The environmental magazine Grist featured a guest essay online today by David Helvarg to celebrate World Ocean Day. The article does well to make the point that Earth Day, while certainly beneficial, often overlooks our sea-faring neighbors and their giant neighborhood.
Problems such as offshore pollution from urban and agricultural runoff, climate change's impacts on the sea, or the collapse of the world's fish, seabird, and turtle populations may seem too overwhelming for the average person. "What can I, my family, or my friends possibly do to effect change on such a scale?" you might wonder. Luckily anthropologist Margaret Mead gave us the answer to that question more than half a century ago: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world," she said. "Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
Reports offering hundreds of practical solutions to the cascading disasters facing our seas have been issued by two blue-ribbon panels in recent years, the independent Pew Oceans Commission and federally appointed U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy…
Sadly, the failure of our top politicians to take a new approach to the stewardship of our greatest natural treasure reflects back on all of us. Politicians are like sharks -- they're hardwired to certain stimulus, in their case money and votes. Which is why we need to foment a "seaweed revolution," a term recently picked up by several U.S. commission members. By seaweed revolution, I'm referring to marine grassroots activism by coastal residents, sailors, surfers, scientists, divers, fishers, ocean-dependent businesses, and millions of other Americans who, getting so much from the ocean, are now ready to give something back. If we begin working together as consumers and as voters, it may not be too late to turn the tide. We can't be sure we'll succeed; we can only be sure that if we don't make the effort, our oceans will soon become dead seas.
The full article, titled “Blue is the New Green”, can be found here.
Marine debris is a major threat to wildlife and the health of our oceans. We are increasingly aware of this problem – from pictures of dead birds and other animals that have eaten plastics, to reports of the over 260 species that have had reported problems with marine debris. To be responsible citizens, we need to take action to help ensure the survival of our waters.
You can help by supporting the CAW-sponsored Marine Debris Bill AB 1940, which creates a multiagency taskforce to formulate and implement a state plan addressing marine debris, thus contributing to the health of our oceans.
What you can do:
Send an E-mail to your representative to support AB 1940
Become Educated on the issue of marine debris
Get Involved in a community clean-up