We Owe It to the Ocean | South Carolina Aquarium

We Owe It to the Ocean

Jun 08

We Owe It to the Ocean

She goes by many names – some familiar, some foreign – yet is widely known across countries, communities and cultures. The mere mention of her can conjure vivid memories overflowing with nostalgia, camaraderie, adventure and love. Unaffected by our differences, she connects our coasts, uniting us across miles. And we owe a lot to her. So much of who we are and who we strive to be relies on how we treat her. Our bodies need her. Our minds are soothed by her. Our livelihoods depend on her. Our future is determined by her.

We owe it to the ocean:

…For generating the air we breathe
The ocean essentially acts as the world’s lungs, with at least half of our oxygen coming directly from the ocean herself.

…For providing us nourishment
Humans have benefited from the ocean’s bounty since fishing first originated 40,000 years ago. Now, approximately 3 billion people worldwide rely on seafood as their primary source of protein.

…For creating opportunities for work
Nearly 40% of the United States population lives in areas along the coast and with that comes ocean-reliant job opportunities. The ocean supports 2.2 million jobs in marine fisheries, tourism and hospitality, education and research, transportation, manufacturing and so much more.

Atlantic spadefish (Chaetodipterus faber)

…For shaping our climate
Ocean currents influence worldwide weather patterns by distributing warm waters across the globe (regulating temperature along the way) and powering storm systems to deliver freshwater on land. And with an increasingly warmer climate, the ocean works overtime to absorb an immense amount of heat from the sun.

…For offering a much-needed reprieve
Studies show that being in, on, under or near water can lower anxiety and stress levels, bolster feelings of happiness and calm and inspire creativity and understanding of the world and those around us. This therapeutic relief is referred to as “blue mind,” a term coined by renowned marine biologist and author Wallace J. Nichols.

…For exhibiting biodiversity beyond measure
95% of the ocean remains unknown and unexplored by humankind. And though we know of more than 228,000 species that call the ocean home, it’s estimated that there could be close to one million species still waiting to be discovered. From natural solutions to crises, advances in medicine and more, just imagine what answers we might find beneath the waves.

Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas)

The Ocean is Calling
So, how can you say thanks to the ocean for everything she provides for us?

Join the collective to protect her. Now, more than ever, the ocean is calling for help, and we owe it to the ocean to listen. Together, we can change course for a better tomorrow and build hope for a resilient future.

But we need to act today.

  • Live a conservation-forward lifestyle. Consider the environment when making your everyday choices, like opting for reusable bottles, bags and straws over single-use alternatives. Shop local over shipping direct and be mindful of your overall consumption.
  • Participate in citizen science projects to drive data and decision making, like the Litter-Free Digital Journal, used to track litter distribution across our state, and the Sea Rise Project, used to report on flooding and related impacts.
  • Stay informed with ocean-related issues that matter to you. Follow local organizations, legislators and decision makers that align with your beliefs, and figure out where and how you want your voice, and the ocean’s, to be heard.

World Ocean Day should be everyday. Learn more about how we’re leading with conservation at the forefront:

Published June 8, 2022

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