WRITTEN BY JULIANA CORRALES
For all of us on this boat, and most likely, the 300 women that are going to be part/ have being part of eXXpedition, it’s very obvious to understand the connection between our survival and the existence of a healthy marine ecosystem. Most, if not all of us, have had a moment in our lives where it all clicked and all of a sudden, we found a new purpose. In my particular case as a professional in the field of design and creativity, as a diver and conservationist, I’ve worked towards orienting my life to positively influence human behaviour for the conservation and sustainable use of our oceans. This has been achieved through my work or even just by having a chat with friends about the ocean and how it has influenced my life.
It was easy to make this decision because I feel and am aware of that connection; however, that is not the case for everyone. So, let’s get down to the facts, our planet is quite unique, a living and functioning organism with many different parts that make life on its surface possible. The ocean is one of these key parts, as it has been said in Silvia Earl’s book ‘The World is Blue’:
- The ocean drives climate and weather, regulates temperature, absorbs much of the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, holds 97% of Earth’s water, and embraces 97% of the biosphere.
- The sea governs planetary chemistry, yielding water back to the atmosphere that returns to land and sea as rain, sleet, and snow, continuously restoring rivers, lakes, and groundwater.
Everyone, everywhere is inextricably connected to and utterly dependent upon the existence of the sea whether you feel it or not; every single one of us needs all of these elements to keep going with our lives. The issue here is that those who are immersed in their daily routines and are physically apart from the ocean cannot feel or see that connection. The sea may represent a place where people go for vacations or where food gets extracted, but nothing more.
I don’t think that the solution is to convert every single citizen into an ‘ocean ambassador’, but we need to essentially turn them into citizens that are aware of those invisible lines that link land, air, water and us together. To make them aware of the reactions to their actions.
Photo Credit: Juliana Corrales
Definitely doing this is not an easy task, it involves complex changes in behaviour that have been engrained in us very deeply. The way that I sea change is by combining skills, expertise and passions. Exactly what we live in the eXXpedition boat, a group of women interested in the conservation of our oceans that come from many different paths, that see the problem from many different perspectives. It’s a subtle difference, the same way a simple letter changes the whole sense of a word: sea/see.
Creativity and innovation are required if we want to find plausible solutions to the plastic pollution problem, and both of these factors can be found in any area of work. No matter who we are or what we do, we can all be part of the solution. By combining creativity with ocean conservation and science, we can shift perceptions and instigate positive change by understanding the problem from the perspectives of real people and providing tangible and sustainable solutions.
We need to start seeing beyond the surface, and find all the magical things that happen every day to make our lives possible in this planet. I sea change in every single one of us, if we start realizing that without a healthy ocean there is no life on this earth.
Deserted island song: Stay Alive – Jose González
Luxury item: A pair of earrings my mum gave me for Christmas to wear after the sailing trip to feel pretty