What You Can Do on This World Oceans Day

What You Can Do on This World Oceans Day

By Emily Cristobal & Kaeley Sterkel
Photo by Christian Miller

June 8, 2020

Every year on June 8th, people around the world celebrate World Oceans Day. Through events and actions big and small, we are able to come together to honor the life and beauty of the five oceans that connect us all together. 

Here are just a few ways you can protect and restore our oceans.

Limit Single Use Plastics

Instead of using plastic bottles, bags, straws, cutlery, and containers, replace these with reusable versions that are more sustainable for the environment and for your wallet. You can find all of these items through Amazon and your local grocery store. By limiting the use of plastic, you are directly reducing pollution in our oceans. 

Beach Clean Up

Picking up trash and plastic debris improves coastal and ocean ecosystems, preventing the killing of marine life and ensuring that toxic chemicals do not disrupt the marine life cycle. Although participating in organized beach clean-ups are helpful, it is also important to make sure that you do not leave any trash behind when you enjoy a beach day. Bring a bag for your trash and trash you find, make sure to tie it down so it doesn’t fly away, and throw it out when you leave.

Avoid Ocean Harming Products

When going to the beach, use reef safe sunscreen. Recent studies have found that the chemicals used in sunscreen (oxybenzone and octinoxate) have detrimental effects on coral reefs and our oceans. Because of this, it is important to read the labels of sunscreen products you buy and opt in for organic, reef safe sunscreens. 

Eat Sustainable Seafood

There are apps such as Seafood Watch you can find on the app store that are free and show you which fish in your area is being caught sustainably.  It is always best to buy local and seasonal fish because locals have a smaller carbon footprint and are usually cheaper.  Also make sure that the fish are line caught which is the most sustainable method of catching fish.  Lastly, try and say away from fish that are endangered such as bigeye and bluefin tuna.

Get Involved and Vote

There are always different acts and policies getting pushed through congress that need your support! The Reducing Waste in National Parks Act was reversed in 2017 which had led to a spike in single use plastic litter in beautiful National Parks and ended up in the ocean. HR 1834 was introduced to stop the use of sunscreen containing oxybenzone or octinoxate in National Marine Sanctuaries. In order to enact change on issues you care about, you can contact your local and federal elected officials and vote to pass bills that will help our environment.

Support Organizations and Foundations that Work to Protect and Restore Our Oceans

Along with contacting lawmakers and voting to pass bills, an easy way to show your support is by donating and joining organizations like Ocean Alliance, which is dedicated to the conservation of whales and their marine environment through research and education. Supporting organizations and foundations like this, will help in spreading awareness and creating change for a better and healthier future.

 

 

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