Ask Umbra on celebrating World Oceans Day
Photo: Sean Linehan, NOAAAhoy, mateys!
Today is June 8th, and it’s one of my favorite holidays: World Oceans Day! World Oceans Day was officially declared a holiday last year by the United Nations. This year, I’m celebrating by taking a moment to consider the vastness of the blue stuff that makes life on this planet possible. Come sail away to my version of listening to Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” while watching “The Wizard of Oz.”
First, play this song, “The Sea” by Morcheeba:
Second, give these a ponder:
“Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.”
— W.H. Auden
“The single non-negotiable thing life requires is water.”
— Astrophysicist Christopher McKay
According to the National Ocean Service:
- Oceans cover 70% of the Earth’s surface
- The oceans are our planet’s largest habitat with 99% of the living space on Earth
- They support the life of more than half of all species on Earth
With oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico like never before (and, hopefully, like never again), our oceans are in need of some serious love.
The saying goes that the way to man’s heart is through the stomach. And there are a lot of delicious things in the ocean. But as you might have guessed, seafood marinated in fossil fuels tastes terrible. So give this an over-oiled nibble: According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Gulf of Mexico produced 73 percent of all U.S. shrimp and 59 percent of our oysters in 2008. Given that the contamination from this spill could affect the Gulf’s productivity for years to come, we’ve got to clean our plates, so to speak.
Since the music has stopped by now, check out one of my previous celebrations of sustainable seafood:
You can also check out these great resources for eating what you love while loving what you eat.
- Blue Ocean Institute Seafood Guide [PDF]
- iPhone app from the Monterey Bay Aquarium
- Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Pocket Guides
- Oceana’s Guide to Grocery Stores that Protect You From Mercury
- Environmental Defense Fund’s Seafood Selector
And lastly, make the most of World Oceans Day by meeting with other people who care about the oceans. In response to the oil spill, Huffington Post and Meetup everywhere are hosting 300 meetups around the world. Dive into positive change today: http://www.meetup.com/HuffPostGreen/.
Thanks for setting sail, sailors! Now, get out there and put some motion in protecting the ocean.
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