NEW YORK (Reuters) - Actor and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio's conservation foundation said on Thursday it has awarded a $2 million grant to establish marine reserves and to stop overfishing.
DiCaprio, who was named a Messenger of Peace by the United Nations last month to raise awareness about climate change, said the money provided to Oceans 5 will support marine conservation projects around the globe.
Ocean 5 is an international funders' collaborative that supports groups working on ocean conservation projects.
"The sad truth is that less than two percent of our oceans are fully protected. We need to change that now," DiCaprio, 39, said in a statement.
The Oscar-nominated star of "The Wolf of Wall Street" and "The Aviator" said the funds will support projects to create protected areas in the Pacific Islands and the Arctic, to improve enforcement of fishing regulations in Europe, the United States and Central America, and to protect threatened shark populations.
Last year the foundation awarded a $3 million grant to the World Wildlife Fund to help Nepal increase its tiger population and raised $38.8 million through donations and an art auction at Christie's in New York.
DiCaprio established his foundation in 1998. It aims to protect the environment and preserve the planet's natural resources and wildlife.
(Reporting by Patricia Reaney; Editing by Piya Sinha-Roy and James Dalgleish)