Why is Ocean Cleanliness a Big Deal Today? How Does a Clean Ocean Impact Our Daily Lives? What Are the Overall Benefits to Marine Life?
The ocean is an essential part of life and plays a vital role in our physical health and mental health. It is also one of the largest sources of oxygen on Earth. However, it has come to the point where there are too many pollutants that have made the ocean too dangerous for people to swim in. For example, the Pacific Ocean is the most abundant ocean on Earth, and it is estimated that there are two trillion pieces of plastic floating in its waters. One third of these pieces circulate in the North Pacific Gyre.
Once known as one of the cleanest waterways, North Pacific Gyre has become one of the most polluted areas in the world. The main cause for this pollution is due to the large amount of waste that gets dumped into it from around the world. In fact, the North Pacific Gyre has been called "the world's largest trash vortex." It's estimated that 10-30 million tons of plastic garbage enters this area every year.
Trash in Our Oceans
The amount of trash in our ocean is increasing at an alarming rate. It's estimated that half of the plastic pollution in our oceans comes from land-based sources, while other half comes from ships and fishing boats. The most common types of trash found in our oceans are plastic bags, bottles, and containers. With this increase in trash, it has been estimated that there will be more than five trillion pieces of plastic by 2050.
The growing amount of trash has also led to more marine life being killed. It's estimated that every year over 100 million marine animals die because they ingest plastic or get tangled up with it on their way to food and shelter. So, how can we prevent this from happening?
We can reduce the amount of trash entering our oceans by recycling, composting, and reusing materials instead of throwing them away. We can also reduce plastic pollution by using reusable bags for shopping instead of disposable ones.
There is no quick fix for this issue, but there are many small changes we can make to make a big difference in the future.
Marine pollution comes in many forms such as oil, mercury, or industrial chemical pollution.
Mercury and the Ocean
The type and severity of a given pollutant can vary depending on its nomenclature. For one, Mercury is the most harmful form of marine pollution that comes from industrial activities, such as when a company releases mercury into the environment in order to extract gold from certain rocks.
Other types of pollutants:
Pesticides and herbicides are two other types of pollutants that have been impacting our oceans. These substances are used in agriculture, forestry, and urban development. They also impact the health of humans and animals.
Pesticides are a major threat to the ocean's ecosystem, especially to coral reefs. It is estimated that more than 80 percent of the world's reefs have been damaged by human activities, including pesticides. The impacts of these chemicals on marine life are not just aesthetic - they can lead to population decline and even extinction.
The marine environment has been severely impacted by the use of herbicides in agriculture. These chemicals are used to control weeds and other aquatic plants, but they also have a detrimental effect on the natural ecosystem. Herbicides are known to disrupt the hormonal balance of fish, trigger reproductive problems, and cause deformities in marine life.
Herbicides can also be found in urban runoff and sewage water. Ingested by fish and other aquatic life, these pollutants can cause damage to the endocrine system, reproductive organs, and immune system. It is important for people to protect their oceans from these types of pollutants because it is an essential part of our natural ecosystem as well as our economy.
Fertilizers are commonly used in agriculture and gardening. They are essential for the growth of plants and the production of food. However, they can also have a significant impact on the ocean, affecting marine life and making it harder for coral to grow.
The use of fertilizers is increasing globally. In a study conducted by UNESCO, it was found that more than half of all countries surveyed were using fertilizer on their crops in 2016, with an increase in fertilizer use being one reason for coral decline.
Fertilizers can have a significant impact on the ocean's environment when they enter water bodies such as the ocean, rivers, or lakes, causing algal blooms or dead zones where there is too much oxygen depletion. This affects marine life and makes it harder for coral to grow.
Oil and Oil Spills:
The effects of oil pollution are wide reaching, and they vary depending on what type of oil is spilled into the ocean. Some types of oil can be toxic to aquatic life while others can cause an increase in algae growth which depletes oxygen levels in the water leading to the death of many types of fish and marine life.
As we know, oceans are the lifeblood of the planet. Each one provides oxygen and regulates climate. However, oceans are also impacted by pollutants that we release into the water. One of the most common types of pollutants that impacts our oceans are industrial chemicals.
Industrial chemicals can lead to changes in the ocean's chemistry and cause toxic algal blooms that kill off marine life or create dead zones where nothing can survive. Such chemicals can also lead to water pollution which leads to outbreaks of disease among marine life.
While there are many types of pollutants that impact our oceans, one of the most significant ones is sewage. Sewage contains a lot of nutrients which can lead to algal blooms and other harmful consequences for marine life. Sewage also contains pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, and toxins that can cause disease in humans. This is why it is important to keep sewage out of our oceans and to treat it properly before releasing it back into the environment.
Read this Next: The Benefits of Spending Time at the Beach and Inspiring Ocean Quotes if You Can’t Get There
Easy Ways to Protect and Save Our Oceans
Oceans are one of the most important resources that we have. They provide us with food, drinking water, and other natural resources. We should take care of them and protect them from being polluted.
There are many ways to protect the oceans from pollution and save our planet in general. Some of these ways include reducing carbon emissions, recycling, using renewable energy sources, and using eco-friendly products.
