The world is connected, not divided, by the sea -- through the circulation of protein, goods, people and ideas. The ocean contains an enormous, unexplored inventory of medicinal cures, unlimited energy and the desalinated drinking water that each of us needs in exactly the same amount each day -- developed or developing, rich or poor, north or south -- to survive. Storm impact and sea level rise can threaten any time, anywhere, in a tumultuous instant, making environmental refugees of us all. These are not frivolous things.
How then do we build a new global constituency for the ocean? How do we engage a growing audience of millions? How do we connect and unite citizens of the ocean worldwide, creating a global community whose collective awareness translates into the political will required to change how we understand and use the ocean's bounty?
Citizens of the Ocean is a socially-driven movement, a growing network of informed individuals motivated by a love of the ocean and an understanding that global connection is a powerful way to defend and sustain the ocean. We are joined together against the bankrupt values of the past and united as a force for the future.
CITIZENS of the OCEAN PLEDGE
I pledge to work for the sustainable ocean through the following personal commitments:
- To only consume seafood that has been raised or harvested sustainably;
- To refuse plastic containers when possible and to only choose those that can be reused or recycled;
- To avoid non-biodegradable packaging, Styrofoam and plastic wrap;
- To conserve, harvest and recycle fresh water at home, at work and at organizations with which I am associated;
- To reduce my dependence on fossil fuels and production of CO2 emissions and to try and reduce my annual consumption by 25 percent using alternative transportation and conserving energy at home;
- To adopt alternative technology, more fuel-efficient, hybrid or electric vehicles, solar and wind energy production, and other options whenever possible;
- To stop using chemical lawn fertilizers and pesticides and to advocate against industrial waste into streams, rivers, ponds, lakes and watersheds;
- To leave natural areas, waterways and beaches cleaner than I found them;
- To oppose development within the coastal zone that compromises the environmental health of the shoreline and associated maritime resources;
- To encourage local schools and civic organizations to support environmental study, programs and values;
- To support local conservation and advocacy organizations involved in community-based activities working toward a sustainable ocean;
- To require my local, state and national political candidates and leaders to commit to these outcomes as part of their political agenda before they are elected;
- To build the "Citizens of the Ocean" network by sharing this pledge with my family, neighbors and friends worldwide.
Take the Citizens of the Ocean pledge today. Join us in making a change in the right direction for the future of the ocean. Visit citizensoftheocean.org for more information and to sign the pledge today.
This blog post is part of a series curated by the editors of HuffPost Generation Change called 'Saving The World Is Easier Than You Think,' in which environmental experts were asked, "What are simple, everyday steps anyone can take to reduce their carbon footprint?" To see all the other posts in the series, click here.