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World Oceans Day 2018

Four Ways You Can Help Our Seas

Friday, June 08, 2018 written by Bianca Greeff and photographed by Mika Miller


Happy World Oceans Day! The ocean is an amazing place that touches our lives every day, even here in the middle of Utah. It produces half the oxygen we breathe1, provides medicine, regulates the climate2, and is the primary protein source for 3.5 billion people. But these and other critical ecosystem services are at risk as human needs continue to strain the ocean’s living systems.

Between over-fishing, pollution, and climate change humans are damaging the ocean. We have fished species to the brink of extinction3, changed the temperature and chemistry of ocean water4, and soon there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish5. Luckily, there are many simple actions you can do at home to help the ocean!

1. Make Sustainable Seafood Choices. Global fisheries are depleted due to ecosystem damage and unsustainable fishing. Choosing responsibly caught fish encourages fishers to incorporate more sustainable practices. To find out if your seafood choices are sustainable, click here.


2. Lower Your Carbon Footprint. Atmospheric carbon dioxide is changing the ocean’s chemistry quicker than species can adapt6. Combining trips, carpooling, maintaining your car, or taking alternative transportation such as a bike, are quick ways to reduce your carbon emissions.

3. Reduce Your Plastic Use. Avoiding plastic straws, using a reusable water bottle, recycling, and using reusable grocery bags can decrease the amount of plastic that ends up in the ocean.

4. Visit the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium. All life on Earth is connected to the sea. Learning about marine species can improve our understanding of the ocean and how we are impacting it.

Sources:

  1. http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/facts/oceanproduction.html
  2. http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/facts/climate.html
  3. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/jan/09/overfishing-pacific-bluefin-tuna
  4. https://www.epa.gov/climate-indicators/oceans
  5. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/01/20/by-2050-there-will-be-more-plastic-than-fish-in-the-worlds-oceans-study-says/?utm_term=.ff6e2c75a3a5
  6. http://ocean.si.edu/ocean-acidification
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