Many of us are daydreaming about a beach vacation this summer, laughing and playing amongst the waves and swells of the ocean. But not only is the ocean a wondrous, magical, vast body of water that covers 70% of the planet, it also fights against climate change. The phytoplankton that live on the surface of the ocean absorb as many carbon emissions as the South American rainforest. There are mangroves, kelp forests and sea grasses that also absorb carbon emissions and clean the water. Although the ocean is rising in temperature and sea level, it is still doing the work to fight against climate change.
June is National Ocean Month, a time for us to learn more about the ocean and commit to protecting and conserving it. It’s easy to feel separated from the ocean, especially when we are inland, but we have all been formed by the same wondrous Creator who designed every inch of the ocean. And as John F. Kennedy said, “We have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean.”
When the world shut down for the COVID-19 pandemic, the ocean, rivers and streams cleansed themselves in a matter of months. This shows that the ocean does not need us to save it, it just needs us to take a break from creating more work.
In honor of National Ocean month, I invite you to take time to think about how you can make sure that the ocean is healthy for generations to come. There is no feeling like standing at the edge of the ocean, and we want everyone to have the opportunity to enjoy that feeling. You can simply begin by starting a conversation with the people around you about the ways the ocean supports a healthy climate. Creation Justice Ministries and Blessed Tomorrow have developed a great new resource called, “Our Ocean: Changing Climate, Shifting Tides” to support you to have those conversations. This resource tells you what you need to know about the ocean and climate, and what you need to do to help protect the ocean.
Learn more at Creation Justice Ministries’ Ocean Page and be sure to watch “The Ocean, Our Most Effective Ally in Climate Action” webcast in BT’s Let’s Talk Climate series.
About the Author:
Helen Smith, Policy Advocate, Creation Justice Ministries
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