As we start to prepare for Earth Day on April 22 I thought of a quote I recently found that says, “Treat the ocean like our home” and this quick checklist on protecting our coral reefs:
1. Support reef-friendly businesses. Ask your favorite stores, hotels, and other businesses connected to ocean activities what they are doing to protect the coral reefs. Let them know you care.
2. Do away with chemical pesticides and fertilizer. Though you may be miles away from an ocean, those products end up in the watershed and may ultimately impact our oceans and reefs.
3. Volunteer for a reef/beach cleanup. Don’t live near a beach or coastal area? Then help support organizations that are working to preserve one of our ocean treasures – the coral reefs.
4. Become a member of your local aquarium and find out what they are doing to protect the coral reefs.
5. Learn more by participating in training or educational programs. When you know more you can help educate others. Spread the word about protecting the reefs.
6. Recycle! Don’t let those plastics pollute our ocean environment.
7. If you are a diver – don’t touch or harvest coral. The reef are living organisms not rocks. If you are a boater – don’t anchor on the reef.
8. Conserve water. The less water you use, the less runoff and wastewater that will eventually find its way to the ocean.
9. Be a wastewater crusader! Make sure that sewage from boats and from land is treated correctly. The nutrients in wastewater feed growing algae that can smother and kill the reef.
10. Support the creation and maintenance of marine parks and reserves.
Everyone can do something on this list and treat our ocean like our homes.
until next time…