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Ocean pollution and ecological disasters can make us feel like it's all over. Like we can’t have a positive impact. The truth is that even a small change from a lot of people can have a dramatic effect in the long run. If you want to join the efforts here are 10 things we can do to help the ocean today.

1. Eat sustainable seafood - Global fisheries are on the verge of collapse. According to the U.N. fisheries are now overexploited, fully exploited, significantly depleted or recovering from overexploitation. Additionally, up to 90 percent of large predatory fish (those that eat other animals—and usually end up on our dinner plates) have disappeared since humans began heavy fishing. When shopping or dining out, always know what to order by downloading a sustainable seafood guide from Monterey Bay Aquarium.

2. Reduce your consumption of fish – If everyone did this, depleted fish stocks would be given breathing space to grow again. Steer clear away from species that have already been labeled as threatened.  You can help turn the tide by demanding sustainable seafood at the supermarket and in your favorite restaurants. Look for special terms like "line caught", "diver caught", "sustainably caught" or "sustainably harvested”. Better yet eat a vegan diet.

Stop Single use plastic

3. Stop single use - The trash we "throw away" doesn't disappear. Plastic bags, disposable food containers, snack wrappers, and other garbage can end up in the ocean. Seabirds, turtles, seals, and other animals can mistake floating plastic for food or become tangled in it and die

Single plastic water bottle trash

Think twice when buying plastic bottles. Ever bought a plastic water bottle and thrown it away after one use? Every day, millions of people around the world are doing the exact same thing. Global plastics recycling rate is only about 25 percent and, much of our plastic waste ends up in the ocean — and a lot of that is single-use water bottles. It takes at least 450 years for one plastic bottle to degrade so you can imagine the damage it causes.
In other words, use Fewer Plastic Products and ditch the disposable lifestyle. Make a point to bring your own reusable shopping bags, carry a reusable water bottle, food containers and buy tote bags and recycle whenever possible.

Beach Cleanup

 4. Help Clean up the Beach - Much of the plastic and debris found in the ocean has its beginnings as beach litter. As beach crowds increase, so does the amount of trash left behind. Don’t let your day at the beach contribute to the destruction of our oceans. Volunteer for cleanup events with an organization like Surfrider or Heal The Bay. Carry a reusable trash bag and pick up any trash you see. It’s a quick and simple way to get involved.

Help Clean up the beach

If you don’t live near a beach, don’t neglect your local rivers, lakes, and waterways. Check with your local environmental authority on the web. They likely have programs to get people involved with waterway cleanup, and regular volunteering events where everyone gets together to clean up the shore. A few hours makes a huge difference.  See you out there!

5. Clean Up Your Act - Even if you don't live near the coast, what goes down your drain can end up in the ocean. You can help keep the ocean and other waterways healthy by picking your cleaning products. Many household cleaners can be replaced with simple non-toxic ingredients.
Use white vinegar, baking soda, water and a few drops of essential oil to make a great All-Purpose Cleaner.

6. Stop Smoking - Cigarettes harm humans, but did you know they also harm our ocean?
It's estimated that 15 billion cigarets get smoked daily, this adds up to 4.5 trillion cigarettes a year. Contributing 1.6 billion pounds of toxic trash per year. When cigarette butts get wet, chemicals poisonous to sea life, like arsenic, acetone, ammonia, benzene, cadmium, formaldehyde, lead, and toluene leach out into the surrounding water. Birds and fish eat them, and you can guess where all those waste chemicals end up. Plus, the filters contain plastic.

Like plastic bottles, many of them find their way into our ocean and onto our shores. They may be small, but cigarette butts are some of the deadliest trash.
Do yourself and our oceans a favor and please quit smoking.

7. Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without - This might sound counter-intuitive for a clothing company to say but did you know the fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world behind fossil fuel energy production. The fashion industry is responsible for 10% of the carbon footprint in the world. Synthetic fibers, the agriculture pollution of fashion crops, Hyper-consumption and fast fashion deplete our planet of its resources.

Properly recycling our used clothes is great, but even better is to buy the things you need and love and take care of them so they last before we buy other new ones.

Find a clothing recycling place
Look for Sustainable products

Ocean Friendly Products

8. Buy ocean-friendly products. Avoid products produced through unsustainable or environmentally harmful methods. For example, avoid cosmetics containing shark squalene and jewelry made of coral or sea turtle shell. These products are directly linked to unsustainable fishing methods and the destruction of entire ecosystems. When in doubt - Buy quality products and wear them out.

Vote for the planet
9. Vote for the planet - research the candidates and vote for the ones that have climate change and protection of the environment as their platform. Electing the right public officials is essential to good ocean policy. Research the ocean policies of public officials before you vote or contact your local representatives to let them know you support marine conservation projects. Consider patronizing restaurants and grocery stores that offer only sustainable seafood, and speak up about your concerns if you spot a threatened species on the menu or at the seafood counter.
Exercise your right to vote and stay involved after Election Day. If you have concerns or questions, contact your representative. Take action.

10. Support Organizations Working to Protect the Ocean - Many institutes and organizations are fighting to protect ocean habitats and marine wildlife. Find a national organization and consider giving financial support or volunteering for hands-on work or advocacy. If you live near the coast, join up with a local branch or group and get involved in projects close to home.
While individual people like you and I can certainly make a difference, the oceans face challenges on every front. Commercial farming creating oxygen-depleted “dead zones” through overuse of fertilizer, commercial vessels using the ocean as their personal dumping ground, global warming creating more CO2 than ocean plants can process, oil spills threatening whole ecosystems, overfishing, and the temperature of the ocean disrupting migratory patterns and underwater ecology all contribute to the declining health of our most important resource.
Here’s a list of organizations committed to changing that, where you can donate, find ways to volunteer and learn more:

- Oceana
- Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
- Ocean Conservancy
- Clean Ocean Action
- Coral Reef Alliance
- Clean Water Fund
- Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences: BIOS
- National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
- The Ocean Foundation

For something that gives us so much, the least we can do is make better choices. No one can save the oceans alone, but every one of us can do our part, and help spread the word.
Remember to be kind to the environment and be kind to yourself because the well being of all humans depends on the well being of the oceans.  Lastly, we are not experts we are just concerned humans that decided to take a step in the right direction. If you have any suggestions, ideas or want to get in touch with us please do. Join our tribe! 

Captain Paul Watson


Organizations Working to Protect the Ocean
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
Ocean Conservancy
Clean Ocean Action
Coral Reef Alliance
Clean Water Fund
Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences: BIOS
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
The Ocean Foundation

Sustainable Seafood Choices 

Seafood Watch


Beach Cleanup

Surfrider Foundation

Heal The Bay

All Purpose Cleaner

DIY All Purpose Cleaner


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