Our oceans, ourselves. This statement is not an exaggeration. Statistics vary, but scientists agree that from 50-70% of the oxygen in each breath comes from plants and algae in the ocean. Yet, our plastic waste has created a gigantic plastic soup in the Pacific the size of Russia.Plankton are one of the most important organisms on our planet, however, marine samples in the North Pacific show that plastic outweighs plankton 6 to 1. This soup is growing as we speak at the rate of 8 football fields every second, and is made of mainly of plastic bottles, caps and above all PLASTIC BAGS. Each individual must think about how our continued reliance on plastic in all areas of our lives is impacting our oceans, and our future.
The United Nations September 2019 Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate highlights provides new evidence for the benefits of limiting global warming to the lowest possible level – in line with the goal that governments set themselves in the 2015 Paris Agreement. The ocean and the cryosphere – the frozen parts of the planet – play a critical role for life on Earth. Global warming has already reached 1°C above the pre-industrial level, due to past and current greenhouse gas emissions. There is overwhelming evidence that this is resulting in profound consequences for ecosystems and people. The ocean is warmer, more acidic and less productive. Melting glaciers and ice sheets are causing sea level rise, and coastal extreme events are becoming more severe. The report reveals the benefits of ambitious and effective adaptation for sustainable development and, conversely, the escalating costs and risks of delayed action.
Sylvia Earle , has been at the frontier of deep ocean exploration for 4 decades. In her Ted Talk, she shares astonishing images of the ocean--and it's shocking stats about it's rapid decline, and her wish that we join her in protecting the vital blue heart of the planet.
Join Ocean Conservancy, bringing people, science and policy together to champion innovative solutions and fight for sustainable oceans. For over 40 years they have worked to protect vital ecosystems, defend critical legislation and enforce accountability of leaders and legislators and rally the efforts to remove trash from our beaches.
Be daring and speak up about the things you love that need protecting; share what you learn with anyone who will listen. Write letters to your legislators. Many conservation organizations have email lists to subscribe to that allow you to sign petitions. Talk to a school class, pass on information and inspiration on social media. Trust that YOUR VOICE MATTERS!
The U.S. Congress held the very first hearing on how climate change impacted our oceans in February 2019. Watch the hearing and expert testimony on how climate change alters ocean chemistry, leading to warmer seas, sea level rise, and coastal flooding, impacting coastal communities and ecosystems like the coral reefs. Write to your congress person to actively support legislation that protects our precious Oceans.
4. Reduce your carbon footprint:
Carbonfund,org, information to help reduce what you can, offset what you can't
5. Support conservation organizations:
Carl Safina, author, conservationist and founding president of the Safina Center. "Watching the places I loved disapear turned me into a conservationist. What drives my work is a devotion to conservation, and what drives that devotion is a deep love and wonder for the living world".
6. Volunteer to organizations that work for clean oceans. streams, lakes and rivers:
Mission Blue, Sylvia Earle's initiative to ignite public support for the protection of Hope Spots--special places that are vital to the health of the ocean
Sanctuary Forest, a land trust in Northern California who conserves the Mattole River watershed, an important flowage to the ocean that runs thru old growth Redwood forests, protecting and restoring important salmon habitat.
Ocean Conservancy organizes actions to clean up the oceans, with the goal of "Trash Free Seas"