How You Can Help Save the Ocean
Ocean acidification, pollution, climate change, and overfishing are all damaging to marine life and habitat. You can have a big impact on the health of our environment in the individual choices you make each day. Here are some of the easiest and most effective things everyone can do to help save the ocean.
- 1. Reduce your Carbon Footprint. Ocean acidification is primarily caused by the burning of fossil fuels. When carbon dioxide in the atmosphere ends up in the ocean it changes the pH, making the sea acidic and less hospitable to life. You can reduce your carbon footprint by choosing fuel efficient modes of transport, or even better, opt to bike or walk!
- 2. Make your Home Energy Efficient. Benefit from lower your utility bills while reducing the emissions that cause climate change. There are many ways to save energy in your home, from sealing and insulation, to new energy-efficient appliances that can use up to 40 per cent less energy than models made just 10 years ago.
- 3. Take care of your trash and Recycle.Composting organic waste and recycling paper, cardboard, glass and plastics will help reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with landfills.
- 4. BYOB: Bring your own bags.When shopping, decline plastic bags and bring reusable ones with you instead. Too much plastic ends up in our oceans, where it can choke and drown marine life.
- 5. Keep Beaches and Waterways Clean.Pitch in for a shoreline clean up, help keep the beach beautiful and safe for wildlife.
- 6. Be Drain Aware and Water Wise.Mapping out local drains will help you understand where things that get dumped end up. Illegal dumping into pipes that drain to the ocean or other waterways can severely pollute and damage coastal habitats.
Even if you don’t live near the coast, water that goes down your drain or runs off from your yard can eventually make its way into the ocean. You can help keep the ocean—and other waterways—healthy by reducing your family’s use of chemicals inside and out. From selecting non-toxic cleaning products to using as little fertilizer and chemicals as possible in the garden and yard.
- 7. Eat Sustainable Seafood.Sustainable seafood can be defined as species that are caught or farmed in a way that ensures the long-term health and stability of that species, as well as the greater marine ecosystem. Use the SeaChoice guide when ordering or purchasing to help make sustainable (and delicious!) seafood choices.
- 8. Tread the beach lightly.Enjoy the beach and boating, while respecting that everything plays a part in the ecosystem. Do not disturb or remove plants or animals. Living plants help hold sand in place. Dead plants and seaweed provide fertilizer. Both should be left alone. On rocky shores, the shallow “tidepools” that are exposed when the tide is out, can be a great place to look for interesting marine life. But be careful not to trample on these fragile critters and their homes.
Practice responsible boating, kayaking, and other recreational activities on the water. Never throw anything overboard, and be aware of marine life in the waters around you. If you’re taking a cruise for your next vacation, do some research to find the most eco-friendly option.
- 9. Use your voice!Tell your friends and family about ocean conservation. Let your political leaders know you care about the environment and protecting the ocean through letters, meetings, phone calls and the editorial pages of local papers. You can find more information and links for discussing environmental concerns with our politicians at the David Suzuki Foundation website.
You can find more information and articles about ocean acidification at the BC Shellfish Growers Association website.