The need to save the ocean

To paraphrase a line from Ron Burgundy, the ocean is a big thing. Big enough for scientists to point out that the term “Earth” is a misnomer. Water may be a more accurate name for a world that is nearly 3/4 covered in water, with marine plants contributing a whopping 50 percent or more of the oxygen we breathe. With all of that stated, it’s past time (high tide?) for us to band together to save the resource that has been depleted.

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The state of the ocean is not good

The bad news is that human activity is wreaking havoc on the environment. The good news is that there are several things we can do to help stop (and even reverse!) those detrimental behaviors, which is why this is a message about hope and empowerment rather than doom and gloom.

Plastic pollution is destroying the ocean

A non-profit that works to protect the ocean Every year, 17.6 billion pounds of plastic is estimated to escape into the ocean from land-based sources, according to Oceana. Every 60 seconds, a garbage truck full of plastic is dumped into our waterways. The world’s most renowned (and largest) rubbish dump is located in the ocean.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch covers 1.6 million square kilometres and contains 1.8 trillion bits of plastic in an estimated 80,000 metric tonne landfill. Plastic garbage in the ocean is believed to kill over one million sea animals each year, including sea turtles, sharks, and coral reef (yes, coral reef is an animal!).

Plastics in the ocean will surpass fish in the ocean (!?) by 2050, according to research, and 99 percent of seabirds will have plastics in their GI tract. Plastic pollution is not only destructive to the ocean; there is also evidence that it is harmful to humans.

Acidification in the ocean

Carbon dioxide emissions absorbed by the oceans over decades have changed the underlying chemistry of our ocean, resulting in an increase in acidity. Acidification causes small decreases in shell density in small creatures, which support entire ecosystems despite their small size.

As the world’s seas warm, species are moving in large numbers to new locations, posing new challenges or simply failing to develop as they should, while millions of people rely on fish as their primary source of nutrition. It’s also causing the Great Barrier Reef to perish. Coral reefs require all of the protection we can provide, given the disastrous effects of climate change.

Because it has the potential to cause the most apparent and immediate human misery, sea-level rise may be the most well-known of these concerns. Low-lying areas such as Miami and the South Pacific islands are growing increasingly vulnerable; 10% of the world’s population lives on the low-lying coast.

Meanwhile, deoxygenation, which is most typically caused by algal blooms fed by nutrient-rich fertilizer run-off, is causing enormous dead zones and suffocating marine life.


Fishing techniques that are illegal, uncontrolled, and unreported are common. Humans have already brought the giant grouper, several skates and rays, and a dozen or more other sturgeon species to the brink of extinction through fishing.

Bluefin tuna is one of the fish species whose populations may never recover as a result of unsustainable fishing techniques. Other apex predators, such as sharks, are among the most endangered.

Places like Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary have shown how impactful policy changes can be in helping species rebound.

Ocean conservation isn’t just a hobby for those who enjoy the water. You might not be a scuba diver, a fisherman, or a seaside dweller. Perhaps you have a seafood allergy and despise surfers! Even so, chances are you still breathe air and enjoy life when there is less human suffering.

Plants and trees are oxygen-producing powerhouses. But wait till you see what oceanic greens can accomplish! (Hint: it’s not just trees.)  More than half of the oxygen on the earth is produced by marine plants. 

Thoughts famous people have about ocean

Jacques Cousteau: “The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.”

BeyoncĂ© Knowles: “I’m always happy when I’m surrounded by water, I think I’m a mermaid or I was a mermaid. The ocean makes me feel really small and it makes me put my whole life into perspective… it humbles you and makes you feel almost like you’ve been baptized. I feel born again when I get out of the ocean.”

William Wordsworth: “The ocean is a mighty harmonist.”

John F. Kennedy: “We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch, we are going back from whence we came.”

Photo by Emiliano Arano on

Ways in which you can help save the ocean


Step 1: Land and sea are far more intertwined than most people think, and activities taken on land have substantial consequences in the ocean. The good news is that there are a plethora of tools available—Pinterest offers a plethora of ocean-saving categorieS.

2. Opt for Ocean and Earth-Friendly Products

Oceana’s #1 is to demand plastic-free alternatives to items such as plastic water bottles, straws, plastic cutlery, coffee cups, bags, balloons, plastic-wrapped produce, and take-out food containers.


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