Tomorrow, June 8 is World Ocean Day. Organizations and communities from around the world will join to celebrate the Earth’s largest life-support system and marine conservation.
- For 2.6 billion people, the ocean is their primary source of protein.
- For 3 billion people, the ocean is their livelihood.
- For all of us, the ocean absorbs more than 30 percent of carbon dioxide produced by humans, allowing us to survive.
- A recent estimate suggests that there may be as many as 1 million species of non-bacterial life in the world’s waterways YET to be identified.
- Though Earth is 70 percent water, an incredible 90 percent of it has yet to be discovered.
Events are held around the world. Exhibitions of underwater photography showcase the beauty of the ocean and are also addressing the issue of protecting the health of the oceans.
Even if you can’t make it to a World Oceans Day event near you, you can spread the word online. On cyberspace, ReefLive – a day-long event will take you on a guided underwater tour through one of the world’s greatest natural wonders, the Great Barrier Reef – all from the comfort of the computer. You can also make a promise for the ocean–Promise to do ONE thing for the ocean, and send us a photo or post on social media with the tag #WorldOceansDay.
While it’s great for the global community to unify this day in celebration of the ocean, here are five easy ways you can protect this vital resource every day:
1. Reduce your energy use
Carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels can lead to ocean acidification. You can help reduce your carbon footprint by riding a bike, walking or using public transportation and by turning off the lights when you leave a room.
2. Use less plastic
Limit plastic use and always disposing of trash properly. Choose reusable items such as cloth grocery bags or refillable water bottles.
3. Cut apart six-pack rings
The plastic rings used for soda containers can pose a threat to marine life. A lot of reports show marine creatures can get caught in the rings and die afterwards. You can help save these animals by cutting apart the rings before throwing them in the trash.
4. Conserve water
Reducing your water use can minimize wastewater runoff into the ocean, preventing chemicals and other contaminants from damaging marine habitats. You can conserve water by taking quicker showers and turning off the water when brushing your teeth.
5. Eat sustainable seafood
Overfishing can lead to an irreparable loss in certain seafood populations. Avoid catching or eating certain species that have been exploited, such as bluefin tuna and Chilean seabass.