¬†¬†¬†¬† Our oceans are imperiled, thanks mostly to human activity, much of¬†which is¬†simply careless.¬† Fortunately, there are steps all of us can take to help improve the health of our oceans.¬†
¬†¬†¬†¬† But first, a brief rundown on the state of the seas from the Nature Conservancy:
¬†¬†¬†¬† Human activities are taking a “terrible toll” on the world’s oceans and seas.¬† Vulnerable marine ecosystems, such as corals, and important fisheries are being damaged by over-exploitation, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, destructive fishing practices, invasive alien species and marine pollution, especially from land-based sources.
¬†¬†¬†¬† A rising tide of marine litter is harming oceans and beaches worldwide.¬† According to¬†the UN Environment Programme and Ocean Conservancy’s first attempt to take stock of the marine litter situation in the 12 major seas around the world, cigarettes and plastic, especially plastic bags and¬†PET bottles, is the most pervasive type of marine litter around the world.
¬†¬†¬†¬† Some of the litter, like thin-film single-use plastic bags which choke marine life, should be banned or phased-out rapidly everywhere ‚ÄĒ there is simply zero justification for manufacturing them anymore, anywhere.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†”This report is a reminder that carelessness and indifference is proving deadly for our oceans and its inhabitants,” says Philippe Cousteau, CEO of EarthEcho International and Ocean Conservancy board member.
¬†¬†¬†¬† To help improve the health¬†of our oceans, the Nature Conservancy suggests we citizens of the world take the following¬†10 steps:
- Reduce plastic consumption with reusable shopping bags, water bottles and utensils.
- Make informed seafood choices. Keep a copy of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s seafood guide in your wallet or text Blue Ocean’s FishPhone to help you choose sustainable seafood at the grocery store or a restaurant.¬† (See the following entry on this site:¬† http://www.theearthconnection.org/blog/2009/02/protecting-marine-life-as-easy-as-cell-phone-texting/)
- Dispose of chemicals properly. Never pour chemicals, pharmaceuticals, oil or paint into the drain or toilets. Check with your county’s household hazardous waste program to properly dispose of or recycle chemicals and keep them out of rivers and oceans.
- Choose green detergents and household cleaners.
- Get the dirt on your beachside retreat. Before you stay in a hotel on the coast, ask staff what happens to their sewage and swimming pool water, and if they source their restaurant fish from sustainable sources.
- Find out the source of your food. Buying local, organic food reduces your carbon footprint, supports the local economy and reduces the amount of pesticides and fertilizers that¬†run¬†into rivers and oceans.
- Fill your yard with native species. Reducing the amount of grass in your lawn by planting native shrubs and flower beds will provide a better habitat for birds and other wildlife and require less water and fertilizer, which can run off into into rivers and oceans.
- Keep your beach visit clean. Stay off fragile sand dunes, take your trash with you and leave plants, birds and wildlife for everyone to enjoy.
- Choose alternatives to coral when shopping for jewelry, household decor or accessories for fish tanks.
- Celebrate our oceans.