The oceans cover around three-quarters of the surface area on Earth. They assist in regulating weather patterns and climate, they absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, provide various food sources and significant economic value around the globe, and this is only scratching the surface. Life on land would be nothing without the systems at play beneath the sea, which is exactly why it’s so important to protect them.
With climate change at the forefront for voters in the 2020 election year, many of us may find ourselves asking how we can be of more service to the protection and advocacy of oceans near and far. In doing so, we can feel a greater sense of connection to our environment. We may also feel a greater sense of connection to the people around us who are also doing their part and research on advocating for ocean protection. Voting is just one of many ways we can take part in this. For example:
People are more likely to protect what they love and what they spend their time doing. Maybe you’re a frequent ocean explorer or maybe years go without so much as seeing the ocean. Regardless, there are many ways we can all involve ourselves, friends, family, and even businesses in activities that help protect ocean environments.
Research the next beach clean up in your area or attend an ocean conservation event. Opportunities like this are a great way to learn and connect with like-minded individuals who share your reasons for showing up. An excellent upcoming opportunity for environmental education is the 2020 Rising Tide Summit in California from March 26th to the 28th. Attendees will learn about the most pressing issues facing ocean environments and bring solutions to the table on how to execute fresh and innovative ideas to solve them.
The Earth is directly affected by who is voting and what those votes are for and against. Take time to sort through political candidates and policies to find those you believe will best protect environmental equity and ocean pollution. This new year of 2020 will be a pivotal year for environmental changes; make sure your vote is behind who and what you believe will best represent the needs of the planet in the political and economic realm. Start by taking a pledge at VoteTheOcean.org.
Protecting the ocean can be as simple as protecting its inhabitants. Industrial fishing is a serious contributor to ocean pollution, for example, in the form of chemicals and debris like fishing nets and plastic. These items are the cause of hundreds of thousands of marine animal deaths every single year. In order to meet the demand for seafood and ocean products, these industries are very loosely regulated. Reducing your intake of seafood, or catching your own, or buying from a very local market helps to reduce your personal impact on the deterioration and exploitation of ocean species.
One emerging solution that looks promising is Aquaculture, the harvesting of fish, shellfish, and aquatic plants for food. Basically, it’s farming in water and is seen as an environmentally responsible source of food and commercial products that also helps to create healthier habitats. In turn, you will help strengthen the resilience of oceanic ecosystems.
One of the best ways to continuously make a difference in ocean protection is donating a percent of your salary once a month or once per year to a credible organization whose mission you align with. Thankfully, there are so many of these incredible organizations and nonprofits to choose from who work incredibly hard to ensure the oceans are protected, spoken for, and appreciated by all for years to come.
Knowledge is power; this we all know. Change happens through the spread of knowledge mixed with action. To help create even more momentum behind the environmental movement, consider something as simple as sharing this post with someone you know. Or, simply share something you learned from this post with the next person you see. Take it a step further and invite them to an environmental summit. You’ll be surprised at what a difference it can make.