What's Happening to Our Oceans
The ocean isn’t only our play ground but also our food source and home to amazing marine animals, so let do our part and take care of it. Kind Babes its time to show the world how its done, let show the world that we care about our Mother Earth.
First and for most lets learn about: What's Happening to Our Oceans
The oceans are the world’s biggest carbon sinkholes. Like the rainforests, our oceans absorb the massive amounts of CO2 we emit into the atmosphere everyday. The trouble is, as the carbon reacts with saltwater, our oceans begin to acidify. Even the smallest change in the pH balance of the oceans can have devastating effects on marine life.
Global emissions are propelling climate change and causing sea levels to rise. We still have time to curb emissions and to prevent low-lying islands and even cities like New Orleans and Miami from being swallowed by the ocean.
In the past 50 years, we’ve eaten more than 90% of the world’s big fish. Blue fin tuna, big marlin and sharks have all been fished faster than the ocean’s can replenish them. This becomes especially worrisome when we consider that 75% of the human population is dependent on seafood as a main source of food.
By paying attention to where our food comes from and supporting sustainable fishing, we can secure abundant food supply for generations to come.
Reefs and Dead Zones
Coral reefs are an essential part of ocean ecosystems – home to over 25 percent of all marine life. The world’s once thriving reefs are under intense pressure from pollution, rising ocean temperatures, physical damage from tourism and harmful fishing practices like bottom-trawling.
Scientists have identified nearly 533 “dead-zones” - areas of the ocean so depleted of oxygen that wildlife suffocates and dies.
Since the 1980s, we’ve lost half of the world’s coral reefs - but there’s still time to save the remaining 50 percent.
From plastic bags to oil and pesticides, almost all of the waste we produce on land ends up in the oceans. We’re putting hundreds of millions of tons of plastic and other trash into the oceans and leaving behind discarded gillnets that continue to trap and kill wildlife. Further, every marine organism, from tiny plankton to whales and polar bears, is contaminated by man-made and toxic chemicals. Oil, fertilizers, sewage and plastic are all entering our oceans at alarming rates, altering the chemical makeup of our oceans, but we can all prevent our oceans from becoming global sewers.
Unfortunately, our beaches have been mistreated; what we leave at the beach, stays at the beach and it impacts our environment in a very negative way.
So what can we do?
Pack your yummy treats in a reusable container rather than plastic bags.
Plastic will not only harm our beaches but the animals in our waters. The more you resist the urge to bring your food and drinks in ziplock bags and water bottles, the more the beach will thank you.
Keep it clean when it comes to sunscreen.
Sunscreen is a must when you’re spending a day in the sun but the chemicals in sunscreen harm the environment. Buy yourself some organic sunscreen… Our favorite is a brand we just started carrying, @whitegirlsunscreen – it is free from harsh toxins like Oxybenzone plus, it’s lightly-scented with fresh cucumber. It will protect your skin and the environment!
Also, wait approximately 30 min after applying your sunscreen to ensure that your sunscreen doesn’t wash right of.
No items get left behind.
In this case, what happens at the beach does not stay at the beach. Make sure what you pack comes right back home with you. Contribute to cleaning the beach by picking up any trash you see lying around the sand – every little thing helps and you’ll burn some extra calories.
New motto: Leave the beach cleaner than when you arrived.
You can also sign up & volunteer to clean beaches in your city at www.oceanconservancy.org
Avoid plastic straws when ordering your coco loco.
Did you know that straws are not accepted as a recyclable item? So, unless you throw them out while you’re at the beach, they’ll most likely end up in the ocean where they get mistaken as food by our oceans’ creatures.
We suggest avoiding the use of straws as much as possible!
Bring extra eco-friendly bags to pick up after your dog’s.
When taking your dog to the beach, a dog friendly one of course… make sure to pick up after them. According to poopsbags.com, 20-30% of all pollutants in waterways are attributed to dog waste.
We like the bags from poopbags because their main focus is creating an eco-friendly dog bag that safely decomposes.
Never feed, attract, or chase wildlife. (www.nrdc.org)
“As fun as it is to see dolphins jumping off the bow of a boat, just remember each time there’s a human–wildlife interaction, it can alter an animal’s normal behavior,” Sentman says. Use a trained, professional guide when visiting sea turtle nesting beaches(disturbances can prevent females from laying eggs and disorient hatchlings). When you do spot wildlife, keep quiet; startled animals, like sea lions, can accidentally trample their young. Pack binoculars for a better look and a zoom lens for that close-up. When you see wildlife from a boat or kayak, slow down and maintain a safe distance (about 150 feet for animals like dolphins and seals and twice that for whales).
Pay attention to wayfinding and regulatory signs posted by hotels, parks, and preserves. They’re there to protect you and the ecosystems and wildlife around you. Human-free zones can prevent the erosion of dunes (which protect coastlines from storm surge and keep fragile vegetation safe), safeguard nesting shorebirds on the beach and nursery grounds for fish and crustaceans in the shallows, and keep resting manatees from getting buzzed by Jet Skis and water-skiers. Same goes for dog-free zones and leash requirements if you’ve brought Fido along. In addition to easily damaging sensitive beach dune vegetation, an unattended dog can dig up a sea turtle nest or destroy a colony of beach-nesting birds in a matter of seconds.
Respect the reef.
Coral reefs are second only to rainforests in terms of biodiversity, and while they cover less than 1 percent of our oceans, they’re home to 25 percent of the world’s fish. “If you’re a beginner snorkeler, make sure you’re in a place where you can be a beginner,” Sentman says. Coral is incredibly delicate, and even the slightest brush of a fin can damage decades of growth. When you’re exploring nooks and crannies, remember not to touch. Picking up a rock or shell could expose the organisms or fish eggs beneath it to predators. Snagging a souvenir may even be illegal.
You can also protect reefs with the sun protection you choose. It’s estimated that as much as 14,000 tons of sunscreen wind up on these fragile ecosystems each year. Oxybenzone—a common chemical in sunscreens—is highly toxic to coral, causing endocrine disruption, DNA damage, and death; it can also exacerbate coral bleaching. Not surprisingly, the chemical is found at its highest concentrations in reefs popular with tourists. Opt instead for sunscreens made with titanium oxide or zinc oxide, and when possible, cover up with a light, long-sleeve shirt or rash guard, hat, and sunglasses as an alternative.
Be Informed About Your Beach (www.huffingtonpost.com)
You might feel a little seasick once you find out how your beach ranks in terms of water quality. High amounts of bacterial pollution accounts for thousands and thousands of beach closings and advisories each year. Bacterial pollution in our beach waters is a major health concern because it can give swimmers everything from pink eye to hepatitis. Keep track of what is going on at your vacation destination by checking out the National Resource Defense Council's updated guide or the EPA's online quality reports.
Remember it Starts at Home
What you let go down the drain or put on your lawn and garden can end up in the ocean. It's important to keep hazardous materials out of our water supply. It could be by keeping motor oil out of storm drains, properly disposing of our pets' waste, and making sure grease doesn't go down the sink. Also, when we use too much fertilizer on our yard, the excess is picked up by stormwater runoff and dumped right into our waterways. This nutrient overload causes algae to bloom which removes oxygen from the water.