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Interfaith Ocean Ethics Campaign launched

March 23, 2015:

A new Interfaith Ocean Ethics campaign, run as part of the Franciscan Action Network, has been launched to let people of faith know about the critical problem of the oceans. And just as importantly know how to take action.

The campaign identifies "7 Deadly Sins of the Seas" (see below) and urges everyone, of every faith, to take "7 Virtuous Steps of the Seas" to help. They are also working in the US with the National Resources Defense Council and Conservation Law Foundation to preserve two ocean areas off the coast of New England as protected areas, which they hope sets up a model for faiths supporting marine sanctuaries in other areas.

The 7 Virtuous Steps of the Sea

1) Bring to mind all your ocean experiences with their beauty, species, and peoples -- the wonder and delight of them. Focus on your love and gratitude for them, and seek out more of encounters of an ocean kind! And come to them with awe, prayer, and meditation to feel a connection with the Creator and all of creation. And savor the oxygen, rain, beach rest and sea recreation, jobs, seafood, medicines, and so much more that the oceans provide. It's time to give back!

2) Consider what steps you can take on making progress in protecting and restoring them from the Seven Deadly Sins of the Seas. Make a pledge to start with some actions now, and continue to add to them.

3) Get your family and a friend or two involved.

A girl in Tuvalu PHOTO:
4) Talk to and pray with your faith or spiritual community about the oceans and to start an IOEC group to become active together to pretect and restore God's ocean systems and species and coastal communities.

5) Download and use IOEC Resources to Active Your Community -- posters, action tips, and preaching kits as they are developed -- and all the resources from other organizations listed to address the 7 Deadly Sins of the Seas. And let us know by contacting us. We'd love to hear about your work!

6) Volunteer in restoration. Make a connection with an ocean restoration, tree planting, or river restoration organization for you and your group to get involved as volunteers in hands-on outdoors work and enjoyment in God's wild creation. Bring youth along. Get t-shirts made so people know you are acting as a community of faith.

7) Vote, act, and speak out to encourage others and urge representatives to support ocean and marine species conservation, climate change action, reforestation, and replanting of native grasslands.

Link here to find out how anyone and everyone can help.

The 7 Deadly Sins of the Sea are:

1) Fossil Fuel Pollution (causing ocean acidification, rising oceans swamping coasts, dying coral reefs, shifting currents and more frequent, intense storms, chaotic climatic changes, and more).

Plant buffer zones to rivers and streams, and be care of everything that watching drains or flushes into it, remembering these things flow into wetlands, rivers, and eventually the sea. Don't flush toxic things down; and don't use pesticides or chemical fertilizers on your lawns and fields.
2) Overfishing and Wasteful, Cruel Fishing -- help stop many beloved commercial species from going extinct from nonsustainable fishing practices

3) Plastics and Other Garbage in the Seas, killing wildlife and toxifying food chains and seafood. 

4) Sewage, Chemical, and Nuclear Run-off and Wastes

5) Invasive Species and Harm of Species (avoiding cruelty) and Loss of Biodiversity ;

6) Harmful Coastal Development causing run-off and loss of wildlife habitats.

7) Sensory Pollution (sea traffic, noise, explosions, sonar, radar, drones, light pollution -- all causing beachings, extreme distress, stress, and confusion among sea life, especially whales and dolphins).

The Interfaith Ocean Ethics website has much more detail.

IOEC is a program of the Franciscan Action Network, a 501(c)3 organization, and the National Religious Coalition on Creation Care. Contact IOEC.

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