No matter who you are or where you live, we each have a personal responsibility to protect our oceans. – AeaGreen
June 8th, World Oceans Day, is the one day each year celebrated in over 70 countries around the world that is dedicated to honoring the body of water that links us all, the magnificent ocean. However, if you really think about it, every day should be World Oceans Day due to the sheer size and impact it has on our lives. It generates most of the oxygen that we breathe, helps feed us, cleans the water we drink, regulates our climate and offers us many options of medicines linked to curing sicknesses and cancers. Approximately 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, with the oceans holding about 96.5% of it. If you were to look at a satellite picture from space, you may ask yourself why we were named Earth and not Ocean?
The oceans on this planet are so large that they play host to a myriad of problems that seem almost impossible to keep on top of, including oil spills, waste runoff, threatened coral reefs and endangered species. It is for these reasons that there is one designated day each year to promote the conservation of our oceans and celebrate its beauty. As a Florida native, the importance of the ocean has always been apparent. Floridians are brought up with everyday awareness such as keeping our beaches clean, slowing our boats for manatees, cutting apart those 6-pack plastic soda can rings that marine life can get tangled in and so on. It is the little contributions that make a big difference in our beach communities.
One of the most unique and exciting places that truly treasures our oceans and treats every day as though it is World Oceans Day, is called Loggerhead Marinelife Center. It is a non-profit education and ocean conservation facility located in Juno Beach, Florida that rescues injured sea turtles from oceans and canals and nurses them back to health. Once their health has been restored, they are released back into their natural habitat, the ocean. For over 25 years, the center has educated teens just like you on the importance of protecting our oceans. With over 200,000 visitors a year from all over the world, it is not only educating the youth on the severity of taking care of our oceans and its creatures, but it also serves as South Florida’s one and only turtle hospital. If it weren’t for this center alone, the population of several endangered species of sea turtles, would be significantly less maybe even extinct! “Juno Beach is now recognized as one of the most active nesting beaches in the world.” The 2013 data from this nesting season so far indicates over 3,000 nests of different sea turtle species.
One of the most recent additions to the marine life center, was a Loggerhead sea turtle named JP, who had swallowed four fish hooks and was caught by a fisherman at Juno Beach pier. He was brought to the center in 2012 and underwent surgery for the removal of the fish hooks. The center attached a tracking device to JP’s shell to monitor his whereabouts. He is currently still being monitored after his release a couple of months ago and will be relocated much further away from Juno Beach if he is found to be repeating history and circling the pier for fisher’s bait. You can track JP and other turtles here or see what some of the turles at the marinelife center are up to with the Live Sea Turtle Cam. JP is just one case of uncountable sea turtles and marine life who need our help. The hardest part of the entire rehabilitation process is knowing that nearly all of the reasons why the sea turtles are submitted to the center in the first place is because of us. From oil spills to trash, boat propellers and fish hooks, these poor sea turtles and other marine life are tragically harmed and too commonly killed due to humans. Marine life centers all over the world are always looking for more volunteers like you to help keep our coastal ecosystems clean, safe and thriving for all!
Don’t hesitate to get involved on not only World Oceans Day but everyday and help your local communities keep our ocean a healthy one. With global climate change and high threats to endangered marine life, it is more important than ever to come together and save our oceans. You are the youth, the next generation and it is up to you to
DID YOU KNOW?
Below are some shocking facts about our oceans:
- There are about 73.9 million pounds of plastic spread throughout the world’s oceans.
- Approximately 100,000 marine mammals and 1,000,000 seabirds die every year from ingesting or getting entangled in trash.
- Around 90% of the ocean’s trash is made up of plastic and takes 450 years for a plastic bottle to decompose in the ocean.
- More than one-third of the shellfish-growing waters in the USA are affected by coastal pollution.
HOW TO REDUCE YOUR OCEAN FOOTPRINT
Even if you don’t live near the ocean, there are still a ton of ways to help reduce your ocean footprint. After all, the ocean is our planet’s biggest life source!
- Limit the toxins that you use in your yard as they run-off affecting nearby waterways.
- Whenever you shop at the mall, grocery store or your local markets, bring your reusable shopping bags.
- Recycle everything! Once you get into the habit of doing so, it will become second nature to you and you’ll be helping the waste pile-up significantly.
- Stuck for ideas for your senior project or looking for a way to accumulate those volunteer hours before you graduate? Consider starting a recycling campaign at school.
- Bring your reusable cups to your local coffee shop in the morning for that must-have latte!
- Carry a reusable water bottle to school or work. You can now buy flat water bottles that will fit in any bag.
- Volunteer at your town’s next beach cleanup and help keep the marine environment trash free. It is also a great way to make new friends!
- Spread the word about ocean conservation using social media or your personal blog.
Happy World Oceans Day!
Read the original article in ISFoundation.com.