. All proceeds will help power @sea_legacy’s efforts in ocean conservation. If you’d still like to pick a poster for a loved one or for yourself, there are now only 48 hours left (Deadline: midnight on December 12th) to order from the @Sea_Legacy Winter 2017 poster collection in time for delivery before Christmas in the U.S. International orders will now arrive after Christmas. Click the link in our bio to see ALL the options, prices, sizes and shipping details:
Happy holidays and thank you for #TurningTheTide with us.


I photographed this young boy at the Sing Sing Festival in Mount Hagen several years ago. He was one of many children dressed up to compete for the most cultural integrity. Sing-sing festivals are held in Papa New Guinea with a purpose to share, in peaceful celebration, traditions.
70 years ago, the United Nations established the Declaration of Human Rights, with 30 distinct articles. Article 27 decrees that everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits. It adds that everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.
Cultural integrity is something very close to my heart. It is where we find "Enoughness" - the practice of finding contentment in culture instead of material things.
#Enoughness | @UNFoundation | @UnitedNations |


We are at the @PaulNicklenGallery until 5PM today sharing the message of @Sea_Legacy and #TurningTheTide on #ClimateChange. If you are in New York City please join us to learn more. With @paulnicklen in #nyc.
#NatureLovers #Nature #ClimateChange #Arctic #Polarbear #Conservation


On Tuesday, we shared a video of a starving polar bear. It was sad to film, but so important to share. We need perspective into the future for polar bears, and this provided that perspective. Unless we curb carbon emissions and pursue solutions to achieve drawdown, this is the grim fate for species. The good news is that a wide array of both proven and promising new solutions already exist. Reforesting the oceans and restarting natural nutrient cycles can drawdown carbon, deacidify and cool surface waters, at the same time as producing sustainable food and biofuel. @Sea_Legacy went to the Canadian Arctic to document the effects of climate change. We found them. We also found healthy bears like this one hunting on a beautiful piece of ice. Join The Tide (link in bio) to help us continue to show the world what’s a stake and how we can fix it. #TurningTheTide


I was mesmerized by the beauty of this glacier on our last day on Lancaster Sound. As I stood in silence pondering the incredible journey this ice has taken, I thought about how difficult it is to talk about climate change, especially with friends and family who don’t share the same worldview. In the scientific community, there is an almost unanimous (97%) agreement that anthropogenic (human-caused) climate change is real. Very real, and very dangerous, as we’ve seen in Southern California this past week. This holiday season you will be surrounded by family. It’s a great opportunity to talk about the subject, but perhaps a little intimidating. Seek out the @NasaClimateChange webpage, save the info to your phone, and share it with deniers. But do not engage in battle. Be gentle. Be patient. We all need to learn to live in this changing world together. Thank you for listening. #TurningTheTide with @Sea_Legacy.


I photographed this polar bear as it patrolled a small crack on the sea ice hoping for a seal—its main prey—to pop out for a breath. Both polar bears and seals need ice to survive, and their icy world is changing rapidly. Perhaps the most wide-reaching and harmful threat to our ocean ecosystems comes from the increase in carbon dioxide in our atmosphere, which causes sea ice to melt and polar bears to starve, but also contributes to raging fires like the one currently happening in Southern California. Climate change affects us all and the impacts are starting to knock on everyone’s door. The good news is, little changes can create big shifts, so I encourage you to be part of the change with what you choose to eat, how you choose to move around, and how much you choose to purchase. Thank you for caring.


A few months ago, @PaulNicklen and I documented the heartwrenching scene we posted yesterday—a starving polar bear roaming through an abandoned Inuit camp along the shores of Baffin Island. Though it wasn’t possible for scientists to tell us exactly what had caused this bear to starve to death, we do know that he didn’t have any visible wounds and that he was not an old bear.

Many of you have asked whether we could have saved this individual bear, but the hard truth is that he was on his last legs and his muscles had atrophied beyond repair. It would also have been illegal to feed him, to approach him, or to do anything to ease his pain.

