An Open Letter from Our Oceans
Did you know that this special day of June is World Oceans Day?! It’s a day to celebrate ME! And as part of that, I ask you today, to please listen to my humble message, so that you might better understand, and perhaps address, my current situation.
I make up more than 70% of the planet on which you live. All my parts are far reaching – I am every rolling sea, each coastal port and the Gulf of Mexico, the massive body of water off of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and west Florida. I provide food and other resources. As you know, over the past decade, my health has been on the decline. The BP oil spill and its consequences are still taking a toll on the thousands of creatures that call me home. In addition to oil, humans pump and dump waste into me from near land and far. I’m so dirty all the time, it makes me unhappy. The same body that generously offers you food and enjoyment, incredible marine life such as dolphins, sharks, turtles, and birds, is being choked by pollution. Also – it’s getting hot in here! Our changing climate is changing me. In some places, I’m much bigger than I was before – I’m bloated and swollen – and I’m expanding into places I never was previously. I’m starting to feel a difference in everything. Can you please be mindful of the various activities you pursue and how they affect me?
I’m sure this all sounds very bleak, but the reality isn’t entirely pessimistic. What I’m trying to get across to your kind, is that by over exploiting my resources, you aren’t just hurting me, the Gulf, and other areas, you are hurting yourselves! If your species acknowledges this in unison, there is a chance that you and I can build a new relationship that is both respectful and sustainable. All over the world, human stewards live according to values of reciprocity. Your society has the power and ability to accomplish this, but only if you change course now. I propose that if you protect me, then I will continue to provide for you and support your culture to flourish.
There are several ways you and your communities can get involved to help build our new and improved relationship. In fact, you don’t even need to live near the coast! One of the easiest ways to make a difference on my behalf is by signing online petitions that reach out to those with political power to urge them to reject ongoing problematic behaviors and policies. If you’re feeling generous, you might even make a donation to a cause that helps promote ocean stewardship. I appreciate your thoughtful listening, especially today, and ask you to think on this every other day of the year. THANK YOU!
HAPPY WORLD OCEANS DAY 2020!
Perhaps start by signing these below:
- Change.org Petition to Governor Ron DeSantis to Defend the Gulf from Pollution
- Petition to Defend the Gulf from Industrial Fish Farming
- Center for Biological Diversity’s Petition to Help End Oceanic Plastic Pollution
*Written by Samantha Ammons