World Ocean Day is a special one for us.
The Ocean is what started this whole journey, wanting to protect it by raising awareness of plastic pollution. From there we recognised how we could join the dots to wider climate and environmental crisis and Sustainable PZ was born.
Why is the Ocean so important to us, the place we call home and the planet we live on? Here’s five things you need to know:
Every second breath we take is thanks to the ocean
The sea is a huge carbon sucker … and oxygen giver. Moreso than the world’s forests. Half of the oxygen available to us, that’s every other breath, has been produced by phytoplankton. These microscopic organisms are essential to life, and they’re under dire threat. Plastic and chemical induced acidification is killing off phytoplankton at a rate of knotts … if we carry on the current trajectory, the very system that supports life on earth will collapse within 25 years.
What you can do: read the reports linked to above and others in the ‘Issues’ section of our Personal Action page – then email the links to your local PZ councillors, your local Cornwall councillor and our MP Derek Thomas … and ask what they are doing to reach carbon neutral by 2030.
Sewage is STILL a scourge
Adding to chemical pollution is sewage pollution. Latest water quality stats from Surfers Against Sewage show water companies poured sewage into rivers, lakes, estuaries and the ocean almost 375,000 times last year. Last year, the EA launched its largest investigation ever into 2,000 water treatment works, looking at illegal discharges. Here in Mounts Bay several sewage overflow pipes regularly dump their load into the sea – turning the bay brown, affecting our health and wildlife.
What you can do: download the Safer Seas app to get real time sewage alerts for the Bay. Use the health reporting form on it. Also use the easy click buttons on the app to send a pre-written email to South West Water and MP Derek Thomas every time a CSO goes off.
Rising sea levels on track to flood hundreds of homes and businesses in PZ
Check out the map to see where we’re headed if urgent action on carbon emissions isn’t taken. Last year the fab Out of Sink did a land swim through PZ and marked on the road where the new tideline will be. That’s if we don’t radically cut carbon as individuals, a community, a country and a global community. Rising sea levels will trigger mass migration and through the current economic lens … a loss of 0.3–9.3% of global GDP a year.
What you can do: check out the map and lead by example 😊 Take step by step actions to cut carbon in your lifestyle, from having car free days to eating less meat and saving energy. Get your Personal Action Plan here
The Blue Economy
That’s how the ocean supports our economy through things like tourism, the fishing industry and water sports. But also increasingly the opportunity it poses in terms of things like offshore wind farms, wave energy and seagrass projects. The Blue Economy is estimated to be worth £3.2 trillion by the year 2030. BUT … this needs to be done in the right way. One that regenerates and protects the ocean, not over develops it and the coastline, and brings more pollution. If we get it right, the ocean is a natural solution to the climate emergency and a part of our new look economy.
What you can do: Object to local coastal development that over-develops, brings more carbon & pollution and perpetuates economic inequality. Give a big YES to projects that bring natural carbon solutions, meaningful jobs, skills and training.
More and more of us are turning to the sea to feel good. To connect with others and ourselves. To tackle things like stress and anxiety, get fit, meet people and generally improve our health and wellbeing. Just looking at the sea can have huge mental health benefits, you can read the initial trailblazing book Blue Mind to see how.
We are so blessed to live in this corner of the world and it’s no wonder that in recent years we’ve seen an explosion of sea swimming, paddle-boarding and other ocean activities! We need the ocean more than ever … on a whole host of levels.
What you can do: Enjoy the sea and life. And help protect the ocean for our children and grandchildren
Happy World Ocean Day … it’s a beautiful gift. Let’s protect it.
Thanks to Mike Newman for all images