3. Reduce your carbon emissions

In the last half-century, the ocean has absorbed 90% of the excess heat created by burning fossil fuels. That’s led to warmer waters, which can affect where fish swim, how marine species reproduce, how fast sea levels rise, and even weather events on land. Decrease the effects of climate change on the ocean by cutting your carbon footprint at home: turn off lights and unplug electronics when you’re not using them, adjust your thermostat, walk or ride your bike to work, and demand renewable energy options in your community.

4. Travel smarter

Consider booking your next trip through a responsible travel company that’s committed to protecting wildlife, empowering local communities, and using guides who are aware of rules and best practices. Once you arrive at your destination, be respectful of marine life and habitats, such as nesting sea turtles on beaches and sensitive reef systems. And be discerning about your purchases. Purchasing certain items, such as coral jewelry, shark products, or tortoiseshell accessories (made from endangered hawksbill turtles) damages fragile ecosystems and threatens critically endangered species.

5. Increase your ocean IQ

The more you learn about the ocean, the better prepared you’ll be to inspire change—and help others do the same. Thankfully, there are many ways to educate yourself about the ocean and the challenges it faces, from books and documentaries to websites, museums, art exhibits, and more. If you’re an educator, check out WWF’s Wild Classroom, an online library of specially designed tools that will help you bring ocean conservation to your school.

6. Use your unique skills for good

Not a marine biologist? Not to worry. Consider joining an organization that works to protect ocean habitats or volunteering at local beach cleanups. Support local restaurants, grocery stores, and businesses in your community that offer sustainable seafood. Or contact your elected representatives to let them know you care about ocean-friendly policies.

7. Sign up, sign on, speak out

Being an advocate for the ocean can be as simple as speaking out about the importance of the vast ecosystem. Tell your friends and family why the ocean matters, and let our leaders know that you side with the ocean. Whether it’s defending the beauty of Alaska’s Bristol Bay or asking your representative to Save Our Seas, WWF’s Action Center helps you take action now.

Originally posted 2018-06-06 12:00:00.

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