We have waited too long. We have to change our relationship with the ocean. We have to stop taking the ocean for granted. We have to do it NOW.
Why I’m Walking
I am not a marine biologist. I’m not a professional environmentalist. I don’t work in marine conservation. I’m just one person who can no longer stay quiet. I am sad, I am frustrated, and I can’t help but believe that many people don’t really understand all that is happening to our blue planet.
As a child, I remember the big “Save the Whales” campaign. There were buttons and banners, and t-shirts and organizations creating awareness of the plight of these marine mammals. To some degree, it worked. People learned what was happening and created change. In 1986 the international ban on commercial whaling came into effect and several species have seen their populations bounce back significantly.
In the decades since that time, I can remember big campaigns to “Save the Turtles”, “Save the Sharks”, “Save the Manatees”, and many others. If you asked me 20 years ago which cause I would support, I would have picked one of these, I’m sure.
It’s About Saving the Ocean Itself
But we are living in very different times. It’s no longer about any one species… it’s about saving the ecosystem that all of these species, including humans, depend upon for life. It’s about saving the ocean itself.
The ocean covers 71% of our planet. It is huge. Maybe this makes it easier to take it for granted.
There has always been change and the ocean (as well as the species living in it) have adapted. So we have spent years assuming this would continue. But it cannot. The speed of change now is drastic and sustained and today’s ocean has multiple stressors to contend with. The ocean is losing its ability to adapt to us so we must urgently adapt how we interact with it.
Little by Little, a Little Becomes a Lot
The issues facing our ocean can be overwhelming. I chose 24 different topics to highlight during The Ocean Walk; this is not an exhaustive list. I am not at all an expert. My goal is to highlight each topic, provide some action items, and then direct you to people and organizations that ARE experts and that can give you much more information. My hope is that some (or all) of these 24 topics will resonate with you and you will join The Ocean Walk by donating time, money, making life changes, lobbying for local, national, and international governmental changes, and passing the passion and awareness along to others.
Why You Should Join Me
Dr. Sylvia Earle has said about the ocean: “No one can do everything but everyone can do something.” And at this point, everyone must. The ocean needs us and I hope you will take part in my 24 hour journey to learn about the issues and do what you can to help. Doing nothing is also a choice, but not one we as a species can continue to make.
I trust that once people understand what we are doing to our oceans they will take action. And I genuinely believe that change will happen. If i didn’t, I wouldn’t be walking in circles for 24 hours. This is my mission. Join me.