I lived in the Maldives, a tiny island nation boasting pristine white-sand beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and vibrant coral reefs. Thousands flock to these shores every year to dive deep and explore the ocean’s hidden wonders.

I spent hours captivated by the underwater world: reef sharks gliding by, giant stingrays leaving swirling sand trails, and regal sea turtles grazing the seabed in a slow, mesmerizing dance. Though I never dived deep myself, the divers who did returned breathless, their words painting a picture of an underwater wonderland – a constant reminder of the ocean’s magic.

But the ocean is more than just a beautiful spectacle. It’s the very foundation of life on Earth. It produces a staggering 50% of the planet’s oxygen, covers over 70% of its surface, and acts as a key economic driver, employing millions and providing us with food and medicine. The ocean even acts as a giant carbon sponge, absorbing a significant portion of the CO2 we produce.

Unfortunately, this precious resource faces a multitude of threats. Pollution, overfishing, and climate change are pushing the ocean to its tipping point. Over a third of fish stocks are being harvested unsustainably, and rising temperatures are causing ocean acidification, harming countless marine species.

This is why World Oceans Day (June 8th) is so important. We celebrate the ocean’s vital role and raise awareness of the threats it faces. Pollution, overfishing, and climate change are taking a heavy toll. The 2024 theme, “Awaken New Depths,” highlights the need for continued exploration and understanding of the ocean.

A Call to Action: Protecting God’s Creation

From a Biblical perspective, the ocean holds even greater significance. It’s a testament to God’s creation, entrusted to us as stewards. The Bible speaks of the ocean’s importance, from its role in creation (Genesis 1) to its vastness and teeming life (Psalm 104). As stewards, we have a responsibility to protect this incredible gift.

Many initiatives are underway to protect the ocean. The UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development aims to find solutions through scientific research. The upcoming 2025 UN Ocean Conference in Nice, France, will be a crucial platform for global collaboration.

So, what can we do?

  • Learn More: The first step is understanding the ocean’s importance and the challenges it faces. Resources like the 2024 State of the Ocean Report can be a great starting point.
  • Reduce Your Impact: Simple changes like using fewer plastic products and making sustainable seafood choices can make a big difference.
  • Support Conservation Efforts: There are countless organizations dedicated to ocean conservation. Consider volunteering or donating to a cause you care about.

Let’s dive deeper and explore ways to protect this magnificent wonder. Remember, it’s not just about understanding God’s creation, it’s about acting as responsible stewards.

-Salathiel Nalli