Making up 70% of the Earth and providing 90% of our water supply, the marine biome is truly a priceless gift from nature. Furthermore, did you know that 50% of the earth’s oxygen is produced from the ocean? The food you ate today? It couldn’t have been produced without the rainwater that evaporated from the marine biome (sea). Do you love sunny summers and snowy winters? That’s all thanks to the marine biome’s ability to transport heat and regulate our climate. In short, it is evident that we are constantly reaping its benefits.
However, despite all these benefits humans have continuously exploited the marine biome and its wildlife. Oil spills, plastic pollution, chemical pollution, and overfishing are only some of the ways we are harming the marine biome. This is a result of industrialization and companies valuing monetary gains over all else. Although as consumers we may have closed our eyes to this behavior in the past, we must now hold corporations, governments, and ourselves responsible. Read on to learn how you can make a difference.
1. Sustainable Tourism
When traveling to marine destinations it is important to be aware of your effect on the natural environment around you. For instance, a popular diving and snorkeling destination is Bali. The coral reefs of Bali are essential to the marine ecosystem and provide food and shelter to billions of wildlife creatures. Unfortunately, many tourists can be found being disrespectful of the coral reef habitat and can be seen climbing, kicking, or even breaking the corals. When visiting a new destination and enjoying marine activities, please make sure to be respectful of the environment and try to stay knowledgeable about the habitat and its ecosystem to avoid accidentally causing it any harm.
Moreover, it goes without saying, never litter or leave any waste in these marine environments. You may think the small candy wrapper you throw away won’t make a difference, but even the smallest pieces of litter could cause serious illness or death to the wildlife that accidentally eats it.
2. Participate in Local Beach Cleanups
Although you may know better than to leave litter on the beach, others may not. Beaches are popular summer destinations, and sadly many people often do not clean up after themselves. The waste found on the beach can be washed away by the tide and end up causing fatal injuries to the wildlife it encounters. In addition, when the toxins from plastic are consumed by the fish in the sea, remember that those same toxins may end up on your dinner plate. Join a local beach clean-up and spend an afternoon picking up plastic, bags, and other waste products that people have left on the beach.
3. Raise Awareness
Like we said above, many people may not know better than to leave litter on the beach. Don’t just stop at local beach clean-ups. You can set up a booth with educational posters and pamphlets on the beach to raise awareness for people passing by while the clean-up is going on. (Just don’t forget to clean up after the booth!)