Dear Ocean,

Today the whole world will be celebrating your enormous importance to us and the living kingdom as a whole. We want to take this opportunity to say thank you for everything you do for us, and to show you our deepest respect!

Thank you for enchanting us with your mystical and fascinating existence for millennia. We love your different shades of blue, your incredible underwater world, and we love you for always surprising us with new kinds of beings and wonders.

Thank you for determining and controlling our climate. You store heat like no other and distribute it slowly and steadily, year in and year out, across the world with your great and powerful currents. That is how you warm our mainland in cold months and cool it in warm ones. You release water into the atmosphere and pave the way for the wind that brings us the clouds and rain and ensures that we have shade and enough water for our land plants.

Thank you for being a CO2 sink and trying to absorb our excessive production of anthropogenic carbon dioxide by converting it and storing it in the deep sea for decades. In doing so, you accept that you will acidify and your ecosystems will have to suffer the consequences. A special thank you goes to your phytoplankton, which produces 50-80% of atmospheric oxygen and gives us healthy air to breathe.

Thank you for being the largest ecosystem in the world and giving a multitude of other exciting ecosystems the space to exist. Whether it is mangrove forests, which are a breeding ground for many fish and bird species, the deep ocean ecosystem, where light no longer reaches, and which interacts with the upper layers to provide, for instance, food for tubeworms, or the shoreline ecosystems, which provide a habitat for a variety of birds and marine life.

Thank you for always letting us discover new creatures in the deep ocean and for showing us that corals, frilled sharks, faceless cusk eels, and endless other living beings can exist in this huge, unexplored part of you, where there is no more light and where temperatures are low.

Thank you for providing resources and food to all the coastal communities and beyond, for helping us to survive and grow.

And last but not least: Thank you for coral reefs. They have shown us the beauty of biodiversity and strengthened our vision to help the ocean and corals through our organization rrreefs.

Lorena Oberlin and Daniela Guedes
Picture: Max Kuntscher