Resolve to Protect the Ocean

A diver cares for the reef by cleaning up discarded fishing gear and garbage.
A diver cares for the reef by cleaning up discarded fishing gear and garbage. (Amos Nachoum 2005/Marine Photobank)

Happy New Year! We’ve officially hit mid-January, but there is still plenty of time to make those resolutions. If you’ve been putting it off or haven’t come up with a worthy resolution yet, why not resolve to do something to help the ocean? The ocean does so many things for us, surely we can return the favor by making small changes in our daily lives. Drawing a blank? Here are some idea to get started:

Make the Connection. The first step in making a difference is learning about the ocean and how your actions have an impact. Keep reading or visit the Conservation pages of the Sant Ocean Hall website for more details and ideas.

Cut Carbon. Burning fossil fuels to power our homes, businesses, and cars adds carbon dioxide to the air, which acts like a greenhouse, trapping the sun's heat and warming the planet—land and sea. Carbon also causes the ocean to become more acidic, which is making it hard for organisms like corals and clams to build their skeletons and shells. You can help slow global warming and ocean acidification by reducing your "carbon footprint."

Be Water Wise. All water on Earth is connected. 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 around the house.

Trim Down Trash. Trash we "throw away" doesn't disappear, and moving water can carry loose trash to the ocean where it becomes a hazard for marine life. Sea birds, turtles, seals, and other animals can mistake floating plastic for food or become tangled in it and die. Help prevent this by curbing your family's throwaway habits.

Be Fish Friendly. When it comes to many of our once-favorite seafoods, there aren't plenty more fish in the sea. You can avoid trouble by only buying seafood and other products that you know were sustainably harvested.

Got other ideas? Share them in the comment section below or on Facebook or Twitter.

Got pictures? Join our Motion for the Ocean Flickr group, and help us visualize what it looks like to be ocean-friendly.

January 2010