World Oceans Day: How You Can Help

Many of our daily decisions — some we might not even think about — impact the health of oceans. Everyday products with petroleum (like chewing gum and aspirin — who knew!?) can be a source of ocean pollution. The seafood we choose to eat also has a big impact on oceans. For every pound of shrimp caught, for example, ten pounds of other marine life are killed and thrown away! (Read more shocking fish facts here.)

The good news is there are many ways to help the ocean. In daily life, we can be conscious consumers by buying fish-free pet food and only supporting seafood harvested sustainably.

Another great way to help is to get acquainted with the local watershed and join a group — or grab some friends — to pick up trash.

This morning, about 30 volunteers came together in honor of World Oceans Day to pick up trash along the banks of the Anacostia River in Washington DC.

Read more: Anacostia River clean-up crew

Clint, Jocelyn, Ashley, and Ned working with Oceana and Anacostia Watershed Society to clean the Anacostia River

Oceana and Anacostia Watershed Society organized the clean-up. Four friends of Care2 — Clint, Jocelyn, Ashley, and Ned — joined the groups. According to Clint, they got dirty, sweaty and smelly, but felt great about being able to help support World Oceans Day.

Eric Bilski, an attorney from Oceana’s office of General Counsel, can usually be found enforcing laws against pollution and over-fishing, but on this hot and buggy day he was picking up plastic bottles, styrofoam containers and many other kinds of garbage to prevent it from flowing down the river into the sea.

Many other volunteers were Oceana staff, including the Vice President of Marketing, Matt Littlejohn, as well as several of Oceana’s scientists and attorneys.

One of Oceana’s scientists brought her kayak and ventured out on the river to pick up floating trash. She came back with an entire garbage bag full.

One tall young volunteer, Michael, was a recent college grad who is currently busy job-searching. Why did he spare the time to clean up the riverbank? “I’m just in love with the ocean,” he said.

The Anacostia River flows into the Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay and eventually into the Atlantic Ocean, so their efforts were incredibly helpful to ocean health. Thanks to all who participated in this event!

Did you celebrate World Oceans Day? How do you help out oceans in your everyday life?

5 Human Habits Harmful to Ocean Health
10 Surprising Ways to Restore Our Oceans
Image: Volunteers who helped clean up the Anacostia River for World Oceans Day. Event organized by Anacostia Watershed Society and Oceana.

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Elisa F.
Elisa F.2 years ago

Here's to World Oceans Day(s) Sat June 8 & Sun June 9 2013!

Janine Hofmann
Janine H.4 years ago

Thank you very much for this interesting article.

Only when the last tree has been cut down; Only when the last river has been poisoned; Only when the last fish has been caught; Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.
(Native American proverb)

"We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not yet learned the simple art of living together as brothers." (Martin Luther King)

Annemarie W.
Annemarie L.4 years ago

Reef Safe Sunscreen is the best for our oceans. Try to reduce your plastic waste as well!

Nina Anghel
Nina Anghel4 years ago

Great article. Great day.

Maria S.
Maria S.4 years ago

Great article. Thanks for sharing. Although I didn't know about World Ocean's Day I always do my part in picking up any garbage I find on the beach don't waste, recycle, reuse and compost. I believe we all should do our part to help us and future generations to live in a healthy enviroment.

Loo Samantha
Loo sam4 years ago

thanks for sharing.

Valerie G.
Val G.4 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Susan S.
Susan S.4 years ago

Learning about oceans and educating ourselves about ocean health is a great way to celebrate Oceans Day. Thanks.

Serena Stevens
Serena Stevens4 years ago

When I think of what gets washed down into our water systems and out into the ocean I shudder. Can anyone tell me what the effect of hair dyes, peroxides, perming chemicals and other such agents are on our rivers and oceans? Do purification processes catch all the toxic residue?.

I'm an artist and although I never put turps, white spirit or oils down my sink I have become increasingly uncomfortable with the amount of paint, (especially acyrilcs), that is released from my brushes, tools and water pots when I clean up.

My paintings attempt to express the silent cry of the earth in the wake of what we inflict upon it.I feel hypocritical then if the very act of making my art is at the same time contributing to a detremental act that is n increasingly poluting the environment.

myra d.
myra d.4 years ago

Great article. Great day.