Connect the Dots: Educate Yourself
The most important step in making a difference is to learn about the ocean and how your daily habits have an impact. We may have taken it for granted or overseeing, but all life on earth is connected and depended on our ocean. By learning about the issues facing the ocean and all the little things that you can do to conserve will encourage you to help ensure its health. Share your knowledge to inspire friends and family. As an example, even if you don't live near the coast, or water, anything that goes down your drain and sewer system will eventually end up in the ocean. The trash that we "throw away" doesn't disappear - they either end up in a landfill or moving water - whether waves on the beach, the stream running through your neighborhood, or rainwater flowing toward the storm drain can carry loose trash to the ocean.
Make Sustainable Seafood Choices
Global fisheries are on the verge of collapse and fish populations are rapidly being depleted due to many reasons but mainly unsustainable fishing practices due to ever increasing demand. You can reduce the demand for overexploited species by choosing seafood that is both healthy and sustainable. Ask your seafood restaurant or fish market if they buy from sustainable fisheries. You can use a Seafood Guide
when ordering or purchasing to help make sustainable seafood choices as well as look for Eco-Certification Program
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
We are adding the gas called 'Carbon Dioxide' to the air from burning fossil fuels to power our homes, businesses, and cars. The blanket of carbon dioxide we've been building for over a hundred years acts like a greenhouse, trapping more of the sun's heat. More heat means a warmer ocean, which is taking its toll on marine life and making oceans more acidic. You can help slow global warming and ocean acidification by reducing your "carbon footprint", the effects of climate change on the ocean by making a little adjustment in the way we live. A few things you start doing today: Ride a bike, walk, carpool or use public transportation, turn off and unplug all electronics and electrical items when not in use, use rechargeable batteries, purchase toys that don't require batteries, take the stairs, and bundle up or use a fan to avoid oversetting your thermostat.
Minimize the Use of Plastic
Plastic is a major hazard for marine animals. Use reusable bags when shopping, reusable water bottles, and non-disposable containers for storage. Follow the 3Rs - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Any product or fragment of product made with plastic that end up as debris in the ocean contribute to degradation of marine habitats and kills numerous marine animals each year. Plastic is a major hazard for marine animals. Floating fragments of plastic products or bags often resembles food to many sea birds, turtles and marine mammals. You can help prevent these by curbing your family's throwaway habits and limit your impact, use cloth or other reusable bag when shopping, use a reusable water bottle, use non-disposable containers for storage and if you must use disposable items then reuse or recycle them whenever possible.
Take Care of the Beach, Water Front
Beaches exist by oceans, lakes or any waterfront. Pick up garbage safely, volunteer for local beach clean-ups, and encourage others to respect nature. A trip to the beach for relaxing or out on the water diving, surfing, snorkeling or fishing could be a great way to enjoy and learn more about the ocean. Make sure not to let your day at the beach contribute to the destruction of our lakes, rivers, oceans or any water front and always clean up after yourself. Explore and appreciate the waterfronts without any interference. Be careful of any grasses and plants growing on the sand; do not remove any rocks and coral; be careful not to trample on any fragile critters and their homes in the shallow "tidepools" by the ocean or a "puddle" by the lake, river that are exposed when the tide is out. Much of the plastic and debris in the ocean are coming from beach litter. As beach crowds increase, so does the amount of trash left behind. Pick up garbage and litter near beaches, volunteer for local beach clean-ups, encourage others to respect the marine environment.