5 Ways to Make a Difference on World Oceans Day 2021
The 8th of June is an important day on the annual calendar, but it's also a date that often goes overlooked. This year marks the 14th official "World Oceans Day," a chance to recognize the role the world's oceans play in our daily lives by doing something that contributes to the greater good.
As the great Vincent Van Gogh once said - "Great things are done by a series of small things brought together."
This date on the calendar has particular significance in our region. With 26 miles of Atlantic coastline in Delaware alone, not to mention the beautiful beaches and water views in Ocean City, Maryland, World Oceans Day obviously has more importance in Delaware and Maryland than it does for someone living in Oklahoma or Montana or even Ohio and Michigan.
No doubt, those states have their own beautiful waterways that should be respected and cared for. But the small beach towns and coastal resorts in our region kind of define who and what we are, and that's because of our good fortune of being located along the shores of the Atlantic Ocean.
The theme for World Oceans Day in 2021 is "The Ocean: Life & Livelihoods," with a goal of shedding light on the wonders of the ocean and how it supports humanity and other organisms on the planet.
And since we live on a peninsula surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay, we're going to feature a few things today that we can all do to recognize World Oceans Day and protect our area waterways moving forward.
Make Your Summer Vacation Pro-Ocean
Let's start with an action that we can all get behind, and that's being kind to the ocean during our summer vacations in 2021 and beyond.
Enjoy pro-ocean activities like swimming, surfing, sailing, skimboarding and stand up paddleboarding. All of these great options are available to us here in the coastal region and each provides a way of enjoying the ocean without causing any lasting damage.
And if you do hop on your boat for a day on the water, please be as respectful as you can to the ocean and to the environment. We all need to do our part to protect our planet for the future.
Cut Back On How Much Plastic You Use
Many states and countries have been making strides in recent years in cutting back on plastic usage. This includes in Delaware, where a law banning single-use plastic bags went into effect earlier in 2021.
But we still use so much plastic in the United States, materials that are difficult to responsibly dispose of unless you're taking advantage of recycling programs in the area.
And here's a startling fact - more than 8 million tons of plastic are thrown into the oceans every year. While none of us can solve that overwhelming problem alone, we can all do our part to reduce this huge threat to our oceans and the marine life they support.
Avoid plastic packaging as much as you can and recycle, recycle, recycle! Most towns and municipalities here in the coastal region support and maintain recycling programs and disposing of our recyclable waste responsibly is a rather simple way we can all make a difference.
And World Oceans Day is a perfect time to start!
Volunteer With Local Cleanup Efforts
These formal events are usually held post-Labor Day, when large groups of local residents scour the beaches to clean up trash that was left behind during the official summer season.
And while we certainly encourage as much community involvement as possible during these worthwhile events, we can also do our parts individually well before Labor Day.
If you're walking on the beach and you see trash laying around, just pick it up and hold on to it until you find a proper receptacle to place it in. It's again all about doing our own small parts for a much bigger purpose.
Don't let that garbage find its way into our oceans. Even though it might be "out of sight, out of mind" after a few minutes, that doesn't mean the problem doesn't still exist in a big way.
Walk or Ride Your Bike
The world's oceans take up a good deal of our emissions, with ocean acidification threatening a variety of different marine animals and plants. A good deal of this damage is due to carbon dioxide pollution via the enormous amounts of emissions caused by motor vehicles.
So why not take advantage of World Oceans Day to get a little exercise, while helping out the planet in the process?
Delaware is one of the most bike friendly states in the country and there are plenty of safe and healthy ways to move around without having to get behind the wheel of your car.
At the very least, consider doing a little carpooling to cut down on the number of cars traveling the roadways this summer.
Support Local Environmental Organizations
There are a number of great organizations in the coastal region that do amazing work when it comes to the environment and protecting our area waterways. Pick your favorite and get involved by either volunteering or making a donation or two.
Every little bit helps and together we can all make a difference!
Here are links to some of our favorite environmentally friendly local organizations that are worthy of our support:
- Delaware Center for the Inland Bays
- The Inland Bays Foundation
- The Surfriders Foundation
- The MERR Institute
- The Sierra Club of Delaware
- The Delaware Clean Water Alliance
- Plastic Free Delaware
The Oldfather Group of Compass RE supports local environmental efforts to keep our area beaches and waters clean for both current and future use. Won't you please join us in helping to protect our beautiful area of the world?
This way, we can all enjoy our beautiful beaches for generations to come.
Have a great day everyone!