Protecting the Life of the Ocean

By Gina Merlino

Pollution is an environmental issue that persists and causes concern to experts worried about climate change. Legislation can’t keep up to make significant enough changes. According to a November report, the ocean waters have come 26% more acidic since the start of the Industrial Revolution and are continuing. What’s more, they are warmer due to climate change.

When carbon dioxide in the air dissolves in the water, it creates an acid and is making the ocean more difficult for many marine animals to survive in. Many kinds of fish have already shown up dead on shores and shown changes in behavior and appearance. Coral reefs are dying because of rising ocean temperatures.

This does not bode well for the future. The oceans contain a vast multitude of life. There are millions of ecosystems that depend on the health of the oceans for their survival. Many cultures around the world have a deep respect for the waters, with spiritual symbolism tied into the ocean and its inhabitants.

Take the Hawaiian culture for example. It has a deep respect for the environment. The oceans are interconnected, providing food and nourishments, and the bridges to all lands. They are also some of the most beautiful places on earth. Pristine, blue waters cascading over white sandy beaches are so breathtakingly majestic; they are truly the work of the Divine. The feeling that people get when they take in the views of an amazing beach is that it is so incredible, only a higher power could have created it.

These problems also pose a threat to economies. People around the world catch fish and shellfish to sell and eat. Many businesses depend on the health and vitality of the waters to bring them food. With warming sea temperatures and acidic waters, the prospect of dwindling fish could affect fisheries and mean fewer catches to serve for dinner.

There is a bright spot in this dilemma. Biologists at Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge have reported that once endangered green turtles are making a comeback in the Florida seas. As a result of campaign efforts to protect the species from extinction, they are thriving again. Back in 1979, there were only 62 nests in Florida; now there are 35,000. These are remarkable numbers from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

It shows that when people put effort into conservation, it does work. We need more of this to protect the creatures of the sea. The ocean provides life to countless animals and it is up to humans to protect it. We need to reduce pollution and increase efforts to curtail climate change.

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Gina Merlino has a degree in philosophy and a Master’s in Engaged Humanities. She does freelance writing enjoys creating pieces about environmental issues. 

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