Goal 14: Life Below Water

Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. 

Life below water understands the vital importance oceans have that make the earth habitable for life. Seas provide and regulate rainwater, drinking water, weather, climate, coastlines, large amounts of food, and the oxygen in the air needed to breathe. It is, therefore, crucial to promote and protect conditions needed for marine ecosystems to be successful. 

Taking Action

Initiatives at Brock University

WWF – Canada and Niagara College Partnership for Virtual Clean-up 

Brock University has partnered with the World Wildlife Fund – Canada (WWF – Canada) through the Living Planet @ Campus partnership and Niagara College to host a virtual clean-up as one of the many initiatives projects the campus offers. Due to Covid-19 restrictions participants were asked to work in pairs while physically distancing to pick up litter, record findings, and take photos of collected material. This clean-up also aids in the WWF-Canada’s Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup 

Great Lakes Revival Seminar Series 

In March 2020, John Hartig, a scholar for the Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research, held a seminar to Brock’s Master of Sustainability students encouraging local communities to restore areas of concern found around the lakes. Emphasizing they provide a global resource and are important factors for economic growth.  

Research Team Investigates International Policy to Preserve Marine Environments 

The Brock-led research team by Dr. Jessica Blythe investigated a policy called Other Effective Area-based Conservation Measures (OECMs). Their study describes challenges and opportunities in marine conservation locations. 

Initiatives in the Niagara Region

Niagara River Remedial Action Plan (RAP) 

The Niagara River was once considered the most polluted area in North America, that led Canada and the United States to sign a Great Lakes Quality Agreement that included cleanup of the Niagara River. RAP aims to provide localized cleanup as necessary to remove the Niagara River off the Areas of Concern listing.  

Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority  

The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority has strong water management responsibilities. They work on analyzing watershed by monitoring streamflow, establishing mater plans, testing water quality, and developing report cards 

Individual Actions

Did you know oceans absorb 30% of carbon dioxide produced by humans and absorbed more than 90% of excess heating climate systems that would otherwise drastically increase temperatures? Or that over 3 billion people rely on coastal and marine biodiversity? 

  • Understand land actions affect water and vice versa. 
  • Help eliminate waste onshore as most litter in the water comes from land.   
  • Inform yourself on the importance of oceans and marine life by watching documentaries. 
  • Start regularly volunteering for community cleanups and pick up litter around you.  
  • Avoid single use plastic and overpackaged products. 
  • Shop and eat local, paying attention to those that use regenerative sustainable practices. 
  • Look for labels when buying fish that state it was caught sustainably.  
  • Become or encourage local fisheries to receive a sustainable license. 
  • Stop buying jewelry or other items from material made of shells, coral, or other marine life. 
  • Research, engage, and support organizations that protect the oceans. 
  • Avoid buying wild saltwater fish for aquariums. 
  • Advocate and engage in responsible recreational activities like boating, fishing, snorkelling, and kayaking.
  • Respect conservation areas and laws related to overfishing. 
  • Look into programs offered to help protect and increase biodiversity.