World Oceans Day is June 8th!

So what does this mean for us?

We are all familiar with the “Seafood Diet.”  We see food, we eat it! But have you ever stopped to think about how important it is that we do all we can to ensure our oceans stay healthy so that we can stay healthy too? A thriving ocean provides us with the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink, and more.

  • The air we breathe – Did you know that ocean plants produce half of the world’s oxygen? But that’s not all, our oceans absorb nearly one-third of human-caused carbon dioxide emissions.
  • The food on your plate – Besides seafood, oceans are connected to what we eat in many ways. About 85% of fish caught is used for human consumption. The remainder is converted into fish-meal and oil used for animal feed and for farmed fish.
  • The water we drink – Our amazing oceans also regulate our weather and form the clouds that bring us fresh water.
  • The items in your medicine cabinet – Ocean ingredients fill our bathrooms and medicine cabinets—used in everything from shampoos and cosmetics, to medicines that help fight cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, viruses, and other diseases.
  • Jobs and the economy – One in six jobs in the United States is marine-related. Healthy marine habitats like reefs, barrier islands, mangroves and wetlands help protect coastal communities from the results of hurricanes and storm surges.
  • A shared resource – Many of us enjoy the spectacular recreational activities that our oceans offer.

What can we do to protect our oceans?

Oceans need our help to stay healthy. Even small changes can make a difference.

Here’s how we can help:

  • Reduce our plastic use – The most frequently collected items during beach cleanups are made of plastic—think reusable shopping bags, water bottles, and utensils.
  • Dispose of chemicals properly – Never pour chemicals, pharmaceuticals, oil or paint into the drain or toilets. Check with your local household hazardous waste program to properly dispose of or recycle chemicals and keep them out of rivers and oceans.
  • Chose green detergents and household cleaners – Besides being better for your own health, these products are safer for the environment since what goes down the drain can end up in our oceans.
  • Find out the source of your food – Buying local, organic food supports your local economy and reduces the amount of pesticides and fertilizers that end up not just in your stomach, but as run-off in rivers and oceans too.
  • Fill your yard with native species – Reducing the amount of grass in your lawn by planting native shrubs and flower beds will require far less water and fertilizer, which can seep into our rivers and oceans.
Keeping our oceans healthy keeps us healthy. The more you know…!

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