Karen Provazza | Director of Marketing
Our trash does not belong in the ocean.
Why is that a big deal?
More than all of the world’s rain forests, the ocean supplies up to 70% of our oxygen. The ocean regulates our climate, holds 97% of the Earth’s water, and provides the primary source of protein for more than 1 billion people.
The ocean provides livelihood and recreation, respite and inspiration. With only 10% of the ocean explored, there is so much to discover, leading to scientific breakthroughs, new medications, foods, and technologies.
How can you help?
Here are 6 small ways you can make a big difference and be stewards for a thriving ocean for future generations:
Avoid single-serving snacks, plastic bags, and disposable containers. Let’s face it; it’s not always easy to find a recycle bin. Throw-away trash may make its way into the water, posing a major threat to marine life. Seabirds, turtles, fish and seals may mistake debris for food, get entangled, and die. Most plastics are not biodegradable. Rather, they break down into small bits called micro-plastics and are consumed by filter feeders such as clams and oysters, and us! That’s why you should use reusable bags whenever you shop.
2. Be Blue
Everything that goes down the drain or runs off your lawn can eventually end up in the ocean. Read labels when choosing cleaning products and choose those without toxic ingredients. Many household chores can be done with simple, non-toxic ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, or lemon juice. Remember to use natural shampoos and soaps too. Consider landscaping options that require less water and fertilization. When fertilizing, go organic!
3. Eat Sustainable Seafood
Be a picky eater and choose only sustainable, responsibly caught seafood. Fisheries are rapidly declining due to outmoded fishing practices. Ask your fish market or restaurant how the fish was caught and support fisheries that are working towards sustainability. You’ll be sending a message that you care and helping to change behavior. Know what to order by downloading the Seafood Watch guide or app from Monterey Bay Aquarium, or pick one up next time you visit the Center.
4. Power Down
Unplug. Many household electronics continue drawing power after they are switched off. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that this “phantom” energy use accounts for 75% of the power consumed by electronics in the average home. Unplug your gadgets or use a power strip with an off button to safely and quickly cut power to electronics that are not in use.
Stop idling and turn off your car. For every 10 minutes of idling your car, you’ll save approximately one pound of carbon dioxide — a harmful greenhouse gas — from being released into the atmosphere and you’ll save money. An estimated 30-40% of the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere by humans dissolves into the ocean, rivers and lakes, causing a range of harmful consequences. The process of the ongoing decrease in pH in the ocean caused by carbon dioxide is called ocean acidification.
5. Show the Love
Take care of the ocean and beach. Whatever you enjoy on or near the water, clean up after yourself. Bring a trash bag and pick up debris around you. Join a beach clean up or lead your own cleanup with your family or social group. Talk to your friends and encourage them to respect the marine environment.
6. Support the Seacoast Science Center
Support the Seacoast Science Center. Ocean education is what we do, and we educate to motivate. We want everyone to recognize and understand that what we do every day has an impact on the health of the ocean and that ocean health impacts our daily lives. A healthy ocean drives our quality of life today and will for future generations.
We need to respect the oceans and take care of them as if our lives depended on it. Because they do.