It's World Oceans Day, so what better time to take a moment to think about doing your part to help protect our water planet?
Donâ€™t worry, you donâ€™t have to be a Peter Wallerstein or a Sophi Bromenshenkel to be an everyday ocean hero. This summer, weâ€™re asking everyone to take small steps in their lives to help the oceans. Those little things all add up to heroic efforts.
When you pledge to be an ocean hero with us, you can choose between three options -- clean up your local waterway, eat sustainable seafood or recycle. Hereâ€™s the skinny:
1. Clean up your local beach or waterway.
Thereâ€™s a lot of litter on beaches and riverbanks, and much of it could end up in a sea turtle or sea birdâ€™s stomach, or in the Pacific gyre. Picking up garbage on the beach is an easy way to help the oceans.
Extra credit: Take pictures of your clean-up on your iPhone and post them to Instagram. Make sure to tag your photos #ocean and check www.oceana.org/heroes to see what other ocean heroes are up to this summer.
Double extra credit: While youâ€™re cleaning up, support Oceanaâ€™s cause by wearing Nauticaâ€™s World Oceans Day t-shirt, made from 100 percent organic cotton. The proceeds will benefit our work to protect and restore the worldâ€™s oceans.
2. Eat sustainable seafood.
Use the Monterey Bay Aquariumâ€™s Seafood Watch guide at the seafood counter or restaurant to make smart and sustainable seafood choices.
Extra credit: Check out our sustainable seafood guides on Foodspotting. The next time youâ€™re eating fish at a restaurant, share pictures from your smart phone on Foodspotting and let others know where they should (and shouldnâ€™t!) go for seafood.
Double extra credit: Check out â€śFor Cod and Country,â€ť a guide to casual, sustainable cuisine by acclaimed Washington DC chef and National Geographic Fellow Barton Seaver.
3. Reuse and recycle.
Take a hint from junior ocean hero finalist Wyatt Workman and donâ€™t be a trash monster â€“ reuse as much as possible, and when you canâ€™t, recycle.
Extra credit: Nix bottled water and get the Oceana water bottle from Nautica. (I have one and itâ€™s the best water bottle Iâ€™ve ever owned, hands down.)
Double extra credit: Check out sunglasses from Revoâ€™s Eco Collection; theyâ€™re made from Revo Re-Useâ„˘, a frame material made from 100 percent recycled pre-consumer polymer resins.
Have you taken the pledge yet? Donâ€™t forget to share it on Facebook and Twitter. Got any other ideas for how to make a difference for the oceans this summer? Let us know in the comments. And thanks to the hundreds of you who have already pledged!
Remember Hands Across the Sand, last yearâ€™s explosively popular international demonstration against offshore drilling and for clean energy? The second annual event will take place on June 25 at noon local time all over the world, and Oceana is playing a central role.
Last yearâ€™s HANDS brought more than 100,000 people to beaches and parks to join hands for fifteen minutes in a display of solidarity.
Instead of passing laws limiting offshore drilling or raising the liability cap in the event of another major spill, Congress is going in the opposite direction and voting for more offshore drilling, including a major expansion to the East Coast.
Bills being considered now would actually make drilling even less safe than it was before the spill. This fact, along with increasing popular demand for renewable energies, promises a large showing of ocean-lovers to stand up for whatâ€™s right.
Weâ€™re drawing a metaphorical line in the sand against offshore drilling, will you join us? Check out the details or sign up to organize an event in your community at www.handsacrossthesand.com.
Matt Dundas is a campaign manager at Oceana; he serves on the National Advisory Council for HANDS and attended the 2010 event outside the White House.