EFA: Etsy For Animals Etsy For Animals: it's National Week of the Ocean!

Etsy for Animals (EFA) aka Artists Helping Animals,

is a team of independent artists, craftspeople,

vintage sellers and craft suppliers on Etsy.com

who are dedicated to providing charitable relief to animals

by donating a portion of the profits from their shops

to an animal charity of their choosing,

and/or to EFA's featured Charity of the Month.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

it's National Week of the Ocean!

It's National Week of the Ocean !
written by Jessica of StitchesandSpools

I’ve always loved the ocean. I find it incredibly majestic and mysterious. I love to stand at the ocean shore with my feet being crashed upon by waves. I like thinking that the water hitting my feet has touched whales, angler fish, jellyfish, sea turtles and more. I try to imagine all that is out there. How many whales are in there and what they are doing.

Think about how big a whale is and then think about how many are in the ocean and THEN think that whales are only about 85 of the estimated 230,000 marine species. That estimated number of 230,000 species is KNOWN species. The total number of species in the ocean can be 10 times more than that. Why don’t we know? The ocean is so big, vast and deep that about 95% of our oceans remain unexplored.

The average dept is 12, 430 ft with the deepest part of the ocean being the “Mariana Trench” located in the Pacific Ocean near the Northern Mariana Islands. Its maximum depth is estimated to be 35,994 ft. It’s also the deepest location of the earth itself.

There are creatures out there that humans have yet to see, hear about or know about. Consider the angler fish, which was made famous by Finding Nemo. When the goggles were dropped into the deep ocean, the angler fish was the scary fish trying to eat Nemo and Dory while they used his light to read the address on the goggles. He really does have a light! It’s so dark where they reside that they need light to see.

To me, Finding Nemo gave him an adorable makeover.

But imagine, there are creatures scarier than him out there and those creatures are only part of the mystery the ocean provides.

The angler fish is part of the fish family, but many other life forms live in the ocean including microscopic life (phytoplankton and zooplankton; did you know starfish start as zooplankton?)...

... plants and algae (kelp aka seaweed and seagrasses; this is one of the MANY habitats for marine life forms),

... marine invertebrates (octopus, jellyfish, sea anemone; which Nemo could go through and not be stung),

.... fish (sharks, barracuda, angler fish, clown fish, sardines),

... reptiles (sea turtles, sea snakes, saltwater crocodile),

... birds (penguins and gulls),

... mammals (whales, manatees, sea lions, walrus, sea otters and polar bears) and more! (oh my!)

You may be asking yourself, okay but why? Why does this matter?? Well, oceans affect us. Every aspect of the ocean affects us. Including its inhabitants – think about where that fish came from on your dinner plate. How did he end up on your plate?

Marine organisms contribute significantly to the oxygen cycle and are involved with the regulation of Earth’s climate. With growing knowledge, we understand that the well-being of marine organisms parallels the well-being of organisms everywhere! (Including ourselves) Think about that fish on your plate and know that his well-being, affects yours. So how did he get on your plate?

The ocean in general has a major effect on our biosphere (the global sum of all ecosystems). Ocean evaporation, as a phase of the water cycle, is the source of most rainfall. And ocean temperatures determine climate and wind patterns that affect life on land.

A large proportion of all life on Earth exists in the oceans. Exactly how large IS the proportion? Well we don’t know. As mentioned before, we know there are thousands of species yet to be discovered. So far we do know that the oceans include about 300 times the livable space of the “land” habitats on Earth. Even though it’s yet to be explored, it cannot be ignored.

Everything we know so far points to the ocean having a major effect on Earth and its inhabitants. As we explore more, the realization of how much the ocean helps us and how much we rely on it, will only grow more. Take action before we know, so when we do find out we won’t be struggling to make it right. Instead, we can proudly smile and know that by taking care of the ocean, we have been taking care of ourselves and our future kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids.

This coming Earth Day (April 22) as you all go green, remember that oceans are part of the earth too, so go blue too!

- Be green! Reducing your carbon footprint, conserving water, eating organic food, being vegetarian, and buying nontoxic products can help lessen global warming, which is causing water temperatures to rise, upsetting the oceans’ delicate balance.

- If vegetarian isn’t an option for you, become a responsible seafood eater. Learn where its coming from and remember how pollution impacts its healthfulness. Choose “ocean-friendly seafood”

- Conserve water!! Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth and doing the dishes. Think about how many times the toilet is flushed a day. Make your showers three minutes shorter. Fix leaky faucets! And maybe even use a broom to clean your deck and patio instead of using the hose. Washing your car with a hose using 60% more water than the commercial car wash. The water mixed with the detergent also runs off into the oceans untreated.

- Use environmentally safe cleaning products, lawn products and more! Water recycles over and over and over again. So properly dispose of chemical products – what we put into our water will come back to us. If you must use hazardous waste, dispose of it properly

- Reduce pollution by driving less. Take a bike to the ice cream parlor, it’ll make for a nice day or a longer date! ;) Walk, skateboard or anything else to keep pollution down and your activity up!

- Get involved! Participate in costal clean-ups and write letters to your congressmen about ocean issues that are important to you. Vote with the environment in mind. Clean up after your pet on pet beaches! Make donations to ocean organizations that suit your interests and desires.

- PROTECT OCEAN WILDLIFE!! Properly dispose of fishing lines, hooks, and nets. Cut them up along with ropes. All sea creatures become easily tangled. All the trash that is collecting in the street sewer – well all that water eventually ends up in the oceans! Keep your neighborhood clean. It will help wildlife AND make your town prettier! Watch what you wash down the drain (hence the environmentally safe cleaning products)

- Plastic bags cause the deaths of 100,000 marine animals each year when the animals mistake them for food, so if you must use them, always recycle them in the bin at your supermarket. (Resuable bags are much cuter and you can even buy them to match your personality! I’ve got dog ones and Chicago White Sox ones.)

- Properly dispose of medicines, don’t flush them! So much stuff gets into our water system and medicines are easily preventable. Crush them up and put them in coffee grounds or used kitty litter

- If you have a saltwater aquarium, always buy Marine Aquarium Council certified fish and never release them back into the ocean

- Reduce trash and recycle recycle recycle! There is said to be a “garbage vortex” in the North Pacific the size of Texas.. and it’s not getting smaller!

- Please don’t throw your cigarette butts out the window! Have a plastic waterbottle in your car and dispose of them in there. Then, properly dispose of the water bottle. Cigarette butts take five years to break down in salt water but before that marine animals usually mistake them for food, causing their death

- Respect and love the oceans! Continue to learn about oceans and pass your knowledge on!


  1. Outstanding article! I learned at least half a dozen new things this morning. :D

    (I didn't know that about starfish starting out as zooplankton I have to go read up!)

  2. Wonderful, Jessica ! THANKS so much for putting this together for us :)

  3. Great article about the importance of our oceans and fab items too!!

    That is one scary fish!

  4. WOW! What an incredible amount of information. Very thorough and interesting. The way you listed all the different life forms in the ocean made it so easy to imagine the vast amount of life an ocean is home to. Excellent article!

  5. Thank you Jessica - very thoughtfully written. I learned a lot from reading this and see I can make some improvements myself. Great job!

  6. by the sea, by the beautiful sea

  7. Thanks everyone! I'm glad you all enjoyed it!

  8. Wow...what a great information about our great oceans. Thanks for sharing!

  9. This is an excellent article!

    (I always save articles "to read later.")



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