On Saturday, June 9, 2018 tens of thousands of people will March for the Ocean in Washington D.C. and across the nation and planet to mark the end of World Oceans Day weekend.
Why? Because we have no choice! Our public seas, already in crisis, are now at hugely increased risk from the Trump administration and Congress who are willing to put our environment, economy and health at risk for big oil and a handful of other polluting industries. In response we need to become the next wave of citizen resistance to expanded offshore drilling and spilling, plastic, petrochemical and other marine pollution and climate impacts including more extreme hurricanes like Harvey, Irma and Maria that come in the wake of our three (soon to be four) hottest years in recorded history.
The nationwide March for the Ocean is endorsed by Dr. Sylvia Earle, Jean-Michael Cousteau, Bill McKibben, Xiuhtezcalt Martinez and a growing chorus of surfers, divers, celebrities, commercial fishermen and women, small businesses, major aquariums, deep-sea explorers, and student activists, like these ‘Heirs to Our Oceans’ youths who have decided to join the march. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bb0OZfxfj5s&t=23s
As Dr. Earle says, “No water, no life. No blue, no green.”
It seems strange to remember that just over a year ago President Obama expanded Papahanaumokuakea marine national monument in Hawaii to the largest protected wilderness on earth (and home to 70 percent of U.S. corals) while also establishing the first marine monument on the east coast. He also shut down much of the Atlantic and the Arctic Ocean to new oil drilling while promoting climate action to transition the nation from polluting fossil fuels to job-generating clean energy. Illegal, pirate fishing was targeted along with harmful algae blooms such as the “green gunk” that clogged Florida beaches for much of 2016.
Now President Trump is reversing course on all these efforts, calling for expanded coal plant emissions (a major source of mercury pollution in our seas) and vastly expanded oil drilling in our offshore waters while secretly reviewing plans to downsize marine monuments and sanctuaries to open them up to even more drilling, this despite nearly 100,000 public comments that were 99 percent in favor of protecting these ocean parks. The administration, through the EPA and Departments of Interior and Commerce is also pushing to reduce runoff pollution controls that will result in more closed beaches, dead zones and harmful algal blooms, while eliminating safety rules imposed after BP’s deepwater drilling disaster in the Gulf. They’re even going after the Marine Mammal Protection Act if it reduces opportunities for oil drilling. Their new governing principle seems to be if its not broken, smash it.
By his actions President Trump has also made the U.S. the only nation to reject the Paris climate accord.
This is no time to despair however. Instead we need to demonstrate that when the people lead, the leaders can be made to follow.
June 9th we will school together in a sea of humanity, marching and wearing blue for the ocean. In D.C. we will lead a flotilla down the Potomac, march down the National Mall and then rally at the Capitol below a 9o-foot life sized Blue Whale because once again we have to save the whales, also the coral, the algae and all our communities – both they human or wild.
We will work to engage our neighbors and fellow citizens, and expand the diverse and youthful upsurge of activism now underway around protection of our rivers, lakes, estuaries, coastlines, ocean – all of our sacred waters.
• We will march to end offshore oil drilling and spilling and the onshore fossil fuel refineries and pipelines that endanger our most vulnerable communities.
• We will march to put an end to the petrochemical, plastic and other polluted runoff that is poisoning our drinking water and the world Ocean.
• We will march to fight for our neighborhoods, towns and cities endangered by rising seas, historic flooding and other preventable climate calamities.
• We will march for our and future generations knowing it’s not too late to restore a healthy Blue Planet based on equity, justice and clean water for all.
Join the upsurge along with the many other organizations, advocates and celebrities who will march on June 9!
Learn more about M4O at marchforocean.com Find out, plan and contribute to the developing events and festivities on and off the water. Add your name and organization to the growing list of supporters and begin planning and organizing for the mobilization in Washington D.C. or for your own local action wherever you are from sea to shining sea! You can also contact the M4Os Organizing Committee at: www.Marchforocean@gmail.com
Remember – The Ocean is Rising and So Are We!