By Mark Spalding, President, The Ocean Foundation

Today, I wanted to share a little about some of TOF’s work to help the ocean and raise awareness about its role in our lives:

Have you ever wondered why the ocean REALLY makes your brain and body feel so good?  Why you long to get back to it?  Or why “ocean view” is the most valuable phrase in the English language? Or why the ocean is romantic?  TOF’s BLUEMIND project explores the intersection of mind and ocean, through the lens of cognitive neuroscience.

The Ocean Foundation’s SeaGrass Grow campaign raises awareness about the importance of protecting our seagrass meadows and supports work to naturally offset greenhouse gas emissions in the ocean.  Sea grass meadows provide all kinds of benefits.  They are grazing grounds for manatees and dugongs, home to sea horses in the Chesapeake Bay (and elsewhere), and, in their extensive root systems, storage units for carbon.  Restoring these meadows is important for ocean health now and in the future.  Through the SeaGrass Grow Project, the Ocean Foundation now hosts the first ever ocean carbon offsets calculator.  Now, anyone can help offset their carbon footprint by supporting seagrass meadow restoration.

Through the International Sustainable Aquaculture Fund, The Ocean Foundation is fostering a discussion about the future of aquaculture. This fund supports projects that focus on expanding and improving the way we farm fish by moving it out of the water and onto land where we can control water quality, food quality, and meet local protein needs.  In this way, communities can both improve food security, generate local economic development, and provide safer, cleaner seafood.

And finally, thanks to the hard work of The Ocean Project and its partners, as we will be celebrating World Oceans Day tomorrow, June 8th.  The United Nations officially designated World Oceans Day in 2009 after nearly two decades of “unofficial” commemorations and publicity campaigns.  Events that celebrate our oceans will be held all over the world on that day.