Our Endangered Oceans

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A few thoughts about the environment today, which happens to be World Ocean Day. If you plan to spend any hot afternoons at the beach this summer, take a few minutes to reflect on the wondrous oceans that cover two-thirds of our planet. Even if your schedule is crazy-busy, be sure to sign The Ocean Project’s petition to urge the United Nations to officially recognize June 8 as World Ocean Day. More information is available in Tuesday’s blog entry.


“Every year, the ocean just seems a little bit smaller,” says Dr. Kathleen Sullivan Sealey, an associate professor of biology at the University of Miami and principal investigator of the Earthwatch Institute’s Coastal Ecology of the Bahamas project. “There is more trash washed up on the beach with every tide in all shapes, materials and languages. There are fewer fish and conch around for local consumption and greater fears as new information is circulated about health threats in contaminated coastal waters.”

The Earthwatch Institute recruits global volunteers to support scientific field research. You can work alongside leading scientists, conducting research and learning about what it takes to protect a sustainable environment. Earthwatch is now celebrating its 35th anniversary, and more than 4,000 volunteers from all 50 states and 79 countries participated in field research last year. Can you think of a better way for those of us who support organic living to spend some vacation time? Click here to find out about upcoming volunteer projects—from exploring wildlife habitats in Kenya to conducting field experiments in Costa Rica to improve the ecological sustainability of shade-grown coffee.

“We need to act like our actions matter, because they do matter,” says Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, a research associate at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, president-elect of the International Sea Turtle Society and a former principal investigator of an Earthwatch sea turtle project in Baja California, Mexico. “We must act like our actions affect others, because they do affect others. We need to evolve our ways as if our life depended on it, because our life does depend on it. To take on the pressing issues facing our ocean planet, we need more creative, innovative and progressive-minded people who understand that it’s one ocean, indivisible, after all.”

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