13 Things You Can Do To Help The Ocean

1. Reduce Your Plastic Usage

Plastics that end up as ocean debris contribute to add to habitat destruction causing  the deaths of tens of thousands of marine animals each year. To limit your impact, carry a reusable water bottle, store food in nondisposable containers, bring your own cloth tote or other reusable bag when shopping, and recycle whenever possible.

As well, reaching out to local restaurants, grocery stores and other places of business and request that they go plastic free is the step we must take to make a global difference.

At the current pace, plastic in the ocean is expected to outweigh fish by 2050 and that will only increase exponentially if there is not a plan put in place.

2. Vote responsibly & contact your representative

Electing the right public officials is essential to good ocean policy. Find a candidate who is willing to invest in our planets future and o your research to make an informed decision. Finally, make sure you vote and stay involved after Election Day. If you have concerns or questions, contact your representative. Contact your official here and check out Oceana’s Take Action page.

3. Eat sustainable seafood or do not eat it at all

Fisheries around the world are about to collapse and according to the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization, three quarters of the world’s fisheries are now overexploited, fully exploited, significantly depleted or recovering from overexploition. There are multiple ways you can ensure that the seafood you eat is sustainable including Monterey Aquarium’s SeafoodWatch website and App and asking or petitioning your local restaurants or markets to buy sustainable. Want to make a bigger difference just cut out seafood altogether.

4. Reduce energy use

CO2 from burning fossil fuels is driving man-made climate change and fatally impacting our oceans. Due to the burning of CO2, the oceans are becoming more acidic and we are watching the death of coral reefs around the world due to it including the Great Barrier Reef. There are countless ways you can make an impact which includes walking more, biking, using public transportation or even investing in a hybrid or electric car.

At home, make sure you use high efficiency appliances in your home, turn them off and unplug them when not in use, use fluorescent light bulbs and if you can opt into your energy companies clean energy plan, make sure you do.

6. Properly dispose of hazardous materials.

Motor oil, batteries  and other hazardous materials often end up washing into coastal areas because they aren’t disposed of properly.  This pollutes the water and hurts the overall health of our oceans. Be sure to dispose of hazardous waste in an environmentally safe way.

7. Use less fertilizer.

When fertilizers are used in gardening and agriculture, the excess eventually ends up in the ocean. One result is a “dead zone” — an area with very low levels of oxygen in the water — the size of New Jersey in the Gulf of Mexico during the spring and summer. Since all marine life requires oxygen to live, including fish and shrimp, they must flee the area or die. Many other coastal areas are at risk too. So, use fertilizer sparingly and remember more is usually not better.

8. Pick up garbage and litter near beaches.

Much of the plastic and debris found in the ocean has its beginnings in beach litter. As beach crowds increase, so does the amount of trash left behind. Don’t let your day at the beach contribute to the destruction of our oceans. Bring a trash bag with you for your garbage and volunteer for beach clean-ups.

9. Buy ocean-friendly products.

Avoid products produced through unsustainable or environmentally harmful methods. For example, avoid cosmetics containing shark squalene and jewelry made of coral or sea turtle shell. These products are directly linked to unsustainable fishing methods and the destruction of entire ecosystems.

10. Don’t Purchase Items That Exploit Marine Life

Certain products contribute to the harming of fragile coral reefs and marine populations. Avoid purchasing items such as coral jewelry, tortoiseshell hair accessories (made from hawksbill turtles), and shark products.

11. Influence Change in Your Community

Research the ocean policies of public officials before you vote or contact your local representatives to let them know you support marine conservation projects. Consider patronizing restaurants and grocery stores that offer only sustainable seafood, and speak up about your concerns if you spot a threatened species on the menu or at the seafood counter.

12. Share with a friend and educate others.

One of the biggest challenges facing the oceans is that most people just do not realize how large of a challenge the oceans face right now due to humans. Tell people what’s going on with the world’s oceans and what they can do to make a difference. Spread the word and follow us on twitter and Facebook to continue fighting for the ocean.

13. Join our team!

We are currently looking for volunteers for two the following two positions. Multiple volunteering positions open for both.

  • Campaign and petition organizer
  • Content Writers

If interested, please send an email to alarson@seavoicenews.com for more information!