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Things You Can Do To Help Protect Our Ocean
- Support Marine Protected Areas (MPAs): MPAs protect biodiversity, conserve our cultural heritage, and support sustainable production of marine resources. Visit, volunteer and support your local MPA! Take part in a beach clean-up. Encourage others to support measures that help the ocean. Spread the word and join the conversation with us on Facebook.
For more information, and to find your local MPA, visit: http://www.mpa.gov/dataanalysis/mpainventory/mpaviewer/
- Eat Sustainable Seafood. Around the world, fisheries are threatened with collapse due to unsustainable fishing methods and ecosystem destruction. When grocery shopping or dining out, choose seafood that is sustainable. Carry a sustainable seafood card and ask your local restaurants and markets to buy from sustainable fisheries.
For more information, visit: http://www.fishwatch.gov/ and http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/seafoodwatch.aspx
- Use Less Plastic Products. Plastics that end up in the ocean as marine debris contribute to habitat destruction and entangle and kill many marine animals. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle! Buy products with less packaging. Use reusable water bottles and cloth grocery bags. Recycle whenever possible. Don't release helium balloons outside because once they end up in the ocean, they harm animals that mistake them for food. Cut open plastic six-pack rings because they can entangle ocean life.
For more information, visit: http://marinedebris.noaa.gov/
- Be Considerate of Ocean Wildlife & Habitats. Whether you’re exploring the ocean by diving, surfing, boating or by relaxing on the beach, be sure to show your appreciation and clean up after yourself. Keep your distance from sea birds, mammals and other ocean wildlife so that you don’t disturb their feeding or nesting grounds. Tread lightly on tide pools and other shore habitats. Don’t remove rocks or corals.
For more information, visit: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/
- Reduce Your Energy Use:Climate change impacts on our oceans, from the burning of fossil fuels, include increased ocean temperatures, sea level rise, and acidification of the ocean. There are many simple ways you can reduce your energy use. Leave your car at home when you can and ride a bike, walk or use public transportation. Use high efficiency appliances and compact fluorescent light bulbs in your home. Turn off and unplug appliances and electronics when they aren’t in use. Turn up your thermostat a few degrees in the summer and down a few degrees in the winter.
For more information, visit: http://www.energysavers.gov/ and http://www.epa.gov/greenhomes/ReduceEnergy.htm
- Dispose of Household & Hazardous Materials Properly: Motor oil, anti-freeze and other hazardous materials harm our oceans when they aren’t disposed of properly. Dispose of hazardous waste in an environmentally safe way. Fix car leaks and recycle motor oil. Don’t flush pharmaceuticals, non-degradable products or cleaning products with bleach or phosphates down the drain.
For more information, visit: http://www.epa.gov/osw/
- Use Less Fertilizer. When fertilizers are used in gardening and agriculture, the excess eventually ends up in the ocean, which can result in a “dead zone” with little or no oxygen to support ocean life. Use fertilizer sparingly and use ecological or organic fertilizers in your gardens and on your lawns when possible.
For more information, visit: http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/conserve/rrr/greenscapes/index.htm
- Learn All That You Can. The ocean helps regulate our climate and it provides us with food, water, jobs, recreation, medicine and even the air we breathe. Learn more about the ocean through reading, experiencing the ocean directly or by visiting aquariums and surfing the web. Then be sure to share what you learn and inspire others!