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This Billionaire Is Giving Back By Giving Away His Fortune To Save The Ocean

By Brian Spaen

A Norwegian billionaire that used to run an offshore drilling company has decided to use most of his fortune on a state-of-the-art marine research vessel. Called the Research Expedition Vessel, or REV, it will carry up to 100 scientists and crew members that aid in the efforts to clean up ocean pollution. The creation of the vessel is in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund. While that activity is far and away from oil drilling, it’s a gigantic contribution to remove trash from our waters.

Kjell Inge Rokke is worth $2.7 billion and holds the biggest stake in Aker Drilling, which was founded in 2005 and acquired by Transocean in 2011. Drilling for oil and gas has long affected the environment. Fencing off animals and their habitat creates an obstruction for any migration or hunting needs. Approximately 1.3 million gallons of oil are spilled into US waters every year and obviously impacts the habitat there as well.

Rokke tells Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten (via Norway Today) that he hopes the REV will be his contribution back to the environment: “The sea has given me great opportunities. I’m grateful for that. I want to give back to society the bulk of what I’ve earned. This ship is a part of that. The idea of such a ship has evolved over many years, but the plans have become concrete in the past year.”