We are here to change the way people think about science. We want it to be fun, but in order to change tide for our oceans, education must be present. Steps to move forward need to influence our current generation, and those that will take our place. 

Offshore drilling for oil is a destructive and deadly process from start to finish. The air gun blasts used to locate oil under the seafloor kill fish eggs and larvae and can severely harm marine mammal hearing abilities. Oil drilling and collection at sea also brings the risk of oil spills and leaks which, as the horrible BP oil spill in the Gulf has shown us, can negatively impact entire ocean ecosystems years after these disasters occur.

We encourage sustainable use of our oceans' fisheries, as overfishing is a serious issue we face today. Many species are either currently overfished or are in danger of being overfished and choosing to eat the right types of seafood from responsible farms or fish stocks is an important way you can make a difference. In the last half century, we have seen an estimated 90% decline in large fish species. That number includes sharks, tunas, billfish, and other megafauna that we know and love. Check out www.FishWatch.gov and the Monterey Bay Aquariums' Seafood Watch program for sustainable seafood options!

Humans have harmed our environment by polluting our waters with industrial waste since the early 1900's and more recently with harmful single use plastics. Our oceans are predicted to have more plastic waste than fish biomass by the year 2050 and we stand to push for alternatives to plastic straws, bags, and water bottles. Fertilizers used on our lawns and crops also accumulate in our rivers and eventually make their way out into the ocean. In the United States, the Mississippi flows out to the Gulf of Mexico where we have created an anoxic zone just off the coast of Louisiana. This "Dead Zone" has no oxygen and many species of marine life can no longer live there.

Coral reefs around the world are dying at an unprecedented rate. Increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is driving the formation of carbonic acid in our oceans which decreases the pH making the waters acidic in the process. This change in pH is enough to cause many species of corals to expel their nutritious photosynthetic algae, which will cause bleaching that the coral may never recover from. You can help coral reefs around the world by making sure the sunscreen you buy is coral-safe, free from harmful chemicals such as oxybenzone and octinocate, among others. Also be sure not to touch or bump into corals while diving and swimming!

Recommended Readings:

Four Fish - Paul Greenberg

Cod - Mark Kulansky

The Secret Life of Lobsters - Trevor Corson

Silent Spring - Rachel Carson

The Soul of an Octopus - Sy Montgomery

The Sea Around Us - Rachel Carson

Of Orcas and Men - David Neiwert

Sources:

Sources to be listed soon

Partner publications:

Gobler, Cj, and Ge Boneillo. “Impacts of Anthropogenically Influenced Groundwater Seepage on Water Chemistry and Phytoplankton Dynamics within a Coastal Marine System.” Marine Ecology Progress Series, vol. 255, 24 June 2003, pp. 101–114.

(Dr. George Boneillo, Coastal Carolina University, OHP Photographer)

 

Young, Robert F., and Heather D. Phillips. “Primary Production Required To Support Bottlenose Dolphins In A Salt Marsh Estuarine Creek System.” Marine Mammal Science, vol. 18, no. 2, 26 Aug. 2006, pp. 358–373.

(Dr. Rob Young, Coastal Carolina University, OHP Board of Directors)

Recent Projects

Once we partner with local colleges you will be able to see what local scientists are working on right here!

© 2018. Ocean's Heroes Project | South Carolina | All rights reserved 501(c)3

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