However, there is hope for the remaining polar bears if we want it. Click the link in my bio to learn more about the solutions available to achieve drawdown—the point where global warming reverses, and healthy polar bears like this beautiful sow and her cubs can rest easy. Photo: @paulnicklen #turningthetide


My heart breaks when I see this photo. We cried as we filmed this dying bear. Although we cannot tell for sure why this bear was dying, what is certain is that as the Arctic continues to warm twice as fast as anywhere else on Earth, many more bears will face this fate over the coming years. We traveled to the Arctic with @sea_legacy in August and saw both healthy bears and starving bears. As climate change accelerates, we will see less of the former and more of the latter. It’s a heartbreaking reality of our current lifestyle. Please join us at @sea_legacy where we are #turningthetide for the oceans and climate change. Each and every one of us must act now. No one will fix this for us. @todayshow


I am going LIVE on @climatereality and #24hoursofreality with @paulnicklen and former vice president Al Gore at 8:45 PM EST. Join us! We need all the voices we can get to stop climate change.
#climatechange #stopclimatechange #reality #hope

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport

My team at @sea_legacy has announced new poster designs in collaboration with our talented members of The Collective: @andy_mann, @daisygilardini and @jodymacdonaldphoto. Swipe left to see some fine art poster options, and visit the link in my bio to see a bunch more beautiful gifts for family, friends, or yourself. There is now only 48 hours left for guaranteed international shipping in time for Christmas. Be sure to order by midnight December 5th PST. Thank you to The Collective for helping amplify @sea_legacy’s message of hope and action for the oceans.


In North, Central and South America, the American crocodile is considered at-risk because of hunting and habitat destruction. They are known to eat almost anything that moves, but here, in the Gardens of the Queen, their food supply—fish, crabs, turtles, snakes, and small mammals—is abundant. They are safe to contribute to a complex and preserved ecosystem thanks to collaborative efforts of government, scientists and business.
#TurningTheTide with @Sea_Legacy and @PaulNicklen | #OceanConservation | #mpa | @aluciaproductions | #cuba | #BeautifulDestinations | #travel | #crocodile


Hey New Jersey! On December 9th, I will be speaking at the New Jersey Camera Show and I would love to see you there. By looking into the ways of life of communities and their individual relationships with water, I’ll explore the concept of “Enoughness.” If you’re in area, please come meet me. @uniquephoto #conservationphotography #conservationphotographer


Mangroves provide a crucial link between the world above and the one below, separated only by the thin blue line. These shrubs and small trees contain a complex salt filtration system with roots that have adapted to the low-oxygen conditions of waterlogged mud. They can survive in water 100 times saltier than other plants. In the Gardens of the Queen, Cuba, they are evidence that the natural marine environment is operating as it should.

#TurningTheTide with @Sea_Legacy and @PaulNicklen | #OceanConservation | #mpa | @AluciaProductions | #cuba | #BeautifulDestinations | #travel |#mangrove


I followed this dogfish for a while as it traveled through the reef. Big and cocky, he was not bothered by my presence and carried on as if I wasn’t there. My guide told me this was Fidel’s favorite fish to spear; no wonder given how big and tame it is. I found it so beautiful I would be incapable of harming it. While Fidel Castro’s government created a controversial revolution, he also took important steps in ocean conservation by creating a marine protected area in the Jardines de la Reina. We may not agree with his regime but we can all learn from the collaboration between the Cuban government, businesses and scientists who all have an equal seat at the table and have worked together to protect their limited ocean resources. #cuba #oceanconservation #fish #scuba #marinelife

Jardines de la Reina

An American crocodile says “hello” to me in the Gardens of the Queen, Cuba. Most people believe this croc is being aggressive and should be feared. I remained cautious and respectful as I always am when interacting with wildlife, but I knew he didn’t want to eat me. I am not dinner. He has everything he needs because his environment is protected. We spent much of the time in Cuba learning from the locals, and gifted these images to Cuban scientists for research and their annual management report.

