&Here’s the list beginning with my thoughts. Hopefully the readers can suggest other ideas and revisions with the goal of this being a central archive for active ways to conserve our oceans.
- Start by eating the right fish or not eating fish at all. This is probably the easiest. You yield the greatest power when you make simple decisions at the table. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch makes this easy with downloadable charts to carry with you for every region in the U.S. With respect to fishing, Conservation Magazine also lists 10 ways to save the ocean. The list is comprised of essays by leading conservationists.
- Donate a little money to some good advocacy organizations. Oceana and Marine Conservation Biology Institute are my favorites.
- Give a little money to education. Often overlooked but vital, education inspires and those inspired conserve. One option is to go to Donor’s Choose and pick a marine-based project. Another organization is Ocean’s Wide. It’s mission, to introduce students to marine science through technology, empowers them to learn, grow and thrive through experiential education.
- Educate yourself. Try a copy of Carl Safina’s Song For a Blue Ocean for both a source of great information and narrative. On the more technical side, Elliot Norse, authors two excellent books, Global Marine Biological Diversity and Marine Conservation Biology. Oceana and MCBI also have several publications free to download.
- Stop using both fertilizers and pesticides on your gardens and lawns. Whether you live along the coast or in North Dakota it will all make it eventually to the ocean. Nitrogen and phosphorous from fertilizers is likely responsible for the Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone at the base of the Mississippi River (Reduce plastic consumption which is since plastics are likely to make into the ocean. Seek out foods and items that have reduced or recyclable packaging. The bonus is that you will also be cutting back on your consumption of petroleum products.
- Participate in or organize a beach clean up day. Most coastal communities sponsor days through the year to pick up trash at local beaches. If you can’t find one in your community start one.
- Unless things significantly change, stay off cruise ships. Reason 1, Reason 2, and Reason 3.
Please post additional ideas, revisions, suggestions in the comments below and I will modify the list.