Updated: Jul 12, 2019
This goes out to everyone connected to the sea: the surfers, scientists, fishermen, divers, and concerned citizens around the world.
To the people who understand marine environments firsthand, and know that human actions are changing something as incredibly vast and endless as the ocean.
I ask you this one question, what’s the point in working to protect the ocean?
The ocean is sick:
Plastic is choking every corner of the planet. We’re causing the 5th mass extinction on Planet Earth, the last one since an asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs. At this point, there’s no stopping climate change. And the world always seems to be preoccupied with something less important.
So why should we keep working to help something that garners scant attention and seems to be on a continued and accelerating downward spiral?
Here’s the point:
Simply put, there is still something left to save.
If you ever find yourself feeling gloomy with a negative outlook towards the hope of a healthy Ocean, here’s 5 reasons why you should put your head down and keep going forward:
1. Your actions do make a difference!
No action is too small. Whether it’s something as simple as changing a bad habit and using less plastic everyday, to picking up garbage when you walk by it on the beach. Every single action we take not only directly helps the ocean, but also indirectly influences the way other people think.
If someone sees you pick up a piece of trash, or ask for no straw with your drink, they might start a conversation with you about it, or better yet, follow your lead.
The world may be big and overpopulated, but that doesn’t mean that one action can’t spark a fire in our society and change the norm.
2. We live in a more connected world than ever before.
Not only do we influence the people physically around us, but today with social media and the internet, our social circles are bigger than ever.
That means change can happen faster, and at a larger scale.
And every single person has the power to use their social platform to do good, and support a healthy environment.
People pay attention online, so when you clean a beach, or pledge to make a positive change to help the world, other people can see and become educated on the issue you’re presenting as well.
We have an opportunity like never before to lead by example.
3. Any citizen can be a scientist today.
You know that square box that you take with you everywhere that’s connected to a satellite somewhere in space? Yep, you’re cell phone.
It possesses an incredible ability to track geographically where you are. So when you take pictures, or even record information, it knows where you’re spatially located on the Planet.
This means that by using your cell phone, anyone can help collect valuable information on marine animals. Whether it’s helping to identify whales, seals, penguins, you name it.
Any citizen can be a scientist today.
4. The world is starting to ‘get it’.
And by ‘it’ we mean the fact that the Planet is choking on our waste.
Not only have major bans and campaigns been successful in fighting plastic pollution this year alone. They’re happening at an international scale.
The world is no longer blind to our actions. Photography, videography, and art, are all bringing to light the problems facing the ocean.
There’s no hiding the externalities of bad business anymore.
5. Today’s youth is leading the charge.
What’s better than the fact that people are starting to see the consequences of their actions? How about the fact that young people today are more aware of their impact on the marine environment than ever before.
They are being taught about it in schools, at a young age, and this is translating into household changes around the world.
The next generation is the future, and the future is looking bright.
6. One more for good luck…
Because as a wise woman once said
“Where there’s life, there is hope.” – Sylvia Earle