Updated: Dec 27, 2020
The oceans cover a little over 70% of the surface area on Earth. They assist in regulating weather patterns and climate, absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, provide various food sources and economic value, and so much more. The protection of the oceans from pollution and plastics, exploitation, and the impacts of climate change should be top priority; as life on land would be nothing without the systems at play beneath the sea.
With the ever-growing environmental movement in 2020, 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.
Below you will find recommendations for anyone looking to find out how they can build a stronger reputation as an ocean advocate.
People are more likely to protect what they love and spend time doing. For you, maybe you are a frequent ocean explorer, or perhaps years go by for you without any time spent near the ocean. Regardless, there are so many ways we can all involve ourselves, friends, and family in activities that help protect ocean environments.
Research the next beach clean up in your area or attend an ocean conservation event. This year, many have been held virtually, from the comfort of home. Opportunities like this are a great way to learn and connect with like minded individuals who share your reasons for showing up.
The Earth is directly affected by political powers. Take the time to sort through political candidates and policies to find those who you believe will best protect environmental equity and ocean pollution. 2020 has been 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.
Protecting the ocean can be as simple as protecting the ocean’s inhabitants. Industrial fishing is a serious contributor to ocean pollution in the form of chemicals and debris such as fishing nets and plastic. These items are the cause of hundreds of thousands of marine deaths every single year. In order to meet the demand of seafood and ocean products, these industries are often loosely regulated. Reducing your intake of seafood, catching your own, or buying from a local market can help reduce your personal impact on the deterioration and exploitation of ocean species. 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. If unable, just donate when you can! Thankfully, there are so many incredible organizations and nonprofits to choose from who work 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 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, event, or donation opportunity. Get creative in the ways that you inspire others to join in!