When I first heard about the Pacific Gyre, I was shocked by how much trash is in our oceans. I was only seven years old and I couldn't understand why adults had let that happen, or why it seemed as if no one was doing anything about it. That's when I learned about Oceana and I decided to support their efforts by raising awareness about the problem, letting people know that there are things they can do to make a difference, and raising money to support the organization.
I do this with my art. I call it Art to Save the Sea. I sell original paintings and drawings, prints of my work, and notecards, and give the money to Oceana. I work as an activist through my website and Facebook page, and have spoken to audiences, classrooms, and reporters for print, TV, and radio, about the problems the oceans face and what can be done about them.
Oceana is not the only organization that is making a difference. There are others that are helping to change how we treat our planet, and I am grateful to them, too. We all have to work together to make the changes that are necessary to restore our oceans to their healthy state.
WHAT I AM DOING
WHAT OCEANA IS DOING
Oceana is the largest international advocacy organization focused solely on ocean conservation. They are dedicated to restoring our oceans to be as healthy and abundant as they once were. They do this by changing policy in countries that govern much of the world's marine life, and focus on achieving tangible results. They are pretty cool. They use experts and science to help them, and like most environmental advocacy organizations, they really care about about what they are doing. I am proud to be a member of Oceana, and one of their supporters.
WHAT WE CAN ALL DO
MORE OCEAN ADVOCATES
ART TO SAVE THE SEA
We can all do something to protect our oceans and make a difference to our planet. We can join and support groups that are actively involved with taking care of different aspects of ocean health and protecting marine life. We can educate ourselves, and help educate others. We can take a pledge to stop using plastic bottles, to recycle, to reuse, to only eat sustainable fish, to stop wasting energy, to bring your own bags when you go shopping.
You can use your talents, whatever they are, to raise awareness and money for causes you think are important.
Here's the problem: our oceans are in trouble. They cover 71% of our globe and are vital to our our Earth's natural systems, including climate and absorption of carbon dioxide, but we are polluting them with trash, mercury, antibiotics, oil, and climate-changing gasses. The effects from this have severe consequences.
Our oceans are home to most of the life on our planet and have the capacity to provide food for a billion people every day, but fish populations are declining for the first time in recorded history, and this is serious. We have already altered or destroyed most marine ecosystems and driven million year old species to the brink of extinction with damaging fishing practices. We are overfishing by not allowing populations ample time to recover and depleting even more ocean life through unwanted by-catch.
We need to change what we are doing and pay more attention to the consequences of our actions. This requires a shift in how we value our oceans, and what we are willing to do to take care of them.