Living Blue

Diver admires an impressive stand of Elkhorn Coral
Diver admires an impressive stand of Elkhorn Coral in Biscayne National Park.

NPS Photo / Brett Seymour

 

Whether or not you live on the coast, the state of the ocean affects us all. The world ocean regulates weather and climate, produces over half of the air we breathe, provides food, and so much more. You can help protect our ocean by living blue. Follow these 10 tips:

  1. Get to know your oceans! Explore one of the 88 ocean and coastal parks. Many have recreational opportunities like boating, kayaking, snorkeling, and fishing. When you go, be sure to recreate responsibly.
  2. Volunteer. Join a beach clean up to help keep our oceans clean.
  3. Eat sustainable foods. As a consumer, you can choose seafood caught or farmed in a manner that sustains the long-term vitality of harvested species. Sustainable fishing avoids impacts to ocean habitats and uses fishing gear that reduces by-catch of non-target species.
  4. Fish responsibly. Fishing isn’t just about the excitement of casting a line and reeling in your catch, it is also about respecting the area where you fish and sustaining the populations of your favorite fish.
  5. Use reusable plastics. Plastic debris is one of the most serious threats to ocean health. Limit your use of single use plastics to prevent them from ending up in our water ways.
  6. Buy ocean-friendly products. Avoid products produced using unsustainable or environmentally harmful methods.
  7. Properly dispose of hazardous materials. Motor oil and other hazardous materials often end up washing into coastal areas because they aren’t disposed of properly. Be sure to dispose of hazardous waste in an environmentally safe way.
  8. Reduce energy use. Carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, and natural gas, is making our oceans acidic.
  9. Practice leave no trace principles. Pick up litter on the beach. Don’t let your day at the beach contribute to the destruction of our oceans.
  10. Share what you’ve learned. Spread the word via social media about ongoing park issues, share your memories at our parks, and share your knowledge with those around you. Tag your posts and pictures with #NPSOceans and start a conversation!
 

Last updated: May 28, 2020

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