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Last year, the conservation action theme of World Oceans Day was focused on “encouraging solutions to plastic pollution and preventing marine litter.” This year, the conservation action theme is “preventing plastic pollution and encouraging solutions for a healthy ocean.”
I wondered, do I really need to write a brand-new introduction for this year’s collection of ocean-related stories from Hakai Magazine—isn’t last year’s still relevant?
We are heading into Onion territory.
My spidey sense tells me the plastics issue is the most pressing concern the world’s oceans may be facing right now. Or, at least the most pressing concern that is within our control—if we can work together. Banning single-use plastic straws (of course, ensuring straws are available for people with certain disabilities ) is a start. Banning plastic bags is also a start. And let’s just stop hitting golf balls into the ocean. Just stop it. (If for no other reason than to save a whale.)
The facts have not changed in a year. Plastics are choking the ocean. But maybe what’s needed now more than ever is not chastising but understanding—understanding the wonder and complexity of the oceans. In these 15 stories from the planet’s five oceans, we explore the beauty of the sea at night, explain how Arctic currents work in a warming world, introduce extremophile corals, and share other missives that explain the marine world.
All is not lost. Yet.