Celebrating Ocean Victories on World Oceans Day

We tend to think of ourselves as separate from nature. We’re not. We’re part of this Earth. We came from the ocean and we’re made of the ocean. The ocean is in our blood. And we won’t be able to live without a healthy ocean.

Despite all the negative ocean headlines, there’s still hope. One of the reasons I love nonprofit groups like Oceana and the Ocean Conservancy is that they work with politicians, lawyers, and businesses from all over the world to create real environmental change.

To celebrate World Oceans Day, here are a few major victories that have happened so far this year:

Belize Bans Offshore Oil Drilling, Protecting the Largest Barrier Reef in the Americas

January 2018: Belize made history when it signed into law a moratorium on offshore oil exploration and drilling in the entirety of Belizean waters, which contain the second largest barrier reef system in the world. The Belize Barrier Reef is home to nearly 1,400 species and is critical to the livelihood of more than half of Belize’s population due to its central role in tourism and fishing.

Chile Protects Juan Fernandez Islands and Wildlife Found Nowhere Else on Earth

February 2018: Chilean President Michelle Bachelet protected 262,000 square kilometers of ocean surrounding the Juan Fernandez Islands. These islands are home to wildlife found nowhere else on the planet. As a result of this announcement and other closures, 25 percent of Chile’s ocean is now protected as no-take marine parks.

Seafloor Habitats Protected from Destructive Bottom Trawling off U.S. Pacific Coast

April 2018: The Pacific Fishery Management Council acted to protect more than 140,000 square miles of seafloor from bottom trawling, a destructive fishing practice in which heavy fishing gear is dragged across the seabed. This action will protect a unique variety of coral gardens, sponge beds, rocky reefs, and deep-sea ecosystems that provide nurseries, food and shelter for many species. This victory for ocean diversity will more than double the area of protected seafloor in U.S. waters off California, Oregon, and Washington. Once the new measures are implemented, more than 90 percent of the U.S. West Coast’s Exclusive Economic Zone will be protected from bottom trawling.

Keep hoping, keep dreaming, and keep acting for the ocean

We are all truly connected, which means that everything we do makes a difference. Whether we leave a piece of plastic on the beach or decide to pick it up, whether we use fertilizers and insecticides or organic gardening methods, it all makes a difference. If you’re interested in ocean conservation, find out what you can do through Oceana and the Ocean Conservancy. When individual voices join together, we can turn negative news into positive change.

36 thoughts on “Celebrating Ocean Victories on World Oceans Day

  1. Great post, Sheila! I was recently stunned to learn that the oceans, via marine plants, produce at least 70% of our planet’s oxygen.

    • Yes, you always hear about trees producing oxygen but the ocean doesn’t get the credit it deserves. 🙂 I hope everything’s going well with you and hope you’ll find some great summer reads!

  2. Wonderful to see some positives. Hopefully we’ll all wake up and do what we can to preserve our natural resources, the ocean included.

    • Thanks Carrie! Conservation groups like that give me hope anyway. It makes sense that when individual voices are brought together, there’s more of a chance for positive change.

    • Same here! I hope you’ll get to enjoy the ocean as much as possible this summer (and the hummingbirds too)!

      • We are very lucky to live on the coast, with beautiful Scottish beaches all around – it would be a crime not to spend any summer time near the water! 🙂

    • Thanks Amy! One of the great things about those conservation groups is that they’re worldwide so they can tackle environmental problems wherever they’re needed or wherever the largest threat might be. I was surprised that there were so many victories this year – so there’s still hope!

  3. Sheila, it’s easy to focus on all the negative so it’s lovely and heartwarming to read the positive strides being made to support the oceans! Great initiatives and may many more follow! The coast is a pull for so many of us and we can all take care of it a bit on each visit.

  4. Love the ocean pictures, Sheila. So serene. And thanks for the deets.

    But I thought we came from the dust. 🤔 Our bodies contain the same elements as dirt. “For dust you are, and to dust you will return.”
    Gen 3:19 😊

  5. It’s great to read about these positive accomplishments! I hope the second half of 2018 has more stories like these! 🙂

    • Thanks BJ! I was surprised that there were a few major victories already this year – it would be great to see many more!

  6. These are great steps forward, a good start and an example for the rest of the nations out there. The sooner we protect all the good things of the world, the better for us all.

    • Very true! There’s so much beauty in this world and it needs to be protected and restored for all of us and future generations.

  7. Thank you for this hopeful post, Sheila! I am so pleased that the ocean and its pollution and damage has been in the spotlight recently. I hope more nations (especially their governments) take notice of all the good work done by the groups and countries you have mentioned here.
    I recently read ‘Ocean Echoes’. Wow, what a fabulous book – I loved it and was sorry when I finished it!

  8. Wonderful post and uplifting news updates on the ocean. I follow those two NPOs also, and I love the work they do. Seems like there is always something to fight for; it’s important to raise awareness so we have more voices to defend our planet.

  9. Hope. Dream. Act. I’m pleased to read something positive about what’s going on in our oceans. Too often it’s a different story. Thanks for sharing something uplifting here.

  10. Yay for the ocean! It’s one of my favorite things in nature. So glad to have you as an ocean champion to help bring more awareness to the things we all should stay on top of. xo

    • Thanks Britt – I hope you’re having a fun summer so far and hope you’ll be able to jump into the ocean a few times!

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