Do you love ocean conservation and environmental sustainability and want to do more than just read about it? Luckily for you, this post is all about ways that you can channel your passion for the ocean and amplify your impact to make a difference! Read on for ideas on using social media, influencing policy, aiding in research and active conservation work, and more!
If you are interested in doing your own writing about the ocean and conservation issues, consider starting a blog! This is an easy way to express your ideas and spread your knowledge to your online networks. A great perk about having your own blog is that it can be as big or small of a commitment as you want it to be. There are lots of free and inexpensive websites that make starting a blog easy and fun -- check out some options here and here!
People are also increasingly using social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even LinkedIn) to share news and videos, which is a great way to spread your knowledge and interests to online connections! We would definitely approve of sharing a video of adorable otters for Sea Otter Awareness Week starting September 19 or a positive video about the world's progress towards healing the ozone layer for the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer on September 16 (yes, that’s a thing).
Put Pressure on Policy
Individual actions are a vital component of ocean conservation, but so are laws and policies! Policymakers have the power to ban environmentally damaging products and ingredients, protect natural areas, and more. For example, countries are moving towards banning microbeads, which will be prohibited in the US beginning in mid-2017 and have been added to Canada’s list of toxic substances. Many national policies start at the local level, with county and state bans.
To make your impact on policy, try contacting your local legislators about the issues you care about. You can also create a petition online via iPetitions, Change.org, or even on Twitter (people tweet or re-tweet the petition to “sign”) to deliver to policymakers to show the support behind your proposals! Be sure to follow-up your petition by sending a letter and the signed petition to decision-makers.
Make an Ocean of Change: Volunteer
If you would rather take action offline, volunteering your time for a local zoo, aquarium, conservancy, research study, or other environmental organization is a great way to put your knowledge of and passion for ocean conservation to good use. As a volunteer at a zoo or aquarium, you could educate people about animals and the environment and inform them about the actions they can take to help protect them! You will also be able to see for yourself what the organization is doing to promote conservation and what actions it is taking towards institutional sustainability. As a volunteer at a local conservancy or other environmental organization, you could participate in cleanups and other activities that help protect the environment.
Finally, you could be a citizen scientist and contribute to research! Through citizen science, interested individuals are able to help professional scientists with their research, often by doing data collection on their own and reporting it online or through apps: for example, monitoring butterflies to help with climate change research or reporting jellyfish sightings. Find projects around the world here!
Seas the Day! Please use this information as you wish to spread the ocean conservation message. Each month, we feature a new conservation theme with ways to help so come back regularly for more ocean-helping ideas and tips!