MAY 9, 2014 -- World Ocean Day is June 8, and we're only a month away. What will you do to celebrate and protect that big blue body of water that sustains our planet? We have a few ideas to get you ready:
- Host or join a cleanup at a beach, lake, or river near you. Trash doesn't belong in the ocean or any other body of water. And don't think that because you live far from the ocean, you don't have an impact. Rivers eventually flow to the sea, so even a plastic wrapper that ends up in a river in Missouri can make its way to the Gulf of Mexico, where it possibly could be eaten by a sea turtle.
- Visit a National Marine Sanctuary or National Estuarine Research Reserve. These areas of the ocean and coast are protected for a conservation purpose, but often allow a range of activities you and your friends and family can enjoy. Find out what opportunities there exist for diving, field trips, swimming, or even whale watching.
- Learn one new thing about the ocean—and then share it with three friends. You can start with the wealth of information in these Ocean Facts from NOAA’s Ocean Service: from the longest lived marine mammal to whether sea cucumbers are vegetables to what Earth’s ocean has to do with moons and planets elsewhere in the solar system. Or finally settle the debate with your friends about how big the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is.
Look for even more ways to keep the ocean healthy and free of pollution, a small way of saying thanks for everything the ocean does for us.