World Oceans Day 2016
Today is World Oceans Day, a day for people around the world to observe the necessity of preserving the ecological integrity of our planet’s underwater habitats.
In 2016, the observation of World Oceans Day requires us to be honest: We’re failing to protect our seas from the impact of our human appetites. As Wayne Campbell of the Jamaica Observer notes, “We have dropped the ball as it relates to the protection of the environment and our oceans and now we are reaping the bitter harvest.”
The theme of this year’s World Oceans Day observations is “Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet”, but only a fool can ignore the signs that our oceans, and our planet in general, is becoming increasingly sick. Fish populations are crashing, leading to a boom in opportunist species such as jellyfish and cephalopods, leading marine environments into profound ecological imbalance. Sea levels are rising, and so is ocean acidification , while the Great Barrier Reef is dying of bleaching.
To observe World Oceans Day, you don’t need to go to the ocean itself. Instead, work to transform your inland habits, making your footprint smaller, because all streams lead to the sea. Use less fertilizer. Eat less seafood. Consume fewer packaged goods, and recycle as much as you can. Grow more of your own food, composting vegetable scraps to strengthen your soil without artificial means. Above all else, drive less, and walk more.
You may not see a drop of sea water from your home, but what you do where your live has a direct impact on ocean health. Observe your connection to the oceans, and commit to a more healthy relationship to the planet as a whole.