The ocean is fierce and wild, yet many agree upon the peace and calmness that surrounds you when being in close proximity. We are awed by its mysteries and sustained by the life within. My adoration for the ocean is a combination of reverence for the ancient place humans cannot reside, and a fascination with the creatures who do.
The pollution we generate on land inadvertently ends up in the ocean through waterways. For example, agricultural runoff from Montana ends up in the Gulf of Mexico. Trash from the middle of Asia and the US flows to the Midway Atoll, a remote place in the Pacific Ocean. The degrading health of the ocean is reflecting back at us the damaging avarice of our global infrastructure and screaming to change these tendencies.
The ocean is a valuable natural resource and an economic anchor to many places worldwide. What would it look like when the ocean can no longer provide for large populations that depend on fishing for their livelihood? What would it look like when climate change has altered the chemical makeup of the water and eliminates certain marine species?
To me, fighting for ocean conservation isn’t just a love of the ocean, but a realization that all planetary systems are connected. It is obvious that we must continue working to reform our lifestyle practices that are intertwined and systemically contribute to its destruction.
Strong, progressive policy must be implemented to address ocean issues, and reform the human practices that are the very root of these problems. The ocean is our collective mirror, illuminating our unsustainable ways that need to be addressed in order to revise planetary health. That is why working at Ocean Champions interests me – it is an organization that realizes this and works within the politics of ocean conservation to advance ocean policy, and protect the resource we love and depend on, our ocean.