Thursday, March 18, 2010

One Ocean

I am an ocean junkie. Every year for the past dozen or so years I have visited an ocean at least once and I can never get enough. It took me a long time to realize how complex and diverse and vast the undersea world is but I have become increasingly fascinated by this aspect of the planet God has brought into being. Whether it is snooping around in the coral of the Caribbean with mask and snorkel, or being surprised by seals or porpoises while kayaking in the Atlantic, or walking a beach by the Pacific, I have learned that oceans are extraordinary.

Tonight there will be another episode in the CBC Nature of Things series called One Ocean. Last week we were taken to New Zealand to hear about and see an encouraging project to create marine protected areas, something along the lines of national parks only underwater. They have been remarkably successful and varied species have returned to these areas in abundance.

A scientist who has been involved in this work for years observed that people will ask him what the minimum area is necessary to protect species viability, and he responds by asking what the minimum amount of food would be to feed our children in order to keep them alive. Of course we want our children to thrive, not just survive, so what about other species?

You will know by now that I believe that "to live with respect in Creation" (a line in the United Church creed) is an essential aspect of the Christian life. And oceans must be respected, as well as forests and fields.

Have you had positive experiences at or on the oceans? Do you feel we do enough to protect them? Is is part of our Christian calling to protect them?


IanD said...

We took a trip to Newfoundland last summer for my spouse's grandmother's 100th birthday, and there was nothing sweeter at the end of that marathon drive to have seen the Atlantic Ocean as the payoff for my efforts.

I appreciate the fact that you write so often of nature and our need to keep it in good shape.

Thanks David.

johnny said...

I, too, love the oceans. I just find it so sad that we treat them so badly. Over the last decade, an average of 600,000 barrels of oil accidentally spill into the ocean from ships. Even more startlingly - and this comes from the Save the Seas organization - more oil reaches the oceans from leaking automobiles and other non-point sources than was spilled by the infamous Exxon Valdez. And what about all the plastic waste that kills thousands of sea mammals.

Sometimes I don't think we deserve this planet the way it gets treated.

johnny said...

insert "each year" after non-point sources"

Anonymous said...

I have only seen the ocean once in my life. Yet, I still carry a picture of it in my mind. My husband hopes to take me to Nova Scotia at some point. He was in the navy and lived on the ocean and he talks about the waves often.

Laurie said...

The poem "Sea Fever" by John Masefield is one of my favourite poems. The health of out planet is dependent on our oceans. We need to keep them healthy. The DVD series "Blue Planet" is wonderful all about the oceans and seas.

Susan said...

My birthday falls under a water sign and I am fascinated by water - the sight - the sound - and the movement. I have walked into and seen both the Altantic and Pacific Oceans. I took several boat tours on the Altantic and was awed by whales and birds that lived in that water.
I am intrigued by the idea of a water/marine park.
Thank you, David, for inspiring, creating possiblities and hope. I truly appreciate it.