Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources

ocean conservation 

 

I’m almost positive I have salt water in my blood. Before I could even crawl, my parents would take me on their great adventures to explore the beautiful waters of the Bahamas. I was a water baby, happiest with my little toes in the sand and feeling the waves crash against my body. My parents taught me to love and show respect to the ocean. They instilled in me a need to protect the thing I love so deeply.

 

Now, as a young adult, my appreciation for the ocean has only deepened. I am in awe of the wonders that lay beneath the surface of the water. I’ve had several amazing encounters with beautiful ocean creatures and observing natural reefs that are a home to many. However, to continue appreciating the ocean, I must help raise awareness and do my part to protect it.

 

Did you know that the ocean makes Earth habitable for humankind due to its temperature, chemistry and currents? Something that is so vital for us to live is often disregarded and polluted. The UN believes that “[…] careful management of this essential global resource is a key feature of a sustainable future.” I whole heartedly agree. It is of the utmost importance that we take the right precautions to save the ocean. Even if you’re not as passionate about the sea as I am, it’s in our best interest to do so.

 

With the ocean covering three quarters of the Earth’s surface and absorbing an estimated 30% of carbon dioxide produced by us humans, how could one still cause so much damage to this natural resource? The sea is a buffer for the effects of global warming, yet I find trash and plastic alongside the shoreline of various beaches. It breaks my heart to see videos of sea turtles with straws caught in their noses, fish with plastic around their necks, and birds covered in oil unable to take flight due to a spill.

 

It’s time that we band together to make a change. If you live by a beach, invite some friends to join you for beach cleanup. You’ll be amazed by and infuriated at the amount of trash you will accumulate. If you don’t live nearby the ocean, you can still help; raise awareness, vote for bills to protect the ocean, and donate to ocean conservation charities.

 

The UN has set out different goals with one persistent theme: protect the ocean. By 2025, they want to prevent and reduce marine pollution. The UN also wants to implement international laws, which will promote conservation and sustainable use of the sea and its resources. This is so important! The ocean, like I previously mentioned, covers three quarters of the Earth, we are all affected by one another. All countries must be on the same page in protecting this natural resource. Stay updated on ocean conservation efforts so one day my children can enjoy the same pleasures of exploring the ocean as I did.

 


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