#TurningTheTide with @Sea_Legacy and @PaulNicklen | #OceanConservation | #mpa | @AluciaProductions | #cuba | #BeautifulDestinations | #travel | #crocodile

Jardines de la Reina

Photo by my friend and conservation hero @shawnheinrichs who today is joining the @sea_legacy Collective. Shawn is an Emmy Award-winning cinematographer, photographer, and one of the lead activists and co-creators of the Oscar-nominated film, Racing Extinction. Shawn has gone undercover, exposing the endangered marine species trade in some of the most remote and challenging locations on Earth. He is also the founder of @BlueSphereFoundation, which works to safe-guard the world’s oceans. We are beyond excited to have both him and Blue Sphere Foundation as partners. Welcome to the team, @shawnheinrichs. #TurningTheTide #love #hero #friendship #beauty


Video by @TavishCampbell // A river of untreated fish blood polluted with pathogens pours into #Tofino’s beautiful inlet. This is the situation at just one of many processing plants that works with B.C.’s toxic #FishFarm industry. From open-net Atlantic salmon pens which cause wild Pacific salmon species huge damage, to operating without permission in First Nations waters, to clearly disregarding the local ecosystems, the current state of #fishfarming in British Columbia is an embarrassing, horrendous mess. Tavish and others are #Turningthetide on this nightmare industry. For more info follow: @alexmorton4salmon @cleansingourwaters

#yourtofino @justinpjtrudeau @johnhorgan4bc @bcndp @lanapopham

Tofino, British Columbia

It’s #GivingTuesday. How can we give back to the oceans not just today, but every day? @Sea_Legacy is proud to announce The Tide, a monthly giving program that pays back in exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of SeaLegacy expeditions and the inner workings of our tireless organization (link in bio). Join us as we explore and create solutions for healthier oceans, and gain a backstage glimpse of our team at the forefront of ocean conservation. #TurningTheTide for the oceans. I hope you join us in The Tide! Thank you!
|| TO VIEW THE FULL VIDEO, click the link in our bio ||


British Columbia’s coastal wolves—also called “sea wolves” or “rain
wolves”—hunt and beachcomb in the intertidal zone, with more than 70% of their diet comprised of
seafood. As humans, we distinguish countries and regions and oceans, but everything is connected, from seafloor to sky. What happens to our oceans happens to all of us. For the next five days, @Sea_Legacy and I will take over both the Greenpeace International (@greenpeace) and Greenpeace Canada (@greenpeace_canada) Instagram accounts. Our goal is to create a collective stance against dirty oil pipelines that further climate change. #TurningTheTide | #OceansNotPipelines

British Columbia

The conservation work we do could never happen without support in many different forms. This past summer, Jim Simons and @EyosExpeditions supported @sea_legacy with use of the MV Archimedes, a beautiful 222-foot expedition vessel. Tomorrow, we will announce an amazing offer for SeaLegacy supporters who want to help in smaller—but no less important—ways. We can all give back to the oceans in different ways. Share your stories, donations or volunteer hours, and know that, whatever you can give, the oceans thank you. #TurningTheTide

Lancaster Sound

Today I turn one year older and all I want for my birthday is to keep exploring and protecting the sea. Here I am doing what I love best: diving with @paulnicklen and @sea_legacy. No matter where you are, you too need the Ocean to survive so please join me in this amazing journey. Go to to help change how the story ends. #birthdaygirl #birthday #happy #grateful


#internationaldaytoeliminateviolenceagainstwomen // How hard would you be willing to work to eliminate violence against women? I would do anything to ensure that young women like my daughter, @jittermeier may live in a world that is kinder and more equitable to all.


