Small actions make monumental waves

Under the ocean’s reflective surface swirls and abundance of life, beauty, colors, and textures that we cannot begin to imagine on dry land. In those deep, aquatic worlds, we’ve barely scratched the surface to comprehend the diversity and abundance of life that call it home.

Protecting our oceans means protecting the future of discovery, wildlife, and an invaluable resource for people. By taking small, simple actions to protect our oceans, we can make monumental waves for conserving it.

Leave the water in our watersheds

All water eventually leads to the ocean — finding ways conserve it is one of the best ways to care for our oceans and the waters that feed it. Try a few of these suggestions on how to turn off the tap.

  • Take shorter showers
  • Turn off the water while bruising your teeth. Running tap can waste more than 6 liters of water a few minutes!
  • Fix a dripping tap. A dripping tap can waste 15 liters of water a day!

All the water we have on earth is all that we will ever have, might as well keep it clean!

an aerial view of a waterway along the coast that winds through forest and wetlands
A sky high view of Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge within the Connecticut River watershed. Greg Thompson/USFWS

Go natural - fabric that is!

Did you know that fabrics in yoga pants, tech clothing, and fleeces are one of the main contributors to microplastics in our ocean? Microfibers are often released during washing and drying and come from fabrics like polyester, nylon and acrylic. Here’s some tips to reduce microplastics at home.

  • Opt for natural fabric napkins, dish cloths and cleaning rags instead of paper
  • Try clothing made of natural fabrics like cotton, linen, wool, and bamboo
  • Wash less often and use cold water
  • Line dry clothes to conserve energy and save money

By choosing this action you will be reducing the waste you send to our landfills, saving money and find lasting products.

multiple food items packaged in open fabric bags
Buying in bulk and using cloth bags by Emma Nelson

BYOR (Bring Your Own Reusables)

Bags, bottles, straws. Single use plastics are everywhere! Our reliance on single-use items hurts the world’s wildlife and is a growing problem that affects oceans, rivers, land, and people. How many single use plastics can you eliminate in your daily routine?

  • Ask your favorite coffee shop to fill your reusable coffee mug
  • Keep clean, reusable cutlery ready for use on the go
  • Tote bags and reusable containers are a great replacement for grocery bags, sandwich bags, and take away containers
  • Recycle what you cant reuse
a big fluffy bird eats plastic strings
A baby albatross tries to eat marine debris. Holly Richards/USFWS

Take a hike or bike!

Did you know that transportation is one of the leading causes of greenhouse gas emission? Greenhouse gasses can trap heat in our atmosphere which is absorbed by the ocean, gradually warming surface waters and increasing sea levels. Try ditching the drive in a car where you can!

  • Take a hike, walk, or skip to your nearby destinations!
  • Bike your commute! Skip the traffic, road repairs, gas prices and more for the adventure of biking to work.
  • Make the most of carpooling when needed

We all have places to be and people to see, but finding ways to get there without using a car can be fun! Who knows what you might see along the way.

several children on bikes ride over a wooden boardwalk through the woods
Children on a biking adventure. USFWS

An estimated eight million tons of debris enter the ocean each year, outpacing efforts to remove it. By taking part in small efforts to conserve our natural resources and reduce our use of energy and plastics, together we can make a difference for our oceans, wildlife, and future generations.



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U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Northeast Region

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Northeast Region

Conserving wildlife and habitats from Maine to Virginia, New York, and Pennsylvania.