Do you love the ocean and ocean life? If so, help to promote a wild, healthy ocean for the future by living an ocean-friendly lifestyle. Here are some everyday actions you can take to benefit the ocean and marine life.
1. Consider the land-sea connection.
What we do on land directly affects the ocean. Runoff from lawns, farms, streets, parking lots, and construction sites is a major source of ocean pollution. In the bays and estuaries around nearly every populated area, chemicals and fertilizer from lawns, gardens, and farm fields are creating "dead zones," where nothing can live. Runoff-silt, nitrogen, and phosphorous-rob ocean waters of light and oxygen, and are especially harmful to coral reef ecosystems, You can control the polluted runoff from your neighborhood by taking the following actions:
· If you live right on the water, plant a buffer zone of trees, tall grasses, and shrubs to filter runoff and to provide shelter and habitat for turtles, shorebirds, and other animals,
· Use less fertilizer. Instead, mulch grass clippings to enrich your lawn and create a compost pile that will provide natural nutrients for your garden.
· Wash your car on the grass, not the driveway, That way, harmful chemicals will be filtered by grass and soil before they reach local waterways, where they can harm delicate aquatic life.
· Make sure that construction sites in your neighborhood use silt fences, storm wattles, and other means of keeping sediment and other harmful runoff out of storm drains,
· Plant trees. Trees contribute to clean water; they are the ocean's best filters.
2. Remember that everything flows downstream.
The ocean is downstream of everything. And it doesn't have an endless capacity to absorb waste, In fact, every year people dispose of 161 million gallons of used motor oil-an amount greater than the Exxon Valdez oil spill-improperly. Much of this oil ends up in waterways and the ocean, where it takes a tremendous toll on aquatic life, By being careful about oil, water, and other substances that you use on land, you can help keep ocean waters clean, Here are some things to consider:
· If you decrease your water use at home, you'll decrease the amount of water that must be treated with chemicals before entering rivers, streams, and the ocean.
· Don't use the toilet as a trash can or garbage disposal. Doing so contributes to overloaded sewer and septic systems, which release their effluent into local waterways and the ocean.
· Sweep walks and driveways rather than hosing them down. Water picks up chemicals and transports them to the nearest storm drain, creek, or waterway, Often, these hard surfaces contain oil, antifreeze, lawn chemicals, and other substances,
· Empty your swimming pool or hot tub on the grass, not into the street. Chlorinated water is harmful to aquatic life, By emptying it into a wooded or grassy area, you are making use of nature's natural filtering action,
· Don't fill your gas tank to the top; by not topping off, you'll avoid spills.
3. Recreate-but not recklessly.
Ocean lovers spend a lot of time on-and under-the water, swimming, boating, fishing, diving, and enjoying the beach. These activities are often the most direct contact we have with ocean life, so how you engage in them determines whether your impact is negative or positive,
· Retrieve all fishing line, lures, or gear-even if tangled or broken, Fishing gear can entangle or injure seabirds, turtles, dolphins, manatees-even divers and swimmers. And because it is durable, it can continue catching and killing fish indefinitely.
· Drive your boat as though life depended on it. Be aware that there is life under water! Damaging wake can tear up plants and erode shoreline; boats' slashing propellers injure countless sea turtles, dolphins, manatees, and whales every year.
· When you haul your boat out of any waterway, rinse your boat on the spot to remove hitchhiking plants and organisms. By doing so, you help prevent the spread of harmful invasive species.
· On trips to the beach, carry out whatever you carry in. Wildlife can ingest, or become entangled in, trash left behind.
· It takes all kinds of life to keep an ecosystem healthy, When snorkeling and diving, don't touch, break, stand on, or attempt to collect coral or other marine organisms, Instead, take only pictures and leave only bubbles,
EarthWeb supports those projects that keep the ocean healthy, to keep us healthy. Through science-based advocacy, research, and public education, we inform, inspire, and empower people to speak and act for the ocean.