5 Steps you can take to give back to our planet

Maya H.
Girls Academic Leadership Academy

Saving the ocean is a colossal job; a job so large, complex, and difficult that unfortunately, it can’t be accomplished with just a flick of the hand. While the damage we have done to our Earth and ocean is beyond severe, and while we can’t single-handedly change that, there are quite a few small and simple things that can help restore the oceans to what they once were.
So, without further ado, here are just five of infinite action steps you can take to give back to our generous–and dying– planet.

#1: Eating conscientiously
There are two parts to this. Our oceans are being overfished at astronomical rates, leading scientists to believe that by as soon as 2050, there could be no fish left in the sea. Without fish, the ocean ecosystem will be thrown into chaos, prompting mass extinction rates, food shortages, and even natural disasters. This is why it’s so important to make sure any and all seafood you consume is not endangered and is fished responsibly. While this may seem like an impossible task, there are excellent and easily accessible resources, such as Oceana’s guide to sustainable seafood to help with this job.
Another quick way to help the ocean when it comes to food is to purchase locally sourced produce whenever possible, and unlike the first part of this step, this doesn’t just apply to seafood. Not only does eating locally boost small businesses and farms, but it also cuts back on the transportation food needs to travel, which in turn eliminates hundreds and hundreds of tons of toxic emissions that kill sea life and wreck the environment. Buying an avocado from Mexico includes that avocado being driven to an airport, flown to the US, and then distributed by train and car to your supermarket where you buy it, a process that is not only more costly but also wastes fuel, energy, and creates tons of greenhouse gases. Contrarily, buying an avocado from a farm in your state, or better yet, the city, may only need to drive a few miles to arrive at the store. Thus, by buying locally sourced goods, you’re cutting out multiple legs of transportation, all of which tax the environment and oceans.
Additionally, buying organic produce ensures that no harmful pesticides are used, which is not only great for your body, but also beneficial to the environment. Many farms are set up near bodies of water, be it rivers, streams, oceans, lakes, etc. When pesticides are sprayed on non-organic crops, those pesticides often trickle into the water sources bordering the farms. Not only can these chemicals kill the sea life living in those smaller bodies of water, but it can end up in the ocean as well. Through evaporation, underground waterways, and precipitation, even the smallest amount of pesticide run-off can completely wreck havoc in the oceans, killing fish, spurring overpopulation of dangerous algae, and throwing the delicate balance of the underwater world off-kilter.
Of course, the resources everybody has and the availability of more environmentally sourced foods is not equitable, and for many, organic food or tracking down sustainably sourced fish is simply not an option. That is 100% okay. Eating conscientiously, unfortunately, can be more expensive and harder to find, so executing this to the best of your individual ability is all the ocean can ask for.

#2 Part Ways with Plastic and Clean Up
It’s no secret that there is an overabundance of plastic clogging the oceans, being consumed by and killing sea creatures at unprecedented rates. In fact, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch(made up almost entirely of disposable plastic) sitting in the middle of the Pacific Ocean is estimated to be three times the size of France(Forbes). That type of statistic is simply not acceptable. So what can one do to help? The answer is, in theory, not complicated: just stop using plastic. But, in reality, plastic is used in practically everything we purchase, and cutting it out altogether, while possible, isn’t quite plausible. That’s where cutting plastic usage down and increasing reusable material usage comes into play. By bringing your own cloth bag to the grocery store instead of buying a disposable plastic one, you are saving a turtle’s life. By using a metal water bottle instead of buying a one-time-use plastic one, you are helping an endangered species of fish live on. By cutting out individual uses of one-time plastic materials, you are helping stop the Garbage Patch from growing even more.
Not only can you reduce the amount of plastic that you create and that inevitably ends up in the middle of the ocean or in a creature’s stomach, but you can also help the ocean by cleaning up the mess others, who aren’t so kind to the environment, have left behind. Local and national charities often have beach clean-up days, as do many businesses. Why not join one for a few hours every month? Or, while we’re in the midst of COVID-19 and if gatherings are banned and beaches near you are closed, what’s the harm in going on a walk around your block with a trash bag and some gloves and picking up any litter you see that is headed for the ocean if not taken care of? Helping to clean up is not only charitable, but it’s also quick and effective, and there really aren’t any reasons not to consider taking part in it.

#3 Campaigning & Advocating
Another undemanding way to help out the ocean is by campaigning for leaders whose views on the environment align with yours. This applies to government officials everywhere and in every position of power, from local neighborhood councils to the president. If there is a candidate who believes strongly in the defunding of the EPA, for example, an agency of the government that protects the environment and oceans, why not learn about their rivals and campaign for one of them? Perhaps someone running for the House of Representatives wants to restore the oceans, so why not back that person up? Though campaigning looks quite different from case to case, most campaigns have volunteer positions that always need filling, and there are many different opportunities that you can choose from to fit your skills and time commitment levels. You could stuff envelopes, make phone calls to potential voters and supporters, tape up posters, the list goes on and on. Regardless of how or who you choose to help out, however, by working to get those who care about cleaning up the ocean in office, you yourself are helping to clean up the oceans.

