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Defending the Deep

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4th May 2021

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Out of sight, out of mind…and often unprotected! The majority of causes that flood social media are on the collective radars. What about the ocean floor depths? Anything below what a person can swim to is often not remembered when discussing environmental conservation. The same was the case for Vassar Sydel when she learned about deep-sea mining. Her understanding leads to a responsibility that can support the world to protect a very fragile, and often forgotten, ecosystem.

The Oxygen Project was created in order to raise awareness of a potentially catastrophic situation brewing off stage to the traditional environmentalism causes. The issue is universal as life on the Blue Planet will somewhere down the line feel the effects of the negative externalities that mining can cause. The issue is urgent because of the length of time it takes to regrow these environments if they are tampered with due to mining activities. Millions of years go into the formation of various aspects of these habitats. Mining would disrupt and destroy at an unprecedented rate, leaving humans with short-term profits and a long-term uncertainty of survival. 

The reason this area of the planet so desperately needs to be protected stems from a chain of ripple effects from the bottom of the ocean to the air we breathe. Oxygen is created through the process, CO2 is sequestered by the ocean, it is the last defense against a runaway climate crisis! This domino effect of nature is the strongest link tying us all directly to the responsibility of protecting our oceans. The ocean is already under attack from overfishing, pollution, and temperature rise.

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Deep Seabed Mining is just an extension of an extractive business that is already on land but without the regulations that mitigate climate destruction. The difficulties enforcing and monitoring activities happening hundreds and thousands of meters down into the ocean depths are why strict frameworks are needed. 

Make sure to sign the letter created by the Oxygen Project. Your voice is your ability to make a change. Also, get out whenever possible to be in the water. Freediving, SCUBA diving, snorkeling, surfing, sea kayaking, bodyboarding- whatever your style, get out in the water! Making connections with the ocean will drive our collective consciousness towards protecting it for future generations. 


Take a deep dive into The Chronicle Discussions, Episode 36: Defending The Deep wherever you get your podcasts and #defendthedeep