President Obama recently declared June to be National Ocean Month, and there are some pretty good reasons as to why we should do everything we can to protect oceans, as well as all bodies of water.
The United States has one of the most vibrant shipping industries in the world, with tons of product leaving and entering the country every day. This is possible because waterways are clean and safe for ships to sail through. However, imagine if they weren’t, and giant tankers had to navigate through thousands of pounds of dirt and trash. It would make international trade very difficult, and the prices of everyday items like food and consumer products would rise dramatically.
Perhaps just as important is the fact that oceans, rivers, and lakes are FUN! Crashing waves bring joy to millions of people every year, and there is something transcendent about being at the spot where the country ends and the ocean begins. The stillness of lakes and the calming flow of rivers provide endless enjoyment to anyone who visits. But what if these waters became polluted? Would a day at the beach be fun if you were surfing alongside dirty plastic bags? Or in a lake, paddling a canoe next to soda cans? Is it fun to float down a river next to dirty cigarette butts?
There are also environmental reasons to keep waterways clean. Ocean life is part of a delicate worldwide ecosystem that provides food, relief from the sun, and the growth of plants, which creates oxygen and reduces air pollution. A threat to any part of this balance will cause everything else to suffer. If humidity from the ocean didn’t help plants and trees produce clean air, then our health would become threatened as we would be breathing contaminated oxygen.
By keeping all bodies of water clean, we ensure that however they’re used, everybody stands to benefit. Between our wallets, our health, and even our own enjoyment, we all have a responsibility to help out during National Ocean Month, and every other month to follow. So do some research, and see how easy it is to not just make a difference, but to be the difference!!