The global Ocean covers 72% of the Earth surface, and it does more than its share to sustain life on Planet Earth. It feeds us, and is the source of the water we drink and the air we breathe. It provides precious minerals, metals and energy resources, and generates revenues and jobs in marine-related industries. Yet, we have failed miserably in protecting the Ocean from harm.
In fact, for too long, humans have exploited natural resources and misused the environment in such disdainful, foolhardy ways that as much as 40% of the world oceans have been severely affected by pollution, depleted fisheries, and loss of coastal habitats, and the escalating damage now threatens the survival of future generations. *Some sad facts:
- 6.5 million tons of litter enters the world’s oceans each year, and 50% is long-lasting plastic that will drift for hundreds of years before it is degraded.
- 80% of marine pollution comes from land-based sources.
- Human health suffers from the contamination of coastal waters. [250 million/year cases of gastroenteritis and respiratory disease; 50,000-100,000/year deaths caused by eating infected shellfish]
- 60% of the Pacific and 35% of the Atlantic coast shorelines are eroding at a rate of one meter each year.
- About 30% of the world’s reefs are seriously damaged and 60% could be lost by 2030.
- 75% of fisheries worldwide are fully exploited or overexploited. If habitat destruction and over fishing continue, the world’s seafood populations could collapse by 2048.
BIG, powerful (sometimes dangerous), and a beautiful BLUE, humans have a strong affinity for the Ocean. We love to play and explore at, in and near ocean waters as well as sit, walk and drive on a beach for hours. The sounds, smells and just the feel of the sea air seem to trigger a sense of peace and calm in the human brain, and there are also feelings of awe and joy in being so close to nature and wildlife. Unfortunately, the Ocean and sea life are suffering after many decades of human abuse and neglect, and there won’t be much left for future generations unless we stop the destruction and make big changes in how we live and care for this critical life force.
RIGHT NOW 💙 LET’S DO BETTER
You cannot get through a single day without having an impact in the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make. —Dame Jane Morris Goodall
♥ Each and every day, Be Mindful about energy consumption at work and at home. Teach children about the importance of energy saving alternatives, and enact eco-friendly company polices.
♥ Choose seafood that is sustainable. Express your concern should you notice a threatened species offered by a seafood supplier, on a restaurant menu, or at a grocery seafood counter.
♥ Try to reduce/eliminate plastic containers, straws and bags from your life. Reuse and Recycle when possible. If you live or work in an area that does not provide recycling pick-up services and/or has not yet adopted a plastic bag ban ordinance, get things going by voicing your concern and the community’s needs. [Check out Emma Nelson’s 5 clever ideas to reduce the plastic in your life]
♥ Appreciate and Respect the Beach. Don’t litter. Clean up after yourself. Don’t interfere with wildlife. Don’t remove rocks or coral.
♥ Be Responsible when enjoying water sports and recreation. Brush up on ‘Ocean Etiquette’, and follow water and boating safety rules. Never throw anything into the Ocean. If you’re planning a cruise holiday, research to find the most eco-friendly options.
♥ Don’t sell or purchase products made of materials that harm marine life, such as coral, tortoiseshell, sharkskin.
♥ Be an ‘Ocean-Friendly’ pet owner. Look for sustainable seafood ingredients on pet food labels. Allow your dog only on designated dog beaches, never leave your dog unattended at the beach (keep on leash or under voice control), and if there is an accident, clean up the doggie poop. Never flush cat litter down a toilet. Avoid stocking aquariums with wild-caught saltwater fish, and never release aquarium fish into the Ocean or any other body of water.
♥ Support organizations working to protect the Ocean by giving financial support, joining campaign efforts, and/or volunteering Ocean Conservancy The World Ocean Network Green Peace The Ocean Project World Wildlife Fund O’Neill Sea Odyssey Sea Shepherd Sea Legacy
♥ Influence Change in Government. Research the ocean protection policies and voting records of public officials and platforms of political candidates before you vote, and let your representatives know you support laws that protect our oceans, beaches and sea life.
American voters: Click here to view environmental record of all members of Congress → National Environmental Scorecard Contact your state and federal representatives to let them know you support ocean conservation projects, and ask them to do the same (find your US congressional representatives → HERE
Australian voters: The Open Australia Foundation – Did I really vote for that? Discover voting records of politicians in federal parliament and official register of interests
Canadian voters: Keeping Tabs on Parliament – Find your MP, see what your representative is saying and what laws they are proposing
UK voters: They Work For You Search Parliament and Assemblies by name, party, position, and topics of debate
You’ll be surprised to see what lies
beneath the waves – Art Underwater
The “Underwater Discoveries” On2In2™ video collection
allows you to swim through the unique beauty of sea life,
without the dive gear. FREE to watch, on-demand
“Saving our Ocean” is an edited version of an article originally published on the “Zblog” by Zeester Media LLC
*Information/Statistical Sources: Ocean Conservancy, The World Ocean Network, and The United Nations (World Oceans Day)
⇒ International Coastal Cleanup Day is celebrated annually the third Saturday in September.
(Save the Date: September 21, 2019)
Nearly 800,000 volunteers collected more than 18 million pounds of trash during the 2015 International Coastal Cleanup project. (In 2016, 18.4 million pounds were collected). This graphic from Ocean Conservancy lists the top ten category items collected in 2015. Top of the list– at #1 is cigarette butts. Then, it’s plastic, glass and some metal: 2) plastic beverage bottles; 3) food wrappers; 4) plastic bottle caps; 5) straws/stirrers; 6) other plastic bags; 7) glass beverage bottles; 8) plastic grocery bags; 9) metal bottle caps; 10) plastic lids
How to turn plastic trash found on the beach
into a work of art → Art Transforming Trash
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• The beautiful blue Ocean wave photo is courtesy of Emiliano Arano/Pexels CC0
• Ocean Heart photo is courtesy of Jeremy Bishop/Unsplash CC0