Let’s Make Active Strides to Help the Oceans in 2018
By Dr. Louisa Asseo
As I was growing up, my mother used to tell me if I didn’t
get out of the pool or the ocean I might develop gills and fins. While on
vacation a few months ago, I tried to test her theory. I spent over 24 hours
underwater SCUBA diving. Not all at the same time, of course. (Alas, no gills,
and my fins were still removable). What I did develop was a deeper love and
appreciation for the delicate balance of our oceans.
SCUBA diving is one of the places I find ultimate
tranquility and relaxation. Swimming alongside schools of colorful reef fish,
seeing the majestic trumpet fish glide gently through the water, and earning
the trust of the shy garden eels to let me get close enough to see their tiny
eyes before disappearing into their sandy holes, are just a few of the things
that make the underwater environment a magical place for me.
But the ocean is not just a place for recreation and
rejuvenation. Sylvia Earle, a world-renowned ocean conservationist, stated,
“Even if you never have the chance to see or touch the ocean, the ocean touches
you with every breath you take, every drop of water you drink, every bite you
consume. Everyone everywhere is inextricably connected to and utterly dependent
upon the existence of the sea.” Just one example of this dependence is that
over 70% of the world’s oxygen is produced by phytoplankton. These
single-celled plant-like organisms live in the oceans, consuming carbon dioxide
and using sunlight to convert it back into breathable oxygen. If we don’t help
keep these tiny organisms healthy and thriving, what will happen to the health
of the earth? And the existence of man?
If we are to remember this, why not take active strides to
help protect this precious resource? There are simple things every person can
do every day to make great strides in helping protect the oceans. Our daily
habits and energy usage is causing the ocean’s acidity to rise. This harms and
kills the plankton that creates our oxygen. By reducing our daily energy
output, we can decrease our own “carbon footprint.”
As we begin this fresh new year, let’s make active strides to
help the oceans in 2018. To get started, how about trying three easy things:
Turn off lights when you are not in the room. Or
go the extra mile and change light switches to motion sensor switches and
change to energy efficient bulbs.
Unplug appliances when not in use.
Walk more and drive less – or carpool when
By making small changes today, we can keep our world
healthier for tomorrow. Wishing you all a great 2018!