ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, FL | June 02, 2011
June 8 is World Oceans Day and to help people better understand the value of the seas, The Nature Conservancy has put together a list of 10 products made from our oceans that people come into contact with everyday, whether they live in Miami Beach or Miami, Ohio.
“If you thought you only came into contact with the sea when you went to the beach or ate fish, think again,” says Nature Conservancy Lead Scientist M. Sanjayan.
- Peanut butter,
- Ice cream,
- And chocolate milk, are everyday items that include carrageenan, a form of red algae that helps give products their consistency.
- Yogurt contains agar, a marine-based ingredient used as a thickening agent.
- Salad dressing contains algin, a form of brown algae.
- Shampoos and cake mixes contain kelp.
- Allergy medicine’s anti-inflammatory properties were derived from sea whip corals.
- Sunblock SPF 50 creams were developed from a coral reef organism.
Our oceans meet essential needs by providing food, jobs, clean air, and the building blocks of life-saving medicines that treat cancer.
Unhealthy oceans and coasts are a growing problem. “If we want to keep enjoying all that the oceans give us, we’ve got to give back in return,” says Sanjayan.
The Nature Conservancy suggests five things people can do in honor of World Oceans Day on behalf of the sea:
- Eat the right fish, caught the right way. People living near the ocean can look in their area for a community supported fishery, a chance to purchase shares in fresh, locally caught seafood. People further inland can keep up-to-date on the best choices in fish when shopping or eating out.
- Speak up. Write or call Congress and urge support for the National Endowment for the Oceans, which aims to protect the oceans and our marine-based economy.
- Adopt a coral reef. “We are three to four hundred times more likely to get a new medical breakthrough in cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease treatments from our ocean than from land,” Sanjayan says. “But if we lose our coral reefs, we lose the life-saving compounds they contain.”
- Make your vacation an ocean-friendly one. “It’s OK – great, in fact – to get out and snorkel our reefs because you’re supporting local and sustainable tourism, but before donning a mask, check out reef do’s and don’ts,” he says.
- Reduce your carbon footprint. Acidification from climate change is one of the top threats to the ocean. People can begin by assessing their current footprint with The Nature Conservancy’s carbon calculator.
To learn more about the Atlantic Ocean, please dive into our virtual “Atlantic Aquarium” at www.nature.org/aquarium.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.