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June 8, 2020

Coming Together To Protect The World’s Oceans

Happy World Oceans Day! 

Earth’s oceans are pretty incredible. These water ecosystems contain a volume of roughly 252 billion billion gallons of water, cover 70% of the Earth’s surface, and are home to 1 million species of animals! Not only that, but the oceans play a huge role in making life on land more enjoyable for us humans. Oceans work as climate regulators, provide rainwater for us to drink and water crops, and help regulate global warming, among other things. 

Like we said: pretty incredible! 

For World Oceans Day, we are not only celebrating all that the oceans do for us, but we are also raising awareness and helping to protect these incredible water worlds. 2020’s World Oceans Day focuses on the 30×30 initiative, which is to safeguard at least 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030 through the establishment of highly protected areas. 

Wow! What an initiative! With your help, we can achieve the 30×30 goal and ensure that there is a healthy home for all on earth. 

Why Do We Need To Protect The Oceans? 

For most of history, the ocean was a largely unexplored and mysterious place. In recent decades, however, new technology has enabled human influence to spread to more areas and into deeper depths. As a result, even the remotest of ocean areas are under threat. 

Now, we aren’t saying that all humans are negatively affecting the oceans. On the contrary, we believe that the majority of the human race wants to take care of the planet on which we live and the animals that surround us. However, we may be harming the oceans in ways we aren’t even aware of, and knowing about what is happening can help us each do our part to care for the oceans of the world. 

Climate Change 

Climate change is a natural phenomenon that results in a rising and falling of global temperature. While this is a natural occurrence, recent decades have led to a steady increase in temperature. A major contributor to this is an increase of carbon dioxide, other pollutants, and greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. These compounds absorb light and heat from the sun, trapping it and causing the planet to get hotter. 

The ocean absorbs most of the excess heat that greenhouse gases trap in the atmosphere. In fact, the ocean absorbs about 90% of additional heat caused by global warming as well as about 30% of human emissions of carbon dioxide. As the oceans absorb more heat, water temperatures rise, which can lead to a variety of issues for both aquatic animals and humans, including: 

Overfishing 

Fish has long been a staple food source for humans, and while fishing can help prevent fish populations from becoming too great, overfishing has become a huge issue in recent decades. When too many fish are removed from the ocean, there can be an imbalance in the natural food web, which can cause other species to go hungry or target new prey. This can put more vulnerable species, such as turtles and coral, more at risk. 

Overfishing also poses a threat to human life. If we catch too much fish right now, there won’t be enough to catch later. This can result in people losing their jobs, and with half of the world’s population relying on fish as a major source of protein, many people may end up going hungry as well. 

Even protected species, such as the bluefin tuna, Eastern Pacific leatherback turtle, and Maui dolphin, are being overfished. A large contributor to this is that we just don’t have the manpower to regulate laws against plundering. However, as species become overfished, they risk extinction, and many species are nearly there. 

Pollution 

This is probably the main issue that most of us are aware of when it comes to protecting our oceans. Each year, billions of pounds of pollutants enter the ocean. These pollutants include plastic, oil, and fertilizer, to name a few. Pollution can lead to a variety of issues in the ocean, including: 

What Is The 30×30 Initiative? 

With human impact taking its toll on the oceans, these beautiful and diverse water worlds are under threat more than ever before. Many people have been working hard to protect the oceans, but we need more help. That is the goal of the 30×30 initiative. 

The 30×30 initiative is advocating for the application of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) that will help protect both habitats and species. By protecting these area from human influence, we can help rebuild biodiversity and ecosystems, and maintain or increase marine animal populations. The plants and animals that live in the ocean cannot fight for themselves; they need our help! 

To sign the petition and make your voice heard, click here

10 Ways You Can Help Protect The Oceans 

With so much we need to do protect the oceans, you may be thinking, “What can do? What impact will a single person have?” You can do so much! All efforts start with one person, and as we each do our part to help protect the oceans, we really can make a difference. You don’t have to live near a beach or the water to have an impact. Just check out these 10 ways that you can help protect the oceans: 

  1. Reduce Your Carbon Footprint: Increased energy use releases more carbon dioxide into the air as a result of burning fossil fuels, which can lead to ocean acidification and other issues. Try walking, biking, taking public transportation, or carpooling more. Turn off appliances when you’re not using them, turn up the thermostat in the summer and down in the winter, and use high-efficiency appliances. 
  2. Ditch Single-Use Plastics: We dump 8 million tons of plastic into the ocean each year, all of which can harm marine life. Replace single-use plastics with cloth grocery bags, reusable water bottles, metal straws, reusable plastic baggies, and more! 
  3. Properly Dispose of Hazardous Materials: If hazardous materials aren’t properly disposed, they will end up in the ocean, often as a result of runoff from a landfill. Make sure to take materials such as batteries, motor oil, paints, gasoline, aerosol cans, etc. to your local hazardous waste disposal center. 
  4. Use Less Fertilizer: Fertilizers are packed with nutrients, which is great for our gardens, but when they run off into rivers that lead to the ocean, it leads to algal blooms and the resulting dead zones. Even if you are not close to a river or ocean, runoff can travel across the country before it ends up in the ocean. 
  5. Pick Up Trash At The Beach: If you live near a beach, go participate in a beach cleanup! This is a great way to help prevent more plastics and pollutants form entering the oceans. 
  6. Practice Safe Boating: For those who boat out in the ocean, take care about where you go. Anchor in sandy areas that are far from reefs and sea grasses. Be sure to also adhere to “no wake” areas. 
  7. Join an Organization: There are many groups that are working hard to clean the oceans and keep them safe. By joining a group, you can support their efforts and help them have the means and manpower to get the job done. 
  8. Buy Ocean-Friendly Products: Many companies use marine life in their products. This can range from seaweed, phytoplankton, or shark squalene in cosmetics to using turtle shell or coral in jewelry. Support only businesses that do not use marine life as part of their products, and who produce their products through sustainable and eco-friendly methods. 
  9. Conserve Water: By using less water, you can decrease the amount of runoff from landfills, sewers, and other areas that carry harmful materials into the ocean. 
  10. Spread the Word: Share your efforts with friends and family, and encourage them to participate with you! By spreading the word, we can spread awareness, increase our efforts, and make a bigger impact. 

Doing Our Part: What RMO Is Doing TO Protect The Oceans 

At Rocky Mountain Oils, we are proud to take extra measures to help protect the oceans and our earth as a whole. These are just some of the ways we strive to protect the oceans every day: 

Our oceans are incredible! They provide homes for millions of species of animals and plants, and they make life on earth possible. But our oceans are in danger. By working together, we can see change happen and give our oceans the protection they need and the care they deserve! 

 

Want to do some more research? Check out these sources: 

https://www.worldoceannetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/1.-Climate.pdf

https://worldoceansday.org 

https://www.greenpeaceoceanblueprint.org/pdfDocs/Greenpeace_30x30_Blueprint_Report_web.pdf

https://www.worldoceanfest.org/new-blog/2017/5/22/improving-the-health-of-oceans-through-recycling

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