We can also reduce the amount of waste that we produce by recycling or reusing products instead of throwing them away. This will reduce the amount of waste going into our oceans and will help preserve our planet for future generations to come.
Here are more tips:
- We can all reduce our carbon footprints by driving less, avoiding plastic bags, and choosing reusable bags.
- We can take public transportation, walk, or bike to work.
- Carpool with colleagues.
- Drive less and avoid rush hour traffic.
- Join an environmental group such as Greenpeace, The Green Club, WWF, or some other organization.
- Environmental groups are actively fighting against ocean pollution, deforestation, and other environmental threats. Here is a list of the most notable groups.
- Greenpeace is an international non-governmental organization that focuses on environmental protection, humanitarianism, and peace. Greenpeace was founded in 1971 by Canadian journalist Patrick Moore and American, Robert Hunter. The name Greenpeace was chosen because of the use of peaceful protest tactics such as Greenpeace actions. The organization has been involved in various campaigns to raise awareness about global warming, deforestation, and overfishing. It has campaigned against the use of nuclear power, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and certain types of commercial logging. Greenpeace has offices in over 40 countries worldwide and employs around 3000 people worldwide with an annual budget of $315 million USD.
- "The Green Club" is a citizen activist group based in London that is actively fighting against pollution, deforestation, and other environmental threats. The organization has been in the spotlight as it has been working hard to raise awareness of the negative impact of our everyday habits and campaigns around the world.
- World Wide Fund for Nature, WWF is an international non-governmental organization founded in 1961. It is the world's largest environmental organization with over 5 million supporters and a network of nearly 500,000 volunteers worldwide. WWF has been able to make a significant impact on the world by raising awareness about climate change, marine pollution, and species extinction. The WWF has also created new programs such as "Conservation International" and "Tropical Forest Trust". The organization is tackling issues such as biodiversity loss, climate change, and ocean acidification.
- The Gyres Institute is a non-profit organization that aims to reduce the impact of human activity on the ocean. The Gyres Institute was founded by Dr. David Suzuki in 2008 and has since then been advocating for a sustainable future of our planet. The organization is working towards achieving this goal by creating awareness about the environmental issues and collaborating with other organizations to create solutions for them. One of its main projects is called 5 Gyres, which is an initiative that aims to raise awareness about the state of our oceans and how we can help them. It consists of five campaigns that focus on different aspects of ocean health - plastics, overfishing, marine protected areas, whales, and deep-sea mining.
- The Nature Conservancy is a non-profit organization that works to protect the natural world. The organization has been working on these projects for over half a century, and it have been successful. The Nature Conservancy is an organization which has been leading the charge in preserving the natural world and its habitats. For example, it has protected more than 10 million acres of land in North America since 1985. The organization works with governments, indigenous communities, businesses, and other organizations to ensure that species are protected, and ecosystems are preserved. The Nature Conservancy was founded in 1951 by Aldo Leopold who wanted to create a network of organizations dedicated to protecting nature and its habitats. The organization has grown exponentially since then with more than 1 million members worldwide currently working towards its goals.
- The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is a non-profit environmental organization that fights for the protection of the environment. The NRDC is one of the most influential and well-known environmental organizations in the world. It was founded by Fred Krupp, who has been its president since its inception in 1970. NRDC has expanded its reach since their inception with over 100 offices on five continents, including offices in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America. NRDC is a leading international nonprofit organization that works to protect people and planet from the dangerous impacts of pollution and global warming through aggressive advocacy to decision makers at every level of government.
- The Sierra Club Foundation is a nonprofit that was founded in 1892. The organization’s goal is to protect the environment and improve the quality of life for all people, especially those who live near and enjoy the great outdoors. The organization does this by supporting grassroots environmental activism, education, advocacy, research, and conservation. The Sierra Club Foundation has been around for nearly 120 years now and has been making a lot of progress in regard to its mission. In fact, the organization has more than 5 million members and have over 1,000 chapters across the country. The organization’s main focus is on outdoor recreation such as hiking, camping and fishing but they also support other causes such as climate change awareness and renewable energy sources.
- The Sunrise Movement is a social movement that started in California to stop climate change. It has now spread to over 40 countries. The movement was founded by Bill McKibben, who wrote the book "Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet."
- Read books about the ocean conservation and environmental protect. Here are some of our favorites.
- If you prefer to listen to podcasts, here are our favorite ocean conservation podcasts.
- We can educate ourselves about recycling. Recycling is one of the most important things that we can do to keep our planet healthy. Recycling helps clean up the earth by reusing materials and prevents waste from taking up valuable space in landfills. More importantly, recycling can save we money and time on our next purchase of a new item.
- Recycle waste properly to protect the ocean. We need to be conscious of our waste. Many companies are now recycling their waste and giving back to the ocean. Some people are also finding new ways to cut down on their trash such as using a t-shirt instead of a bag for some grocery items or using reusable bags when shopping.
- Vote on important ocean issues. The water cycle, ocean acidification, and marine pollution are three of the major issues that we should be concerned about. Voting on these issues does not only help us understand what our priorities are but also makes us more aware of how much we can affect these problems.
