Oceans of Optimism
This month’s oceans of optimism is a special bumper edition in celebration of World Oceans Day. We hope this dose of positivity will recharge and inspire you to channel that energy into the world, creating ripples of change that together will help turn the tide.
2020 has certainly been a year to remember. In the midst of the biggest global shakeup since the Second World War, there’s no denying that the world looks very different today than it did a year ago – with lots of uncertainty around what post-COVID19 world will look. What we do know, is that this uncertain and challenging time also offers us a once in a lifetime opportunity. We’ve had the opportunity to pause, to reflect, to realign with what really matters, and to think about the kind of world we want to live in. Now is the time to come together to create a better future – for humanity and for our planet.
Research has revealed only 9% of us want to go back to ‘normal’. Because normal wasn’t working. 2020 has shown us that radical change can happen, that systems can halt overnight and that things they said were impossible are, in fact, possible. We are living in a time of great change and we can all do our bit to be part of it.
Whale-y good news for the sea
This World Oceans Day we welcome the news that scientists in Australia have found a way to help coral reefs fight the devastating effects of bleaching by making them more heat-resistant. Transplanting a lab-grown microalgae that is more tolerant to heat may help restore coral reefs say the researchers.
Advances in tackling illegal fishing also provide hope for our seas with blockchain technology, spy birds and satellite surveillance. Just some of the innovative initiatives that will tighten the net around illegal fishing and also help stamp out slave labour.
Experts say a drop in underwater noise pollution during lockdown may be good news for whales and other sea mammals. Calling the reduction in ship traffic in the ocean ‘a giant human experiment’, researchers in Canada are making the most of “an opportunity to listen that will not appear again in our lifetime.”
It’s not just researchers making the most of oceans during lockdown. Surfers were treated to a special sparkling sea show in California as they rode dazzling, bioluminescent waves at night!
Animals Making a Comeback
Positive news from the animal kingdom has helped lift our spirits over the last few months. We’ve seen rare animals coming back from extinction and footage of wild animals roaming in cities and areas temporarily deserted by mankind. From blue whales in the Antarctic waters and wolves in Colorado, to sea turtles in Tunisia and a rare white grizzly bear spotted in the Rocky Mountains – plus a rise of coyotes, ravens, black bears and deer in California’s Yosemite Park. These animal sightings give us real reasons to remain optimistic.
Closer to home, Manchester has welcomed the return of the Large Heath Butterfly after being extinct for 150 years – what a comeback! And we love this bee-autiful story about the return of the Black Bee thanks to two awesome refugee beekeeping projects.
Tree-mendous Planting Programmes
In the last month, we’ve seen some brilliant new wildlife initiatives across our planet. Such as the Government of Pakistan hiring tens of thousands of ‘jungle workers’– day labourers left without work because of coronavirus – to plant a whopping 10 billion trees!
Meanwhile, the European Commission has published a bold plan to plant 3 billion trees by 2030 in an attempt to reverse the loss of wildlife and habitats. As well as 1 million seagrass seeds are being planted around the British Isles to help restore sea meadows.
Even if we live in an inner-city, there are always opportunities to create more green space and increase biodiversity. Check out this awesome capital city suburb in Costa Rica that shows how urban planning can be harnessed to benefit both humans and wildlife.
Snaps to make you smile
We know times are tough for many at the moment so we wanted to leave you with two images from the animal kingdom to lift the spirits. Watch as flamingos turn Mumbai pink, whilst over in Missouri penguins have the museum to themselves as they roam free in the empty gallery and appreciate the art!
And finally, some hope for emerging from this crisis to a world that is better for both biodiversity and human health, as environmental scientists add their voices to a call for a greener focus as the world rebuilds. As we emerge from lockdown, we can all make changes to our behaviour that will help build the future we want to live in.
Looking for something positive you can do?
#ChoosetoReuse by sharing our #ContactlessCoffee video and tagging your local cafes to encourage them to keep reusables on the menu!
Order a copy of Natalie Fee’s How to Save the World for Free book for tips and tricks to make changes in all areas of your life.
Donate to City to Sea and help power our planet-protecting campaigns. We need your help to make change happen fast.