Saturday, June 8, is World Oceans Day. We’re giving a shout-out to all the fantastic people and organizations around the world that are stepping up and working to clean up the oceans and waterways, and to those that are helping from the other end of the solution — reducing the amount of trash that we create and allow to enter the sea.
The United Nations website tells us that oceans play a major role in everyday life. And put simply: “They are the lungs of our planet, providing most of the oxygen we breathe.”
Oceans provide food for the millions of people who live near their shores. They provide medicines, and they are a “critical part of the biosphere.” And it is up to us, land dwellers and sailors, to ensure that we are doing everything possible to reduce our impact and undo the damage already done. As one person you might say, “But what can I do?” The answers are simple, and varied.
One person can choose to reuse, recycle or refuse. Businesses and organizations across the globe are changing how they operate and what they produce. Individual consumers are changing how and what they purchase and how they dispose of or recycle waste.
While it looks pristine, the trash is real.
And we have help. Organizations such as Sailors for the Sea and ASA’s ‘Operation Plastic Purge’ have partnered with sailing communities such as Summer Sailstice to help spread the message and educate sailors about their role in ocean stewardship. Other organizations such as 4Ocean and The Ocean Cleanup are on the water removing thousands of tons of trash and feeding the momentum that is growing throughout the world.
All of these people are you and I, the everyday people whose everyday lives are directly or indirectly linked to the ocean. We are the change we want to see. Let’s give ourselves a pat on the back for what we do, and encourage others to join us in cleaning and restoring natural health to our oceans, and ultimately ourselves.
A little or a lot; it all counts. Photo: Rei Eba Photography
If you’re ready to take action, have a look at the map of World Oceans Day events and find one near you. It won’t be hard; they’re everywhere.
Happy World Oceans Day!