Things You Can Do At Home to Actively Help the Ocean and Marine Mammals
The ocean and people are intrinsically linked. Plankton in the ocean produces over 50% of all the air we breathe on land, the oceans provide a critical source of protein for over 1 billion people, and the ocean helps regulate our climate. The ocean needs our help though if it is to be healthy. Every action we take can help ensure a healthy ocean and healthy planet for all of us for generations to come.
As we burn fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas, we release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The carbon dioxide acts like a heat trapping blanket warming the air, land and sea. As carbon dioxide is taken up into the ocean, it is also creating a more acidic environment for the ocean life. This warmer and more acidic ocean is making it harder for marine mammals to catch their food! To prevent the oceans from becoming too warm and acidic, we need to reduce our use of fossil fuels.
- Switch from fossil fuels to solar or wind energy! It is actually cheaper in 16 states (including California) to use solar energy than fossil fuels!
- Enjoy Meatless Mondays! The production of red meat and dairy are responsible for a large amount of carbon dioxide and methane emissions. Switching to just one vegetarian meal a week is the same as driving over 1,100 miles less each year!
- Set up a compost program at home or work! Composting allows food waste to return to nature rather than releasing harmful methane emissions if in a landfill.
- Speak up to your local officials to encourage community, state and national initiatives to cut carbon emissions!
Marine mammals and people both heavily rely on seafood. Unfortunately, overfishing certain populations and harmful fishing methods have caused dramatic declines in many fish species and habitats. While there are many harmful methods, there are also fishing methods that allow us to catch only what we want and ensure plenty of fish in the sea and on our plates!
- Use the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch guides or free app to identify what sustainable options are available.
- Always ask where and how the fish was caught to learn more about if it is sustainable!
- Support local businesses and restaurants that have committed to only serving sustainable seafood.
- For more information on sustainable seafood, check out our other pages at: Sustainable Seafood at The Marine Mammal Center.
Our oceans have accumulated a great deal of plastic and other trash, and it poses a major health risk for marine life. Marine mammals, and other marine life, can become entangled in trash or ingest trash by mistake. 80% of the trash in the ocean comes from land-based sources, so we can take action on land to help prevent trash from entering our waterways!
- 90% of ocean trash is plastic, so every action we can take to reduce plastic makes a huge difference! Find alternatives like reusable water bottles and bags rather than plastic.
- Avoid releasing balloons into the sky as they often end up in bodies of water and can trap animals and will break down into tiny bits of trash that can be consumed by fish.
- Say no to plastic straws! Since plastic lasts forever, if you don’t need to use it, just say “no straw please”.
- If purchasing beverages attached with "six pack" plastic rings, or boxes with large packing straps, cut the rings apart before throwing them away. Birds, fish and small land animals can get caught in the rings.
- For more information on ocean trash and to make a pledge for how you going to take action, check out our other pages at: Stopping Ocean Trash