We hear so much these days about the degradation and the plight of the sea. The statistics are sobering. Coral reefs are disappearing at a rate five times that of the rain forest. Fully three-quarters of the world’s fish stocks are being harvested faster than they can reproduce. Eighty percent are already fully exploited or in decline. Dangerous chemicals from plastics and other debris in the ocean are being concentrated in our food chains. Global warming threatens not only our shorelines, but our very life support system through acidification of the ocean and the interruption of global cycles that control weather and the ocean’s ability to take carbon out of our atmosphere.
Noted ocean explorer and advocate Sylvia Earle talks about the pressing need to set aside ecologically important areas of the ocean in marine preserves, which she calls “hope spots” because of the ocean’s apparent resilience when left to recover from the effects of humankind.
In our work here at Ocean Matters, we see reason to be hopeful, too. One very significant “hope spot” is the young people we work with—who are willing to give up a significant portion of their summer vacation in service to the sea. So next time you hear about a problem in the ocean and ask, “What can I do?” remember that the young people of Ocean Matters need your support. Consider a tax-deductible donation to our scholarship fund. Share our website, blog and be a friend of Ocean Matters on Facebook. Get the word out!
We know who will stop the rain: our world’s young people. And we think that’s a lot to be hopeful about.
Watch this short video to learn more about how Ocean Matters students are making a difference on the coral reef.