- Contact local elected officials and lawmakers. As citizens, we have a right to speak our opinions on public policy. Whether it’s sending a letter or calling our legislator, it is important to be mindful of different best practices.
- Take care of the local beach. The beach is a place where people can go to relax and enjoy the sun, sea, sand, and water. However, as with any place that people frequent, there are some things we should take care of to make sure the beach stays clean and beautiful. The most important thing is to not leave anything behind. The trash on the beach can cause a lot of damage to the ecosystem.
- Don’t purchase items that exploit the ocean. We need to be aware that the world's oceans are being overfished, and we are contributing to this by purchasing items that exploit marine life. These items include jewelry, clothing, purses, and even cosmetics.
- Get involved and influence the community. The process of change can be difficult and slow. However, it is necessary for progress to happen. It's important to work with those who care about our community and its future. A group of people who are dedicated to the community will help us make a difference in the lives of others in a positive way. The more people that we have on our side, the easier it will be to influence change in our community.
- Learn about the ocean and marine live. As we continue to explore our world, we are learning more about how our oceans are changing. These changes can have significant effects on our health and wellbeing. The oceans affect everything from the temperature to food sources to global climate change. The ocean is an important part of life on Earth so understanding how it works will help us understand how we can keep it healthy over time.
- Be a responsible traveler. Look for and book the next trip through a responsible travel company that's committed to protecting wildlife. This is a good way to make sure we're not contributing to the extinction of animals and plants around the world. Many responsible travel companies offer ethical tours that focus on wildlife conservation and sustainable tourism practices.
- Decrease the amount of energy we use. We can decrease our energy use and consumption by using energy-efficient appliances and turning off lights or devices when we're not using them. We can also switch to renewable energy sources. Here is a list of the energy-efficient appliances to buy:
- Energy efficient refrigerator
- Energy efficient dishwasher
- Energy efficient dryer
- Energy efficient oven/stovetop
- Energy efficient air conditioner and furnace
- Turn off lights or devices when we're not using them.
- Turn off the TV and computer when we're not watching or working on them
- Switching to renewable energy sources will help to preserve the environment and help reduce pollution.
- Use any and all social media channels to raise awareness for good. Social media is an effective tool for raising awareness and spreading a message. It can be used to get our voices out there, as well as provide a platform to share our stories with others. The best part about social media is that it’s accessible to anyone and easy to use. There are many platforms and channels we can use to spread the word about our cause or campaigns.
- Strive to lower the use of chemicals or swap them out for clean products. Swapping out cleaners for natural alternatives is a great way to reduce chemical use in our lives. We can start by swapping out some store-bought cleaner for vinegar and baking soda. Here are some additional tips on how to lower our chemical usage:
- Use less toothpaste
- Switch to a natural deodorant
- Use a chemical-free soap
- Switch from bleach to baking soda
- Work towards large-scale re-zoning of ocean ecosystems. There are many large-scale re-zoning projects being undertaken across the world. The goal is to bring back the natural balance of ecosystems that have been disturbed by human activity. This campaign is a result of years of research and collaboration between government agencies, researchers, and other stakeholders. It is the first time that such a project has been attempted on such a large scale and it will be implemented in phases over time. The first phase includes the identification of marine protected areas which will be made up of fully protected areas and partially protected areas for fisheries and other activities that can continue to take place within them. The second phase will include identifying partially protected areas for fisheries, aquaculture, and other activities that can continue.
- Campaign to save ocean species, namely sharks. The campaign to save shark species is a global effort led by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Global Shark Alliance. The IUCN has been working on this campaign since 2011. The organization has identified the most threatened shark species and have been actively campaigning to save them. The campaign has been successful in raising awareness about these endangered species.
Read this Next: Top Ocean Quotes to Inspire and Uplift You
How Ocean Conservation Will Become the Next Green Industry
The future of ocean conservation is looking bright with the rise of new businesses and technologies. The ocean is a source of life for all living beings. It provides us with food, oxygen, and it’s our home. However, the ocean has been exploited for centuries which has led to a decline in marine biodiversity. There are many ways that we can help reverse this trend by investing in sustainable practices such as recycling and using renewable energy sources.
Ocean conservation will also become the next green industry in the future due to its potential to generate revenue through eco-tourism, clean energy production, and sustainable practices. In fact, a study conducted by the California-based nonprofit, The Nature Conservancy found that while ocean conservation is good for human health, the ocean still remains a major economic driver. With this in mind, the study predicts that by 2050 marine tourism will be worth $175 billion and clean energy production will be worth $2 trillion.
Steps Moving Forward
Ultimately, the oceans are the lifeblood of our planet and the source of all life. We need to take care of them in order to save ourselves and our planet. We can make our oceans healthier by changing some simple habits like reducing plastic consumption, eating more seafood, and reducing pollution. It’s really that simple.
If you feel inspired by the power of the ocean then you can help raise awareness of the scientifically proven benefits by supporting our Healing Wave Collection.
Back to The Blue Ocean Lifestyle Blog