We live within a world of water.
In fact, our planet’s five oceans unite to connect us in so many ways, and yet we still don’t fully comprehend them. Both above the waves and below, we benefit from the expansive offerings the ocean provides.
The ocean produces half of the air we breathe, regulates our ever-changing climate and sustains a worldwide economy through countless jobs and industries — but that’s just breaching the surface of the ocean’s immeasurable value to us. Let’s break it down a bit more…
- More than 228,000 known species call the ocean home, but as many as 2 million are yet to be discovered.
- The most traveled “road” isn’t really a road at all; it’s the ocean! Nearly 90% of global goods are carried by the currents at some point on their journey.
- Seafood is an obvious food source from the ocean, but there are plenty of other ingredients that originate underwater, like salt, seaweed, algae and so much more.
- Some lifesaving medicines used to treat certain cancers, arthritis and a variety of other ailments are derived from components found in the ocean.
- Studies show being in, on, under or near water can significantly alter your mood and mental state and allow you to experience “blue mind,” and participating in ocean-centric activities — like surfing, paddling, boating, diving, fishing and more — offer a welcome reprieve.
The Math Matters
Of the 70% of our world that is covered by water, only about 8% of the ocean has official protections in place. Now, there is a global current churning far beyond drawn borders, forming a wave of world leaders, conservationists, concerned citizens and more who are committed to protecting the ocean. This movement, known as 30×30, aims to protect 30% of the world’s lands, oceans and waters by 2030. Though current numbers may seem low, our drive to do good is increasingly potent.
Summing Up Our Impact
A wise citizen once said, “Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.” It’s not about one person contributing most of the work that will make the difference — it’s the collective coming together to create positive change.
- Participate in citizen science projects to protect water, wildlife and wild places. With projects in plastic pollution mitigation, resilience, sustainable seafood and wildlife interactions with marine debris, the South Carolina Aquarium Citizen Science app is a great way to get involved!
- Engage in conversations around conservation. Knowledge is power, and being open to sharing your experiences with others — and hearing their perspective, too — can lead to respectful dialogue on how we can work together to make a difference.
- Support organizations committed to caring for the ocean. For example, when you visit or donate to an AZA-accredited aquarium, you’re helping them continue their critical conservation work, both within their walls and beyond.
- Practice sustainability within your personal lifestyle. Whether this looks like swapping out single-use items for reusable ones, shopping local to lessen your carbon footprint, choosing secondhand where you can or a combination of other actions, everyone has the ability to do something…and every action matters.
Every day feels like World Ocean Day at the Aquarium – come experience it for yourself 💙
Published June 8, 2023