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
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.