By Fredrica Syren:
Today is World Ocean Day and today people around globe celebrate and honor the ocean which is essential for our survival. It’s a time to get together with your family, friends, community, and the planet to start creating a better future. Working together, we can and will protect our shared ocean.
Did you know that every other breath we take comes from the Ocean’s breath — from the oxygen produced by its phytoplankton and its rich marine plant life. Oceans cover 71% of our planet and today humans are harming the oceans far more than we realized.
There are many ways our ocean is being harmed:
Millions of tons of plastic waste are literally floating around in the Pacific Ocean, which has become the world’s largest plastic dump. Known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, it’s responsible for killing a million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals each year. It also spreads harmful algae and man-made pollutants into the food chain. It’s estimated that 90% of all trash polluting the ocean is plastic and that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in our ocean.
The ocean absorbs about 25 percent of the carbon dioxide humans produce each year and, as it is absorbed, it dissolves to form carbonic acid. This results in the ocean’s becoming more acidic, which changes the delicate pH balance that millions and millions of organisms rely on.
The Food and Agriculture Organizationestimates that over 70% of the world’s fish species have been exploited or depleted. Not only will fishing boats pull up the fish they want, but also harvest other unwanted marine life that then will die. The problem with this kind of fishing is that, by capturing fish faster and in big qualities, we’re harming an entire eco-system.
Farm raised fish seem like an answer to overfishing, but the truth is that farmed fish feed on an unnatural diet of processed pellets that may contain higher levels of chemicals. Fish farms also cause damage and danger to our environment since pollutants such as feces, chemicals, antibiotics and sick fish may leak into our water due to human error.
Destruction of coral reef
The coral reefs are a globally important ecosystem, and the threat against them is earth’s warming waters. Due to the most powerful El Nino on record, the world’s oceans have been heated to never-before-seen levels. Corals turn white as they expel the symbiotic algae that normally live within them. This has led to the death of the largest patches of reefs on record. Another problem for coral reefs is the pollution of chemicals in sunblock that also adds to the destruction of coral reef.
Luckily, there is still time for humans to halt the damage if we make a real effort. According to World Ocean Dayhere are some things each of us can do:
- Change perspective – encourage individuals to think about what the ocean means to them and what it has to offer all of us with hopes of conserving it for present and the future generations.
- Learn – discover the wealth of diverse and beautiful ocean creatures and habitats, how our daily actions affect them, and how we are all interconnected.
- Change our ways – we are all linked to, and through, the ocean! By taking care of your backyard and helping in your community, you are acting as a caretaker of our ocean. Making small modifications to your everyday habits will make a difference, and involving your family, friends, and community will benefit our blue planet even more!
- Celebrate – whether you live inland or on the coast, we are all connected to the ocean. Take the time to think about how the ocean affects you, and how you affect the ocean, and then organize or participate in activities that celebrate our ocean.
My family and I will be helping Surf Riders in San Diego cleaning the beach at Ocean Beach Pier today. My husband who is an avid runner was in need of new running shoes and this time we’re happy to find running shoes made from recycled ocean plastic from Parley. These shoes are part of a collaboration between Adidas and Parley in an effort to decrease ocean plastic, and instead, add them into clothing and shoes. They also have a an app called Runtasticwhich is a running app that for one-month runners around the world come together to show their commitment to the cause in June through July. adidas contributed US$ 1 for every kilometer run and capped at one million dollars to the Parley Ocean School Initiative in the Maldives.