#4 Donate
Similarly to campaigning for those you believe in, donating to charities you believe in is another excellent, highly effective, and rather flexible way to make sure the ocean gets the love and attention it deserves. By supporting ocean-conservation based organizations and nonprofits, you can help to further their fight against climate change. Again, much like campaigning, donating doesn’t just have to be money, though it certainly can be. You can donate your time, services, and/or any special skills you may hold. If you are well versed in technology, consider offering to assist designing or elevating the website of an organization; if you love decorating, maybe offer to help plan/set up their next event; if social media is a favored past-time, ask to help run (or start )their social media platforms and increase their influence. Some of the many amazing environmental organizations that are always looking for donations can be found on Dip ‘n Dive’s top ten list, but finding local organizations, such as AltaSea, reaching out and asking what can be done is also often successful.

#5 Spread Awareness
And, finally, and perhaps more important than all, getting others involved in ocean conservation efforts and letting them know how important and easy it is to help can only do good. So, tell a friend about an organization looking for volunteers, rally your family to go on a beach clean-up with you, or drop the link to the sustainable seafood guide in the chatbox during your next Zoom meeting! The more people who become informed about the dire state of the oceans, the more people who can be part of the solution.
Saving the ocean is a job that takes all of us, but by taking part in these five simple and quick actions steps, slowly but surely, a healthier ocean for the next generation is possible.

Let The World Breathe

Let the World Breathe
All we do is take
We don’t realize our home needs a break
My home is well kept, cleaned and raked
But our home
Our earth
Is far from neat
Our earth needs a spa day
it should be squeaky clean
But instead of cleaning up
Our home is tearing at the seams
We demand so much
And our earth provides all that we need
All that we ask for
All that we seek
And in return we give nothing
But garbage that litters the ground
We give air quality so bad you’d think we’d be drowned
We choke our oceans in plastic
Fill our air with with toxic gases
Destroy the forests with our chainsaws
And top it off with cement
We shoot animals for fun
The poor creatures have nowhere to run
All we do is take
But in doing so we don’t realize that we forget to give
And if we don’t change things, humans may very well cease to live
For starters our oceans that are filled with plastic
The changes needed to be made are honestly quite drastic
Create all our products but biodegradable
Although factory owners seem quite unpersuadable
If we replace plastic with something more natural
The difference in our world would be fantastical
So for our earth, our home, our place
Let’s make a change with our plastics that fill up our aquatic space
And if we just can do so
And stop our earth’s slow descend, suffocation, inevitable end
We can finally do something that’s well overdue
We can let our world breathe

Ways You Can Help Save the Ocean!

Ways You Can Help Save the Ocean!

Shenaya Y. 10th grade

Peninsula High School

To survive and prosper, we depend on the ocean. Since the ocean is the largest ecosystem on Earth, it supports our planet’s life as oceans hold 97% of the planet’s water. Carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is absorbed by oceans which contributes to reducing climate change impacts. The ocean produces more than half of the oxygen in the atmosphere, and absorbs the most carbon from it. Taking good care of our ocean will positively impact the planet in hopes of saving our world. There are many ways that you can help save the ocean. One of these ways includes reducing your use of single-use plastics. Plastic pollution in the ocean deteriorates marine habitats by injuring and killing fish, seabirds and marine mammals. Because floating plastic often resembles food, they choke or starve as a result of eating the plastic. To help prevent this, you should use plastic alternatives such as cloth grocery bags and reusable water bottles. Another way to help save the ocean is to reduce your daily energy usage. Our oceans are becoming more acidic as a result of large amounts of carbon dioxide produced from the burning of fossil fuels. A few ways you can reduce your energy use include riding a bike, walking or using public transportation. It is also important to remember to turn off appliances and lights when they are not in use. One more way to help save the ocean is by properly disposing hazardous materials. When motor oil and other hazardous materials aren’t disposed of properly, they often end up washing into coastal areas. This pollutes the water and hurts the overall health of our oceans. Due to this, it is important to dispose of hazardous waste in an environmentally safe way. Going along with that idea, another thing you can do is picking up garbage and litter near beaches. The plastic and debris left on the beach will eventually find their way into the oceans. Crowded beaches throughout the year will result in more polluted beaches and oceans as more trash is being left behind. To prevent the destruction of our oceans, bring a trash bag with you for your garbage and volunteer for beach clean-ups. It is important to be aware on a daily basis of ways you help save the ocean. Along with this, another great thing to do is educating others about what’s going on with the world’s oceans and what they can do to make a difference.

