Billions of people around the world, including 90% of the U.S. population, as of April 2, have been instructed to stay at home in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. That’s a lot of people who have suddenly found themselves stuck indoors. If cabin fever starts to set in, the ocean can be a source of inspiration and escape, even if you can’t see it in person. Below are five ways that you can learn about, enjoy, and support the ocean without ever having to leave home.
1. Download free ocean conservation lesson plans, games, and crafts for kids.
With many schools shuttered, parents have been juggling the roles of both educator and entertainer. Kids Environmental Lesson Plans – or KELP for short – are here to help. You can download a variety of fun and educational children’s activities for free on the Sailors for the Sea Powered by Oceana website. Find lessons on everything from whale blubber to coral anatomy to an explanation of why the ocean is salty. Click here to access the KELP Activity of the Day.
2. Try a new sustainable seafood recipe.
A selection of tasty and sustainable seafood recipes are on Oceana’s website, with some favorites including potato-crusted tilapia with honey mustard and fish tacos with tomato salsa and citrus crema. Fish is a healthy source of omega-3 fatty acids, and if you stick to seafood that’s locally caught, you can also support domestic fishers. Don’t be afraid to try lesser-known species, and when in doubt, check the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch guide to determine whether a particular type of seafood is sustainable.
3. Be inspired by incredible marine life.
Oceana’s Marine Life Encyclopedia is an online authority on all sorts of ocean animals and habitats. Enjoy reading up on all of the fascinating creatures that live deep below the ocean’s surface – some of which have seldom been seen by people – and prepare to wow your friends and family with little-known species. For instance, did you know that the rare Dumbo octopus uses its cartoonishly large, ear-like fins to propel itself through the water? Or maybe you’ve wondered why narwhals have tusks, or what a fried egg jellyfish looks like. Much of the ocean remains unexplored, and as we learn more about the diversity of life that exists, we’re reminded how important it is that we protect it.
4. Dive into an ocean-themed book.
Looking for a new book? Many bookstores offer a delivery service, and most libraries have e-books that you can access remotely. A few non-fiction reads we recommend are The Outlaw Ocean by Ian Urbina, Plastic: A Toxic Love Story by Susan Freinkel, and Cod author Mark Kurlansky's new book, Salmon: A Fish, the Earth, and the History of a Common Fate. If you'd prefer an abridged version of the first two, which delve into the worlds of illegal activity at sea and the spread of single-use plastics, you can read our interviews with their respective authors: Urbina and Freinkel. For more recommendations, check out our list of seven ocean-themed books to read.
5. Get involved.
You don’t have to leave home to make a difference. While tackling the COVID-19 pandemic is understandably every country’s top priority right now, threats to the abundance of our oceans persist and also demand our attention. Fortunately, with Oceana you can make your voice heard right now. Urge Peru’s President Martin Vizcarra to establish an important marine protected area (link here), or tell the U.S. Senate to ban the sale of shark fins nationwide (link here). You can also support our oceans by becoming an Oceana Wavemaker, or by signing up for Oceana’s weekly newsletter filled with uplifting stories. For a full list of ways that you can take action, visit this page.