When Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring in 1962, she started the modern day Green Movement. Her book helped a DDT ban pass through Congress, and inspired millions to take to the streets in protest of many environmental issues. Thanks to its passionate leaders and members, the Green Movement has raised awareness for many green issues and has achieved many notable victories.
But even as we’ve watched good things happen on land and in the sky, we’ve let our oceans fall behind. We know more about the surface of the moon than we do about the sea floor. As a landlubbing society, it is hard for many of us to see how closely our lives are connected to the world’s waterways, whether we live on a coast or 1,000 miles inland.
The Blue Movement is committed to changing this misconception. Lead by a committed group of individuals and organizations, the Blue Movement is dedicated to preserving and protecting our world’s oceans and waterways for our own and for future generations. We are scuba divers, fisherman, and sailors. We are educators, activists, and businesspeople. Most importantly, we are all passionate, and we all understand our dependence on the world’s oceans and waterways.
The Blue Movement can trace its beginnings to deepwater explorers Jacques Cousteau, an avid diver whose own passion for the underwater world transformed a generation, and to Dr. Sylvia Earle, whose groundbreaking research continues to inspire a new generation of scientists and discoverers.
Unfortunately, the waters that first welcomed Monsieur Cousteau and Dr. Earle many years ago now have much less to give. Overfishing has decimated and even destroyed fishing populations around the world, and fish remaining fish are choking on pieces of the 14 billion pounds of trash that end up in the ocean every year. An exploding Chinese middle class population has increased the demand for shark fin soup—and increased the number of sharks killed for their fins to 90 million every year. As oceans absorb the atmosphere’s excess carbon dioxide, the water becomes more acidic, causing once lush coral reefs to turn white and die.
The modern Blue Movement refuses to let this trend continue. The Cousteau family continues to work toward more sustainable resource management in fishing communities and to raising awareness not just of underwater beauty, but of underwater problems. Advocates like Wallace ‘J’ Nichols has started the Blue Marble Project not just to spread the awareness of the Blue Movement, but to remind us that every hand holding a marble is connected to oceans and waterways and has the power to use that hand to do something good.
And that, perhaps, is the very essence of the blue movement: each and every one of us, no matter where live, depends on the ocean for survival. And no matter where we live, we have the power to make a difference in an underwater ecosystem thousands of miles away.