For most of us, the ocean is somewhere we go for a special vacation. For surfers, the ocean is a second home, a place where worries fall by the wayside and nature’s awesome power is front and center at all times.
It makes sense then that surfers would be concerned about what’s happening to our oceans. Between rampant industrial pollution, plastic waste, and acidification brought on by climate change, the oceans as we know them won’t be around much longer. That’s why hundreds of surfers, swimmers, boaters, and plain-old ocean lovers, joined together at NRDC’s Malibu Peace Paddle to raise awareness about the critical problems facing the ocean.
We have drastically changed the ocean in an evolutionary instant, and the magnitude of that impact is visible around the world, writes pro surfer Laird Hamilton on OneEarth.org. On my journeys around the globe I have witnessed many of the impacts that humans have had on the oceans. From oil-coated dolphins in the Gulf, to beaches covered with plastic garbage in the Pacific, indeed I have seen far too many ocean tragedies. Perhaps more alarming, is the fact that many of the greatest impacts are not visible to the naked eye. Out of sight cannot mean out of mind if we want to secure a future of healthy seas. But I also see room for hope. I have met so many people who are working toward a better, healthier, and more resilient ocean future.
The goal of the Peace Paddle, which set a Guinness World Record, was to inspire international action at the upcoming Rio+20 summit to protect the world’s oceans from the ever-growing global threats. “Demanding that our leaders create reliable solutions is an important step toward a sustainable ocean future,” writes Sarah Chasis, Director of NRDC’s Ocean Initiative. “We need to go beyond good intentions this year and place the focus on action.”
You probably didn’t realize that today is World Oceans Day. You might not be able to go pick up trash on the beach, or make a donation to an ocean conservation organization. But you can still do something meaningful for the oceans today. Take just a few minutes to sign the NRDC petition asking President Obama to push for critical ocean protections during the Rio+20 summit. And the next time you get ready to toss a plastic bottle in the trash, or drive your car when it would be just as easy to walk or bike, think about the impact your actions will have on the oceans we all depend on for survival.
Image via www.lairdhamilton.com/NRDC
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