A single question drives Maui Ocean Center’s Ocean Aloha, “go green for blue” initiative: what do we want our oceans to look like for our children, grandchildren, and generations that follow? Here’s what we can all do to help.
My first impactful moment with marine life was on a family vacation in Aruba. My dad and I woke with the sun and walked to the water’s edge, snorkel gear in hand. We ventured into the inviting blue water with a desire to explore, and the pristine underwater world instantly captivated us. We stumbled upon several sea turtles enjoying a morning meal and encountered a school of barracuda as they swam underneath us. We floated together in awe, exchanging looks of wonder from behind our masks.
This is a memory I will cherish forever, and my admiration for the ocean and its creatures has only grown since then. Years later, I learned about the stresses our oceans are under, and decided that we must focus on being part of the solution.
But where to begin? Saving our oceans sounds like a daunting task. Plastic pollution, oil spills, acidification, overfishing — these concerns and more plague our seas. In the face of seemingly insurmountable problems, it’s admittedly easier to hang up our hats and declare defeat. But instead, we encourage you to live with Ocean Aloha.
Living with Ocean Aloha is about understanding, connection, and compassion. It’s Maui Ocean Center’s mission to educate visitors and kamaʻāina alike, helping expand their knowledge about the fragile marine life we’re trying to save, and why it is critical to the health of our planet. As we become more connected to the undersea world, compassion takes root, and we are inspired to do what we can to conserve our marine life for our future generations.
As individuals, we can start by reducing personal waste, disposing of trash properly, and picking up litter before it has the chance to enter the marine environment. Buy fewer material goods and take care of what you have to ensure it lasts longer. Check sunscreen labels, drive electric cars, and install solar panels — all these small steps add up to a world of difference. Once you’ve taken action on an individual level, you can then spread that Ocean Aloha by sharing with others what you’ve learned about our powerful connection to the sea.
Fostering marine conservation and healthy ocean ecosystems in Hawaiʻi — and ultimately the world — is not achieved alone. But with a concerted global effort, we can share our love for the sea, and spread Ocean Aloha from mauka to makai and everywhere in between.