Looking out from this Long Beach to the calm Pacific Ocean's surface, everything seems perfect. It seems tranquil. Looking out at the water, I can forget about all of my problems, it seems.
Yet, there are problems beneath. That seemingly calm ocean, apparently infinite, is in fact being stripped clean of the life that swims there and filled back in with poisons that we make on land. Climate change is bleaching coral reefs stark white and marine ecosystems are careening out of balance.
We can't see that, looking at the surface of the sea. The depths are hidden to us. Yet, looking at the edge of land and sea, we can see a small part of this crisis flung back at us.
These sandpipers, along the shore, search for small bits of organic debris to eat, but what washes up on shore is not organic, and has never been alive.
Our garbage comes back to us.
In 1992 at the Earth Summit, June 8th was declared World Ocean Day - a day to celebrate all that the seas provide, and a day of resolve to protect the oceans so that they may always be bountiful.
Unfortunately, the United Nations refuses to renew its declaration, and fails year after year to observe World Ocean Day. The UN needs to renew its commitment to this holiday of the seas.
However, we need not wait for the United Nations to make a difference. Here, on our shores, alongside the rivers deep inland that nonetheless flow to the sea, we can take June 8th every year to make a commitment and take action to hold back our pollution, to restrain the harvest, and to find it within ourselves to live in balance so that our climate may find balance once more as well.
Observe World Ocean Day. Celebrate World Ocean Day. Act on World Ocean Day.
June 8th. Put it on your calendar.
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