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The Ocean Lover’s Guide to At-Home Exploration (Part 2: What to Do)

By Amanda Townsel

To help our fellow ocean lovers survive—and hopefully even enjoy—this period of staying at home, we are rounding up some of our favorite free and low-cost at-home ocean-focused activities to help bring the outside inside. In Part 1 of this series, we shared some of the amazing ocean content that we're watching these days that is either free or low-cost to stream online. In Part 2, we’re sharing a list of things to do at home - from reading to cooking to e-learning. Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments!

What We're Doing: At-Home Activities for Ocean Lovers

  • Reading. A staple in escapism, books offer something for everyone. Whether you prefer physical, digital, or audiobooks, we’ve got you covered.
    • Book Apps (Free-$)
      • Your local library may be closed but you can still access their collection for free with apps like Libby.
      • Audible: “Audible is the world’s largest producer and provider of spoken-word entertainment and audiobooks.” Audible typically requires a paid subscription, but is currently offering free access to audiobook classics, children's audiobooks, and more at https://stories.audible.com/. Might we suggest Moby Dick, or 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea?
    • Book Recommendations $
      • Oceans: Heart of Our Blue Planet: “A lavishly illustrated, large format ‘coffee table’ book that examines at the many ways in which life on Earth relies on a healthy ocean”
      • Delve into the informative and inspiring work of ecologist and author Carl Safina, whose ocean and wildlife-focused books include Song for the Blue Ocean, Eye of the Albatross, Voyage of the Turtle, or Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel.
      • Pick your next travel destination with 100 Dives Of A Lifetime. “Filled with more than 350 images from National Geographic, 100 Dives of a Lifetime provides the ultimate bucket list for ardent scuba divers and aspirational travelers alike.”
      • Younger ocean lovers can join Marti, the Hammerhead Shark, on her journey from her home in the Galapagos Islands to Cocos Island, Costa Rica. Meet Marti’s marine friends who share the magical, but perilous, adventure across the Pacific Ocean.
      • Rekindle your spirit with Chicken Soup for the Ocean Lover’s Soul. Inspirational stories with Wyland artwork will be sure to ignite your imagination.

Learn some new plant-based meals.

  • Cooking. There are a variety of ways that you can channel all of that home cooking you are doing into a positive force for ocean conservation.
    • Try out some new vegetarian and vegan recipes. Not only are they good for your health, but they have a lower carbon footprint too.
    • Learn to choose and prepare sustainable seafood. Check out our Blue Habits sustainable seafood guide to help you select ocean-friendly ingredients.
  • Gardening. Many of us are spending more time working in our yards and looking for projects to do. Here are a few ways your gardening can support healthy oceans.
    • Get fresh ingredients and contribute to cleaner oceans by setting up an ocean-friendly garden.
    • Reduce food waste (a major contributor to climate change) and get some nutrient-rich soil for your garden by composting.

Participate in citizen science with your wildlife photos.

  • Learning & Citizen Science. There is no shortage of fun and educational activities online, and more are being added everyday. Here are a few of our favorites!
    • Sharks 4 Kids Webinars are hosted by shark scientists, divers, videographers, photographers, conservationists and more!
    • Skype a Scientist: Chat with a scientist over video chat from your living room! “We will match you with a scientist for free! These sessions are q&a conversations, so you and your kids/roommates can talk with a scientist about what makes YOU curious.”
    • Become a Citizen Scientist and support real scientific research from your computer, no experience required!
    • At Home Science Activities from NOAA: “Popular educational resources to help you safely hunker down while learning about the ocean and atmosphere. Keep learning with these science activities that kids and families can do at home.”
    • Use the iNaturalist App to learn about the wildlife in your yard and neighborhood- please take appropriate precautions and follow local/state/federal regulations and guidelines.

Download and print free ocean animal coloring pages.

  • Getting Creative. Stretch your creative muscles with these artsy activities.
Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments!

Amanda Townsel is an Oceanic Society communications strategist, copywriter, and community coordinator. Amanda earned a Bachelor’s in Psychology from the University of San Diego and a Master’s in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. She is an avid traveler with a professional career that includes diving, marine ecotourism research, and strategic communications for conservation organizations.


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