World Oceans Day

Did you know that oceans cover more than 70% of our planet’s surface, helping to regulate weather patterns, while absorbing carbon dioxide and producing half of the oxygen we breathe? From stunning coral reefs to playful dolphins to majestic whales, the ocean plays a huge role in vitality for every species on the planet. Without it, life on Earth would cease to exist and that’s why it’s essential to protect and preserve the seas through awareness and a call to action. World Ocean’s Day is officially designated as June 8th and intended to spread global awareness to threats and challenges the oceans are facing because, sadly, it’s no secret that our oceans are riddled with years of pollution and its wreaking havoc on marine life. World Ocean’s Day is an annual awareness day set to keep the conversation going about why our oceans are so important and how to protect marine life in the deep blue seas. 

There are several ways we can protect and conserve our oceans, it just takes a little consciousness and at NextGen we are advocates of well, advocating for anything really, but especially when it brings the community together and promotes environmental action. This June 8th we encourage everyone to participate in advocating for the ocean. If you live near a beach, look into a local cleanup day to clear the area of any trash or debris that might find their way into the water. This is a great way to get the whole family involved, meet members of your community and an activity that’s easy to organize.

An ocean preservation practice worth supporting are sustainable fishing organizations and companies. Overfishing is a significant problem that is depleting fish populations, which disrupts marine life food chain and the environmental makeup of the ocean. Certain species of fish are being caught faster than they can reproduce and eventually this will lead to a collapse of entire fish populations, which would be catastrophic for ocean life. We can do our part by seeking out local and/or conscious fishing practices. Look for terms like “pole caught” or “MSC Certified”, which guarantees that the wild seafood was caught using methods that do not deplete the natural supply, according to the Marine Steward Council.

In a recent episode of Essential Ingredients, Justine chats with Shareen Davis of Chatham Harvesters Cooperative, a fisherman-run cooperative designed to promote long-term health for sustainability for marine life off the coast of Massechutses. Shareen explains that by keeping their fish local, Chatham Harvesters is reducing its carbon footprint by connecting fishermen to the customers in their community. “We’re trying to market and educate consumers and say, look, this is really healthy seafood. It’s right out your backdoor,” she told Justine. Chatham also advocates to ensure that the fishermen are receiving fair prices and new jobs are being created, helping to stimulate local economies.  

Sites like connect community-based programs that support local seafood productions and sustainable practices.

 Another way to protect marine life is by wearing true reef-safe sunscreen when swimming in the ocean. Conventional sunscreens contain chemicals that are destroying the coral reef, home to one quarter of all ocean species. Badger and Babo Botanicals are just two of several companies that make reef-safe SPF, which is an overall healthier alternative to mainstream brands.   

We can also reduce our production of single-use plastics by investing in reusable produce and grocery bags. If you’re in the habit of drinking bottled water, treat yourself to a new reusable water bottle and be sure to check out the ones with built in filtration systems. Support brands that use less packaging or containers that can be recycled properly in your area. We can also take action to reduce our carbon footprint by riding bikes when possible or carpooling to a shared destination. Every little bit helps even if it doesn’t feel like it at the moment. Head over to this month’s newsletter to read up on even more ways to incorporate greener practices into your daily lives. The steps we take now to preserve Earth’s oceans will have an impact on generations to come. 

Happy World Ocean’s Day!

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