Here’s an important reminder: We live in an aquatic world.
About 71% of the earth is covered in water and 96.5% of that water is held by the oceans. That means more water than there is land — shocker, right? In this watery world, our health is intimately linked to the health of our oceans. The ocean and its inhabitants do a vital task of absorbing most of the CO2 in the atmosphere that we and other lifeforms can’t take in and turns it into oxygen, spreading around excess heat that would otherwise kill off most of the ecosystem and allow disease to spread.
As the atmosphere gets warmer (ahem, global warming) it’s more difficult for the ocean and marine life like coral and other plants to photosynthesize CO2. Thus, the ocean’s acidity levels rise and upsets an already fragile ecosystem that’s more necessary to the health and stability of the entire planet than we humans care to admit or even know.
Sadly, In our time, we’re faced with heartbreaking realities like bleached and damaged coral reefs, the loss of almost 90% of the big fish species in the sea and an apathetic attitude from us that goes on with business as usual despite it all.
Legendary oceanographer, founder of the ocean Hope Spots, Mission Blue and my personal maritime heroine (THERE IS NO CHILL HERE), Dr. Sylvia Earle, says that “these next five years may be the most important in the next ten thousand years for our planet”. So, we can choose to interpret that as a burden to bear or an incredible opportunity to go guns blazing, full-speed ahead and truly make a positive impact. I don’t know about you, but I’m going for the second option.
Even though this message sounds more doom and gloom-y than empowering (sorry about that), there are silver linings. Collectively lowering our greenhouse gas emissions can reduce the temperature of the ocean’s most important top layers to prevent things from really going wrong. While this might sound like a daunting task, there are so many ways for you to be an ocean activist everyday.
Here are the many ways to take inspired action.
Stay In the Know
Knowledge is power and being informed is key. Sometimes these facts are overwhelming or even hard to hear but being passive or disconnected is more harmful than doing your part to understand a situation. Follow organizations like Surfrider, NOAA and Mission Blue on Twitter and social media to learn about the issues at hand, important scientific facts and how you can do your part.
Watch Dr. Sylvia Earle’s beautiful and inspiring TED talk on our one chance for ocean conservation:
Sign petitions. Send emails. Make calls. Former Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell says that many politicians don’t like pressure from the outside and they hear you when you get loud. Find a cause you really care about and speak up! It may seem simple at first but every action and inaction counts.
Currently, I’m supporting Surfrider’s Kill the Drill petition to help stop the expansion of offshore drilling near my family’s coastal town. The image below shows what our coasts would look like if oil rigs were to start drilling in the ocean. Personally, I won’t stand to see a reminder of our carelessness and the threats imposed upon our ocean.
For all the small efforts we make to protect our coasts, there are ten more women and men behind the scenes working hard to make a change. Especially with the Trump administration’s attack on the environmental and scientific community they need even more support to continue on. Consider donating monthly to organizations who are making waves (get it?) such as,