The Ocean Helps The Planet

The Ocean Helps the Planet by Inho Go, 3rd grade, Seaside Elementary

The ocean provides so much water for the people, the animals and the plants on planet Earth.
The ocean helps keep the trees healthy so they can provide oxygen for us. The ocean gives the plants and animals that give and turn into our food. The ocean is very important to planet Earth.

Milad E., 7th grade, Dana Middle School




There are multiple ways of creating energy through
the ocean. The option of making energy that I
developed using SketchUp was underwater turbines.
They could be placed on isolated coasts and would
have a sea-wall. The sea-wall would have small
holes so animals won’t swim into it and get
shredded.The underwater windmill would be a safe
and efficient way to get energy.

The underwater windmill works in this way: water
currents go through the holes in the wall and spin
the blades. The rotating blades then spin a battery
in the generator which creates electricity. As a
result, this would create a clean, safe and
efficient way to get energy.

Maya H., 8th grade, Girls Academic Leadership Academy

When you think of energy, your mind might jump to a picture of a lab, or scientists working with chemicals. Maybe, and, let’s be honest, more likely, you have absolutely no clue what to think of. Energy is something we use in our day to day life so constantly, from the first time we flip on our lights in the morning to when we finish using our electric tooth-brush at night, that for many of us, it has become nothing more than a subconscious “thing.”
Regardless of what you think of, however, when you think of energy, I’m almost positive the image of a roaring ocean doesn’t come to mind.
Why is this?
Though many claim this is not true, our world is battling an ever-present energy shortage that is a direct consequence of overpopulation and overconsumption of energy. Non-renewable energy resources such as coal and oil are being mined and drilled at unfathomable and unsustainable rates, so much so that Ecotricity predicts that in just 53 years, the world could be out of oil and coal. Forever.
This poses the question that desperately needs an answer: what is our world to do once we are without the two largest and most popular energy providers? An energy-less US, much less world, simply isn’t conceivable, but without coal and oil, what do we turn to?
This is when that image of the vast sea comes into play.
Though rarely used for such purposes, the ocean actually can produce two types of energy, mechanical energy from waves and tides, and thermal energy from the Sun’s heat, at ridiculously high rates that could solve this energy crisis in a flash.
Think about it: roughly 71% of the world is covered in ocean, and even with rising sea levels, until the Big Crunch occurs and the Earth implodes, the oceans are here to stay, meaning ocean energy is a reliable and renewable resource. Additionally, while coal and oil deposits can be found in only select locations throughout the world, leading to countless multi-country feuds as well as certain countries advancing and thus, prospering, more than others, the five oceans of the world touch every continent, and if ocean energy were to be used, the energy privilege certain nations hold would be eliminated.
Not only that, but the process of extracting energy from the ocean releases no greenhouse gasses, and is entirely green, compared to the process of using coal as energy, which includes the coal being extracted from fossil fuels, disturbing the sediment around it as well as releasing tons and tons of dangerous emissions that are harmful to humans and the environment.
The cherry on top? A single meter of a wave can hold up to 100 kilowatts of energy that can be sold (raising economies), used (providing energy to the world and helping stop the energy crisis), and saved(creating a rainy day fund for future generations). And if this is all from one portion of one wave in one ocean; imagine the amount of energy and revenue that could be produced if all oceans were used for energy production.
To put the product of one meter of a wave in perspective, a whole pound of coal is needed to produce a single kilowatt of energy, and with that energy comes fossil fuels, whereas turning one meter of a wave into energy produces no emissions.
So, really, why has the whole world not jumped on the ocean energy bandwagon yet?
Well, nothing is perfect, including this energy alternative. While ocean energy is sustainable, renewable, powerful, and environmentally conscious, it, unfortunately, is a relatively new idea and is only possible through new technology. The youngness of the equipment needed makes it more expensive, and the truth of the matter is, many governments would rather kill the Earth and leave an energy-deprived world for future generations than spend large amounts of money on new ideas.
At the end of the day, we can solve the energy crisis, aid the battle against climate change, and power the planet by harnessing the ocean’s infinite energy, but not without a fight. Until the world is devoid of those who prioritize their pocketbooks over the planet they live on, it is vital to continue to learn about ocean energy and combat for it to be harnessed on a larger scale.
The ocean has saved us so many times; we now must campaign for it to save us again.
Works Cited:
“Causes and Solutions to the Global Energy Crisis.” Conserve Energy Future, 13 May 2020, www.conserve-energy-future.com/causes-and-solutions-to-the-global-energy-crisis.php.
“Ocean Energy Tech.” Renewable Energy World, www.renewableenergyworld.com/types-of-renewable-energy/ocean-energy-tech/#gref.
“The End of Fossil Fuels.” Ecotricity, www.ecotricity.co.uk/our-green-energy/energy-independence/the-end-of-fossil-fuels.
“Wave Energy Pros and Cons.” Energy Informative, 13 Feb. 2019, energyinformative.org/wave-energy-pros-and-cons/.

