Never underestimate the power of the ocean – a flat, calm sea one day can become a powerful and almighty force the next, which can churn up a very different experience.
However, potential dangers aside, we mustn’t underestimate its power because, quite simply, without the oceans, we wouldn’t be here.
Oceans keep us alive, providing at least 50 percent of the planet’s oxygen and absorbing about 30 percent of the carbon dioxide we produce - a healthy ocean plays a critical role in the climate crisis solution.
That knowledge should be enough to create ripples, if not waves, throughout every community to step up and work together to clean up and help save the oceans.
This week the United Nations recognises June 8th as World Oceans Day and this year’s theme is The Ocean: Life & Livelihoods.
The aim is to unite the world’s population on a global project to sustainably manage the oceans and highlight the impact that humans have inflicted on them.
Greed has resulted in us taking more from the ocean than can be replenished, with 90 percent of big fish populations already depleted, and 50 percent of coral reefs destroyed.
With this in mind, we have looked at just a few of the charities that are working tirelessly to protect our oceans to safeguard our planet, not just for World Oceans Day, but every day.
1.Ocean Generation (formerly known as Plastic Oceans UK)
Experts in ocean plastic pollution since 2009, Plastic Oceans UK is now Ocean Generation. The charity released an award-winning documentary ‘A Plastic Ocean’ in 2017, which Sir David Attenborough hailed as ‘one of the most important films of our time.’
Ocean Generation will be posting its Wavemaker Toolkit for World Oceans Day, providing a wealth of tips to enable everyone to make small behavioral changes to live more sustainably and reduce their plastic consumption.
The charity will also be sharing inspirational stories of communities who live on the climate frontlines and whose livelihoods are being impacted by threats to the ocean.
Ocean Generation told Acre: “Climate change has always been seen as an “environmental” problem. However, we want to shift the narrative and highlight the stories behind the science and data. The real people.Even when at home you can still celebrate the ocean and help protect 71 percent of this planet”.
The charity works closely with scientific researchers to produce its factual material, including the revelation that 99 percent of seabird species could ingest plastic by 2050.
The international non-profit marine conservation charity is on a mission to protect all marine life species, regardless of their size and works to remind people that the ocean is a life source.
Sea Shepherd campaigns to protect whales, dolphins, seals, sharks, penguins, turtles, fish, krill and aquatic birds from the devastating impact of poaching, unsustainable fishing, habitat destruction and exploitive captivity.
It owns a worldwide fleet (12 vessels so far) which helps to defend, conserve and protect marine life in direct-action campaigns around the world, from Antarctica to Africa.
This year, Sea Shepherd wants to remind everyone that every day should be World Oceans Day and to be mindful about helping to protect the ocean. We cannot breathe or drink water without the oceans, so for us to function, the ocean has to function.
Captain Alex Cornelissen, Sea Shepherd Global CEO, said: “Since 1977 Sea Shepherd has recognized every day as World Oceans Day. Even though we should celebrate the cradle of all life on the planet, today we should also reflect on the continued destruction of this fragile habitat.”
3.Surfers Against Sewage
This charity was founded in 1990 by a group of surfers in Cornwall who wanted to clean up the beaches from sewage pollution that was posing a hazard to their hobby (and for all the other sea lovers).
Now it’s progressed beyond sewage, and the charity campaigns for everything from marine litter to climate change, as plastic has become the new sewage. In fact, a staggering 29 million metric tonnes of plastic is expected to enter the ocean every year by 2040.
Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) is launching a new video for World Oceans Day called ‘Thank You, Sea’ which has been created from the many stories sent to the charity as part of their#MySeaStory campaign. SAS will also be running a Youth Ocean & Climate Summit and will release a manifesto created by attendees later in the day.
4.Marine Conservation Society
The Marine Conservation Society UK (MCSUK) fights daily for a cleaner, better protected and healthier ocean.
The charity works around the UK protecting seas and contributes to international data and legislation, with the ultimate goal of recovering the health of the ocean. MCSUK volunteer divers spent a total of 100 hours underwater in 2019-2020 to record species and changes in habitats to monitor life in the ocean.
From its Good Fish Guide which promotes sustainable food choices to beach cleans and fundraising events, there are a multitude of ways that the charity generates interest to educate people about what they can do to lessen the impact and stop the sea from becoming a dumping ground for plastic waste.
By 2030, the charity aims to protect a third of our seas to allow recovery, retain fish stocks at sustainable levels and for ocean pollution levels to be considerably lower.
World Oceans Day comes just a few days before this year’s G7 summit, which will be hosted in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, where key decisions on climate change will be formed prior to COP26.