“Designation of World Oceans Day provides an important boost to those organizations and individuals who have been deeply committed to ocean conservation. Official UN designation is another important step toward improving the health of our world’s ocean.”—The Ocean Project
On The Ocean Project website there is a wish for everyone: Happy Oceans Day!
Why does do these words seem utterly incongruous in my mind? Not that we all shouldn’t be happy about our oceans; we are all interconnected because of their vast properties. We rely on them for food, cures, transportation, making a living, sport, beauty and inspiration—not to mention weather and climate.
So why am I feeling sad today? I just can’t get out of my mind the BP oil disaster in the Gulf. I question why did I survive and ocean catastrophe and yet feel helpless in helping the oceans survive?
This leads me to wonder: why does drilling for oil and being deeply committed to ocean conservation have to be inconsistent? It shouldn’t have to be. Unfortunately and politically, our governmental system which is supposed to be overseeing ocean protection and conservation is actually undermined by the pursuit of wealth. Here’s a simple explanation: the Department of Interior is assigned to both leasing for profit and overseeing the viability of oil fields. It is assigned to inspect and report on the status of the wells from which they are profiting. GREED is driving the drilling deeper and deeper into uncharted territory; along the way, ocean conservation becomes a concept mired in muck.
So do we blame the Department of Interior and BP for potentially losing thousands of known and unknown ocean species? Do we blame the administration for not taking charge swiftly and completely? Although I believe the answer is “yes” do both, I also believe that, as gluttonous consumers, we are all to blame. Every time we consume products and services, we indirectly consume the oceans. I am not advocating that we all become Amish. What I am advocating is a more wise consumption which is appeased not by dependence on oil but by natural energy.
Oil tycoon, T. Boone Pickens, asserted on the Larry King show last night that in light of this disaster, we will soon have an energy plan. He reiterated that our demand exceeds our production of oil and now we must make some serious commitment toward change.
In my sadness, I pray that this is the blessing in disguise; that tides of responsible solutions will become the norm. It is our responsibility if we wish to educate future generations; it is also a way of honoring the ruin of a way of life for fishermen, the distraction wildlife, and the threat to the tourist industry in the Gulf area.
What can be done today to brighten our spirits? We can each give back in some way. The following are suggestions from the Oceans Project website:
Take part in World Oceans Day events and activities this year and help protect our ocean for the future!
It’s up to each one of us to help ensure that our ocean is protected and conserved for future generations. World Oceans Day allows us to:
Change perspective – encourage individuals to think about what the ocean means to them and what it has to offer all of us with hopes of conserving it for present and the future generations.
Learn – discover the wealth of diverse and beautiful ocean creatures and habitats, how our daily actions affect them, and how we are all interconnected.
Change our ways – we are all connected to the ocean! By taking care of your backyard, you are acting as a caretaker of our ocean. Making small modifications to your everyday habits will greatly benefit our blue planet.
Celebrate – whether you live inland or on the coast we are all connected to the ocean; take the time to think about how the ocean affects you, and how you affect the ocean, and then organize or participate in activities that celebrate our world ocean.
For more information and suggestions, visit http://www.theoceanproject.org/wod/wod_about.php
Happy Oceans Day!