SEVENSEAS Marine Conservation & Travel Issue 16, September 2016 - Page 7

SEVENSEAS - 7

hat have you done to celebrate the ocean lately? I know that might sound cheesy, but really- When was the last time you floated weightless in the sea? Kayaked tirelessly against the tide? Stood on your board and surfed perfectly into shore? Maybe you just

sit at the water's edge with your eyes closed and listen to the crashing waves. Or perhaps you watch and repost every video of an orca, shark, or sea otter that comes across your screen. What ever you do, the majesty of the vast ocean is worth celebrating... and worth protecting. This month, President Obama is expanding the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument off the coast of Hawaii, creating the world’s largest marine protected area at an astonishing 582,578 square miles providing critical protections for more than 7,000 marine species. But the ocean is fluid, populations drift, species are trawled out, and there is a never-ending deposit of our waste from every direction for thousands of miles. Waste that will never go away.

Literally, just now as I typed the 7th sentence of the paragraph above, I looked out my window in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington, DC, and a group of high schoolers passed by. Immediately in front of my gaze, one threw a plastic bottle on the sidewalk and another a food wrapper into the street. Unless I pick them up, those two items will undoubtedly end up in a gutter, a storm sewer, and shortly after in the Chesapeake Bay. Two pieces of trash in the water aren't by any means going to ruin an ecosystem but the societal norm perpetuated by those couple kids outside will. The mission of SEVENSEAS is to educate and inspire our readers to celebrate the ocean- and you probably already do- Today I'm asking you to pass on that message, tell a story, plan a trip, do something to inspire and educate someone else. It is only with a mass shift of culture that we can begin to understand how to solve one of the largest crisis to hit our natural world.

SEVENSEAS is leading free publication that promotes marine conservation through community engagement, online media, and eco-tourism, with readers in 170 countries. We ask that YOU be that inspiration for others to follow in your footsteps.

Safe travels &

happy swimming,

Giacomo Abrusci

Executive Director

Editor-in-Chief

SEVENSEAS

Photo far left: San Juan on our recent trip to Puerto Rico. Left: Selfie in my father's beautiful vineyard.

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