World Ocean Day is an event put on by a number of global agencies, including the United Nations and Oceanic Global. The purpose is to draw attention to the importance of our oceans, and many of the problems our oceans suffer from.
This year, the theme is, “Revitalization: Collective Action for the Ocean.” Our oceans are at a dangerous tipping point, and if we continue to treat it the way we currently are, it may no longer be able to support us.
Among the many problems the oceans suffer from, coral bleaching events are killing the reefs, fishing gear is entangling and killing whales, algae blooms are starving manatees, and much more.
We need to not only become aware of the problems facing our oceans, but also take actionable steps to help solve them. Fortunately, there’s plenty we can do to help support our oceans.
Talk about the problems
Your biggest super power is your voice. Many politicians aren’t aware of environmental issues or think other issues are more important. Every time you email a company or public figurehead to address ocean health or other environmental issues, you’re letting them know that the people who vote for them think it’s important.
Even if your emails seem to fall on deaf ears, keep doing it. The more pressure, the more likely real change will happen.
Live near the oceans, or a river? Cleaning up trash can be a great way to help support the oceans. Every piece you find on a river bank is one less floating out to sea. Even if you live far inland, cleaning up river banks can still help the oceans because rivers eventually flow out to sea.
If you don’t live near a river or the open ocean, consider volunteering. You can host an event that helps educate others on the importance of the ocean, or directly support the people that do so.
Where you put your money can also impact the oceans. If you eat seafood, choosing to eat an invasive species over a native one can help ocean life instead of harming it. Avoiding plastic waste means one less bag, box, or bottle that could potentially end up out to sea.
Every time you purchase a product that is ocean friendly, you’re sending a message to big business that this is where the money is at. It can help drive innovation to do better.
Donating directly to charities that support ocean health can also help oceans stay alive and healthy. Great foundations include Parley for the Oceans, Oceana and the Ocean Defender’s Alliance. These charities work on various causes from protecting whales to cleaning plastic from the oceans, all of which benefit the health of our waters.
We need clean oceans to survive. The oceans are responsible for half of the oxygen in our air, and are a critical source of food, biodiversity, and environmental health. This World Ocean Day, take action to support the waters that help support you.