Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Marine Conservation - What You Can Do

Marine Conservation - What You Can Do
reprinted from The Nature Conservancy

Oceans need our help to stay healthy. And no matter where you live, you need healthy oceans to support your daily life – air to breathe, food to eat, places to work and play. With your support, we can change the course for our oceans and coasts and the people who depend on them. Even small changes can make a difference. Here's how you can help:
  1. Reduce your plastic consumption. The most frequently collected items during beach cleanups are made of plastic — think reusable shopping bags, water bottles and utensils.
  2. Make informed seafood choices. Keep a copy of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s seafood guide in your wallet or text Blue Ocean’s FishPhone to help you choose sustainable seafood at the grocery store or a restaurant.
  3. Dispose of chemicals properly. Never pour chemicals, pharmaceuticals, oil or paint into the drain or toilets. Check with your county’s household hazardous waste program to properly dispose of or recycle chemicals and keep them out of rivers and oceans.
  4. Choose green detergents and household cleaners—or make your own! Besides being better for your own health, these products are safer for the environment since what goes down the drain can end up in our oceans.
  5. Get the dirt on your beachside retreat. Before you stay in a hotel on the coast, ask staff what happens to their sewage and swimming pool water, and if they source their restaurant fish from sustainable sources.
  6. Find out the source of your food. Buying local, organic food reduces your carbon footprint, supports the local economy and reduces the amount of pesticides and fertilizers that end up not just in your stomach, but as run-off in rivers and oceans, too.
  7. Fill your yard with native species. Reducing the amount of grass in your lawn by planting native shrubs and flower beds will provide a better habitat for birds and other wildlife and require far less water and fertilizer, which can seep into the oceans.
  8. Keep your beach visit clean. When visiting the beach, stay off fragile sand dunes, take your trash with you and leave plants, birds and wildlife for everyone to enjoy. Learn how to spot a healthy beach. or find a Conservancy coastal preserve near you.
  9. Choose alternatives to coral. Whether shopping for jewelry, household d├ęcor or accessories for your fish tank, do your part to leave fragile coral reef habitats untouched by buying products that aren’t made of real coral.
  10. Celebrate our oceans. Whether you live inland or on the coast, we are all connected to the ocean; take the time to organize or participate in activities that restore and celebrate the ocean, and help support The Nature Conservancy’s ocean conservation work.

    1. Donate online now to support The Nature Conservancy’s work to protect and restore marine habitats in your area and around the world.
    2. Rescue a Reef to help protect some of the most threatened corals in the world.
    3. Sign up for the Conservancy’s Great Places Network, a free online membership program, to learn more about what the Conservancy is doing in your state and around the globe.
    4. Test your oceans knowledge with our online quiz.
    5. Send an ocean e-card to friends and family.