Our ocean makes up over 70% of Earth’s surface area; its health is directly linked to that of our planet. Even though
Seek alternatives to plastic. A lot of the waste in our oceans comes from our excessive use of plastic. According to the Globalist, the average American consumes around 220 pounds of plastic per person per year. If we can cut back on our plastic use, the amount of plastic that ends up in our oceans can drastically decrease.
Leave nothing behind. During your next beach day, be sure to clean up after yourself. The beach is just as much a part of nature as a national park is; treat it with the same reverence. Our beaches are the easiest, most tangible ways we can come in contact with our ocean. During those beach visits, be sure to take your trash with you when you leave.
Reduce your carbon footprint. By walking to school instead of riding in your car, or biking to where you work, you can reduce your carbon footprint in the world. According to Science Daily, our oceans are the world’s greatest carbon sink, which means that the carbon dioxide we pour into our sky largely ends up in the ocean. As our oceans get more acidic- a process known as ocean acidification-, the wildlife living there cannot adjust to the drastically changing ocean pH level. Many fish, in fact, end up dying because of these changes.
Avoid purchasing items that exploit ocean wildlife. Our marine life live in a very delicately balanced system; items like coral necklaces, shark products, as well as turtle shell accessories damage this fragile ecosystem in a drastic manner.
Make sustainable choices in seafood. Do research prior to purchasing seafood from markets; certain brands of seafood practice unsustainable ways of fishing, such as overfishing. Choose brands that give back to the ocean and maintain the ecosystem. Unsustainable brands overfish and destroy the ecosystems on our oceans’ floors by dragging heavy and destructive nets- a process known as bottom trawling. Further, these brands also leave behind large amounts of waste that end up harming our wildlife, such as fishing nets, hooks, and other plastic materials. Fisheries that are sustainable cultivate fish in an eco-friendly manner, maintaining a balanced ecosystem in the fish farms.
Mandy is a junior at Woodbridge High School and a Lion’s Heart summer intern. She enjoys Taekwondo, reading and writing fiction, as well as volunteering at her local library. She’s been a member of Lion’s Heart since May of 2017.