ABOUT WORLD OCEANS DAY

On June 8 every year, World Ocean Day provides a unique opportunity to recognize the importance of our shared ocean and humanity’s dependence on a healthy blue planet for our survival. This day also provides ways to celebrate the ocean by coming together to protect and restore the ocean, to safeguard it and help ensure a healthy home for all.

ANNE FONTAINE X THE (A)MAR PROJECT

In addition to their monetary support Designer ANNE FONTAINE and her family take time each year to work with this The (a)mar Project.

Most recently complications from the COVID made it difficult for organizers to visit the beaches – so Anne and her daughters assisted with monitoring the accessible beaches – and assisted sea turtle nests and hatchlings to ensure their safety to the ocean.

The (a)mar Project is a non-governmental, non-profit institution that works for coastal and marine conservation on the southern coast of Bahia, Brazil. It studies and protects the marine animals of the region, mainly the turtles that are at risk of extinction: Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), Loggerhead Turtle (Caretta caretta), Olive Ridley Sea Turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea), Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas) and Leatherback Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea). Since 2015, it has been carrying out actions for environmental monitoring, scientific research, ecological awareness, citizenship, and cultural and artistic appreciation, involving people from the community in its activities and spreading love and respect for the sea and nature.

In addition to Anne’s efforts and passion for the Mata Altantica Rainforest – another ecologically important aspect to nature that resonates with Anne is the protection and conservation of the oceans.

FACTS ABOUT OCEAN POLLUTION

  • Plastic is the number one source of ocean pollution.
  • At least 8 million tons of plastic enter the oceans each year. That is equivalent to emptying a garbage truck of plastic into an ocean every minute.
  • Washing clothing from microplastics releases 500,000 tons of microfibers into the ocean each year the equivalent of 50 billion plastic bottles. These microplastics do not break down in the ocean.
  • Microplastics can be digested by all sort of marine wildlife and accumulate in the food chain harming sea life and making their ways into our bodies.
  • Over 100,000 marine animals die every year from plastic entanglement and ingestion. More than 50 percent of sea turtles have consumed plastic.

FACTS ABOUT SEA TURTLES

  • Sea turtles can confuse plastic bags for jellyfish. A turtle in the water can’t tell the difference and will often eat the bag, which gets stuck in their stomach.
  • Trash on nesting beaches. Adult sea turtles in many places need to crawl through collected debris to find a place to nest and hatchlings can get caught in the debris trying to make their way to the ocean. Tiny bits of plastic in the sand can also affect nests and hatchlings.
  • They can get stuck in it while swimming. Many turtles make long migrations and pass-through areas with a lot of ocean plastic. They can get caught in things like six pack rings or discarded fishing gear.
  • Mylar balloons filled with helium can also look like jellyfish. These balloons can travel hundreds of miles in the air and land in rivers or the ocean.
  • They can consume microplastic from their food. Tiny bits of plastic consumed by fish or other animals can then be eaten by those who eat them, like turtles (and humans).

DISCOVER WAYS TO SUPPORT OCEAN CONSERVATION

Marine life is dying, and as a result, the whole oceanic ecosystem is threatened simply by various sources of pollution. If we are to preserve the ocean and its natural beauty, drastic measures have to be taken to combat this pollution and keep what we hold most dear.

Here are some simple things we can do to help our oceans.

CONSERVE WATER
Use less water so excess runoff and wastewater will not flow into the ocean.

CLEAN UP YOUR LOCAL BEACHES
Much of the plastic and debris found in the ocean has its beginnings in beach litter. As beach crowds increase, so does the amount of trash left behind. Neglected, light-weight debris will be blown into the sea. Keeping our coastlines clean is a simple way to do your part and help the planet.

REDUCE ENERGY USAGE
Carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels is making our oceans more acidic. There are many simple ways you can reduce your energy use like turning off appliances when they aren’t in use. Turn up your thermostat a few degrees in the summer and down a few degrees in the winter. And use compact fluorescent light bulbs in your house.

USE REUSABLE PLASTICS
Plastic debris in the ocean degrades marine habitats and contributes to the deaths of many marine animals. Because floating plastic often resembles food to many marine birds, sea turtles and marine mammals, they can choke or starve because their digestive systems get blocked when they eat it. Help prevent these unnecessary deaths—use cloth grocery bags and reusable water bottles.

PROMOTE MARINE CONSERVATION EFFORTS
Marine education and public awareness are key drivers of marine conservation efforts. This is how the public becomes more aware of the challenges facing our oceans. It is also a platform where people can become empowered to make a positive contribution to marine conservation efforts in their own way.

References: seeturtles.org, national geographic & NOAA