A little effort goes a long way in the fight to protect our waters.

By Joan Drammeh
February 05, 2008
Anne Flinn Powell

You don't have to be Captain Planet to make a difference in ocean health. People who practice conservation in their homes are superheroes, too. Here is a list of easy things you can do to preserve our waters.

1. When stocking your aquarium, purchase exotic fish with care-and from reputable dealers. Unethical fishing methods, including the use of cyanide and dynamite, are occasionally used to capture live saltwater fish.

2. Before you book your next cruise, research your options. Cruise ships, which once polluted the sea with excess waste and oil, have become increasingly eco-friendly. When shopping around, ask about the cruise line's environmental policy (i.e. recycling methods, types of fuel, port information). And before you hit the buffet, check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium's endangered seafood lists at mbayaq.org/cr/seafoodwatch.asp.

3. Buy organic produce, which involves no chemicals or runoff pollutants that may contaminate the water. Visit your local farmers' market or ask about organic produce at your grocery store.

4. Buy sustainable seafood. How can you tell if it's sustainable? Look for brands that carry the Marine Stewardship Council's seal of approval, meaning the product came from an environmentally responsible fishery. If you don't see the symbol, ask where the food came from. For more information on the council's approval standards, visit msc.org.

5. Refrain from purchasing items that exploit marine resources. Some examples include coral calcium and shark cartilage supplements.

Vistit marinebio.org for more information.