The ocean has provided beauty and sanctuary for many, and now it needs our help in return. In honor of World Oceans Day, here are five ways I’ve learned to say thank you to the ocean that everyone can do to celebrate World Oceans Day.
1. Learn core issues
Becoming aware of the imminent problems affecting the ocean is one of the best ways to help. As we learn and share our knowledge with others, we can create a chain reaction that motivates countless individuals to make a difference. Get informed by checking out nonprofits that share accurate information on the ocean's problems, watching documentaries and visiting nonprofit aquariums to learn more while supporting a great cause.
2. Choose sustainable seafood
Many nonprofit organizations have predicted that marine life may be extinct within the next few decades. That’s why it’s essential to start making changes now, and sustainable seafood is one of the most beneficial ways we can save marine life. One helpful resource is the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch. It offers practical options for seafood lovers to make choices that won’t contribute to the extinction of marine life.
3. Clean the beach
There are many ways to use our very hands to help keep the ocean clean, so why not pick up some trash while admiring the ocean? Many organizations set up cleaning events to remove trash from the shores, like the Ocean Blue Project. Even simply choosing to pick up after ourselves and others when visiting the ocean helps make a difference.
4. Limit plastic use
There are approximately 150 million metric tons of plastic already floating in the ocean. Debris is destructive to marine life and the ocean environment, so limiting plastic use can help. Switching to reusable bags, straws and containers prevents large amounts of plastic waste from entering the ocean.
5. Sign helpful petitions
One of the easiest ways to make a big difference for the future of the ocean is to sign petitions to protect and restore it. A great resource for finding petitions is Oceana’s Take Action page, which promotes important causes that need your signature. Signing these petitions can have a massive impact on the ocean and help marine life thrive.
If we all make an active effort to help save the ocean and the marine life that lives in it, we will make significant changes that say thank you, ocean!
Photos by Voices for Biodiversity volunteer team: Debra Denker, Georgia Woodroffe, Symber Canepari