January 4

Arik Rosenblum is worried about Planet Earth – in particular, the waters that make up 70 percent of the planet.

Plastics pose the biggest danger to the world’s seas and oceans, says Rosenblum, executive director of the nonprofit EcoOcean that’s dedicated to protecting the marine environment.

“We definitely try to be the voice of the sea,” he says.

Getting out into the water in the organization’s research vessel, the Mediterranean Explorer, yields many good surprises, too, like a sponge EcoOcean researchers discovered that may help cure Alzheimer’s disease.

But the main task of EcoOcean – and all of us – is to cut down on single-use plastics and never to discard them on the beach. Once these cups, bottles and bags get into the water, they break down into harmful microplastics that fish ingest and then people ingest when we eat the fish.

“It’s not just saving the animals. To save the sea is to save us,” says Rosenblum.

Saving the ocean from plastic
EcoOcean’s crew on the Mediterranean Explorer prepare to check microplastics in the sea. Photo by Nicky Blackburn