Blue Ocean Institute

NEED NAME Shorebird, Alaska by Carl Safina

Make a Difference


This is the good news — it’s not too late to save the oceans.  There are constructive and very real things that you can do to be part of the solution.

Here are 15 ways to make a difference.  Maybe you have other ideas?  Please share.


15 WAYS TO SAVE THE OCEANS

1. Head for the Beach

2. Share Your Love

3. Contribute

4. Be an Ocean Advocate

5. Support Clean Energy

6. Fight Climate Change

7. Be Informed

8. Clean Up a Beach

9. Limit Your Plastic

10. Eat Sustainable Seafood

11. Choose Sustainable Seafood

12. Get Fishy

13. Boycott Fish Meal

14. Mind Your Runoff

15. Travel Well

1. Head for the Beach

Spending time in, on or near the ocean is a great way to gain the inspiration that will ultimately fuel your actions.  Get to know this world of vitality, mystery, remarkable beauty, and untold promise.

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2. Share Your Love

Tell everyone about your love of the oceans.  Don’t be shy.  Personal testimonials — maybe your first ocean visit or a memorable sailing trip  — can be extremely powerful and a motivation to others.  Tell people in your social circles, places of worship, schools, and neighborhoods what’s going on with the oceans.  It is a direct and satisfying way to inspire others.

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3. Contribute

A great way to save the oceans is to directly support organizations like Blue Ocean who have made it their business to understand current issues and promote solutions.

At Blue Ocean Institute, a contribution of any size is greatly appreciated.

We are a small yet influential group and your gift goes a long way toward saving the ocean.  Using science, art, and literature we seek to inspire a deeper connection with nature in everyone touched by an ocean.  Your donation helps us show how nature, community, the economy, and prospects for peace are all intertwined.

DONATE

4. Be an Ocean Advocate

Show your support of efforts big and small, regional to international, to expand marine reserves that protect valuable and threatened marine species and habitats.

Support oceans by learning about related issues, too, like offshore drilling, fisheries management, mercury pollution, wetlands, coastal development, runoff, and marine debris.  Be aware of key issues so you can be an informed spokesperson for the seas.

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5. Support Clean Energy

Climate change spells big trouble for ocean life.  One of the most important steps you can take is to support clean energy initiatives in your community, region and nation. The measures that need to be taken now to protect the seas and the people who depend on them, depend on you.

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6. Fight Climate Change

Significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions is vital to preserving the life support systems of our planet. This challenge requires action at the individual, community, national, and international levels–we can all play a role.

Take steps to curb your own carbon footprint: make your home more energy efficient, turn off lights when you leave a room, adjust your thermostat, support the smart grid, unplug your appliances when not in use, ride your bike, drive an electric car or a highly fuel efficient car, support clean energy businesses, and encourage action by your local community, religious group, and schools.

There are several organizations with scientifically sound, trusted information about climate change and how we can each make a difference.  Here’s a recommended handful:  350.org, Earth Lab, Union of Concerned Scientists, Energy StarPew Center

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7. Be Informed

Keep up with the issues.  Use Social Media to follow Blue Ocean, Carl Safina and other ocean leaders.

Here’s a great start:

Follow Carl’s Blog and on Twitter and Facebook.
Follow Blue Ocean on Twitter and Facebook.

Set up Google Alerts for the issues that mean the most to you and keep up with the news and scientific updates surrounding current ocean challenges.

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8. Clean Up a Beach

Beach clean ups are a good way to get to know your coastal community (or nearest shore), keep garbage out of the ocean and prevent it from re-entering the sea.  Clean ups are also a great way to introduce kids to the concept that all drains lead to the ocean.

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9. Limit Your Plastic

Limit your use of plastic – there are so many reasons why!  Creating new plastic requires the use of fossil fuels. Every year tens of thousands of seabirds, sea turtles, and marine mammals drown or starve due to entanglement in marine debris, over half of which is from plastic.

Once in the ocean, it is hard to clean up plastic waste.  The North Pacific gyre, a whirlpool of debris,  is estimated to be twice the size of the continental United States.

It is best to stop it at the source—demand less and less will be produced.  You can start by bringing your own bag to the grocery store, use a refillable water bottle, and purchase foods with minimal packaging.  Also, ensure proper disposal of wastes including nets and fishing line and support proper waste management practices on land.

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10. Choose Sustainable Seafood

Make educated choices when dining in restaurants. More and more chefs are concerned about the seafood they serve. Support these chefs by frequenting restaurants who offer sustainable seafood on their menu.  See our fish consumption guidelines and get educated about which fish are from sustainable sources.

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11. Buy Sustainable Seafood

Buy sustainable seafood and make your choice as local as possible. (This reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging your seafood). Ask your local fish monger where the fish or shellfish come from, how it was caught, and what species it is. To ensure your seafood purchase is sustainable, use Blue Ocean Institute’s online guide.

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12. Get Fishy

Get involved with management of marine areas in your area. Visit the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and connect with your local fisheries management council.  Council sites will provide information about upcoming council meetings and other events in your area.

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13. Boycott Fish Meal

Avoid buying pet food that contains fish meal and insist that land-based animals like swine be fed land-grown food.  The pet food industry uses about 10 percent of the global supply of forage fish.  The swine industry consumes 24 percent of fish meal and oil, and the poultry industry takes as much as 22 percent.

The removal of vast quantities of wild forage fish, such as sardines and anchovies, threatens to starve whales, seals, cod and tuna.

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14. Mind Your Runoff

All drains lead to the sea.  Think twice before using fertilizer and insecticide on your lawn and garden, stop washing your car on the street, be careful what you put down any drain and don’t litter.  Preventing chemicals, plastics and pollutants from going into the sea is much easier than getting them back out. Support organic farming and local farms that do not use chemicals.

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15. Travel Well

When on the water, treat it well.  If you decide to take a cruise ship vacation, do some research to find the most ocean-friendly cruise line.   Be a responsible boater, surfer, canoeist, kayaker, stand up paddle boarder, etc.  Never throw anything overboard, and be aware and protective of the marine creatures in the waters around you.

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For more ways to help the oceans, check out Blue Frontier’s “50 Ways to Save the Oceans”.

 Let’s hear from you:

What do you think? Do you know other ways to save the oceans?

How are you saving the oceans?

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