In reality everyday should be world oceans day. We desperately need our oceans and they desperately need us to take care of them. Globally we are filling them with trash and pollution, killing off their inhabitants and disregarding them with reckless abandon. Ironic that this is how the human population treats its life force. Despite our best efforts to destroy her, the ocean keeps going. It is surviving when it should be thriving, but it will keep going.
I have always had a special connection to the ocean and don’t actually remember not being in complete awe of its vastness and the wonders that lie beneath the surface. I spent my childhood on the rocky coastline of Maine and had to be dragged out of the water with blue lips on every trip the beach. I spent hours hunched over tide pools discovering new critters and longing to slip into their world. I was also the kid that explained to other kids why they should not take crabs, starfish or still live sand dollars home.
I filled buckets and buckets with seashells and caused the car to smell like low tide on more than one occasion. At the age of 5 I discovered a giant clam shell in my grandparents garage. This mysterious monstrosity was an item from an estate auction they had purchased for their antique shop. I remember telling my mom that someday I was going to see a giant clam alive! I am happy to report that at the age of 25, I saw my first giant clam on the Great Barrier Reef and squealed with delight.
Whenever life has been tough or I have needed a quiet escape, the ocean has been a sanctuary. The ocean brings a sense of calm when life is insane. I can always put my toes in the water and know that everything will be all right. I cannot begin to explain what it is, but I know that it never fails.
The ocean is raw, wild, unpredictable, calm, mysterious and vast. It always reminds how small we really are in this life and how important the greater picture it. The oceans, whether you live in a landlocked area or on the coast, are vital for our survival. World Oceans Day is one single day, but in reality we need to celebrate, protect and preserve our oceans every single day. We cannot continue to treat them as an endless resource of goods or a giant trashcan.
I have turned that awe into a career that is primarily based around the ocean. I have created a life that allows me to spend most of my time on or in the water. Every person I can reach through photos, video or educational programs, is one more ocean advocate that joins the team. We are all in this together. Whatever groups you support or join, at the end of the day we are all fighting for the same goal; healthy oceans across the globe.
Go for a swim in the sea, go snorkeling, share a photo of the ocean, talk to friends or family members about what you love the ocean. Every little bit does make a difference. There is always hope even if sometimes it doesn’t seem like it is making a difference.