Photo by Reilly Durfy
Over the last half-century, efforts across the globe have been ramped up to better protect the longevity and sustainability of our oceans. Whilst some projects have been underway for some years, the importance of cleaning up our oceans is an issue that’s more in the public eye now than ever before.
But why is the conservation of our oceans so important to the sustainability of the planet as a whole? Well, on top of providing a home for all the sea life and underwater species, oceans produce more than 50% of the planet’s oxygen, whilst also absorbing 50 times more carbon dioxide than the atmosphere.
Through a combination of local and global initiatives, companies around the world are taking on the task of promoting ocean sustainability. Scientific research, community education and engagement, and use of sustainable technologies are all being employed to help us make tangible progress.
Here are three ocean sustainability projects that any aspiring eco-warrior needs to be aware of.
The Seabin Project
The Seabin Project started with the idea: “If we can have rubbish bins on land then why not have them in the ocean?”. The project has been set up with the goal of reducing the amount of plastic in our oceans, through the installation of ‘seabins’. Sustainable technologies like these are predicted to play a defining role in the long-term protection of the planet.
Using a water pump, the seabins suck in the ‘dirty’ water, capturing any debris and trapping it inside the catch bag, before the water is pumped back out into the open ocean. The debris that’s captured is sent to a waste management facility or can be recycled. To date, the 860 seabins installed across the globe have captured just under 3 million kilograms of debris from our oceans, with over 3,600kg being removed every day.
Photo by Naja Bertolt Jensen
Saving Ocean Wildlife
Saving Ocean Wildlife is a non-profit organisation and project that’s been set up to protect the animals that live in and pass through the Pacific waters off America’s west coast. They provide tools to help the public contribute towards protection efforts, by reporting information and monitoring animals spotted in the region. They partner with scientists and policy makers to better support wildlife in distress and ultimately contribute towards the longevity of our oceans and its inhabitants.
A big part of Saving Ocean Wildlife’s agenda is to connect the community with the oceans through community engagement and education. These outreach programmes allow for a more collaborative approach to sea life conservation.
Photo by Todd Cravens
Carbon capture is one approach that’s being used to tackle the effects of climate change, and our oceans are set to be front and centre in ongoing carbon capture schemes. Natural underwater ecosystems like seagrasses, tidal marshes and mangroves can all contribute to the sequestration of carbon dioxide, but commercial activities can destroy these habitats.
SeaGrass Grow works by allowing members of the public to calculate the carbon footprint of their home, work and travel activities, and offsetting these emissions through the restoration of seagrass in our oceans. Both individuals and small businesses can use the calculator to offset their footprint. The benefits of seagrass go beyond the opportunity for carbon capture. It can also improve local water quality, as well as protecting coastal areas by reducing storm surges and wave action.
Photo by Benjamin L. Jones
Sea Going Green is a sustainable tourism consultancy that partners with leading innovative and transparent ocean-friendly programs to help clients offset their environmental footprint.
Here are three ocean sustainability projects that any aspiring eco-warrior
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