With over 70 percent of the world covered in water, you can imagine how diverse and bountiful wildlife is under the sea. Snorkeling and scuba diving loses most, if not all, of its appeal without the interaction of colorful fish, social dolphins and other amazing sea creatures.
Even just watching these animals at the zoo is enough to give anyone a sense of wonder. However, what if these creatures could never be seen again? Due to the ever-increasing detrimental effects of climate change, this is unfortunately a possibility.
If steps are not taken soon to stop the harm that is being done to the environment, we may never see underwater fauna again. Instead of saying goodbye to these beloved animals, do what needs to be done to save them. How exactly can you do that? Follow these three steps to get started.
1. Do Your Research and Experience It All
If you want to make a difference in protecting the lives of marine animals, you’re gonna need to do some research. There are plenty of resources that can be found online and at libraries that have information on the endangered species in your area and beyond, giving you a better idea on how to deal with what’s threatening their existence.
However, there’s no better research than actually experiencing it. There are many places that promote wildlife conservation, but none so ingrained in everyday life as the Galapagos Islands. Over 90 percent of this archipelago is a national park, and park rules are in place to ensure the safety of the environment as well as the animals. The Galapagos’ entire touring business and way of life is centered around conservation.
By visiting (or even volunteering at) this province of Ecuador or any similar site, you will receive firsthand knowledge on what successful preservation looks like, and the area will remind you how important it is to prevent the extinction of these beautiful creatures. By speaking about your personal experiences in conservation areas, you will have more credibility and validity when spreading awareness of ocean animal extinction issues.
2. Live a Sustainable Life
One of the sad facts of life is that the main reason for the extinction of many aquatic species is us. Through the irresponsible resource usage of many people, ocean animals’ longevity are at risk. As we burn fossil fuels and clear more and more rainforests, our climate becomes warmer with each engine rev and fallen tree.
Although plenty of people enjoy warmer weather, marine fauna do not. When the temperature of ocean water increases, its chemical makeup begins to change to the point of no longer being able to support life. Humans have caused these tragedies, but thankfully they can also stop them, starting with you.
Small changes can be done at home, such as adjusting your thermostat and recycling. However, bigger changes may be in order, such as retrofitting your home to improve sustainability and conserve energy. The overuse of energy is a big contributor to climate change.
By making your home as energy efficient as you can, you will play a big part in the protection of the welfare of aquatic species. However, some of these renovations will come with big price tags. Loans can come in handy if you can’t afford a large payment at once.
You can also help the environment by running errands all at once instead of on separate days, or by foregoing your car altogether to walk or bike to your destinations, lessening your fossil fuel output immensely.
Also, keep in mind what you buy. Some products, when disposed of, can be harmful to ocean animals, or your purchases can support companies that do not have the environment’s best interests at heart.
3. Make Your Votes Count
Protecting ocean wildlife isn’t just an environmental issue — it’s a political one as well. With the Science March in May, the need for open-minded and science-based politics was and still is at the forefront of many minds.
If you want to protect marine fauna, you need people in office to care about the environment and stopping the things that harm it. That will only happen if you vote for them. However, many people who care about the environment are not actually voting.
Although there are many things we can do ourselves to protect the environment, lasting change is only possible with help from the government. With people in congress who don’t even believe in global warming (we all know the truth behind the climate change conspiracy: it’s not one), we may never receive that help.
That’s why it’s crucial to go to the voting booth and make your voice heard. If enough educated voters take action instead of staying home, we can have more elected officials with the right priorities and mindsets that will help not only animals who live in the sea, but everyone else who calls this planet home.
Every animal has a role to help our environment stay healthy and balanced, even the ones we don’t see. Under the ocean’s surface is a world filled with a multitude of life. However, if even one species goes extinct, its loss will affect everything around it as well as things far away from the sea.
Every being has a purpose that cannot be replaced, with consequences to match when that purpose goes unfilled. Instead of waiting for that time, do something now to stop it. By educating yourself, reducing your energy consumption, and voting responsibly, you can be the change we need to see in the world and protect the animals of the ocean and more.