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Happy World Ocean Day!
Posted on February 17 2022,
Most of us live far from any Ocean , yet the Ocean makes up over 70% of the planet. It's our life force supporting our vital needs and that of every single organism on the planet. The ocean produces well over 50% of the planets oxygen and is home to most of the earth's biodiversity. And yet it needs our help.
Did You Know?
94% of the earth's living species exist within the Oceans.
Humans have explored less than 5% of the Ocean.
The Mid Ocean Ridge is the longest chain of mountain stretching 65,000 kilometres and is less explored than the surface of Venus or Mars.
Around 1,000 shipwrecks lie off the Florida Keys alone, some of which are within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Other underwater museums have been created in recent years, including the Mediterranean’s submerged bronze statue, Christ of the Abyss.
There is 240,470 accepted marine species registered but it's believed this is just a small number of species out there.
With the destruction of many rainforests, the ocean is overwhelmingly becoming our main source for oxygen with estimates of 70-80% of the oxygen we breathe being produced by marine plants. (Which is why the coral reefs being damaged is such a significant problem.)
Rivers and Lakes can be found beneath the Ocean!
With 90% of big fish populations depleted, and 50% of coral reefs destroyed, we are taking more from the ocean than can be replenished. To protect and preserve the ocean and all it sustains, we must create a new balance, rooted in true understanding of the ocean and how humanity relates to it. We must build a connection to the ocean that is inclusive, innovative, and informed by lessons from the past.
What Can We Do?
Don't Just Buy Plastic Free Options... Demand Companies Switch to Them
An estimated 17.6 billion pounds of plastic leaks into the marine environment from land-based sources every year—that’s roughly equivalent to dumping a garbage truck full of plastic into our oceans every minute. And plastics never go away! A free single use plastic examples: straws, plastic cutlery, coffee cups, water bottles, plastic bags, balloons, plastic-wrapped produce and take-out food containers.
Reduce your Carbon Footprint
Carbon dioxide, is making our oceans more acidic. The increasing acid levels is a major contributor in the destruction of our corals.
You can reduce your carbon footprint by adopting some of these simple measures:
• Ride a bike, walk or use public transportation rather than driving a car.
• Turn off the lights when you leave a room.
• Put on a sweater in the winter instead of turning up your thermostat.
Avoid Ocean Harming Products
Avoid cosmetics that contain shark squalene, jewelry made of coral or sea turtle shell, souvenir shells of conchs, nautiluses and other animals, and single-use plastics like straws and water bottles that can end up in our oceans. These products support unsustainable fishing and threaten important species and ecosystems.
Eat Sustainable Seafood
Seafood Watch helps you make sustainable choices when you buy or order seafood, and learn about eco-certification of seafood.
Vote on Ocean Issues
Who we put in charge of our countries have direct impacts on the world. Instead of picking a side pick who stands for what you believe in and hold them accountable.
Explore the Oceans
“People protect what they love.” – Jacques-Yves Cousteau. Most of us are nowhere near an Ocean so explore rivers, lakes and all waterways. The more of us that appreciate 70% of our earth the more likely we are to protect and heal it.
Leave Nothing Behind
I can't stress this one enough. If there is one thing we can all do it's don't litter. It amazes me how we are almost all told growing up not to litter and how you can even be charged if caught littering. And yet especially on vacation and holidays humans litter without batting an eye. When I travelled to Bali in 2019 I could not believe the waste left along the roads and beaches. Don’t let your day outside contribute to the destruction of our oceans. Collect and dispose of your trash, use aquatic species friendly sunscreen and leave nothing behind but your footprints.