Baby boomers and their families are concerned about ecological and cultural challenges facing all of us worldwide, and there are many organizations working together to promote sustainable conservation of our natural resources and cultural heritage. A few we think are outstanding are Earthwatch Institute, Wildscreen and Saving Species.

All life is a circular and interconnected cycle of energy. The science is pretty easy to understand: 97% of the planet’s water comes from the ocean, and water regulates climate by absorbing carbon dioxide and providing the oxygen we breathe. Unfortunately, oceans are at risk from this interconnectedness. According to “her deepness” oceanographer Sylvia Earle, “human actions over the next 10 years will determine the state of the ocean for the next 10,000 years.”

Certainly, awareness is high that our oceans are in trouble. Pollution, decades of over-fishing, urban runoff, plastic trash, reef destruction, and climate change threaten the essential nature of the ocean which impacts future generations. A healthy ocean provides livelihoods and is our greatest source of protein. But sadly, tuna, swordfish, halibut, cod, and flounder populations have been devastated by overfishing.

Ocean loving baby boomer families appreciate new ways to connect with and protect our grand oceans and the life within them. There are conservation organizations that use science, art, and literature in their goal to inspire people to make better choices on behalf of the sea like Blue Ocean Institute. Others, like Ocean Institute inspire all generations through education to become responsible stewards of our oceans.

Dive into this National Geographic video by photographer Brian Skerry for some visual inspiration. Now that we’ve got you in the mood, think about getting the kids involved. A great way to pique their interest is sleepovers in an aquarium. Our favorites, both U.S. and global are:

  1. Monterey Bay Aquarium
  2. Atlantis Marine World
  3. Maui Ocean Center
  4. Alaska Sea Life
  5. Aquarium

And don’t forget some family fun. Try Ocean Futures  for multigenerational adventure. Boomer Jules Verne wannabees and their kids can now join Captain Nemo under the sea at Atlantis Adventures. Another enlightened and unparalleled way to experience meaningful adventure is with Natural Habitat Adventures.

Exploring our ocean’s biotechnological potential can lead to advanced technologies, new medications and foods. Just as the first man on the moon was the catalyst for the boom in space exploration with all the scientific and commercial benefits that resulted, our oceans also benefit from this kind of compelling scientific exploration. Like outer space, the ocean’s siren call continues to capture the imagination of solo explorers lured by its mysteries. In 1960, Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard became the first men to dive the underworld seven miles below the surface of the earth known as the Mariana Trench, a 1,500-mile-long (2,400-kilometer-long) scar at the bottom of the western Pacific Ocean and the deepest place on earth. No one has been back since. Now James Cameron looks to follow where they left off. Follow his journey at the Challenger Deep as he tries to make a successful solo expedition into the Mariana Trench. Fascinating!

The watery possibilities are endless and all can help fire kids’ imaginations and stimulate future generations of ocean stewards.