World Oceans Day is almost here, and the world's oceans need your help. As sailors many of us see the degradation of the ocean at first hand - we are the canaries come back from the coalmine.
by Nancy Knudsen
Hundreds of sailors from countries around the world continually report the many symptoms of the declining health of our oceans - oceans without fish, oceans clogged with floating rubbish, oceans in trouble.
This June 8th, World Oceans Day, challenge yourself to make a two year (2011—2012) commitment to protect the ocean. The theme is about making lasting change and it’s up to sailors like you to rise up and be the voice for the ocean all year long.
What does this mean? Well it can mean many things, but here are some ideas: Celebrate!:
Everything you do to make a difference doesn't need to be boring. It's too late now to begin organising a community event, but what about a Beach party? Host a beach party, BBQ, or picnic with contests for best sea creature costume, sand castle, and dance (to ocean-themed music of course). You could have a sand sculpture contest with ocean-themed prizes. Put a World Oceans Day stamp on the competition by making the sand sculptures in the shape of ocean creatures.
I am sure you can come up with other ideas, even in the few days remaining!
But here's a clincher - what about a Personal Lifestyle Change:
Every global citizen has responsibilities and opportunities for improving the health of our shared ocean. This year, make positive changes in your own life that will also benefit the ocean.
Here are the Seven C's (but there are only six), all - or any- of which will make a difference:
to making a real difference, aim to be carbon neutral by reducing and offsetting your energy consumption.
in your home, upgrade to Energy Star appliances and compact fluorescent light bulbs.
consciously. Rethink what you really need, purchase 'green' products, buy locally grown foods, and choose sustainable seafood.
your interests and concerns. Let your friends, family, colleagues, and the local media know about the impact of climate change on the ocean.
yourself daily. Walk, bike, carpool, and take public transportation to cut down your carbon emissions.
in your community. Get active as a volunteer with a local watershed or ocean group.
Finally, what about Ocean Action:
Speak up for the ocean! The ocean has been long mischaracterized as immune to harm by humans. It’s up to us to dispel this myth and keep the ocean healthy. Whether you’re interested in politics or hands-on volunteer work, there’s a way to get involved. Aquatic Clean-Up:
Clean up your local beach, bay or harbour. If you want ideas, check out the World Oceans Day aquatic clean-up toolkit. They've compiled all the best resources from around the web to help you organize a fun and meaningful event. Wear Blue, Tell Two:
This World Oceans Day, wear blue clothing to raise awareness for ocean conservation and share two ocean conservation facts with someone in your community.
For instance, here are two facts you can share with someone: 1. Our ocean has a great wealth of diverse kinds of life but it’s in trouble. Climate change has already been linked to the killing of coral reefs. Coupled with destructive fishing practices, there is a dramatic decline in many types of fish and sea life we depend on.
2. There are important, easy actions each of us can take to help. Calculating our carbon footprints and looking for ways to reduce our role in climate change is a great step. Likewise, we can choose seafood that is abundant in supply and fished or farmed without harm to the ocean and coasts.
For information about how to select seafood, go to the World Oceans Day website
. This information is USA-centric, where World Oceans Day started, but some of the information is valid world-wide.
Full information about World Oceans Day is available at www.worldoceansday.org
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9:37 PM Fri 3 Jun 2011 GMT
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