Grace A. 4th grade

If I had an aquafarm, I would farm lily pads in beautiful reflective ponds. Lily Pads are very beautiful and peaceful. I think they would make people feel calmer when they are stressed. When I visited Echo Park, we went boating in paddle boats in the lake there and they had a lot of lily pads. They float very nicely on the top of the water and I really like how they look in the water. I think an aquafarm filled with them like in Echo Park would be very nice, calming, and an awesome aquafarm.

Shawn Y., UCLA

If you think about it, there are many different ways to garden and farm. Some of these include container gardening, vertical farming, and outdoor gardening. Another common style of farming is aquafarming. Aquafarming falls under the category of aquaculture. Aquaculture is the breeding, raising, and harvesting of fish and aquatic plants. With aquaculture, healthier habitats are formed in hopes of being used to rebuild stocks of threatened species. On a simpler note, aquaculture is farming in water. An aquafarm is a tank filled with water, plants, and fish. The waste from the fish provides nutrients for plants enabling them to grow on top of the water’s surface. Different types of edible plants can be grown in an aquafarm. Some of these include, carrots lettuce, peppers, basil, strawberries, mint, tomatoes, onions, collard greens, and cabbage. If I had an aquafarm, I would choose to grow some lettuce, tomatoes, basil, and onions. The reason I would decide to grow these is so that I could make a delicious salad from all my produce grown! Overall, I see aquafarming as a great way to help threatened species while growing plants. All in all, aquafarming is beneficial to our environment and should be used more often.

My Uncle’s Awesome Skills

Aquaponics is really simple if you have my uncle’s skills. My uncle helps my mom grow fresh veggies from tubes using water and minerals that help the plants grow so naturally. I like to help sometimtes when I go to the farm seeing the process makes me want to eat them all! I have to stop myself and be kind since those veggies were grown with love. They get cut and carefully transported to the local farmers markets to get sold and reimburse my uncles awesome skills! If only I can show you how cool it is to grow in aquaponics you will want to grow them too but you will be missing one importnat thing which is my uncle’s awesome skills! Since his skills are not for sale why don’t I tell you the markets you can go to help my mom reimburse my uncle’s super awesome skills!

How the Ocean can Save the World-

By Brenda V. 12th grade, San Pedro High School


Have you or someone you know ever wondered about the important role that marine life plays upon our planet? The ocean is around 139.7 million square miles which means it covers about 70.9% of Earth’s surface, but what does that mean? How does the ocean regulate our world and shape it into the society it is today?

BREATHE: The ocean produces more than half of the world’s oxygen and absorbs 50 times more carbon dioxide than the atmosphere. If it can do that task alone then you can show a bit of care for it by keeping our precious blue waters clean.

REGULATE: The oceans that make up 70% of the Earth’s surface which gives them the purpose of transferring heat from the equator to the poles; this helps them regulate climate and weather patterns.

TRANSPORTATION: 76% of all U.S. trade includes some form of ocean transportation. The benefits of this consist of shipping by large volumes at low costs as well as promoting an Eco-friendly way of moving things across the world.

BENEFITS: From fishing  to boating, kayaking and whale watching, the sea offers many unique activities, it really does have therapeutic properties. On top of this, many jobs in the U.S. rely on the ocean economy since it produces $282 billion in goods and services. It also has ocean-dependent businesses employing almost 3 million people.

FOOD: The sea serves simple yet very resourceful ingredients such as amazing foods like peanut butter and soy milk. On top of that, not only does it give us a great amount of nutrition but it also promotes a great food diet such as veganism, vegetarianism, etc!

MEDICINE: Many ingredients that are found in medicines come from the sea. These things that are so simple yet reliable can almost always help fight cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease.

MARINE LIFE: Many creatures depend and live in the Ocean. Without them, the significance of our planet would be really low. They help keep our planet in shape with the way they regulate their ecosystem and deserve respect for their hard work.

The important factors that marine life brings among us is all listed above but you too are also an important piece because you need to keep it alive! The ocean may be large and mighty but society still needs to care for it. If the ocean can help your lungs inhale and exhale air, adjust temperature for you, transport goods you want, keep you entertained, feed you, keep you healthy and make you remember about the small things like sea mammals and its peaceful beaches then clean it up! If the ocean can save the world then we as people should save the ocean from filth.