Prof Derrick Schwartz has been intrigued by the sea since he was a boy. It was this fascination and his recognition of the value of marine sciences that encouraged him to promote the seas, marine life and oceanography at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. As a consequence of his enthusiasm he has taken NMMU into a leadership role in marine science, education and conservation. He told Dr Tony Ribbink, CEO of Sustainable Seas Trust, that for as long as he can remember, Dr Sylvia Earle has been a hero of his. Not surprisingly, therefore, NMMU conferred an honorary doctorate on Dr Earle in 2013. Prof Swartz joined Dr Earle on the board of patrons of SST when he too became a Patron in December 2014, and provides an academic balance and a valuable link to students at a time when the present generation of young people are assuming a critical responsibility for the planet. Every member of the Board of Trustees of SST is delighted that Prof Swartz accepted the invitation to become a patron.