A Call for Compassion and Action on World Oceans Day

By Julian Lennon

Tidal, 2016. © Julian Lennon

From reading adventure stories about early explorers braving uncharted waters, to experiencing its vast beauty first-hand as a photographer, the ocean has always enchanted me.
Its sheer power cannot be understated. Over half of the very air we breathe comes from the ocean. Our weather is regulated by it. Livelihoods depend upon it. Indigenous groups like The Mirning People, who I made the documentary Whaledreamers about, are sustained by it.
The ocean contains our largest ecosystems, which provide food security, ingredients for medicines and natural defenses against erosion. With a million species of marine life in existence, and over 80% of these waters yet unexplored, we have a long way to go before we solve all of the mysteries that lie beneath. But if we don’t do something now to prevent further ocean harm, it may be too late.
The challenges we face today are serious. Because of climate change, our sea levels are rising at alarming rates, which can destroy habitats for marine, plant and animal life. Higher ocean temperatures also make more severe weather events likely, such as storm surges, as we saw with Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. That happened in 2017 and the recovery still continues.
As if that weren’t enough, ocean health is also severely compromised by many forms of pollution. Agricultural sources, mining, garbage, industrial disasters — all man made and for the most part, preventable.
One of the worst pollutants of the ocean is plastic. From discarded water and soda bottles on beaches to microplastics, 8 million tonnes of plastic enters the ocean each year. Many ocean creatures ingest or choke on these plastics mistaking them for food. Those plastics also arrive in some of the seafood us humans eat, carried by the fish we’re serving. We’re literally polluting ourselves.
If all of this news makes you sad and angry, you’re not alone. But instead of letting our frustrations boil over, we must mobilize for change. There’s no better day than today, World Oceans Day, to channel that anger and sadness into compassion and take action.

Ways to Get Involved

From now through Friday, you can stream World Oceans Week programming at Explorers.org. It’s a great way to get caught up on current issues and hear from some of the most respected oceanographers and conservationists of our time.
To learn how to reduce your own plastic footprint, visit Plastic Oceans UK. Since 2016, I have been a Patron of this organization dedicated to stopping plastic from reaching the ocean. Through science, research and film, they’re turning education into action to make a difference.
Our newest Global Ambassador for The White Feather Foundation (announcement forthcoming), Vasser Seydel, is involved in an urgent campaign to save the ocean from destructive Deep Seabed Mining. Learn more about the issue and sign up for updates at the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition and The Oxygen Project.
Another organization dedicated to the preservation of our ocean is the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. Since 2006, this foundation has supported more than 70 environmental projects. Discover their current ocean projects and ways to help on their website.
We posted an update in April about The Mirning People, and their fight to save the Great Australian Bight. They are still in need of funding and support to reach their goal. Access their campaign at fightforthebight.org.

If you’re looking to teach younger conservationists about the ocean in a fun way, the Activities section of our website has step-by-step crafts based on my children’s books related to Climate Change, Shelter, Navigation and Pollution.

If we all work together for a clean ocean, surely we can turn the tides for the future.

At The White Feather Foundation, we continue to partner with charities across the world to help conserve life in a number of ways. We’re always grateful for your donations in any amount, as every little bit helps. To give, visit the Support our Environment page on our website.

Photo credit: Tidal, 2016 by Julian Lennon. To see his entire ‘Seascape’ collection, visit julianlennon-photography.com.

To experience over 9,000 of Julian’s images, follow his account @julespicturepalace on Instagram.

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Luciana Freitas Soares Silva
Luciana Freitas Soares Silva
08/06/2020 15:09

Thank you Julian, it is a great opportunity take caring for the ocean is a fundamental task in order to preserve Life on EARTH. Congratulations to TWFF and to you.❤

Lilian Vaz
Lilian Vaz
08/06/2020 18:42

I love the sea and I have been living next to it and sometimes it creates some fog like it did today,Julian,and it has that fresh air all the time even when the weather is too hot(I have lived in Brazil).

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