Nelson Institute of Marine Research

Santa Barbara, California

STEPS TO TAKE TO PROTECT THE OCEAN

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

Support the establishment of marine reserves, parks and sanctuaries in your country.

Participate in letter writing campaigns and boycotts to end practices that damage the sea and its inhabitants.

Join one of the conservation organizations listed on the organizations page.

Dispose of toxic materials, such as waste oil, paint stripper and weed killer, in an environmentally safe manner, not down the drain. Better still, use nontoxic alternatives.

Retrieve trash found in the water and along the coast and dispose of it properly.

Participate in local beach cleanups or organize one in your area.

Encourage marinas and other oceanside facilities to provide adequate trash containers and recycling bins.

If you own a boat, keep a trash can on board, be sure it is kept covered and make sure everyone on board uses it.

Place unwanted fishing line in a trash can, not in the water, where it could be harmful to marine life.

Avoid taking disposable plastic products on board boats, especially plastic bags and six-pack rings. These products are harmful to marine creatures and litter beaches.

Do not throw cigarette butts overboard. Studies have shown that filters, which do not break down in the sea, are harmful to marine birds.

Make sure your boat motor is properly serviced and does not leak gas or oil into the water.

Never discharge wastes from a toilet onboard a vessel directly into the ocean.

Use a bilge pillow or sponge in the bilge of your boat to remove oil from water that collects there.

Use nonphosphate detergents when cleaning your boat.

Avoid using toxic antifouling paints on your vessel.

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