Dolphin Drive, Nanoose Bay, BC

To celebrate the planet and its oceans, my team at @Sea_Legacy has unveiled an alternative to Black Friday. #BlueFriday is a chance to give back to the same oceans that give us life. Support our important conservation work by buying one of my images as a fine art poster. Swipe to see more images. Printed on crisp, high-quality paper by a printer in the USA and produced in partnership with @Maptia, each poster will ship within 5-7 business days. All proceeds support SeaLegacy’s mission of creating healthy oceans. Click the link in my bio. #blackfriday


Happy Thanksgiving! Here are some things to be grateful for: days at home, time with family, meaningful work, sense of community, friends, and being able to do something for our planet. Thank you to all! I am grateful for this opportunity to share my work.
How can playful huskies not make us happy?
#gratitude #thanksgiving #love #beauty

Thule, Greenland

The holidays are almost here, and our team at SeaLegacy has partnered with @Maptia to offer some of our most iconic photos as gifts for loved ones or yourself. These images remind us every day that we’re all part of a global community working to protect our oceans. All proceeds support @Sea_Legacy’s mission to create healthy and abundant oceans for animals. Printed on crisp, high-quality paper by a fine art printer in the USA, each poster will ship in 5-7 business days, in time to arrive for the holidays. Link in bio. Photo: @paulnicklen


On this #WorldFisheriesDay I am thinking about the state of fisheries in British Columbia and how the Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw Nation continues to stand, as they have for 30 years, in opposition to open-net fish farms in their territory. From there, my mind goes to places like Galicia, Spain, where women have formed an association to support sustainable fisheries in their region. The harvesting of mussels there is a prime example of profitable Green Ocean Farming. I think about Cuba, and the Gardens of the Queen where a pristine marine ecosystem is intact, even with the existence of a lucrative lobster fishery, because of protections that are made possible through cooperation. I reflect on my time in Kanyakumari, India, and Honduras, and Madagascar and Greenland, where indigenous fisher-people are bringing back fewer and fewer fish to feed their villages.
I used to believe that the oceans could feed the world. I am not so sure of that today.
A fishery is "a place where fish are reared for commercial purposes; a fishing ground or area where fish are caught; or the occupation or industry of catching or rearing fish."
What I am sure of today is that if we don't start paying more attention, taking more action and making more real changes in policy, that we won't have any fisheries left at all.
I stand with the Musgmagw Dzawada’enuwx First Nations people, whose traditional territories are utilized illegally. I stand with artisanal fisher-people from around the world who rely on a healthy fishery for survival, including those in my home province of British Columbia.
Video: In British Columbia's Broughton Archipelago, at Midsummer Fish Farm, with footage from John and Jane Doe.
#WorldFisheriesDay | #TurningTheTide | #GetFishFarmsOut | @knowyourfish | @molinadawson | #ReconciliationCanada | @CleansingOurWaters | #drone | @sea_legacy

Broughton Archipelago

The holidays are almost here, and our team at SeaLegacy has partnered with @Maptia to offer some of our most iconic photos as gifts for loved ones or yourself. These images remind us every day that we’re all part of a global community working to protect our oceans. All proceeds support @Sea_Legacy’s mission to create healthy and abundant oceans for animals, like this newborn harp seal pup. Printed on crisp, high-quality paper by a fine art printer in the USA, each poster will ship in 5-7 business days, in time to arrive for the holidays. Link in bio. Photo: @CristinaMittermeier


You have to look twice to realize that this beautiful animal is not a large dog; it is actually a Rain Wolf. This genetic variation of the Timber wolf is much smaller and its food consists 90% on seafood. In the wild coasts of British Columbia, Rain Wolves swim in between islands and make a living on the seashore by hunting and scavenging for barnacles, mussels, and of course, salmon. Like everything else on this coast, salmon are the thread that ties the entire ecosystem together. With the arrival of open net salmon farms on this coast however, the wild fish, and every creature that depends on them, are disappearing. You can help! Click on my bio to hep us create change.

#TurningtheTide with @Sea_legacy. With @PaulNicklen and @tlalitlas_08

#getfishfarmsout #respectnature #indigenouspride #humanrights #ReconciliationCanada #wolf #beauty

Tofino, British Columbia